“Quick, quick, come’ere, QUICK!”, he bellowed. We dropped what we were doing, thankfully fully dressed already, and bolted downstairs just in time to see a 300+ lb Black Bear saunter across the front yard.
Welcome to Montana.
The previous afternoon we had arrived in Kalispell from Portland via Seattle and other than a remarkably turbulent descent where my brain was screaming “Oh my god we are all going to die” as my face was fixed into a slightly maniacal frozen grin in an attempt to convince RJ that I was just fine with my stomach trying to jump into my throat, the trip was uneventful and the weather that welcomed us was as gorgeous as what we had left behind in Oregan.
We picked up the first of three cars for the road-trip portion of the adventure and headed into town to meet-up with our host for the next few days.
K is family – well, family as defined by being the brother of the husband of RJ’s sister – and most definitely more related than anyone else in Montana. He was kind enough to let us take over a spare room with our exploding luggage and his wi-fi with our multitude of electronic devices as we explored Glacier National Park.
Dinner that evening was at Moose’s Saloon on the edge of Main Street for pizza and beer. Being with a local we went in through the back because “only the tourists use the front door”, and K’s description, “carve your name on the wall, throw your peanut shells on the floor”, was about as accurate as you can get.
The sawdust ‘carpet’ added nicely to the
kitsch rustic factor, the pizza was hot and the beer was cold.
The sunset drive to K’s house was stunning and we settled in for the evening with comfort that comes from being in a home rather than a hotel. An early night prepared us for a long hike the next day, and with that first early morning Black Bear sighting we were off.
RJ was perpetually on the lookout for more every time he walked out of the house but it would be another day before we lucked out again – although this time we had the cameras ready…