Day 60 – American Pie

(Rest-day, Missoula)

If yesterdays breakfast was a treat, today’s almost topped it! We started off with fresh coffee, the milk coming straight from the cow on the farm where Kate (one of Micah’s roommates) works. Then some of Micah’s homemade barley and rye bread (‘very hearty’ he tells us) with poached eggs and broccoli in a white/cheese sauce, fresh mango lassi and then hot muffins smothered in a cream cheese frosting.

Another awesome breakfast begins...

Argh - I can't stop taking photos of food!

By the time we’d finished it was almost lunch-time – but instead we drove out of town to a little place called Arlee where every July 4th there is a big gathering of Native Americans (a pow-wow) as well as a rodeo.

At the pow-wow we watched as an old white dude MC’d a bunch of Native American dances. I say ‘dance’ – but I think even I couldn’t have gone wrong with the ‘dance moves’ which basically consisted of walking very slowly round the central area in time to the drum beat. Which brings me to the rhythm! I’m sure I’m missing the finer details but as each new song/dance was introduced, the exact same monotonous ‘boom boom boom’ beat rang out – and didn’t stop until the next song started. It was all fascinating though. I had so many questions but no-one to ask them to. What did the dances represent? What did the lyrics mean? Where they particular to one tribe? And if so do all the Indians have to learn all the other tribes’ dances? What are the inter-tribe relationships like? Have they changed much over the years? What are relationships like between your average white person and their Native American neighbours (there were plenty of white folk dressed in traditional American Indian costume, joining in the dances)? What did the young Native Americans think of the pow-wow (I saw plenty of bored young faces!)? I’d love to spend some time with some folk who’d be able to answer all my questions!

Wow - a real pow-wow


After a while we slipped out and headed down the road to the rodeo – talk about a culture clash!

About 12 years ago, on my gap year, I remember emerging from Grand Central Station in New York and just standing on the street corner with a silly open-mouthed grin on my face as I gazed in fascination at everything around me. I had seen these sights countless times before – but only in movies, on TV and in photographs. For the first time I was seeing The Real Thing – and it was Just Like The Movies. Here, in a field in North Montana, I was experiencing the same feeling at the rodeo. I felt like I’d stepped into a western movie. Sure, I’ve seen my fair share of horse-riders before but these guys (and girls – they were impressive) could really ride! Galloping like lunatics around the barrel course, lassoing calves (even around the hind legs as it gallops – still no clue how they manage that!), and riding bulls. Riding bulls I tell you! (Admittedly some of them better than others…). It was a perfect way to spend a July 4th afternoon – a real slice of American Pie.

How not to ride a horse

It don't get more American than this!



After stopping off at The Good Food Store and the Big Dipper Ice-Cream place (two of the best places in Missoula I’m told – and I saw no reason to dispute this), we headed up into the hills above town for a barbecue at the house of one of Micah’s friends. We ate, drank, chatted and as darkness fell, watched the Missoula fireworks display from above (actually if I’m honest I think fireworks look way better from directly beneath them but don’t let that ruin the picture of a perfect evening).

Independence Day – boshed out.

This was a 'Single Scoop'. Unbelievable!

Darkness falls over Missoula



One Response to “Day 60 – American Pie”

  1. Neil Sneade says:

    When you look back at this blog in future years, you’ll realise that it’s basically a food diary!

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