Wednesday, September 10, 2008

“I just figured it out; we are in a werewolf movie!”
Griffin pauses mid tap and looks up from his iphone where has been frantically tapping and making oddly obscene finger gestures in an attempt to connect and get his email. “Werewolves huh? Makes sense. Middle of nowhere, not enough population for a decent zombie attack and not enough cover for vampires to hide… “

“… and we are too old to do the hockey mask killer genre” I interject.
“Dude, we are doomed”
Welcome to my weekend in Montana…
When my sword swinging pal and sometimes booth bunny, Galahad, and his childhood sweetheart decided to finally get married they opted for a very memorable location to hold the ceremony. Now by memorable I mean WAY THE FUCK OUT OFF THE BEATEN TRACK. How far? Lemme see.. Tambo and I hopped in her uber bug on Thursday morning, pointed it east and drove, and drove for 10 hours to the middle of Montana. Glacier National Park to be exact. While beautiful landscape, we were definitely in “god’s country” as in there were billboards along the highway pointing out each of the 10 commandments and one town we passed through claim to fame as a 100ft cross mounted on the neighboring hillside.
Not satisfied with dragging their liberal, latte swilling, wifi addicted friends to this remote, yet stunning spot, the wedding was to take place in an even MORE remote spot.

An hour drive across the park to a remote, unpaved road and a white knuckled bounce and slide to just shy of the Canadian border you reach a tiny town of 30 people. Consisting of not much more than a general store/bakery and a saloon next door, the town of Polebridge only exists for the summer months. Providing supplies, mail services, amazing baked goods and a social center of the handful of individuals who call this remote corner of the world home. Oh and by some odd twist, this town while powered by propane fired generators and sporting exactly 2 bathrooms (one being an outhouse complete with a vintage sears catalog and several works of Danielle Steele should you get bored, or run out of TP) had public wifi. In fact it is the closest location for wifi with in 50 miles of the park entrance.

In between wedding festivities you were sure to find folks in one of two spots. Sitting on the covered porch of the Mercantile, laptops resting on the rough hewn tables as folks sucked down as much bandwidth as they could or in the saloon, where we were sucking down locally made beer served only in wide mouth mason jars.

So yeah, this was prime werewolf country. A remote village with little or no means of communication to the outside world. Locals eyeing the city folks with a mix of suspicion and interest. Anyone who has seen An American Werewolf In London knows just what I mean, that part when they are in the pub? Yeah, we were lycanthrope chow for sure.

Then they had to ruin it all by throwing a really terrific wedding.

About 100 of us made the trip from all over the US to watch these two tie the knot. Like most weddings there is that sort of awkward, “how do you know the couple” interaction as people from across the landscape of the couple’s lives all converge at one point. Thankfully, or as a testament to just how cool the couple is, that question was consistently answered by “wow, they have some cool friends.” With out going into too much detail, the ceremony was lovely and I was given the honor of tying the hand fasting cord. Funny considering that I’ve tied up more than just both of their hands over the years. However, after making countless cords for other’s ceremonies this was the first time I was asked to both make and tie the rope. A unique honor I must say. Vows exchanged, tears shed and procession marched we feasted on fresh trout and far too many baked goods made from wild huckleberries.

Eventually, as the sun dipped low behind one of the giant mountain peaks that surround the place, the saloon threw open its doors and revealed a tiny amphitheater where a blue grass band was just starting up.

There, there we danced. Under the stars, one hand holding our mason jars of freshly made beer, the other holding someone we loved all the while free range dogs milled about unfazed by it all.

Postscript: To my knowledge none of the wedding party were eaten or otherwise mauled, however it was not a full moon that weekend so I'm still not convinced.