About a third of the rest of it, in no particular order:
~~~There were two hairdressers at the hotel for the bride, handmaids, and other takers on the big day. They were young, stunningly beautiful, & could have easily just flown in from Manhattan. As she was getting her up-do, my step mom was telling us she saw two bears on her hike that morning. I asked if she had to use the bear spray (It's a real thing! Who knew?) - one of them laughed (at us) and said, "I'm from Montana. We don't mess around with bear spray, I carry a .45" The other one moonlights as a firefighter. Love it.
~~~My brother & I did our last "long" run before our upcoming race on Montana's fire roads. Another wedding guest with full marathons under her belt joined us. The thing about fire roads is that they tend to be in the woods. Which, in Montana, tend to grow in the "hills". To normal people that actually means "mountains". My @** of a brother and his new running buddy jogged 2.5 miles uphill whilst chatting. I was in my quiet place, music on, trying not to guess when the damn path would flatten out. I faltered once, tried for a second wind, and failed again after rounding a bend and seeing the trail get steeper and wrap around more mountain. They took pity on the newbie and we headed back downhill toward smoother ground - I did then get the necessary mileage in (albeit with zero grace or dignity), but it did not bode well for my participation in the Hospital Hill Half Marathon. Also? Deep reservoir of grit and determination? MISSING.
~~~No, we didn't see any bears. Then. But I spent most of that run grimly staring 3 feet in front of me so I might've missed 'em. I am also sure I missed some breathtaking views & scenery. Too busy taking breaths. (badda-bing).
~~~A small group of us hit two bars the night before the wedding. I have not been to a "real" bar in years. Maybe decades? An older lady at one of them was wearing a long blond hairpiece. Which we noticed because she kept taking it off and adjusting it. By the time we left, her brunette friend was wearing it. I clearly need to get out more. And I need to bring my camera when I go.
~~~Our cabbie when leaving for the airport could not have been any nicer, more helpful, or a better conversationalist (which to me is akin to sorcery). He told me he & his girlfriend bought a trailer and after he sells his cabbie business they're going to go see the rest of the country. Their biggest expense will be gas, of course, but they plan to economize on food with bulk purchases and fishing, etc along the way. Since they like fish, rabbit... and squirrel. This did not strike me as noteworthy until we left the state.
~~~They opened the pool! I took my girl down the morning of the wedding but the regular pool was pretty cold and suspiciously cloudy. She got in up to her knees then lost interest. I sat in the hot tub for a couple minutes with her on the side, dangling her feet, but the hot tub was also suspiciously cloudy, and keeping baby entertained and not running on slippery tile wasn't relaxing. But... tutus!
~~~We ended up having to fly into Springfield, Missouri, not far from the Arkansas & Oklahoma border (and also somewhat near Joplin, MO, scene of the recent horrific tornado strike). There were two southern women sitting behind us on the plane. One of them seemed to be a very nervous (new?) flyer. There was a spectacular lightening storm off port side. My girl was out, we were heading home, and I was half dozing myself and half listening to the nice southern ladies. I couldn't hear what they were saying but I enjoyed the southern drawl and it struck me that they might've been singing [or playing something without headphones]. It sounded like church hymns. I thought they may've been to sooth the nervous flyer. It was all oddly cozy and pleasant when we suddenly got a leeetle bit too close to the storm and got caught in a downdraft. One of the ladies screamed, "Jesus Lord, please save the babies!"
I've written before about my ambivalence with religion but I could not have been any more on board with her at that moment then if I said it myself. Not quite the atheist in a foxhole but same concept. I grabbed my girl's head and we dropped again. People were screaming & praying out loud. My "final" profoundly intuitive and sentimental thought? "Well, THAT figures." The flight attendant came by a few minutes later to check on everyone and said that 1 in 5000 flights experience that level of turbulence - a girl after my own heart! I tried to get Matt to find out how far we dropped but his flight tracker only showed a rate of descent. Best he figured it was about 120'. Which really doesn't sound like much (a day later) but that's a 10 story uncontrolled drop. Wheeee!
I have more but it'll have to wait till tomorrow. Apologies in advance for the forthcoming gratuitous blurry photo arrays!