We returned to the US after a long wait at a small town on the Montana boarder. We crossed back over the Continental Divide and headed to Missoula to meet Aili's friend, Lisa. We met her in town for dinner then headed out to her 20 acre ranch about a half an hour west of Missoula. We snaked up through a canyon following the Blackfoot River. Lisa lives in a nice log cabin home with her two boys. She teaches at the University of Montana but also has about 30 sheep and lambs she raises on her land. On
Saturday, we went to town and strolled through the farmer's market to stock up on fresh produce for dinner and huckleberries for breakfast. Back at the ranch, we saw dark clouds quickly moving in. In the distance, we could hear a light roar which grew louder and louder as it moved through the Ponderosa forest. Like the sound of an avalanche overtaking us, the sound came to a crescendo as rain began to fall, then white balls fell from the sky - a hail storm had come over the hill and was dropping marble sized stones all around the house. It was eerie the way we could hear it coming even before we saw it. The sun peaked out even before the hail stopped created a surreal atmosphere. Just as quickly as it came, the storm blew over the hills to the north leaving piles of hail on the ground.
On Sunday, we had waffles with huckleberries and whip cream (yum!) and relaxed on the ranch, enjoying the sun in the hammocks out back. That evening we went into town with a picnic dinner and enjoyed a concert in the park - the Missoula Symphony playing a western themed concert. In the morning we enjoyed a leisurely coffee and then said good bye to Lisa and her lovely home. We drove southeast, across the rolling ranchlands of Montana, once again crossing the continental divide and stopped just outside Yellowstone National Park.