Visit, but not live.

Karl and the Bear's tooth - 062616

I travel a lot for pleasure and work.  One of my first reactions when I get to a nice place is to think if I would want to live there.  I look at what life would be like there, including, housing, entertainment, work, art, etc., all the things worth living for in a place.  Almost all the time, the answer is the same, great place to visit, but not to live.

Last week I was in Montana, and I mean IN.  I drove over 2200 miles in that state in 7 days and rarely repeated the same section of road.  I saw Glacier National Park, Fort Peck Dam, Yellowstone National Park, and drove through the big Montana cities of Missoula, Kalispell, Helena, Great Falls, Bozeman, and Billings.  Some how I missed Butte, one of the greatest gems in America, but I've been there quite a bit.

I grew up in Montana and still have family there.  I visit it twice per year to help out on my parents' land and around the home.  I love that state.  It is a part of me, my heart, my loins, my art, my spirit, but...  it isn't home anymore.

I looked at what it would be like to live in Great Falls, Butte, and Red Lodge.  I explored so many options, but in the end I realized, I left their in 1997 for a reason.

There are many reasons I prefer the Bay Area and Las Vegas, but to list them would seem anti-Montana and kind of mean.  I love that state and am glad I can visit it and love it.

On a side note, this photo was taken at 10,800 feet in elevation near the top of the Beartooth Pass.  It is one of my spiritual homes.  I treated myself to a short hike (air is thin and hiking is hard there) and meditated for 15 minutes.

I closed my eyes and focused on breathing.  I tried to be present to all the senses other than vision.  I got lost in that world and forgot where I was.  As my timer went off telling me my 15 minutes were up, I opened my eyes and this was the scene before me.  I started weeping from the grandeur of the moment and my being a small part of it.  I felt so alive after that.  In another post, I will tell you about the clouds above me and how they die.

PS - The mountain range is named after the tiny, craggy, tooth shaped peak you can see at the top far right of the image, the last little point along the horizon before hitting the photo's edge.

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