Mike and I made a quick trip up to Montana last week to visit our grandparents and pick up a desk and some boxes of stuff that belonged to my Granny (who passed away when I was nine). I made Mikey take a detour through the Bitterroot Valley so I could visit the first area in my mission, lovely Corvallis. It’s nestled in between Hamilton and Missoula, for those unfamiliar with this blessed part of the country. I lived there for 6 months, surviving one of the worst wildfires in its history. As we came over the pass and through Sula and Darby, the effects of the fire were still salient. I was driving, though, so no pictures. It didn’t take long to take Mikey on a tour. Here’s the main street.
Basically, it had a post office, a couple bars, a vet, and a quick stop gas station just around the corner. I also drove him past my trailer in the Corvallis Mobile Village. I was secretly hoping the Johnson kids would be outside, or any of the other children we used to play with, but no one was. I would’ve liked to linger longer and rediscover the roads my companion and I traveled and knew so well and maybe visit some people, but it has been a long time. I haven’t kept in touch with anyone, and Mikey was eager to press on. I settled with taking a picture of the mountains I used to see every day.
As much as I loved Corvallis and the Bitterroot Valley, even more beautiful country lay ahead of us. Growing up, we would drive to Whitefish every summer for our family vacation to visit Grandpa, and my favorite part of the trip was north of Missoula as we neared Flathead. Granted, most of the time on the way up, it was dark and I was half-asleep. I had to wait for the drive home to really get an eyeful. But because Mikey and I are now adults and capable of leaving early in the morning, we got to see the Flathead Valley in daylight. Here’s a view from along Highway 93.
We stopped at an overlook just before reaching Polson to get a couple good pictures without the blur of the road.
We made excellent time and arrived at my grandparents’ new digs before 7 that night, so we had plenty of time to relax on the porch and catch up.