Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dances with Cowboys - Day 6, part 2

Our little red BMW handled the snow-laden roads like a champ and got us over the mountain to clear skies. At this point, we felt we had seen and conquered so many different types of weather (rain, fog, sleet, hail, snow!) that we needed to encounter one more enigma to complete our Northwest trip...a cowboy!

Not far from our destination for the night - Missoula, MT - Allyson spotted an eye-catching watering hole called Cowboy Troy's. Earlier we had discussed our idea of what cowboy life would be like and concluded that a bar crowd would be a safe bet in finding one. Besides, how could we go wrong if the word "cowboy" was in the name?

Our instincts were on the nose. Within minutes of walking in, we met a small group of 3 guys and 1 girl who were friendly and seemed to know everyone in the entire place. It turns out one of them was an outfitter - someone that takes groups into the open country and basically keeps them from being dinner for the wildlife. We all started talking and I quickly learned that outfitters in Montana have a strong perception (to put it mildly) of Southern Californians. After being that I should never admit to being from SoCal (Wyoming was the outfitter's preference), I decided it was "Game ON"!

The outfitter and I went head-to-head on several issues and quickly decided that politics were a lost cause - although somehow the topic kept gravitating in that direction. Despite our polar opposite beliefs, however, we managed to have civil conversation - and even a good time! Just before leaving, he made a gesture of peace by asking me to dance. I obliged, and couldn't help but think that maybe this Southern Californian helped put a small dent in his strong opinions.

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