Monday, August 20, 2007

Max Does Montana

Hi. They call me Max.

They would be Alpha and Maxi-Me. Alpha wears glasses on his forehead and Maxi-Me wears them on his eyes. (I think they go on the eyes.) Alpha is Alpha because he's from New York. Maxi-Me gets the pillow next to Alpha when we sleep which I get when Maxi-Me is working. He's bigger than me. Maxi-Me.

We spent alot of time in the mover last week. We took a drive to Kalispell, Montana. I don't know what Kalispell, Montana is but I'm glad they didn't leave me alone like they did Lucy, my cat.

Both Alpha and Maxi-Me kept moving around inside the mover. I liked it better when Alpha was behind the steering circle because I could see.

If Maxi-Me was behind the steering circle I was shoved in the back seat with my poop bags. Alpha's boss.

The first day, we made it to Gillette, WY and were looking for a place to sleep. We had to stop a few times. Maxi-Me kept saying No Pets Allowed but I didn't get that 'cause Lucy wasn't with us. After we left the mover, they locked me in the room with that square thing on, showing me a lot of moving color and sound. Sheesh, don't they know it's harder to sleep with that on?

When they came back, I could smell food. They were talking about having had iceberg lettuce for a salad. It seems Alpha had a bag of spinach in the car that he retreived and brought into the restaurant. Some lady from New Zealand then wanted to know where Alpha got the greens. He told her but unfortunately had none left to share. The lady was one of six members of a kiwi Harley Davidson gang that had come here (with their bikes) for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. None of us thought any more of it...until the next day.

We drove to Devil's Tower the next morning. The entire trip there the mover was bombarded by loud sounds. Maxi-Me said the motorcycles were in full throttle. When we got to Devil's Tower, the cacophony was in surround sound. There were more than 16 motorcycles. (I can only count to 16 - four per paw.) We decided not to stay because it was so loud it ruined the ambiance of the natural setting...or as natural as this setting can get.

America in a Nutshell

Next stop, the lovely C'mon Inn in the town of Bozeman, MT. It was a very nice place to stay. Lots of water in the lobby with secluded hot tubs and waterfalls - none of which I could go in. If you're ever in the midwest, go on in the C'mon Inn.

From Bozeman we drove straight to Kalispell. At this time, we started to smell smoke from the fires that were burning all over the region.

The mover finally stopped for what turned out to be two dark go-sleep's. We met two ladies that live in a house with animals like Alpha and Maxi-Me and me do. They had some animals I had never seen before.

I love the ladies. Look what they gave me when Alpha and Maxi-Me went to Glacier National Park.

I thought I'd let Alpha tell you about Glacier:

In order to do Glacier right you'd need three days minimum. We had one afternoon. And there were so many cars and people that one afternoon that the park rangers were letting everyone in for free. As it was we had to wait almost a half hour to get in the park and they were just waving you by.

We went to Lake MacDonald first. It was quiet (thankfully) and beautiful (obviously) despite the smoke that was hanging in the air from the forest fires burning in the area.

Avalanche Creek is beautiful but, being the most popular trail, the throngs of people were annoying (screaming kids; yuppies with baby carriages navigating a slatted path; a Christian group that had a dog on a leash despite a big sign that said No Dogs On This Trail
[Editor: WTF?]) So we decided to leave the sprawling throngs and take a less-travelled road up the east side of the park. As it turns out, we came upon a portion of the park that was felled by fire in 2002 - apropos considering the fires tearing up the region on the other side of this mountain.

From the car, desolation was all around us; the trees were black or fallen. From the car, there was nothing to see. As we drove the sixteen mile road to find the trail on the map we started sensing something. At about mile 8, George voiced what I had been thinking.

'Look at all those baby pine trees. They're 2 feet tall.'

'And those are the trees we have in our backyard, aren't they?'

'Birch. I didn't know they could grow here.'

'And look at those wildflowers.'

We drove a few more miles, found Huckleberry Mountain and got out to walk the trail.

From the road, the skykline of black tree skeletons were ominous. But from the trail you could see something was happening lower on the forest floor. There was a carpet of new growth. The forest was being born again (in a good way). The pine trees were two feet tall and growing. There was a chipmunk. The wildflowers were covering the forest floor in yellow and purple. There goes a butterfly. There are Alpine trees growing. It's raining. The birch trees were fast-growing, some of them six feet tall. Alot of this new growth would probably one day be overtaken by the larger pines and become compost for the florest floor. But right now this was an amazing sight; and considering the western Montana fires that we had been dodging since arriving in the state, this seemed a fitting way to see Glacier. I had expected snow and mooses
[Editor: Why isn't it meese like geese?] but George and I got to see something very spectacular, the birth of a new forest.

The next day they locked me in a room again and went for a rafting trip on the Flathead River. Boy. We left the ladies the day after the raft trip and were in the mover for a long time. Some little stuff happened but that's not important. We had a fun time and we're home safe and sound. That's important.

NOTE: You can see pictures of Glacier and the rafting trip by clicking the gallery image.


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