When Richard and I first started dating six years ago, he told me he was a “3rd generation Montanian”. From my East Coast background, that sounded like a serious mountain man who could navigate the wilds, build a log cabin and fish with his teeth.
Well, as I’ve gotten to know and love my ‘mountain man’, I realize he’s spent most of his life living in Seattle and surrounds and much less homesteading across the plains.
He prefers cities to country and structures to simplicity, so when I told him we were staying in a yurt at his family’s reunion in Big Arm state park in Montana this past weekend, I could see we was a little unsure.
Now, I love yurts, I helped build one of my own several years ago. The round architecture speaks to my creativity. But I could see Richard wasn’t exactly convinced. He packed along an extra bag full of blankets, fluffy pillows and to my surprise, his electric toothbrush! Not that I was going to use twigs and lake water for hygeine, but an electric toothbrush in the woods? Well, they do sell camping espresso makers, and at least we had left that one at home!
It turned out that many of his family members had flown to the reunion from Boston, so maybe that buzzing I’d hear in the early morning wasn’t just a jet ski on the lake, maybe the East Coasters had also brought their own powered toothbrushes.
I reflected on my own evolution of woodswomanship. Basically starting from zilch (I mean the concept of growing up in northern New Jersey and backpacking is kind of an oxymoron), then going straight to bare bones backpacking when I realized there was wildnerness beyond my state borders, and then over time, became a bit less rugged and a bit more mid-range with car camping, seeing much of the West that way.
As I journey through life with my 3rd generation Montanian, well, just it feels kind of urban light, but at least I know I can always count on being comfortable!