Blogs from Montana, United States, North America

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North America » United States » Montana » Whitehall August 27th 2020

Sally: Here's some sober self-reflection: As we search for "property" which means looking at the "house" and the "land" and the "access" and the "water rights" and the orientation of the property to allow for, or prevent, successful winter greenhouse and other vegetative food production, there is also the matter of "the community." One could find the absolute and affordable ideals for house and land, etc. and never know the nature of the people who live in proximity, both close-in neighbors and also one's "town," where we'll buy groceries and building supplies and stuff. The more we risk reaching out with some honest comment or question, the more sober and humble I feel. I've been saddled with patterns as a self-protective psycho-snob for much of my adult life. I've found it easiest to risk vulnerable connection ... read more

North America » United States » Montana » Whitehall August 27th 2020

Here's how that white space filled up. After the Disappointment in Deer Lodge, we decided to head back east a bit, to Whitehall, to drive by a property we'd been shown more than a week ago, to view it again with different eyes. The Great Processing work we had done with our third partner had given us more realistic guidelines to follow, and more freedom to explore "the good" instead of demanding "the perfect." We'd passed on this property before because of our third partner's concern about proximity to neighbors, but now we've all come to realize that it may be impossible, at least in this market, to get absolute remoteness AND reasonable access AND proximity to a thriving community all at the same time, or to find a perfect food-growing spot AND a perfect secluded ... read more
The Cattle are Lowing at The Potential Place
The Main House at The Potential Place
The Rocky Mountain at The Potential Place

North America » United States » Montana » Deer Lodge August 26th 2020

If you look for the Impenetrable Mountains on a map of Montana, you will not likely find them labelled. But we can assure you that they exist. We have been in them since we got here. The phrase comes from Peter Kingsley, a favorite author and guru, as he recounts an old Mongolian myth, about people being stuck in an impossible situation, with no hope of escape, no hope of moving forward, no hope of resolution, and how, at last, a magical wolf appears to bore a hole through the mountains and lead the people out of their stuck place, or a shaman appears and shoots a magical arrow that cuts a hole through the mountains and achieves the same end. We've used this myth, and this phrase, as a way of looking at our present ... read more

North America » United States » Montana » Deer Lodge August 26th 2020

Tim said it. We're in the impenetrable mountains. Again. I felt pressure to make an offer on the one place we saw yesterday. It was a deal if you looked and the price tag divided by the number of acres. And the house was very solid and even had a very high end kitchen. But it was dark and closed in and not well designed and, for the number of square feet, felt cramped when it shouldn't. The "greenhouse" it had built into it wasn't thoughtfully designed and the large tomato plants in it only had green tomatoes on them. In late August. In a greenhouse. So it would mean rebuilding major parts of the house. I can't, I won't, ask Tim to do that. The place had an offer on it that had not been ... read more

North America » United States » Montana » Butte August 26th 2020

We're sitting in a quirky diner in Butte, eating breakfast and using our phones for wifi. We found good coffee in Deer Lodge, but the one restaurant gave us a bad feeling. We drove 20 minutes to Gold Creek, to find the restaurant there no longer in business. So then we headed back in the other direction and made it to Butte, where we could find an open breakfast restaurant. On the way, I saw yet another electronic sign telling us how many traffic fatalities Montana has seen this year. I've been seeing these signs since we first entered the state from North Dakota. In the time we've been here, there have been an additional 15 traffic deaths. Contrast that with the 17 additional COVID-1984 deaths* we've seen in the exact same time period. The COVID-1984 ... read more

North America » United States » Montana » Big Timber August 23rd 2020

We're back at the Big Timber KOA. It's a long story. We're back to looking at listings again. It's a long story. We're back to figuring out our next move. It's a long story. And maybe I'll feel like telling these long stories at some point. But right now I don't. Right now I'm just tired and sad and confused and upset. So today, we'll mostly just hang out at the campground, in the wonderful shade of Site 62 near the creek, and work on our computers, and rest, and think, and talk, and ponder. Perhaps will stop in for a brief visit at the Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State Park, which is just a stone's throw from our campground. I could use some dog time, even of the prairie type. The attached photo is the ... read more

North America » United States » Montana » Lewistown August 22nd 2020

I'm sitting here in the shade at a concrete picnic table in a Kiwanis-operated free campground on the outskirts of Lewistown, which is the geographical center of Montana. The air is warm and dry, with a nice, cool breeze blowing across me. Behind me sits Empedocles, the Wonder Odyssey, in which Sally is lying down with her friend Shinzen, trying to get rid of a headache. To my left, just across a gravel drive, there's a hole in the ground about three inches in diameter. Every now and then a prairie dog peeks out at me. His name is Paul. He lives here, and he's wondering just what the hell it is I think I'm doing, driving over his home. We spent the night at Lewistown's historic Calvert Hotel, which specializes in fancy decor, failing to ... read more
Bridge Over the East Fork of Big Spring Creek
View of the Old Farmstead from the New House
Entering the New House

North America » United States » Montana » Big Timber August 20th 2020

July 16th 2026 According to the computer in the campground office, this is the 2183rd day of our Montana property hunt. That's almost six years we’ve been here, if my math is correct, though some people are certain that the aliens have messed with the timeline, and that it may be much longer than that. We're having to search farther and further afield, still looking for that perfect place to land. This morning we're heading north to look at a ranch in Fairbanks. Then later in the afternoon we've got a showing in Santa Fe. So another day with lots of driving. I hope we can find gas. The driving is slow going these days, even though the speed limits are now anything we want them to be. What with the quasi-civil war that’s been sputtering ... read more

North America » United States » Montana » Lewistown August 20th 2020

Sally here. We are doing better. Tim has an amazing sense of humor and I'm very lucky to be on this awful journey with him because he makes me laugh quite a bit and it helps immensely. I hope I never forget the power and value of deeply laughing, especially at myself. And it helps also to laugh at Tim's funny writing and his crazy use of language. So I think, and I hope I am not tempting the gods by saying this, but I think the worst is over. I mentioned it to Tim this morning, that we are doing better and wondering why. He said "Maybe we're just getting used to it." Used to being temporarily homeless in these bizarro times in RV parks that have something????? who knows what, to do with "camping"? ... read more

North America » United States » Montana » Big Timber August 17th 2020

Every day is a new study in letting go of control. Every day we must tell ourselves that we’re going to be okay, that everything is happening at the exact right time, that everything always works out in the end. We speak of our pains and disappointments and affronts, and then work to let them go, stripping them of the suffering which attaches to them, the suffering which tells us that they are personal, that they will never end, that they are a punishment for our multitude of crimes, that they are a sign that the Cosmos is an unfriendly place, and that we will never, ever have had a better past. We let go. And find the thing inside that lets us stop and take a breath and smile and reach out and grab the ... read more




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