Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Into the Great Wide Open: Day 12, Jackson Hole to Bozeman through Idaho

I have a Swedish sausage with my breakfast, because of Swedish descent as I am, I have never had a Swedish sausage. I like the taste, but not the consistency, which is kind of loose and crumbly. Great coffee, great muesli and love those berries. 

Very hazy day, trouble with allergies and breathing due to particulate matter from raging forest fires

Gas leaving Jackson Hole is $3.99 a gallon at the cheapest station.

I take a photo of the motel we stayed more than forty years ago, just outside Jackson Hole, when we were traveling across the USA in our Volkswagon Bus en route to Monterey, CA for grad school and language school and knew we couldn’t afford to stay inside Jackson Hole. We were right across from the Elk reserve, and once we got our little baby to sleep, we sat outside and watched the enormous herd of elk as they munched and wandered. It isn’t so far outside Jackson Hole, now, and I am glad it is still there. 

This is the second day where we experience haze. We drive up over the mountains into Idaho, and spend a couple hours on very rural highways sharing the road with large combines, harvesters and all kinds of farm equipment. 

The scenery starts to change when we near Big Sky and the Gallatin River. Lunch was apples with peanut butter alongside a road with trucks whizzing by.

Marriott Residence Inn

Once again, our hotel room is not ready. As we wait, another man gets the same response and also that he will not be on his requested floor. He is very angry, says he reserved a month ago (!) and wants to be accommodated. Later I ask the desk clerk if they are having problems with finding people to work and she says yes, that it is a problem everywhere in Bozeman. I suspect that they have closed off the top floor and are also limiting the number of people they can serve until they can guarantee the ability to take care of them. 

I am thinking that this has a lot to do with demographics, and problems with finding good, reliable, safe child care, and finding jobs which will protect their workers and also provide benefits. We can see that many of the hotels are now offering health insurance and educational benefits to the people they hire. I am thinking the labor market has a little leverage, and they are using it to better their conditions. 

And yes, that may inconvenience business owners and managers, and inconvenience customers, like us, but for the greater good, perhaps we can find a balance where everyone wins?

Our room is lovely, and quiet, and spacious. 

We have reservations for dinner at Blacksmith Italian, a restaurant we both found intriguing. Bossy Lady totally screwed up getting us there, sometimes she doesn’t really know everything, but she got us close enough and we figured out the rest. 

The minute we walked in, we knew we were in the right place. It was full of local people. The plates coming out looked very fine. The smells were delicious.

We split a platter of meats and cheeses; it was full of delicate tidbits, duck and Italian sausage and tiny pickled peppers filled with ricotta, etc. This came with crispy tasty triangular bread, a little salty, very tasty. AdventureMan had mussels and a side of pasta as his main course, and I had calamari with a Putenesca sauce and a side of pasta. The sauce was fabulous; I didn’t even need the calamari, the sauce was so engaging. The wines were equally good; I had a Barbera and AdventureMan has a Lacryma Cristi white wine which was so good, I ordered it the next night.

Calimari with Puttanesca Sauce
Side order of pasta

Yes. It was so good we reserved for the next night, too. It would be our last night in Bozeman, might as well end on a high note.

September 16, 2021 Posted by | Adventure, Cultural, Eating Out, Food, Geography / Maps, Living Conditions, Quality of Life Issues, Restaurant, Road Trips, Travel, Work Related Issues | , , , | Leave a comment

Idaho Legislators to Vote on Ag-Gag Bill

In this April 22, 2010 file image from video provided by the United States Humane Society, a Hallmark Meat Packing slaughter plant worker is shown attempting to force a "downed" cow onto its feet by ramming it with the blades of a forklift in Chino, Calif. (Humane Society of the United States via AP)

In this April 22, 2010 file image from video provided by the United States Humane Society, a Hallmark Meat Packing slaughter plant worker is shown attempting to force a “downed” cow onto its feet by ramming it with the blades of a forklift in Chino, Calif. (Humane Society of the United States via AP)

Idaho’s legislature is considering what’s been dubbed the “ag-gag bill” that would impose penalties for trespassing and filming without permission in farming facilities.

What prompted the push is a video by animal activists, showing workers stomping on cows, beating and dragging them at the Bettencourt Dairy in Hansen, Idaho in 2012.

The bill’s sponsor says this video is the work of “agri-terrorists” bent on harming the industry. The activists counter that they’re just exposing animal abuse.

The penalty would be a misdemeanor charge punishable by a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Scott Graf of Boise State Public Radio in Idaho joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with details.

I will tell you truthfully, I cannot even watch this video, taken by Mercy for Animals. They are doing brave and compassionate work, check out all their films on YouTube. People being cruel or negligent to those who cannot defend themselves – children or animals, prisoners, the elderly – make me physically sick. The Idaho bill would prohibit anyone filming – under threat of penalty of law – under false pretenses.

So like people who KNOW they are being filmed are going to abuse the animals? Abuse occurs when there is no penalty, or when no one will know. I know Mercy for Animals will continue their work, but will be fined, heavily, if caught and prosecuted.

NPR reports that the owner had no idea about the abuse and himself was sickened when he saw the film, immediately firing five people. He has installed his own video cameras to monitor his employees.

Who are we? What is in our hearts that would allow us to cause hurt and pain to the helpless?

February 20, 2014 Posted by | Character, Civility, Crime, Cultural, Financial Issues, Living Conditions, Spiritual | , , , , | Leave a comment