Iced Coffee Never Met the West

There’s one thing that I have yet to explain about our road trip. You see, the thing is, Jenn and I are both addicted to coffee. We like to drink it all the time. And, as I might have mentioned once or twice, it’s hot here. When it’s hot, Jenn and I like to drink iced coffee. The funny thing is, apparently iced coffee is only a coastal phenomenon. If you go to the west (or Midwest) and ask for an iced coffee, they look at you like you have two heads. If they’re really nice, they’ll say, “Ummm, no…but I could put some ice in some coffee for you.” Their hearts in the right place…but hot coffee with ice in it just isn’t the same thing. In fact…it tastes like crap. Iced coffee involves brewing extra strong coffee and not leaving it on a burner at all (process may vary…but essentially the same idea).

So…because of this little iced coffee snafu, Jenn and I have been sustaining our caffeine addictions entirely with iced lattes (preferably large with double or triple shots). How many shots really depends on the size. There are these weird little huts in parking lots here. They’re everywhere. You can’t find a coffee shop to save your life, but there are these teeny tiny espresso huts in all of the strip mall parking lots. Jenn and I will drink two or three of these lattes a day. The strange thing is, there doesn’t seem to be any consensus between the huts on the exact proportions of a latte. The size, caffeine amount and quality vary greatly. We just ask for large now. At one hut, Jenn and I asked for a large and the woman held up two cups and asked, “Do you want the large or the gigantic?” We quickly looked at the cups and both said we wanted the gigantic. As it turns out, that particular day we out did ourselves. The gigantic (which appeared so small when she held it up), was actually a 32oz cup. It was so big, it didn’t fit in our cup holders.

This espresso high is important to consider because it’s led to a lot of ridiculously funny driving moments. It’s also I think caused us to be incredibly slow travelers. We can’t make it for more than two hours in the car without stopping. And, in the end, it will lead us both to extraordinarily bad headaches when we get home and revert to plain old iced coffee.

Very Large Horses

A couple of my Dad’s friends have Clydesdales that they rig up for rides carriage rides around Helena. These are the biggest horses I’ve ever seen. I wanted to take a picture with my sister and I standing next to them so that it would show just how huge they are. Here’s the shot. While looking at it, keep in mind that my Dad was taking the picture while urging my sister and I to get closer to them.

Jenn and I standing next to two giant horses

Here’s my foot and compared to one of the horse hooves:

A comparison of the size of my foot to a large horse's hoof

The Cabin

Here’s some pictures of my family’s cabin on Flathead Lake.

A picture of a really old refridgerator in my family's cabin at Flathead Lake in Montana

A picture of a really old stove in my family's cabin at Flathead Lake in Montana

A picture of my family's cabin at Flathead Lake in Montana

Another picture of my family's cabin at Flathead Lake in Montana

A picture of the outhouse at my family's cabin at Flathead Lake in Montana

A picture of the inside of the outhouse at my family's cabin at Flathead Lake in Montana

A picture of the deck at my family's cabin at Flathead Lake in Montana

A Mighty Wind

Check out this picture from my Birthday celebration. Note the tablecloth ruffling from how strong I blew on the candles.

A picture of me blowing the candles out on a birthday cake

Day ??? (I’m losing track) – Flathead Lake

The trip to the cabin on Flathead Lake was entirely relaxing. We read. We swam. We put together a puzzle. Then we read and swam some more. Good times. We also managed to see my Grandma and Grandpa while we were up there.

On our drive back to Helena today, we took the scenic route through Seely and Swan Lake. It’s a very pretty drive though the mountains. We passed through Lincoln on the way (home of the Unibomber). We stopped to get gas and considered asking a local where exactly the Unibomber lived. But after I got the ‘slow walk by’ by a group of three people (old man with no teeth, very tall creepy kid and a scary woman in camouflage gear) and Jenn got whistled at three separate times while pumping gas, we decided to abandon the plan and get the heck out of Lincoln. Oh well. My aunt Doris told us the Feds carted away his house so there wouldn’t have been anything there.

Speaking of Doris: thanks for mailing me my shirt! It was here in Helena waiting for me. It was even warm in it’s package like it had just come out of the dryer.