Don’t mind the beer-drinking man.
Alex and I are up in Idaho. It’s overcast and thunderstorms are forecast. Neither of us feels like going out on the boat, so we are just going to go for a nice long ride to The Bull River Parkway, a genuinely beautiful highway that runs roughly between Heron, Montana and Troy/Libby Montana through the Kootenai National Forest and along the Bull River, the Yaak River and some other rivers.
We got to Heron, Montana just in time to have a little snack at the Heron Sweet and General Store, served to us by a lovely young woman named Lauren and her very pleasant grandmother.
Then we got on the Bull River Parkway, which was just as
magnificent as I had remembered it from maybe 15 years ago when I
took Tommy on a ride up there when he was a little boy.
We had been told to look for the Ross Creek Cedars and sure enough, a sign pointed out a turn off for those Cedars.
It was a LONG turn off and extremely windy. I was starting to get dizzy from the altitude and the twists and turns. When we finally got to the parking lot for the Cross Creek Cedars-we had not passed a single car and there were no cars in the parking lot-I was too dazed to walk the roughly one mile to the Cedars grove. We turned around in our loyal, sturdy rented Cadillac and headed back to The Bull River Parkway.
Miracle! As we rounded a turn, we came to a scenic overlook that was the most expansive, magnificent sight I have ever seen. Forests that went on forever. An immense valley floor of trees that rose to a stupendous mountain with snow on the top in August. We stopped to take pictures and could hear the rushing sound of Ross Creek far below us.
It was stupefyingly gorgeous. I later learned that this was the Cabinet Mountains National Wilderness, that goes on almost to Libby. It has about 95,000 acres-and that’s just a tiny sliver of the Kootenai National Forest. The beauty here is beyond reason.
But how could anyone find his way in that forest? How could you keep from being eaten by bears and mosquitoes? Or snakes? I like looking at The Wilderness but, as my wife says, “a little wilderness goes a long way.”
We got down to The Bull River Parkway and headed north. We passed a café that was about halfway along the parkway. Its door was open and so I went in (Alex stayed in the car).
As I walked in, I saw a bewildering array of video games, a pool table, a room set up with a stage and chairs for music, and several middle aged men at the bar. One stared at me intently. There was also an immense old Labrador Retriever in the floor.
“That’s a big dog,” I said cheerily to the man staring at me.
“He’s there to keep the riff-raff out,” said the man in a distinctly unfriendly voice.
“I see,” I said amiably. “I guess it’s not working because here I am.”
The man drank a huge draft of his beer and said, “We don’t see too many Jewish people here.”
(I sort of thought that was coming. I had been having eerie feelings all day long and this man had a number of empty beer mugs in front of him.)
“I wonder why that is,” I said to him.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?