I left Hickory Valley on August 21st. I drove into Memphis first, to pack my cooler full of fresh organic salads and fruits. I have learned not to search for fresh food on the road. I was headed to Montana, where I lived for most of 2005, wrote Dillon, Read & Co. Inc. and the Aristocracy of Stock Profits and met Anais Starr who has run Solari operations since 2006.
I love being on the road. I drove straight through to Billings – a 25 hour trip through Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming into eastern Montana. Then a 12 hour sleep, up the next morning and then 8 hours across southern Montana turning north on the Western side into the Flathead Valley.
The drive was spectacular the whole way. Clear blue skies with the temperature in the ’60’s. After the heat of the Tennessee summer, the crisp cool air was welcome.
I met up with colleagues from California at the Deep Bay Center in Lakeside on Flathead Lake through last Friday. Each day the air poured into our house from across the lake. Because our team is spread around the country, it is important to find ways to get together to brainstorm and create. I can’t think of a better place to bring a team together than the Center at Deep Bay.
We found the Center thank to the wonderful We Trade Network. More proof of the power of barter networks.
On Friday, I moved up to the Swan Valley to stay with friends – a weekend of hiking, reading (or I should say re-reading Richard Dolan’s book for this week’s Solari Report) and eating more great fresh food from Loon Lake Farm in Bigfork, The Good Food Store in Missoula and Mountain Valley Foods in Kalispell. I even continued my education on grizzly bears and how to care for the wilderness from the master of the forests, Rick Freeman.
I will be staying in the Swan, headed into the Solari office several days to work and then driving home over Labor Day weekend.
I’m loving Montana. It’s a reminder of what Wordsworth wrote in Tintern Abbey:
“..and this prayer I make,
Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her; ’tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy: for she can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life,
Shall e’er prevail against us, or disturb
Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold
Is full of blessings.”