Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Trip to Montana

In June my friend Rob and I took a trip to Missoula, Montana to visit our friends Shamus and Jess who had just moved there a year ago. What a country! Beautiful hikes and wonderful people. They live in the cutest house, right by the train tracks, that reminds me of the shotgun shacks I saw in Mississippi. Shamus attends and teaches at the university and I met a lot of his fellow TA's. We drank at the local bars and breweries and shopped at the farmers market.

I met a jovial guy wearing a beret who sold hand-made sausages. When he found out I was from Brooklyn he said he had spent a good amount of time there himself and proceeded to impersonate the accent, which I informed him sounded a lot more like a Boston accent. Rob bought a hand-carved flute made of walnut from a local guy and I bought a mandolin. The mandolin was bought at a pawn shop, there are a bunch around town, and I also checked out the gun collection he had. The guy approached and asked if he could help us, and I asked, "what can kill a bear?" He said a lot of people use the 44 handgun, which is a beautiful antique-looking revolver. As I held it in my hands he explained that the 44 is more of a deterrent and if you wanted to really take care of that bear he suggested a much bigger gun displayed on the wall. It looked like a sawed-off shot gun, much like the one Rico Tubbs used in Miami Vice. He said I wouldn't be able to take the big gun back to nyc anyway, so I just walked out with the much cheaper mandolin.

We went on a day hike through Glacier National Park, and because the week before a man had been mauled by a Grizzly, we bought a can of bear mace. This is some major mace, not be used on a human being. To our surprise you only get one shot on this thing, so if you're attacked you better aim well or no second chance! Mountain Cats supposedly attack people too. Their tactic is to creep up behind you, jump on your back and bite your neck! Luckily the only large animals we saw were deer.

What a great place.....Missoula, I shall return!

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