A Truck, a Dog, and a Couple of Babies

Montana landscapeOut the tall picture windows of the Bozeman Public Library (yes, Bozeman not Brooklyn) I can see a cloudy-grey grain elevator, Sky Federal Credit Union, and Main Street. I’m supposed to be working, but instead I’m counting trucks.

  • Small pickup: 2
  • Medium pick up (2-door): 4
  • Large pickup (4-door): 7
  • Covered pick up: 5

Colors are blue, slate gray, white.

In five minutes, on a Monday afternoon, this is how many trucks go down main street in Bozeman, Montana.

The rest are family vans and SUVs, a sprinkling of motorcycles, a lone taxi, an anomalous bus.

I’ve seen many Jeep Wranglers parked on the side streets. This land is all about Serious Vehicles.

On the side streets lilacs are blooming. At foot level are tufts of forget-me-nots, tulips, heal-all and spreads of dandelions. Side streets with one-level bungalows that might have housed someone’s Pa for forty years; bungalows with porches, and at some point in the past, a rocking chair, a dog, and maybe a shotgun behind the door.

But now, Bozeman is changing. It’s less Montana (my friend’s BF grew up here; that’s who I’m visiting) and more let’s escape from overcrowded Colorado, Oakland, Seattle, Brooklyn (that’s what my friends are doing).

Dogs are everywhere. Under the big sky, in the wide open spaces, folks have trucks to roam, and canine friends to travel with. Some are hunters and go backcountry with the boys on long overnights for elk, deer, bear, duck, wild turkey depending on the season.

Some dogs are walked on leashes in Peet’s Hill, the manicured city park at the north end of town that rises to a ridge from which, behind the old-age home, you can see Bridger Bowl (ski mountain) to one end, the closer end, and Gallatin Range to the other. Big Sky is a couple hours away.

On Sunday morning, we walked my friend’s elegant, goofy and huge doberman mix on Peet’s Hill. He acted like a puppy in springtime–rolling in the grass, splashing in the puddles, and most of all running running running sniffing sniffing sniffing in his full dog joy.

Pick up truck on a dirt roadAlong with the dogs go the babies. Young families, like my friends’, have come here and the institutions reflect this. There are several cafes on Main Street and just off it, and they all seem to have stocked kid play areas. And so do the (huge) restaurants. And so do the bars.

People look kindly on kids. Everyone seems to have them. The hot springs have one hot hot pool for adults and several cooler, shallower ones for kids. The dads look like dudes who could easily just have stayed at the bar for their 30s and 40s, Brooklyn style. But instead they’re chasing toddlers in waterwings.

My friend, who used to live near me in Brooklyn when she was single, when she got a dog, when she was newly coupled up with my other friend, when she got pregnant has crossed this line, too.

She’s crossed out of our neighborhood, our community, our cafes and bars. She’s entered another world. A world of big sky, big trucks, big dogs, and babies. It’s like Brooklyn came to the wild west, and the wild west kept on being wild.

 

1 Response to “A Truck, a Dog, and a Couple of Babies”


  1. 1 Kathie

    Joelle, this has such a sense of place, I could taste it. I so enjoyed it, you made me consider a geographic/lifestyle change.

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