By Alkali Springs Correspondent
Another week has passed us by and if the weather is not strange enough, it seems like the prairies are getting all the moisture that Mother Nature has to offer and the mountains are left hot, dry and dusty.
We went to Glacier for a long weekend and when we left, the lawn grass at the Beaver Creek cabin was lush and green. Just three days later when we returned, that same grass was as burned as though it had not had any water for a month. And it happened just that fast. Not only that, but with the heat, the looks of the mountains, and the curled-up leaves on the trees, it is more like the end of a particularly horrible August, rather than the beginning of July.
But life goes on and we pray for rain. But not while people are cutting their hay. That is getting rather choosy, isn't it? Scratch either half of those two sentences.
What has been amazing to us for some time is the lack of use that most Bear Paw cabins get. When we drive up Alkali Springs, Sawmill Gulch or Mooney's Coulee, we are amazed at the lack of weekend (or weekday, for that matter) use that most places get.
We were telling that to an acquaintance the other day and he amazed us even more. He said that he has had a cabin west of Augusta for 10 years and it is a nice cabin. Running water, two bedrooms, a fireplace, loft and even indoor plumbing. The astounding thing is that he said he had stayed overnight there maybe two nights in the last three years.
Then he offered a reason for all this happening. He said that in his case, the idea of a cabin was something he dreamed about often. However, the reality was a far different thing. He wanted to have a cabin but did not want to make the effort to visit it even once a year. Such is life in the mountains of Montana.
If you do have a cabin, chances are that you are visited by house guests every so often. We are and we are so reclusive as to make a visit almost impossible. To that end and as a public service, we have compiled a short list of "don'ts" mainly that you gentle readers can send to any house guest who might be coming.
Don't tell your host that you did not eat any of the wonderful potato salad because you don't like onions and the next night complain because there are no onions in the scalloped potatoes.
Don't bring 14-year-old freezer-burned steaks and then expect your host to change his menu for the weekend to include them. And don't complain that he put a heavy rub on them to disguise the freezer burn and try to keep what tiny amount of juice was still in there yet.
Don't ask after the host has driven you on a 100-mile safari through the mountains, has used a tank of gas and is tired of driving, "Where are we going next?"
Don't flick ashes out of the host's car while driving along, endangering the whole mountain range. And don't flick ashes off the host's balcony, also endangering the whole mountain range.
Don't ask why the host is so silent when you have challenged every statement he has made for the last three days.
Don't ask if you can have the host's bed because you can't sleep in the loft (have to go to the bathroom in the night, you know) and the two couches in the house are much too uncomfortable.
If you sense a certain tenseness in the house, you might consider leaving early.
When the host has prepared your freezer-burned steaks, scalloped potatoes cooked on the grill, a bushel of fresh mushrooms along with a kettle of vegetables and a spinach salad with fresh bacon dressing, don't come to the table and tell him that you cannot eat without bread warmed, preferably!
To paraphrase someone or other, fish and guests stink after three days. Some guests get that way a few hours into the torture er, I mean visit.