Post-Graduation, Pre-Breakdown Road Trip! (Part One)

All right, I am possibly being melodramatic, but I did really need a get-a-away vaca after all of the excitement of graduation week. So… as fate would have it, Caleb needed a buddy on his own road trip to Montana. One week after graduation, off we drove into the sunset. Or sunrise. Or whatever time of day it was. All in all, we made one heck of a circle around the West. Here is the breakdown:

We first headed for Missoula, Montana. This beautiful little mountain town is full of charm and just so happens to be Caleb’s birthplace. He only lived there until he was 2, so it had been a full 23 years since he had stepped foot on his “homeland” as he calls it. Oh, and his semi-crazy, karate-fighting, Chuck Norris- and Bruce Lee-friending grandfather and family live there, too. But I’ll get to that in a second.

Our first mission when we arrived was to tour the University of Montana.

Caleb is looking into attending law school, so he thought he may as well consider UM. We really got the feel for the university as we hiked the “M” behind the school– you can see the hillside marking in the first picture above. One of the many reasons I love the West is for the letters schools put on the hills around campuses. (Side note: It’s a life goal of mine to hike every letter of the alphabet… Only 23 to go!)

Here is McCabe at the apex:

And the view from there:

While touring the campus was fun, Caleb had bigger fish to fry… or to be fried by, perhaps. He called his grandpa and spoke with him for the first time in years, and was promptly invited to meet him at the “dojo” (the name for a martial artistry school). I am truly sad to say that I don’t have any pictures of this wondrous occasion… all the pictures are on Caleb’s camera. BUT, here are a few pictures of Jim Harrison to go with the story I am about to tell you (All were pulled from his website). Keep the kiddies away, this one is a nightmare inducer!

Jim ‘Ronin” Harrison:

Did I mention he was close friends with CHUCK NORRIS? Oh yes.

“Jim Harrison saved my life once… he pulled his punch an inch from my face!”

– Chuck Norris

(Not even kidding… he honestly said that.)

Anyway, Jim Harrison is a terrifying human. He has killed more people that I wish to know about and was once apprehended by not one police officer, not two, but an entire S.W.A.T. team. And I spent an entire day with him at his Jujitsu school and in his home. I’m lucky to be alive.

All kidding aside, he is a nice man. It’s weird to think that people like Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee (yep, another friend) are actually someone’s father… or grandfather in Caleb’s case.

After McCabe got his butt kicked by his 73-year-old grandpap, we went to the Harrison house for dinner and conversation. It was a little hard to listen to at times (considering I’m a lover, not a fighter), but I am no longer in disbelief regarding the intensity of Mr. Harrison. Oh, and I LOVE his wife, Carol. An amazing woman. And their sons (technically Caleb’s uncles, but younger than him) were hilarious and very friendly–when they weren’t beating one another up. It’s hard to believe the stories when you get to know the family life of someone like Mr. Harrison…

(But then again, I am familiar with the fire in Caleb’s eyes; he had to get it from somewhere.)

So with a slightly terrifying hug goodbye to the infamous Jim Harrison (and Carol!), we set out for the next leg of our random, post-graduation journey…

To Be Continued…


1 June 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Hiking/Backpacking, travel.

Leave a Comment

Be the first to comment!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback URI

%d bloggers like this: