Simple Moments in Montana

Today, I saw a man at dawn and a man at dusk, both doing the same thing. They stood alone at the front of their small motor boats, with the motors off. They each held a fishing pole and allowed the lake water to gently move them along towards what they hoped would be fish. The man at dawn was shirtless, the man at dusk modestly wore a shirt.

I crossed from Idaho into Montana. I have very little to say about Idaho; I only crossed the Panhandle and thus was in Idaho for about 24 hours.

IMG_4532I am sitting at a campground along the Bull Lake. Within minutes of arriving, a man told me that I had come to one of the most beautiful places in all of Montana. He said, “First of all, I don’t even understand how you ended up here, because how’d you even know about Bull Lake? And second of all, this is one of the most beautiful places in all of Montana.”

Fish intermittently jump up from the lake–the ones the man at dusk did not catch.

The undersides of the clouds reflect orange and golden tones of the setting sun; the lake reflects the darkened mountains and these soft sunset hues.

IMG_4587After bathing in the lake, washing my clothes, hanging them to dry, writing half a dozen postcards, making dinner, starting and putting out a large fire…I pulled out my laptop.

I could easily fall into the relaxation of vacationing mode for the rest of my days. Lackadaisically note the rising and falling of the sun and moon, appreciate the beauty around me and allow beauty to become routine. Forget that every moment I am living is actually unusual for most people in this life. I could enjoy without reservation.

Luckily, bicycle travel is a far cry from vacation. I bicycle up and down hills and mountains into new physical surroundings, and with it find different social circumstances, cultural norms, and behaviors. My interaction, or lack of interaction, with other humans becomes a point of note.

The sky suddenly turns to pinks and purples; the reflection on the mirror-like lake is consequently much darker.

IMG_4590Here in Montana, the birds chirp lovely songs and there are many warnings about bears.

Today was one of the singularly most beautiful days of my ride thus far. I think I’m falling for Montana.

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