Shelby, MT – East thru Glacier National Park at Sunset

I keep thinking about how much my two daughters do not know about my heritage and how they have only known their mother’s heritage. The landscape has become broken, still void of any trees unless they are planted around a home. TONS of cattle! I’ve been passing herds numbering in the hundreds – and it is fun to see all the calves scampering about. The calves make me think of my friend, Christy, in Missoula – remembering the night I was at dinner with her and her boss (she is National Sales Director and he is President of a Missoula based company called Liquid Planet). That night she told us how she had grown up in Wolf Point, out on the North Dakota border, daughter of a rancher and how each spring she went to branding at a friend’s in Townsend, where she had the really messy job of cutting the balls off. Her boss didn’t know this about her and he (rather a refined sort) fell out of his chair when she said she had to throw her jeans away afterwards because of the blood. Hat-tip to you, Christy, for being so gracious and refined in Chicago and such a cowgirl when you go home!

Passing a large wind-farm coming out of Shelby… I wonder what my daughters will think of this Big Sky when they see it. The sky is just so vast out here. Big quad-cab dualie pickups, all dusty.. Long stretches of highway with nothing but wildlife as we train by… An abundance of horses, ranching, farming, wild antelopes, raptors, the occasional coyote..

Did I mention how anticipatory I am at seeing Glacier again? It’s been nigh on thirty years.. I’m wondering if I’ll see a grizzly in the distance – it’s a good time of day for spotting them – dusk.

Well, I’ve been working on several different business plans:
ChefTrak – a software application that provides efficient and accurate up-to-date information on purchasing, inventory and reipce/menu management.
ChefWatch – a multiple event, digital voice technology timer geared for commercial foodservice (although I may research the scientific research applicability too).
Chocorua Group Master Plan
And Kingman Natural Beef Traders – a wholesale trader of free-range natural beef (raw) to commercial industry.

I’ve also worked out a “self-contract”. I feel incredibly ambitious to grow and am ramping up an enormous amount of energy for the next five years. I’ve got a lot to do.. The last few years of my marriage and the ensuing two years post-marriage have been mired in consternation and difficulty – first, trying hard to make the marriage work; second, dealing with anger/rejection/resentment/community loss during the divorce and third feeling trapped by the poor economy in the hospitality industry up in northern New Hampshire.

This trip is doing exactly what I hoped it would – although I am sad to leave my little girls so far away, I know that it is going to explode me in growth and sustenance, and provide massive opportunity to introduce my girls to my side of the family and their dad’s heritage.

OMG – the freakin mountains that just came into view! They stretch from right to left at least 90 degrees – maybe 250 miles long. They are about forty miles away I think. They’re freakin’ phenomenal! Ooooooo – I can’t wait to get this train into the mountains!

I’ve got two neighbors here that work for Burlington Northern Santa Fe RR – one is a conductor and the other an engineer. They told me that once we get up on the “Hi-Line” we’ll go through a nine-mile long tunnel – cool!

Well – pulling in to take on more passengers – I might lose the luxury of having two seats to sprawl in 😦

Bingen – White Salmon, WA

Monday 815 AM Pacific

A glorious trip through Glacier last night! Incredible views! Wildlife seen include a large wolf, elk, deer, coyotes, bald eagles, antelope, some black thing and more..

We’ll see if there’s wifi here at this almost to the end whistle stop. Only two hours left!

Monday 915 AM Pacific

Coming into Vancouver WA – one hour to go to Portland OR! Stella – not sure if I will finish Hitchhiker – but it’s good! I’m ready to get off the train!