Mountain living

LOCATION:  Columbia Falls, Montana
CAMPGROUND:  Mountain View RV Park
WEATHER:  Fairly hot.  High 90.  Sunny.  (It had been hazy so now the view of the mountains is brighter)

I think I could get into this Montana life routine:  Morning hikes followed by lunch/beers at a brewpub or two, then rest and reading, then computer work/planning, then nice dinner in Joy, ending with travel and food shows on PBS.  Bliss!

The towns of Columbia Falls, BigFork, Whitefish, and Kalispell are all tourist towns, clustered together near Glacier National Park.  Today we went to Kalispell for our morning hike.  We found a city park that has two trails.  The first one was paved and used by both bikers and hikers.  We had a decent elevation change which got our hearts pumping. 

The second hike was in a wetlands area.  Much more interesting.  This area floods during the spring thaw when the nearby river floods.  They must have had a strong wind recently, as we encountered several downed trees that we had to climb over….

Another part of the trail was through tall grass. I felt like I was in a jungle!

As we were walking back to our car in the parking lot, this van was parked next  to a playground.  It looks like an ice cream truck and George, in search of a popsicle, asked if they had any.  We learned that the truck is sponsored by the school and during the summer it stops in parks and neighborhoods around  the city to give free lunches to children from low-income families who normally get free lunches during the school year.  Such a good idea! 

Lunch time took us into the city of Kalispell where there are several brewpubs from which to choose.  We went to one that had an interesting menu online.  We ordered a “bowl” and some beers and ate out on the patio, all by ourselves.  When you order, you design your own bowl combination, selecting your protein, filler, vegetables, sauces, and other condiments.  We shared a bowl with black beans, brown rice, sesame sauce, cabbage, jalapenos, carrots, cabbage, and cilantro.  We stuffed ourselves and still had lots of food leftover. 

The brewer was busy making a pale ale and the smells coming out of the small brewery were heavenly.

We strolled over to a second brewpub and George had another beer. (I was driving).  Then, we walked around the cute downtown.  The flowers in these mountain cities are just amazing!

DINNER:  We don’t have a firepit here, so we hooked up our gas grill.  Instead of carrying around a propane tank, we can hook up to Joy’s tanks.  Very convenient!  George grilled our rotisserie chicken pieces (wings and legs)  while I sauteed up some potatoes, onions, garlic, and mushrooms.  Side was a salad. 

BOOK:  “Bel Canto” by Anne Patchett.  A story about a group of people who had gathered to listen to an opera singer who were kidnapped by terrorists, and the resulting relationships that take place in their captivity.  3 stars out of 5.  Some parts lagged…

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