Arrived in Bozeman, Montana (which apparently exists and is an up-and-coming city. Who knew?) last night. The drive to Virginia City was about an hour and a half, and a complete lack of street lamps or civilization along the route meant I could only make out a vast, invisible expanse under approximately a gajillion stars. Some configurations I've never seen before. Ursas Major and Minor, Cassiopeia, Venus, and Jupiter (among others) all light up Montana's night sky.
I stayed the night in the home of one of the Opera House mothers (Further explanation to come in a later post.) It's cliché and haughtily monosyllabic, and it makes me throw up in my mouth a little, but "crisp" is the best word to describe the night air as I stepped out of the Subaru onto the gravel driveway of her charming cabin. Above in the distance, a distinct and sudden blackness just beneath what was otherwise an astronomer's wet dream (I mean, Orion? I'd totally tap that.) marked the border between sky and the many mountains that enclose/hug Virginia City. Typical mountain air makin' me whip out the word "crisp." Jerk. Inside the cabin, wooden walls practically papered with framed family photos and paraphernalia already gave me a glimpse of the town's dedication to preserving moments, stories, and a lifestyle that thrives on the echoes of another time.
This morning, I got my first real look at "the City" (of about 180 permanent residents, mind you). The view from the guest room window was so picturesque I suddenly craved some Anne of Green Gables role play (Anybody else obsessed with that movie as a kid? 2 VHS tapes! I digress...) I even downloaded Instagram so the world would know. And be jealous. Because what else is social media for?
I made my way to the Opera House, but not before sitting front-seat to a lovely one-Case tour of the Artisan's and Grower's Guild, the Creamery (homemade ice cream!), Cousin's Candy Shop (where they make their own salt-water taffy and fudge), and the Bale of Hay Saloon, a bar that is coincidentally and conveniently connected to the Virginia City Opera House. I met Karen, another mother and a Player (band name? I digress...), and her husband Ray. Also was introduced to the owners of the Bale of Hay, twins named Kay and Gay. Kay has kurly hair, Gay straight. Some of the other Players are Alex, Drew, Logan, Hugh, Alyssa, and Bill, who is the director. My only concern so far is the more seasoned Players' boys' club. Est. 1863.
I wonder what other preserved stuff waits to be discovered... (Hint: This place is haunted.)
About this blog...
19th century melodrama,
haunted costume shops,
my discovery that "sump" is a word...
Box and Cox, a satire about two English gents unwittingly renting the same flat.
Season complete. Bags packed.