Monday, July 26, 2010

July 25, Helena to Missoula

July 25, Helena to Missoula

Quotes of the day:

You must be in the right frame of mind to assemble the grill

Quality is a direct experience independent of and prior to intellectual abstractions.

Pics: Bob DeWeese (doubly famous); floor mosaic at Caffe Dolce; graffiti in Missoula (overall, very little graffiti around here, and usually in obscure spots); in and around the Clay Studio benefit at Ten Spoons Winery (including an action shot of our bus)

At the Bray auction, I chat up Josh DeWeese, the ceramicist that we visited a few days ago and then he accompanied us to Butterfield and Buck’s compound/studio visit. In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (supposedly the largest selling book of philosophy ever, and a personal fave of THB), there is a scene (in Bozeman, I think) where the narrator is chatting away of an evening and included in the discussion are the DeWeeses. So, I ask Josh, any relation? Yessssssssss! And, per Josh, Pirsig got his dad just right and missed his mom by a mile. And, Josh is upset; he was there and didn’t get a mention. Ah, the lengths THB will go to bring you verisimilitude in fiction!

Another glorious, warm day. Starts with the elliptical, then we share epi (scissor baguette) bread from the Park Ave Bakery and cherries from the previous day’s farmers market.

Then we head to Missoula, with a stop at the Continental Divide (pictures already posted). In Missoula, we head to the Caffe Dolce. The main room is massive, the ceilings must be thirty feet high (see pic of mosaic painted on floor – can a mosaic be painted?). I asked, the building was completed three years ago just for the restaurant, so not a rehab. Nice area outside under umbrellas; since it is over 80 by now, way too hot for this group (and THB).

Lunch is brunch, it’s Sunday, and I have a spinach and prosciutto omelet with good home fries and slice of sourdough toast. DB has a grilled chicken with bacon that she relates is quite good (they threw in a few lunch items for us because it might make it easier for the group to find things to eat…I was thrilled with freshly cooked eggs!). One of our tour member is celebrating his 90th, so a nice lemon cake is served, THB manages one and a half pieces.

We bus over to the Missoula Art Museum (MAM) for a meet-up with the director and chief curator. Get the overview and start to wander; excellent shows of cast iron work (with lots of humor), work by a well-known Indian painter, Kevin Red Star, and work by some famous Montanans. There is a piece by Bob DeWeese (Josh’s dad) and then a picture of Bob with the piece hanging next to it. So, I have posted a picture of Bob holding a piece of his art.

After MAM, we are on our way to the Doubletree…uh oh, the parking lot has sheds, what look like unused vans, and rooms overlooking the parking lot. WRONG! Our room is overlooking the river, which is right out the back of the hotel. And, there are hundreds of people floating down right off our deck. Quickly change, head out for a dip.

One of our party has already been in and out, she advises to keep my flip-flops on cuz the rocks are slick right at the shoreline. Good advice! The current is so strong, basically I get in to my knees, slow dive into the water, and then a few strong strokes to hold my place in the current, give up and head to shore. VERY REFRESHING!!!!!!!! It’s close to 95 out, this is about as good as it gets. Guys are diving in off the short bridge – 15 feet – and maybe even the roadway above, 30 feet. Quite the summer party here.

That finished off the “rest” period! No blogging by THB. Then we hit the bus for a trip to Ten Spoons Winery in Rattlesnake Valley for an all organic wine and dinner benefit for the Clay Studio. Note the pictures on or near Ten Spoons: bear warnings; poison free (!!), a shot of the bus heading in (THB was walking in); and shot of the “Bear Warning” (same-same but different from Yosemite).

Here we get to pick our plates and cups, made by Clay Studio artists (who have joined us for dinner), and take them home with us. Hmmmmmm…these puppies are heavy and awkward, so a quick request is honored for us to group our plates and cups together and during our visit on Tuesday to add our names and do a group ship back to the Bay Area. Great suggestion!

It’s hot…VERY HOT! We’re in the sun…and searching for shade! Small slivers appear and we quickly shuffle benches and chairs over. I start with lemonade (hey, it’s a winery, yet THB cannot see starting with white wine this early in such intense heat and brightness). Then I switch to lemonade and mango ice tea mix. Eat a few appetizer spreads, walnut and tomato based, on good bread. More Arnold Palmers. Finally try the local white: pinot gris/gew├╝rztraminer blend called Getaway; okay. I never get to the reds: a cherry wine and Beaujolais nouveau, called Range Rider. Instead I switch over to Trout Slayer IPA.

Dinner is a very healthy salad followed by a buffet of sausage in zucchini (THB’s least favorite food, so I cannot comment on the zucchini; the sausage was good!), caprese salad, mixed grilled veggies (no comment on the squash), with a small Provence cake with lemon icing and scoop lavender ice cream. THB resists finishing the other servings at the table, not too hard because everyone has scarfed theirs down as well.

Temp range: low of 53 and high of 95!

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