When we left Alberta it did not take us long to get to Bozeman, Montana. It is beautiful there. Exactly the type of place that brings you peace and serenity. We stayed the night at the Super 8 and drove around after dinner checking out the local scenery. It really is a beautiful place, lots of trees, mountains and “granola” people. You’ve seen them before, they are tanned from being outside all summer, most have dreadlocks, all wearing some technical gear. We had dinner at Famous Dave’s BBQ. It was really really good – but that may be because we’d eaten fast food (blech) for the past 5 days. No no, it was good.
As we were driving to Coutts (the border crossing) I really had a hard time because I felt I didn’t fit in to Canada anymore. Which is tough for me because I’ve never really felt at home in California, I always relied on Alberta for that “home” feeling. Then driving out of the province I became really sad because I realized that I’ve been gone too long and nothing seemed familiar to me anymore. I walked into the CIBC in Milk River to exchange my Canadian money back into US currency and almost started crying.
It’s a hard feeling for me to express with words. I almost feel like a part of me has died. The Canadian part that I love so much is slowly deteriorating and that makes me really sad. I’m married to a man who doesn’t want to live outside the US…
Anyway, we drove to Gardiner, MT today and went horseback riding in the mountains. It was amazing. Michael’s bum is really sore and the last ½ hour of the trip was almost unbearable. I haven’t been on a horse in about 15 years (maybe less) so to get back in the saddle (HAH HAA) and head out for a 2 hour tour was daunting. I always seem to get the horse that wants to be back at the barn and had a few instances of uncertainty with my horse. Lucky for me, the horse was a ‘he’ so I was able to sweet talk him into being a good pony. Mares and I do not get along – so I was thankful for boys.
The views from the saddle were amazing. We even enjoyed a light rain midway through the ride. Michael was in heaven! The guide Lydia was great; she’d just graduated high school and was heading to college in August. Her dog “shepherd” was great too, a friendly collie cross that enjoyed five to six – 2 hour hikes into the hills per day. While the horses were being saddled, the mules on the farm broke free and the owner Ralph sent the dogs out to round ‘em up. Shepherd stayed by my side with his ears perked – waiting to hear if he’d be needed. I could tell he loved his life – so nice to see in a dog!
Michael and I agreed that we’d love to live in Bozeman, MT. Finally, a place we both agreed upon as a potential homestead. (look at me talking all cowboy). I hate being so far away from my family, I really dislike California and am wanting a better childhood for my boys than California can provide. Of course, every Canadian who reads this will say “better than California? Never!” Because as a child, everyone I knew felt that California was the golden land. I know better.
I got a bit of sun today and believe it or not – I am not sunburned! If I’d spent hours out in the sun in California, I would have been the color of a tomato! We are heading into Idaho Falls for the night, Michael and I need to spend some time in the Spa tub after our horse trip today. We might not be able to walk tomorrow if we don’t! Michael took lots of pictures of me on the horse, lots of pictures of my back! Ha! Lydia also took a photo of both of us on the horses, so I’ll try to post that tonight. I keep forgetting that I’m still in school and have homework due today. Sigh.
I’m also trying to get Michael to not rush us through these precious days we have off. He seems bound and determined to race home at the speed of light – but I need to enjoy a few days off… away from everyone and everything.