I pulled over about 30 miles outside Seeley Lake, having been on the road for almost 20 hours. Mountains on all sides. Dense undergrowth and trees in a corridor all along the lakes. Dirt roads leading to trailheads and(more) homes so far removed it was hard to believe anyone could live out here let alone make a living.
As freeing as it was, as far away as I had run, it wasn't enough. It was all still there lingering just in the background. There's no where left to run, but the distance still wasn't enough.
"Hey there, you doin' alright?"
He chugged up in his Bobcat, the preferred method of transit around the sparsely populated towns. Summer tourists darted by, carving their way through the forest. The locals lingered, taking their time. Where did they have to be? They had all the time in the world.
"Yeah, yeah man." I replied, holding out a hand in greeting. "I'm all good."
"You sure? That your car making that awful grinding noise?"
"Well, why dontcha follow me up to Glen's? He'll get ya sorted out."
"It's fine. I can manage."
"I don't know about that."
"I said I don't know about that."
"How'd you figure?"
"That look on your face. Y'ain't from here and you have no idea how you're getting home."
I sighed, leaning back against the car. "Dunno if I have an argument against that."
"Ain't here to have an argument, just wanna help you out."
"Yeah, alright. I'll follow you."
He nodded and took off ahead. I climbed back in my car and followed. If ever there were a place worth staying, this would have been it.
Would have been, being the operative phrase.(less)