ON THE AIR with LINDA MASON HUNTER
In the Zone
I love my writer friends. They inspire me with their perceptions and careful word choice. One of my hometown favorites is Mary Kay Shanley who posts a newsletter every month, and often asks if I have anything to contribute. I have never said no. This is her current newsletter (July, 2017), with my article on friendship.
From Des Moines, Iowa to Vancouver, BC
Left Des Moines Monday, June 26th. Stayed the first night in Valentine in the northern sand hills of Nebraska, home of some long lost cousins of mine. I love the subtle beauty of Nebraska, invariably with geese and ducks flying over the wide, shallow Platte River. We ate in the Peppermill restaurant and eavesdropped on conversations of ranchers. Beef on the menu. Really good.
June 28: In Sheridan, Wyoming now, real cowboys here. We visited Fort Robinson in western Nebraska yesterday. What a special place! Lots of history. Is now a camp for people wanting a family vacation. Horse rides to the buttes for breakfast and steak n stew, jeep tours, stage coach rides, horseshoe pit, mess hall, snack bar. People stay in barracks and adobe cabins. A WWII German POW camp is nearby. Lots and lots of history. Crazy Horse surrendered here. Lots of Indian battles around here as the Lakota Sioux tried to keep their grazing grounds. Fascinating geology with sandhills and escarpments poking up. As we left we got in a bona fide sand storm. Adventure awaits today as we head to Montana. Here's hoping it's a short car day as my old bones need a break.
June 29: In Ritzville, Washington tonight (population 1700) with a wild Briard who is tired of being cooped up in the back seat for four days. One more day to go to get our second home in Vancouver, BC. Ritzville exists 45 miles west of Spokane, across the desert. If you're ever in the area in need of sustenance, try the Pastime Bar & Grill on Main Street. Everything the road-weary traveller needs, including killer Long Island Iced Tea and brisket sandwiches. The fried green beans qualify as a daily vege. Not only is the Pastime inexpensive, it has a 100-year-old snooker table. When was the last time you saw a snooker table? This is the spot for a taste of local color, including middle-aged bald men with long full beards and toddlers in tow. On the way here from Bozeman, Montana, we discovered an out-of-way truly magical spot--the Ninemile Remount Depot and Ranger Station, five miles north of I-90 about about 30 miles west of Missoula. A federally-owned 5000-acre tract of land administered by the U.S. Forest Service under the Dept. of Agriculture, primarily for fighting fires, but they also train and support mules and horses for the northern part of the forest service in the U.S. Like a fort complex, tucked serenely in the mountains. Quiet. Surrounded by pine and wildlife--bear and moose. I could live here....at least until a major fire breaks out. Not likely here this summer. The lakes, rivers, and streams are blessed with an abundance of rain water.
June 30: Finally made it. In Trudeau-land. Immigrants welcome. No guns allowed. Happy 150th birthday