Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Road Less Traveled and a Musician On Every Corner

Snow on the Missions from the dusty rise
Jessie and Kyla are coming in from Atlanta tonight--flying into Missoula--and I wanted to go to the farmer's market there this morning too so we came in early-ish. Oh I woke at 7:30, but then the eyelids took pity on the eyeballs and closed again till 8:30. After seeing to the pets, showering, and a bit of desultory cleaning, we hit the road.

Another vista on the road less taken
As usual we took the back trail (literally), and as we were in no hurry and it was such a beautiful day, we stopped for me to take many pictures. I was chasing down my favorite vista of the Mission Mountains and saw a dusty rise on the dirt road off to our right through the Pablo National Wildlife Refuge. It looked to offer the perfect capture point for a picture. Dave was amenable so off off-road we went. Oh we were still on a road as we were in the mini van, not an ATV, but it was a narrow dirt road, and a couple of old (old) pickups were the only vehicles we saw the entire time we were on it. We saw cows. Lots and lots of cows. We saw some deer--including a doe with a little fawn almost lost in the high grass--and ducks and geese. And I got my vista shot.

We got to Missoula in plenty of time to park and take a stroll through downtown to the farmer's market. Unlike the Polson market yesterday, the Missoula farmer's market is all produce, meat, honey, plants and foodstuffs. There is another market, the People's Market, a block away where you can find handcrafts, crystals with special powers, hand-tied flies for fly fishing, healing oils and unguents, and anything else you might expect in the city that is the last bastion of the time of peace and love in Montana.

At the first booth in the farmer's market, run by one of the many Hmong families that sell there, we found beautiful fresh morel mushrooms and grabbed a couple of bags. It was too early for huckleberries--the Hmong will have those come later in the summer. The Amish and Mennonites were also well-represented as market vendors as were the occasional Russian or Eastern European babushkas selling pickling cucs. While we didn't get any cucs today, I have a hankering to make pickles this summer so I will be picking up some nice little ones for baby dills later on.

More farmer's market bounty
We skipped the People's Market today in favor of the street musicians, and I was absolutely blown away by Jesse Davis and William Cook of TopHouse. They were gracious enough to let me video them playing a song so I could post it here, and I was gracious enough to give them (literally again) a fistful of money. Okay, it was mostly ones, but it was all Dave would let me have. I can get a bit... carried away in my enthusiasms. I also liked the woman playing banjo and the guy in a kilt and a baseball cap singing Livin' On a Prayer. Music on every corner. Literally.

Whenever we come to Missoula I make it a point to go the 4 Ravens Gallery. My first artistic mentor, Katie Patten of Mercurial Art and Glass Concepts is one of the owner/partners, and I always find gorgeous work there to keep and to gift. Today I fell in love with a couple of watercolors, one of shallots and one of onions. I may have to purchase one of them before the summer is over. For today we acquired pottery--an olive oil cruet and a coffee mug to add to my handmade mugs collection.

Livin' On a Prayer
(in a kilt)
Butterfly Herbs, seductively beguiling the passers-by with scents of patchouli, ambergris, frankincense, myrrh and musk--eau de 1960's in a gem of an old building on Higgins Avenue--was our next stop. Dave shopped for spices, and I just had a coffee and drank in the atmosphere. Flower children of every age and degree of personal hygiene abounded with dreads, tats, and piercings the norm rather than the exception. I could have sat there all day. But Dave had a hankering for empanadas at the little storefront empanaderia in front of where we parked. Sadly, upon closer inspection there wasn't an onionless empanada to be had so we had to do without.

She could play that banjo...
The afternoon was spent reliving Guardians of the Galaxy 2. I have to admit that Kurt Russell as a younger Ego was much less creeptastic this time through. Maybe because I was prepared for him. Now we relax at Liquid Planet back downtown until it's time to go to the airport. A coffeeshop is not a popular hangout on a summer evening in Missoula so we are enjoying having the comfy leather couches all to ourselves. I think I'll get a kombucha (I'm sure they have it here) now and go back to designing our bed. I leave you with... TopHouse!

1 comment:

Bill said...

My own issue with empandas is the egg, sadly enough, but our local place that sells them has enough folks preferring them without that they have some prepared in advance on hand.