|Hotel Baxter Snow Light|
Moving from inside the Beltway in Arlington, Virginia, to rural Gallitan County just outside Bozeman, Montana, you got to expect culture shocks and culinary shifts. For example, it was a given that the 30 or so snowfalls each winter would cause no school closings or delays, no cancellations, whereas most snowfalls in Arlington were cause for school closings or schedule changes, event cancellations and federal government delays or shutdowns. Snow is cause for celebration in Bozeman. The flashing blue light atop the downtown Hotel Baxter building is lit for 24 hours after each inch or greater mountain top snowfall, to alert skiers to the new powder accumulating on the slopes at Bridger Bowl. In no time, the road up Bridger Canyon is filled with four wheel drive SUV's and pickups along with Subaru’s with ski pods on top.
I knew that hunting is big and defensive posturing with firearms is ingrained in the culture. Here in Bozeman a neighbor advised me to carry an automatic when hiking so as to be truly loaded for bear – damn the pepper spray, semi automatic 44 Magnum ahead. I don’t even blink anymore when I hear the report of a rifle or a shotgun locally. Nor do I look twice when I see someone carrying a weapon while hiking a trail, crossing a field, or walking down a sidewalk or across a parking lot. Last month the local NRA chapter sponsored a raffle table at a local shopping center featuring a "Wall of Guns." I wasn’t at all surprised when a second neighbor told me he “harvested” two deer and an elk this last fall. I half expected that ground elk meat would be featured at his welcome neighbor barbecue (by the way, it tastes great!). I anticipated that most commercial hamburger joints would feature buffalo burger. I haven’t been disappointed.
|Pentagon Police |
|Owenhouse Ace Hardware |
Main Street Bozeman
I understood from the beginning that when planning a trip to a Bozeman mall you did not have to mention its name because there is but a single shopping mall in town. I even knew there would be one police force instead of the fifteen or twenty that result from gerrymandered jurisdictions and the multiplicity of inside the Beltway federal police empires. In Arlington, the nearest hardware store was three miles distant and I had to leave the county altogether to access a Lowe’s or a Home Depot. In Bozeman, we not only have multiple big box local and national hardware stores, there are multiple friendly ACE is the place outlets as well as farm and ranch supply outlets.
But what I did not expect was a doughnut wasteland. I mean really, I know there are fewer police, but stinting on the doughnut supply is taking cultural differences too far!
|Columbia Pike Dunkin' Donuts, Google Street View|
Back in Arlington, when I had a 6 something am tee time, on the way to the course, at 5 something am, I would stop at the Dunkin’ Donuts on Columbia Pike, grab a large cup of java and a few doughnuts. Arlington’s finest, the Pentagon Police and Federal Protective Service law enforcement were reliably represented at that early hour. Columbia Pike is but one of 7 Dunkin’ Donuts locations in Arlington. Then there is Arlington's Krispy Kreme shop on Lee Highway. If that isn’t enough, there are no less than two dozen 7-Eleven stores in Arlington (5 were within a mile of our former house) each well stocked with their trademark shelves of fresh doughnuts, long johns and sugar twists. Heck, Arlington even has a doughnut truck.
What do we have in Bozeman? No 7 Elevens. Our lone dedicated to doughnuts outlet is Granny’s Gourmet Donuts. One chic, chic gourmet doughnut shop on the edge of the MSU campus – that’s it. Even the Hostess outlet has closed. Well, after reading this, does anyone have the munchies now?