Before I even get into this post, let me ask you where you stand on the title “best friend”? Let me be more clear. What I mean is: do you think you can have more than one? I pose the question because I think you definitely can. To me, there are different categories for best friends. No two friends are alike, ya know, like a damn snow flake. If you’ve met both Breanna and Mike then you know exactly what I’m talking about. And Aaron is even more different than the two of them.
All this to say, our friend (one of my best friends!) Mike came to visit us in Montana. I know, my head is still exploding thinking about it.
His visit with us was brief, but we really made sure that he got a whole lot out of it. My goal was that this trip would help Mike understand what full-timing is actually like. I think we accomplished that.
We knew that Mike was going to land in Missoula around midnight our time (2am EST). We also knew that the airport was like an hour and a half away from where we were in Seeley Lake. And we were already kinda tired (I was really cranky and stressed out over the entire situation) by 4pm (as soon as I woke up).
As you can tell, we planned this all out really well. So, after Mike was already on his first flight, Detroit to Salt Lake, we finally decided to hitch up and just take the trailer with us to Missoula.
Yep, we picked him up from the airport… with the dog and the Airstream. Surprise! I’m sure he was terrified and worried about where he would be sleeping, but his mother taught him well. He got in the truck, said thank you to us for picking him up, and didn’t complain once.
Mike’s next lesson in typical Earles life was sleeping at Walmart. Totally not weird or a big deal to me. However, it was probably a little weird for him. Especially since I’m sure that we parked right next to four “No Overnight Parking” signs and I never told him that we already had permission. My bad Mike.
We slept in on Wednesday fairly late and then something weird happened. I made breakfast… It’s true, I made french toast for Aaron and Mike. In the Walmart parking lot. Unheard of. I’m as shocked as you. Still though, my favorite part of the morning, was when Mike took Kalie for a walk. In that moment I decided that we should keep him for good.
We spent most of that morning driving from the Walmart in Missoula to our new camp near Glacier National Park. Another good and normal experience for Mike to have. He was really taking the journey with us as just another member of the family. No special treatment at all. He even had to pee on the side of the highway just like everybody else.
Sometime during the drive, I remember Aaron saying, “I hope that campsite is open… there’s only one.” Of course, after dragging the Airstream up the side of the mountain we come to the ONLY campsite and find that it’s taken. Mike then got to experience what it’s like when Aaron turns the truck and trailer around, in reverse, on the side of a mountain! Always a good time.
After that fiasco, we decided to try one more long shot campsite. We drove right past the site we knew would work and just kept on going. Ya know, to drive to a campsite that Aaron had already seen a video of and knew we could never ever camp at. I told you, I wanted Mike to experience an authentic visit. After wasting another 45 minutes, we finally turned around and went back to The Field of Despair.
The field was not our favorite location and the internet was absolute garbage. It could have been worse though, the company was good and it was very close to Glacier, Whitefish, and Kalispell. Mike really seemed to take to the Airstream. He got comfortable and made himself feel at home quickly.
Once we got settled, Aaron went to the city to go get new tires put on the truck. Mike and I took this opportunity to work on our October Playlist. It was a little difficult with the internet being such shit, but I think we are both happy with the end result.
Later that night, we went to Whitefish for dinner and to celebrate Mike’s visit. We also ended up at the bar to celebrate and to play shuffleboard. I think the bar was more of divorce celebration, but maybe that was just what I was celebrating?
Either way, I think we all had a great time.
The biggest and best surprise of the night was how frickin’ good the jukebox was at this weird and random bar in Montana. It had almost every strange and unheard of band that Mike and I wanted to play. The only downside was that they had no “So Many Wizards.” Quite literally, Montana had zero wizards.
Not cool Montana, not cool at all.