Archive | December, 2009

The Loneliest Roadtrip, Day 2

10 Dec

Day 2: Montana, Idaho

Gee Montana! I like you. I like your “Indian Casinos” and your teepees outside your hotels. I like the insane amount of dream catchers in your gas stations, too… heck, I like all of your chintzy appropriations of Native American culture. I like cruising down mountain highways in neutral. Eco-friendly! As I see it, the only thing this state needs is wild horses. Where are the wild horses? I was told there were going to be wild horses!

Stopped in Deer Lodge, which reminded me of all the adorable things I love about my touristy hometown. I want to stay in Deer Lodge!


“A Meter is a yard thats giving 110%” – You couldn’t get any more adorable if you tried. Bonus points for taking the English language into your own hands, folks. Main Street begins with a charming little preservation/recreation of some of the original buildings of Deer Lodge’s downtown. This one is my favorite:


Is that a prostitute? A prostitute who works right over the undertaker? A curious, family-friendly portrayal of life in the Old West. You can always tell your kids that the horrifyingly faced undertaker (too bad you can’t see it in the picture) just managed to snag himself a beautiful, permanently scantily clad wife. And they just happen to live next to the jail and the graveyard! How… sweet?


The reason I stopped in Deer Lodge wasn’t the quaint re-creation of their apparently Deadwood-esque past (I haven’t seen Deadwood, but I’d imagine it involves prostitutes living above undertakers, right?), but their old prison museum (they’re also home to the Montana State Prison…) and, most importantly, the town’s prisoner craft shop. I’d read about the prisoner crafts awhile back, and they did not disappoint: latch-hooked stuffed animals, embossed leather, beadwork, paintings… and most were beautifully executed. Apparently they get a stipend for supplies, they set the price of their products, and the earnings go back into the program as well as into a savings for the prisoner. Best part is that a prisoner runs the shop. He was very sweet, but I had to run when I discovered this fact since I have no tact and feared the string of questions that were sneaking out my mouth (“Ohmygoshwhat’dyoudohowlongryouinferdotheytrustyounottarunawayohmygosh?”).


Apparently Deer Lodge also has a history of UFO sightings. Deer Lodge, we shall meet again.

Hit my first 1,000 miles! Taking pictures while driving at 70MPH is likely frowned upon.


Idaho: short and sweet. Pulled into Coeur d’Alene, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.


Not quite in Big Sky Country anymore, and I failed to take a picture of the big sky in Montana so I could caption a picture with something like “Hey, the sky really IS bigger here!” However, I think it’s fair to say that the sky is mighty big in Idaho, too, so let’s call this one “Very Nearly Big Sky Country, But Not Quite Because That’s Montana And They’ve Probably Trademarked It” Country.


Lovely spot to camp, no? Oh, and it’s worth a mention that car camping alone is a-ok, ladieeees. It apparently doesn’t happen much, unfortunately, since the sweet older campground proprietors called me a brave young lady. I guess so! I’ll take it!


I set up camp faster than the grumpy family of four in the next site over, made myself some grilled sleaze with avocado, and laughed out loud while reading David Sedaris.

Laughing aloud in one’s tent is guaranteed to scare the boogie men/annoying children away. But golly, driving all day is exhausting! I was asleep by 9:00 without much effort.