The ride up to the North Fork is an adventure, especially so if you’re riding in a VW bug. Once there, it’s like being transported to a much different time, a sort of 1950s camping vacation with friends gathered around campfires and kids running around barefoot and riding their bikes everywhere. In other words, it was the perfect place to spend the 4th, and I’m grateful to our friends for including us in the festivities.
After taking it easy in the morning, just as summer mornings should be, we reported at midday to the mercantile to watch the parade. Eclectic floats passed by and a tiny yellow plane flew overhead, coming lower and lower to the delight of the spectators, including me. Americana at its very finest.
After, the bands played at the stage in town with spectators dancing and stomping their feet. The sun shone down more brightly than it had all summer long. We gathered back at our friend’s place and a BBQ feast was had. Some friends started the drive home after this while others, and us, headed into town for a little more music before falling into bed in our tents.
I woke up in the middle of the night and it was absolutely silent. The sky was clear and speckled with more stars than I normally see. And next morning we were up early and decided to try and make it to Bowman Lake. The adventure included a ride in the back of two pickup trucks down a particularly bumpy road but we made it. We hiked the trail to Numa Lookout, a manned fire lookout to this day, and were passed by a train of pack mules bringing up necessary supplies, the Montana way.
Monday, July 9, we celebrated ONE YEAR of Montana living. What an undoubtedly rich year… so many new places and people and experiences. I can say now a year later, now that the loneliness has dissipated and been replaced with contentment, it was a very good decision. We are happy here. What more can we ask for? Maybe a house.