Sunday, June 7, 2009

Misanthropy ...

There's no doubt that many Montanans are at least a little bit misanthropic ... we love living here, at least in part, because we don't have to share the place with very many other people. The Montana author Rick Bass freely admits that trait, as illustrated by the following quote from his book Winter. The passage describes his first visit to his future home in the Yaak valley, up in the state's northwestern corner:
We left Whitefish and drove through the afternoon, seeing no one in the last hour and a half except moose, deer, elk, and grouse, all running across the road in great numbers. White daisies lined the one-lane dirt road. . . .

We kept driving, climbing, and then we came down off the summit and into the little blue valley.

There was nothing but a mercantile and a saloon, one building on either side of the street, and a slow winding river working through the valley (a cow moose and her calf standing in the river behind the mercantile) -- and still no sign of life, no people. It was as if they had all been massacred, I thought happily. We knew immediately that this was where we wanted to live, where we had always wanted to live.

We had never felt such magic.

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