I showed him the photos. “Do you know this place?” I asked.
“I can take ya there right now,” he said.
Supper still in the oven, we took off from the house, dust plumes rising behind our trucks. ...we turned off the road onto a rough track heading straight for an old, dilapidated log structure that mirrored my photos, only with the roofs fallen in.A year ago this past May, I went on a road trip through Montana to find the homestead where my grandmother grew up. She was an inspiring, defining part of my life for 33 years and continues to guide and influence even in the last year and half since she's been gone. When she passed away it became imperative to me to make this mini-pilgrimage to find her childhood home.
I'm so proud to have a short story of the adventure finding her homestead included in this summer's Mountain Outlaw Magazine. If you live in Montana, Wyoming, or eastern Idaho, you may come across a hard copy. If so - and if you are at all like me and love the smell of real printed words in books, magazines, newspapers - I'd be honored if you picked one up, put your nose in it and gave it a read.
You can also read it by going to the online version of Mountain Outlaw, page 42. Many thanks to Emily Stifler for the opportunity and thoughtful editing. It may be only 3 pages, and just a few thousand words, but as my first printed piece (not including technical copy about outdoor apparel in catalogs or directions on packaging for how to use roll-top stuff sacks, or other such branding collateral), I'm so thrilled. I know my grandma would get a kick out of this story too. Were she still here, this August my family would gather around her to celebrate her 99th birthday, where stories of her childhood would most certainly be told.
Thanks for reading and happy summer!