Since I am now buried in what is euphemistically called “data migration” in the trade, it is relaxing to think about the incredibly fun Revanche Americaine. It has become a tradition between the two firms Chocolatier Panel and La Cuisine to trade trips. We go to France and they scoop us up at the airport and arrange a vacation tour (La Revanche Francaise) and then the next year we scoop them up at Dulles and arrange a trip to a new part of the US. Hence, the joke about American and French Revenge.
So with Stephanie now heading up the Western Headquarters of La Cuisine in Helena Montana, what could be better than to introduce our French friends to Big Sky. They are, after all, ready for just about anything! Stephanie had asked them to make a wish list of what they wanted to see, and then she and Rick had to pare it down to manageable driving chunks. I have never met anyone in the European Union who understood distances in the US. For instance we could not do Glacier National Park and Yellowstone. We opted for Glacier. They hoped for a rodeo, Indian dance celebrations, the site of Custer’s last stand…and shopping. We wanted scenic picnics (the ones in France have inspired us) lots of wine and food, a bit of museum hopping for a real understanding of Montana’s history and some visuals of the pioneer and Indian dynamic both past and present. Steph and Rick gave all of us a first class Revanche American Style.
But first they had to get outfitted properly for a trip through The Last Best Place. The first best place for this is Murdochs in Helena. You can get gear for 40 below and cowboy perfume. We looked longingly at the rodeo cowboys but realized that no matter the outfit, we were never going to be like these poster guys.
We were now ready to ride out (in the comfort of Rick’s car) for our first picnics overlooking the Continental Divide which is very near the office of La Cuisine’s Western Headquarters. Smalll note about the Continental Divide is where all water on one side sheds into the Mississipi and its tributaries and on the other side, all water shets into the Pacific Northwest. In another blog I will digress a bit more on this and its relationship to the Berkely Pit.