I was headed west with the best of intentions. That is, I was on my way to hook up with the Jennifer of searching for jennifer. Then, on my way back east through Canada I was going to meet with another acquaintance.
Good intentions notwithstanding, and west-coast weather being what it is this year, it didn’t look like it was going to happen. I had earlier spent a somewhat wet three weeks in southern and northern Ontario, and wasn’t in the mood for more rain through the mountains.
And rain is what it did. I had never seen the Going-to-the-Sun Road in weather such as this. The lack of sunlight and blue sky emphasized the stark reality of the landscape: dull lakes, trees, gray rock-face and mountain peaks all darkened and obscured by fog and low cloud.
The motel room in Kalispell, which wasn’t all that far away, was a warm and dry respite. After checking the weather channel the next a.m., Great Falls appeared to be the best escape option, since the west was going to be rained out.
Weather forecasting is a science. Isn’t it? Or rather, it claims to be with high-speed computers and decades of databases. But they don’t call her Mother Nature for nothing. What was to be a dry run east turned into a marathon of rain most of the way to Great Falls.
And so it was, when I pulled into the hotel in Great Falls, that I was looking forward to relaxing at the renowned Playground, home to loud music, dancing girls, road-weary time-travelers and a variety of pleasures – or sins, depending on one’s point of view.
It was not to be. It seems that management had had a problem with the government, related to taxes and drugs and money. Silly feds. They’re always interfering with life’s little pleasures. The Playground was closed, the sandbox empty, the dance floor forever dimmed.
Not to worry. In a desert, there is always water just a little farther down the trail. And so it was that I discovered the Playground’s replacement, a short walk around the corner from my hotel.