High, Wide and Handsome

For such a striking phrase, it's a little ironic that I first came across it on this t-shirt design:

But then I started to hear the phrase everywhere.  Loudon Wainwright III just put out an album by the same name and they interviewed him about it on NPR. 

Finally, I came across the original source today from another Montanan's Flickr photostream.  High, Wide and Handsome is the title of a history of Montana by Joseph Kinsey Howard, published in 1943.  There's one copy at the Missoula Public Library, so I'm headed over there tomorrow at lunch to see what I can find.

But back to that Flickr photostream.  Like my 2008 Daily Photo Project, this lady has captured a place through many seasons and moods.  It's a Western Montana as I've yet to really see it, and as much as I relish the convenience of my semi car-free life in the heart of Missoula, there is another part of me that really misses waking up surrounded by open space, quiet and a more immediate plant and animal world. Town living is more practical, plannerly and sustainable, but it's definitely not as inspiring.  

Courtesy of Flickr user Bitterroot
So there's my little life choices connundrum--I love filling my car up only once, maybe twice a month, but I am not being dramatic with that Steve McQueen quote from my email.  I really would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city in the world. 

Courtesy of Flickr user Bitterroot 

Courtesy of Flickr user Bitterroot 
 I at least need to see more of Montana's high, wide and handsome side.  It's calling for rain on Saturday, so I'm hoping to talk the MM into a scenic drive around the Pintler Loop to explore some new country.  I'll let you know what we discover.

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