If they had not told me I was ugly, I never would have sought my beauty. If they had not told me that they would break me, I never would have learned I’m unbreakable. If they had not told me that they were trying very hard not to be mad at me, I wouldn’t have known that they failed.
“We live in Bozeman,” my facebook friend Lanny wrote me. “Stop by. Sarah and I would love to see you.”
lanny wrote “william clark and the shaping of the west” which is an incredible account of how this dude did the lewis and clark expedition and other things. i have a william clark plush toy i take everywhere on my journeys. william clark has a facebook page which lanny runs. ain’t that neat?
I arrived in Bozeman expecting saloons, hitching posts, wood sidewalks and the clop-clop-clop of horses. Instead, there had been some geographical hocus pocus because Bozeman is basically a very sweet, charming college town with soigne restaurants and trendy clothes stores. It looked to be imported from Massachusetts except for the mountains at a distance.
“I could get used to this,” I thought.
To be fair, greater Bozeman seemed to stretch a mere four blocks in every direction, but that was so much larger than any ville I have been in for the past week so I was impressed.
I followed the directions Lanny gave until I got to the part where I was to follow the switch backs.
wow, just drive up to the edge of the side of the mountain, then do a u turn and go to the other side. yikes!
I am scared of heights. Sky rise hotels I’m the one asking for the second floor. All of the West Virginia by ways spooked me. I have never been to the top of Willis Tower even though I lived in the Chicago area 53 years.
I cried all the way up to Lanny’s house because at every turn I thought I was going to fly over the edge of the road and tumble down the mountain.
Shortly after I arrived, Sarah returned from a grocery trip.
“How do you DO it?” I cried.
“Oh, you get used to it,” she said.
And she’s absolutely right.
After I left the Joneses, I traveled up to Canada to Banff.
a sixties show f-troop included a cameo appearance from a character from banff. the town was pronounced banf-f-f-f because it is a little confusing about what to do with the extra f. i had such a crush on ken berry. is he my soulmate?
in Banff, I visited my facebook friend Madame X. Madame X doesn’t want me to use her name because she has a stalker ex-boyfriend. She’s even changed her name on facebook in order to shield herself from him. I totally sympathized. We had a wonderful evening in town and the next morning we climbed Sulphur Mountain. There is a series of switchbacks up the 7500 elevation mountain. There were spots when I would look down and cry. There were spots where I told myself that it was okay, I have lived a long, lovely life and I have two great sons to show for it. There were spots when I counted my steps “one, two” and then stopped and started over. This wasn’t altitude sickness, this was naked fear.
But there was a weird part of me that was proud that I was keeping up with Madame X. After all, she’s an adorable, athletic twentysomething year old. Here I am fifty four years old and I’m keeping up. Then we got to the peak.
“Sorry I was pretty slow,” Madame X said. “But I twisted my ankle a few days ago.”
Still, I got up the mountain. I even sat on top for a bit and even looked down. But now I had a problem.. . . how to get down. i am a western girl used to switchbacks but not quite ready for the ride back down. Maybe you’re afraid of something–lightning, clowns, spiders. I believe you are not afraid that you are inadequate, but your deepest fear is that you are powerful beyond measure. xxoo