Tour Journal – 2005 – Vol. 2 – Issue. 6

7310 miles traveled – writing from a lovely bed -n- breakfast.

It’s official; we have less than two weeks left before we go home!

One of our shows got cancelled, so we did what any self-respecting duo would do. We went to visit a glacier. We drove 200 miles out of our way to Glacier National Park in northern Montana (practically Canada!) Along the way we kept stopping to see Indian Reservations, Thrift Stores, and Giant Balls of String.

We also stopped by a chocolate factory called, “Tom’s ‘Absolutely Fabulous!’ Chocolate Factory.” I told J that if Tom were a gay man I would buy every piece of chocolate in the place.

Everything in Montana is made from Huckleberries, the Montanans are completely obsessed with the things. It’s like someone decided that Montana’s entire tourist economic future depended on these little purple not-quite-blueberries. And mooses, everything is a moose reference.

Moose Sweat (soda pop), Moose Droppings [shudder] (chocolate), Moose Drool (beer), Moose Bladders.

Ok, I made that last one up, but the Native Americans used to use moose bladders as water pouches, so it’s not too far of a stretch. Or was it buffalo bladders? Nevermind.

Anyway, we drove up to West Glacier, and after pausing briefly to lock our keys in the truck, we set about figuring out what to do there. I found us a wonderful 100-year-old hotel called the “Belton Chalet.” J took some issue with my pronunciation, “It does not rhyme with 'toilet'.”

After conferring in detail, J and I made our plans. She would hike 92 miles so she could stand on a giant chunk of ice and I would sit in the hotel room and play video games.
[J note: Sadly, glaciers don’t grow at hotel-level; they require steep treks up mountainsides. But was I gonna go to GLACIER National Park and not see a glacier? Heck no.]

While I am deeply in love with this hotel, my stay there was marred by my going into detoxifying shock from the lack of Internet service.

So the next morning J walked down to the truck to find, and this should have been obvious to you dear reader, a bear sitting on the truck.

[J note: This is just a wee, small exaggeration.] Ok fine, it was NEAR the truck. But the day before J had been so so proud that she had become a REAL northerner because she had bought a “Bear Bell.” This is a big cow-bell kinda thing that you wear to somehow magically convince the bears that you don’t taste very good. Of course was J wearing the bear-bell then, noooooooo.

Luckily the bear sensed that deep down J is a ninja, because he ran for it the second he saw her. In J’s defense, I will say that she probably didn’t expect to need her bear-bell in the GODDAMN PARKING LOT OF THE HOTEL!

[J note: No, in fact, I didn’t expect it at all. But I can tell you I got that bear bell out of my pocket and jangled it for all I was worth for the next five or six hours straight, meanwhile nervously looking over my shoulder for bears as I passed by the giant neon signs at the trailhead saying, “Don’t hike alone!” P.S. – Did I mention the sign actually had the words, “Mortal Peril” on it?]

That night my sleep was interrupted by J’s incredibly rude moaning, “My legs, ohhhh, my legs, ohhhh pity me.” Occasionally she would jangle her bear-bell in her sleep.

When we left the next morning I was sad that we didn’t find a moose sitting in the cab of the truck waving to us from the window and honking the horn. I guess you can only have so many run-ins with natural world at one time.

Yesterday we came down to Missoula, Montana. I stopped by the local organic food coop and adopted a new pet for us.

She’s a pint container of wheatgrass. We’ve named her “Grassy,” which is short for “W. J. Grassy,” which is short for “Wheat Juice Grassy.” She lives on our dashboard now with her gang of action figures.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but J and I have gone a bit crazy. Today, every time we passed a herd of cows she called out the window, “Baaaaaaaaaaah!” Every time we passed a group of horses I called to them, “Mooooooo!”

I guess you had to be there.

Anyway, Monday is our show in Caldwell, Idaho. Wednesday we’ll be in Le Grange, Oregon, then Olympia, Washington. We’re getting close.

More later…

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