September 5th was a long day.
I wasn’t going to leave the area without going to the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas, an hour north of Missoula. I found my breakfast spot through some research, Paul’s Pancake Parlor in Tremper’s Shopping Center in Missoula. The decor amused me, all decked out in Jamaican colors. If you ever visit Missoula, I highly recommend breakfast here. I had my corned beef hash breakfast, with a side of biscuits and gravy and ordered pigs in a blanket to go. I figured those would hold up cold (I wasn’t wrong) since I probably wasn’t going to be able to light a grill again until after Seattle (also not wrong).
The Garden of One Thousand Buddhas
With a full belly, I headed north to the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas in the Flathead Reservation. I pulled into the empty parking lot and marveled at the buddhas’ stark contrast against the smoky sky. After a quiet and contemplative walk around the buddhas, I noticed a small gift shop and enjoyed a brief spiritual conversation with the lady inside. I picked up some of their local lavender and a book by Pema Chödrön titled “When Things Fall Apart – Heart Advice for Difficult Times.” The book spoke to me because the author suggests moving toward painful situations instead of burying them. Considering what I was going through, I could use all the advice I could get. I also picked up a small Buddha statue next to my VW bus from Field of Dreams on my dashboard.
Because the garden was so moving, I will leave the rest of September 5th for another post. I implore the reader to take some time to meditate and find peace.
I will leave you with this video that really shows how thick the smoke was between Flathead reservation and my next stop.