Thursday, July 9

12:34:56 on 07/08/09

Today...? Today was a pretty good day. Truck loaded, a full tank of gas and unusually bright eyed hopes for the near future, I left for Montana...later than I had hoped but it was without consequence. The cool grayness of the northwest clouds would soon dissipate, replaced by warm golden hills of wheat, alfalfa and corn. It surprised me how much the crops have grown in a week. Before I could make my break though, I had to stop at costco to pick up some jerky (necessary road trip snack) and some Starbucks Via for a gift. Ok, and a slice of pepperoni pizza. Why not. Today had it's own leisurely agenda. I met a couple from Montana who were quite nice to talk to and familiar with the boom town of Darby. They said the skiing is really nice and slopes are scarely crowded. The Pass was lovely. The lake, serene. I need to stop in Roslyn one of these trips. Ellensburg was a longer than usual pit stop. A friend noted a cool feed store called Ranch & Home. Lots of great things to look over, especially for those that like old hardware stores. I picked up a clearance shirt and a pair of gloves to protect my hands from repairing the barbed wire fences. There's a great photo of an old fella who still works there who had a pet buffalo...rather, raised buffalo and one had an extraordinary friendly disposisition as shown by him kneeling with the large beast towering over him. That friendship lasted 20 years.

I like seeing the various hues of gold. Even cooler was a field loaded with various heavy machinery, bailers, columbines, tractors...I'd like to try harvesting something sometime. I like the sculpture of the stampeding horses overlooking Vantage and the Columbia River. Glacing at the clock, my shopping/exploring day was coming to a screaching halt. Shane told me about Big R in Spokane for westernware. Fortunately, there was one in Moses Lake. The nicest clerk came to my rescue in the Cinderella moment of frustration. (ok, so it wasn't really Cinderella who was frustrated cuz the shoe actually fit, but I can't remember her big footed sisters names). The clerk patiently helped me find a perfect fitting pair of boots. She asked if they were for work or dress and I told her, "work likely, cleanup on Saturday to wear to church on Sunday.". She laughed and said, "That is the cowboy way...".

I missed connecting with a couple friends, Brice and Geoff. Perhaps on the return. I did connect briefly with my buddy Daniel, who is still hurting. The separation is yet to be reolved and the economy prohibits him from coming to the Ranch where I feel he could greatly benefit (if nothing else he could hammer out some frustration). Winding through the mountains, I let out a "whoa!" as the rising, 97% waning gibious, harvest moon appeared between mountain peaks. I've never seen it such a ripening pumpkin color before. It really is quite impossible to resist driving without headlights, guided only by moonbeams. It reminded me of night hikes I'd take in Hells Canyon, hearing wolf howls in the distance, watching deer and their shadows graze... there was one spectacular falling star that appeared to literally tear open the night sky to reveal a glimpse of heaven. I hope to never lose these memories.

Yup, today was a good day.