May 24, 2011 § 2 Comments

I never want to leave here.

No. Seriously. Maybe not specifically here, but Montana for sure. Yes, it gets cold in the winter, yes the snow is ridiculous. No, I don’t care.

At all.

This is my happy place. My neverland.

Not in the sense that I don’t ever want to grow up here, but in the sense that I want to grow up here. I want to make this home.

I love the mountains. I love the people. The laid-back attitudes. The nonexistence of the rat race. The small town feel.

There is something particularly meaningful about meeting people through the tourist industry, too. Everyday, I meet people who are escaping their everyday lives, looking for a little fun, a little adventure. Conversations with them are easy; the basic “where are you from,” leads to stories and shared experiences. Subtle bonding.

Right now, there are about 8 people (3 girls and 5 guys) living at our dorms and we’re waiting for everyone else to arrive. The weather has been a little cold and dreary, so we’ve been taking as much advantage of any good weather we have as possible. Four of us toured the north loop of the park the other day and hiked to a few waterfalls, saw some wildlife, including bighorn sheep, mountain goats, a bald eagle and a grizzly with 2 cubs.

Brogan, me, Angie, Tyler at the Lower Falls

And the people I work/live with are the best. Hands down. The group is a great size for “family dinners” right now so we’ve spent a lot of time together, all sharing the kitchen, the huddle around the fire after we eat, drinking PBR and sharing stories. We rafted a couple of evenings ago and the water was freezing. It makes me a little worried for raft guide training! And if we go into town to the bar, we generally go as a group. The group is full of college students, or kids taking a year off between college and grad school, or the occasional person just taking a break from their normal routine. Level-headed people, who know how to have a good time; somewhat different than your normal impression of a “raft-guide.”

The boys grubbing for brinner

Yesterday, was beautiful and I got to hike a little and enjoy a leisurely morning, reading on the porch. We had planned on bouldering in the evening, but the rain set in. So, we watched A River Runs Through It instead. Obviously, perfectly fitting for a night in Montana, curled up in sleeping bags in our movie garage.

Pardon me...

There is snow everywhere right now. Its crazy. When it melts, the river should be at about a 70 year high. Right now, that means, I’m really anxious to hike, but most of my favorite trails and taller peaks are snowed over. It also slightly increases me anxiety over guide training. Fun….

Norris Geyser Basin


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