Thursday, September 25, 2008
And so, I think I have to go back to 2005, our first trip out here, and explain that not only was the scenery gorgeous, as it still is, but it just sort of reached out and grabbed us.
Here is the hubby enjoying an hour of fly fishing up at one of the lakes in the Jewel Basin. He had to hike there past the huckleberry patch, and no, he wasn't alone. His buddy is taking the picture, and preparing a little cooking fire for the fish that was caught and eaten.
The water was a clear blue, and hopefully not as impacted with acid rain as the clear blue pond water back on Cape Cod. Having lived on the Cape for so long, we had witnessed the slow toxification of the ponds due to the effects of acid rain to the point where it was unhealthy in some cases to eat the fish. Mercury from the sky, carried on the wind from the coal burning plants further west on the Jet Stream. Yes, we thought we had escaped all of that polluting scenario. But maybe not.
Anyway, it was nice to forget (temporarily) about all those issues and just be on vacation, because as intense community activists on the Cape, we were tired. It was time to relax, if we could, with all those animals around. And I don't mean squirrels.
OK, I promised to note differences. Well, one of the differences is that out here, you could say that you actually NEED a gun just to have good manners. Because speaking of squirrels, there are so many deer out here, that they run across the road as frequently as squirrels do back on Cape Cod. No, more frequently. It's rather jolting when you first arrive here to drive down the highway and see dead deer on the right in the ditch, and a few miles down the road, there's another one. A Montana gentleman told us that, well yes, there was a dead deer that had just run out into traffic that morning. Pretty soon now, the authorities would be along to pick it up for the food pantry, if they could get to it soon enough. And if a deer happened to come out of the woods or across the fields and hit us while we were driving, then the best thing to do, and the polite thing to do, was to take your gun out of your glove compartment and shoot the deer and put the thing out of it's misery. If we were still in one piece, that is. Because deer kill far more people every year than the bears do, didn't you know that, pretty lady?
And this is all happening in an area where there is town about the size of Hyannis called Kalispell, with an international airport and everything. Unfortunately, I've had the occasion now to visit a body shop because of a traffic mishap, and there sure are a lot of cars out in the back fenced area that have been totaled due to deer. And so, you know what? People don't drive much at night, comparatively speaking. At dusk, the deer really come out, and you just don't want to be intersecting with one, and taking a gamble on which one of you is going to end up in the ditch. Although there is a lot of gambling going on out here (read: poker is played as a cultural right, openly and legally), you don't want to be gambling on driving with the deer.