We’re into the third segment of our vacation now as I write this from I-15 about 30 miles south of Great Falls.
The part of Montana is just as gorgeous as the rest. Michelle and I agreed that it feels more remote than the cities along I-90, even though it doesn’t look that different, mile to mile. We attributed this feeling to the fact that neither of us have ever been to this part of the state before.
The last few days at Storyhill Fest were a lot of fun. When we got there, I had this warm feeling of coming home. A lot of the same folks made the trip, but I thought that the overnighters might have actually been a little fewer. I have no actual data to back that up.
We camped in the same spot, and our new tent slept pretty well. Michelle was warm enough with her new sleeping bag– in fact, both of us got a little sweaty the first night. Overnight Monday into Tuesday, it rained off and on throughout the night, and there were a couple times I was woken and lied awake worrying about the fly blowing off in the gusty wind. This was irrational, of course, because the fly was tied to the tent which was staked to the ground and contained two sleeping people to weigh it down. The wind was blustery enough that a little rain did sneak under there and get inside at one point, though.
The performances themselves were great. We bought CDs from The Get Up Johns (a bluegrass brother duo), Meg Hutchinson (folk-pop singer-songwriter), and Edie Carey (see Meg Hutchinson). Aaron Espe and Justin Roth performed again too, but we already have all those CDs. Interesting development in the personal life of one of the artists– last year, Aaron Espe met a girl at the SH Fest, and two weeks ago, they got married. Kinda neat. Chris and John were great in their typical fashion. We heard a couple new songs, but I don’t remember them really specifically. Each of them played a new song that they admitted were works in progress.
As a sidebar, I asked Justin Roth if he had his house concert dates for Wisconsin in October filled up. He said he still had a Tuesday open, but since Milwaukee is so relatively close to his home in Minneapolis, I should just write and let him know if Jen wants to host a show at her house. Might try to do that.
On Tuesday, we skipped out on the daytime Fest activities in favor of a rafting trip on the Gallatin River. There was a place we found online that did a 2-hour trip for a little less than 50 bucks a head. We had a really good time. Our guide was this fun older guy named Jim. He was born in the U.P. and said he spent most of his adult life in Lansing. He knew a lot of Yooper jokes. We shared a boat with a group of four people from Houston who were in the area for a conference of some kind.
The river itself was a bit less challenging than what Michelle and I had hoped for. I think we were both hoping for something that would be a little harder than the trip we took on the Wolf River at home last August. I got the impression from the guides that this is simply a time of year when the river is pretty low and the rapids are not that rough. Maybe we should try coming back earlier in the summer, or specifically try to find a trip that’s tougher.
So with the rest of today we have to make it Glacier and get our tent up. That’s the extent of our plan. Tomorrow, we’re going on a horseback ride mid-morning, and on Friday I want to try to do some hiking and photographing. We’ll be leaving the park again on Saturday, and we’re shooting to take the “low road” (I-90) all the way across to Wisconsin. We’ll have stops back in Bozeman and in South Dakota along the way.