September is for traveling. And I just took a road trip around Montana, Idaho, and East Washington.
Montana is big, friendly, polite, and way more together than reputed. So is Idaho. (Boy do we urbanites have attitude.) Historic Butte was intriguing; serious creative rumblings in the 'biggest old town in the US.' Gorgeous brick buildings to restore, from the early 1920's. Helena, the capitol, has beautiful homes, with deer roaming through. Missoula's an energetic college town. And Bozeman—Boz-Angeles, as they call it—was disappointing, looks like one architect re-did the entire town. Livingston was my favorite, a nearly perfect small town. All you need is a little family to raise and you're good. But the population's only 7000, 10% of whom I met in two days. A bit intimate for a rowdy roadster, but fun fantasizing about my little shop, 'Your inner Buffalo.'
Returning to Yellowstone was EPIC. 2-3 full days there is mandatory, it's so huge. You'll be charmed to know the bison are thriving. As are the moose, wolves, elk, deer, and bears—all of whom I saw in one day. (Did you know moose kill humans by stomping them to death? Those long legs are their defense, so don't go offering sips of your smoothie.)
I then circled back to Northern Idaho and the town of Sandpoint, where my late sister spent a few years. That fantastic spot was a high point of the trip. Worth the long ride to the top of the panhandle.
I also greatly appreciate Spokane, maybe the friendliest town I've ever visited. Something in the water there. It's like there's no such thing as stress. They'll hold open a Starbucks door for you while you're still walking across the parking lot.
Back on Kaua'i now...always good to come home...but what a great getaway, and I'm not done with the Northwest
Happy Indian Summer,