Bill and I had our doubts about our planned three-day canoe and camping trip on the Missouri River in Montana. The weather had been so horrible in North Dakota and even back home in Ohio, we just couldn't imagine being out on the river in open boats. And as we drove into Montana, that weather held.
This is a place where wheat is king, and grain elevators stand sentinel against roiling skies. Montana is where a lot of the hard wheat used for pasta is grown.
When I saw this landscape I almost didn't care whether I ever got in a canoe. I just stared and stared at the sky as we drove, at the cloud shadows scudding across the mountains. In some past life, I must have lived on and ridden across plains like these.
Our first look at Virgelle, a teeny tiny town that was prepared to be a boomtown, but it never happened. The bank and boardwalk and merchantile are about all that survive. The merchantile is the large gray building on the left, and it is crammed with luscious antiques, which have come from auctions and estate sales in the immediate area.
The Virgelle merchantile is now a wonderful bed and breakfast, with little cabins and homemade quilts on the beds, candles and oil lamps for light, but modern bathroom facilities. Um-hmm, it's perfect. Just perfect. We wanted to stay longer, but we were going canoeing in the morning! And after a good night's sleep in our iron beds, we were ready!