Sunday, September 13, 2015

Center of the Nation Series

We find ourselves in quiet Baker, Montana, at the far eastern edge of the state. We arrived after dark, after two loooooooooong days of driving from Seattle. There don't seem to be a lot of folks around, but it is a Sunday night. But why exactly are we here?

We're here to run the first of six half marathons... in six states... in six days. The clever folks at Mainly Marathons realized that there was a market for events that satisfied the requirements of the 50 States Marathon / Half Marathon clubs... and created multiple series to cover a lot of states in a short time. I continue to have mixed feelings about this, but here we are!

We drove here over the past two days, stopping to admire 'Murica's quirkiest and loveliest places we came across. Here's a quick overview:

Saturday, September 12:
Left early, attempted to have a quick breakfast at Twede's (aka the Mar-T) in North Bend... only to find it dressed for filming the latest Twin Peaks project. So onward, then, to Roslyn, where we had a spectacular breakfast at the Roslyn Cafe.

Quick stop in Vantage to see the Wild horses (or their metal tributes). Next stop: Wallace, Idaho, where we watched the end of a parade, slurped a huckleberry shake, poked around a few shops, and I planked near the Center of the Universe. 

Then into Montana, where we pretty much just raced the sunset to get to Bozeman. 

Once settled in our hotel, we headed out into the evening, stopping in at the Lockhorn Cider House for a sampler or ciders, then wandering the Main drag (literally) before going back to the room for a Cosmic Pizza (amazingly good!). 

Sunday, September 13:
Some overly enthusiastic 20-somethings' drunken return at 2, then again at 4:30, made for very little sleep. 

Started the day at the Bozeman Hot Springs (awesome!!), then the even more awesome Museum of the Rockies, where I planked with a T-Rex and squealed at a baby triceratops skull. How much do I want a baby triceratops? SO MUCH. 

plankasaurus rex

Then we drove and drove and drove farther east. Today's only other stop was at Pompey's Pillar, a large rock where William Clark stopped to carve his name. The carving, amazingly, is still there. 

Then more driving, more sunset racing, and a close encounter with some deer later, and we rolled into Baker. It is our goal to visit a local bar and drink a local beverage in each town, so we stopped in at the Corner Bar for nachos, onion rings, and a bottle of Moose Drool. Now back at the hotel, everything is set for tomorrow!

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