I just got back from a week of training in Butte, Montana, for my new job as outreach coordinator for the Gulf States Region with the National Center for Appropriate Technology. The whole experience gave me chill bumps — literally and figuratively.
First was the incredible ride over the Rocky Mountains, looking down on snow-capped peaks.
To say the view was breathtaking would be an understatement.
But, once we landed, the view remained stunning — maybe even moreso! Behind the headquarters building is the Continental Divide. That’s right. The actual backbone of the North American continent is in NCAT’s backyard, so to speak.
I could (and did!) spend hours watching the mountain as clouds drifted over the peaks, and the sun dappled shadows across the tree-covered flanks. Its face always changing, the mountain is a living presence in the town of Butte.
Of, course, we were there to learn a few farming techniques, among other things (hoophouse growing is pictured; something Butte needs even this time of year in midsummer for some crops like tomatoes).
While we were in Butte, on June 13, as the temperature was 93 degrees with high humidity back home in Mississippi, it was misty at its numerical opposite 39 degrees in Butte; I could see it snowing in the mountains overlooking the city.
I have to admit, it was an usual experience. The last day I was there, I got up at sunup and went outside with a cup of coffee. There was heavy frost everywhere, temps in the 30s, but since I was standing in the sunshine, it didn’t “feel” cold! Just wearing a t-shirt and a jacket. The city is a mile high and the humidity hovered around 20 percent, with highs in the low 70s.
Of course, while in Montana, I had to do a little personal scouting, and found this incredible fishing shop — The StoneFly Fly Shop (https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-StoneFly-Fly-Shop/116061955126376). Had a great time talking with Chris, co-owner and outfitter. Check out their Facebook page, with tips on what’s biting.
I also hung out some at Bob Ward & Sons Sporting Goods and Fran Johnson’s Sport Shop. Both have tons of fishing equipment and supplies, too.
It was a great time, but I’m a bit pooped — arrived home after midnight last night.
I plan to return with my fly rod!
Read more about NCAT, where I now work, at: http://www.ncat.org/
A lot of what I do helps the ATTRA program – the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. Farmers and ranchers can call in toll free for information about sustainable agriculture. NCAT has specialists who will answer questions, for free. Call 1-800-346-9140; or en Espanol, 1-800-411-3222.