by the time chris and i pulled ourselves out of bed, my uncle was already in the process of putting breakfast together: potato pancakes and hash browns, fresh oranges, his own homemade syrups (3 kinds!), and coffee. wow. uncle chuck took us on a tour of his land – i think he said he’s got 4-5 acres but i’m not 100% certain. he’s got a beautiful cabin with a gorgeous deck outside, a berry garden of his own design (and from whence his amazing jams and syrups herald), loads of open space but lots of trees – my uncle loves trees – and all of it leads onto a big creek/little river, which feeds into the larger yaak river. just stunning. and just so you have the right image in your head, the inside of the house is so well and precisely decorated, it could serve as a B&B straight away. is idyllic the right word to use here? it came to mind in oregon, and at several more points along the way, but i think it was best suited to uncle chuck’s place.
chuck led us back to the highway (yes – that’s how tucked away it is!) and into town. along the way he pulled over a couple fo times to show us some really nice views along the yaak. then he bid us farewell, sending a map of western montana, jam, syrup, and a super fancy bottle of port along for our journey.
we continued along the route he’d suggested – montana is absolutely unreal. everything feels just so freaking massive! the trees, but also the mountains, and the number of trees ON the mountains! the horizon sometimes stretches so far, you must be able to see for 25 miles…and you know, i think i’m seriously underestimating.
anyway, on we went, en route to hamilton, where my former employers, martha and duke, have been living the last three years. mind you, i looked after ross and then kim for just over two years, and i think the last time i saw them, ross was just four and kim not yet 2? or something like that. at any rate, they are little no more! ross is now 8 and kim is six, and they are both, to put it mildly, amazing. duke and martha found this incredible home to live in, over a century standing, and reminiscent of a doll house from outside, but not in a gross way – it’s what comes to mind when i think ‘american victorian,’ but then i’m kind of an idiot when it comes to these things. hamilton is a very hip town, with a yoga studio, coffee houses, a great burrito lunch spot, and a really quaint downtown area, which really is more like an ‘old town,’ although i think it’s the town, so. after martha put the kids to bed, she told us that ross had requested we stay an extra night, so we did – who could say no to that kid?
TOTAL MILES: 2180