As I sit on the balcony of the Fairweather Inn, built in 18- something or other, overlooking the small main street of Virginia City Montana, I can’t help but want to throw a rock through the windshield of the cardinal red Subaru across the street with its alarm going off ever forty-five seconds. The terrible thing is that the owner has to be aware that their car alarm is going off because once it starts, it last between two and thirty seconds and then is shut off, and will either start back up within two to five seconds- so where is my peace and quiet? I surely thought that I would find it here, but apparently not. With that aside, a cold and numbing breeze sweeps across the balcony and down the sloped street as a light rain begins to turn into a downpour. I have missed the fresh and renewing smell of rain in Montana though. It is odd to say, but it certainly isn’t the same elsewhere in the world- especially not in Phoenix Arizona where every time the skies open to a downpour, the only scent you smell is like that of a rotting carcass being drug through mud. Here, you smell the pine coming from the trees on the hillside in the background of the town. You can smell the wet grasses and the crisp breath of the water. I would have thought with the skies clouded over and grey, and the hills covered with a light fog, that the original wooden buildings of mainstreet would look even older and more worn, but perhaps they too give off a scent unlike any other- perhaps the buildings too, are made from the same pine that grows on the hills, and when they get wet in from the rain then the smell seeps from their pores.
It is a quaint town. No more than two-hundred year-round inhabitants, it really only comes to life in the summer. I would say that when it does, it may give a glimpse into what it would have been at its prime when it thrived with thousands of miners and their families, but something about the modern vehicles lining the sides of the street, and the loud obnoxious yelling of children at their parents dressed in regular attire, seems to remind me that I wouldn’t be doing the infrastructure of this town any justice by saying that.