montana license plate on red vehicle

day four: soul food

Today was exceptional. Period. We began this morning leaving Great Falls on our way to today’s eventual destination, Spokane, Washington- stops along the way included Browning, Kalispell, Glacier Park, and the Great Divide. In Browning, we drove past the hospital where Mom used to work 40 years ago; she pointed out where she used to live, and marveled at the way things had changed yet stayed so much the same. There were also more dogs in this town than anywhere I’ve ever been in my life- every yard had a dog, every truckbed had at least two, and they all seemed to know each other. Dogs would run alongside trucks, yapping at the other dogs in the truckbed. I also learned that there aren’t any cats there because they, um, eat them. I’m serious. Hmmm. The other thing I noticed today is that the Northwest is rampant with what I refer to as “Espresso shacks”- which seem to be the startup business of choice. Get yourself a teepee, an old train car, a storage shed, or a camper, slap a homemade “Espresso” sign on the side, and you’ve got yourself a money-maker. You think I’m kidding about the teepee- I’m not. I saw one in Browning. Enough about that…moving on to Glacier Park…There aren’t words to describe how remarkable and breathtaking the landscape was along the drive through Glacier Park. I’ve never seen anything as enormous and awe-inspiring as the Rocky Mountains up close. I’ve been to Denver a few times, and I lived in Telluride, but the Rockies seem puny when you’re not actually in the midst of them- today, they commanded respect. Glacier Park was the most unbelievable sight I’ve possibly ever seen, and it reminded me how small and mortal we are. It was utterly humbling. The air in the mountains was so clean it was like breathing new life directly into my soul. Every breath I took today, and every sight I drank in was renewing, cleansing…grounding. I was also kind of ashamed of myself for not making a point to come out here before now, and that I have taken for granted the fact that it’s here. I can’t believe I’ve never greeted it before in person. I have always felt a deep connection to the earth, and I’ve always believed in the unique harmony of all living things- but today, I actually felt it resonate throughout my core. At one point in Glacier Park I was almost moved to tears by the sheer beauty of it, and I stood there stunned, speechless, knowing I could try to capture it on film but that I would fail because no snapshot could possibly do it all justice. I tried though, and I hope what I shot today conveys in some small way how incredible and truly great this planet is, and how lucky we are to call it home.

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