Where The Wild Things Are, Montana Edition

by Travis Mateer

CORRECTION: Ovando is to the EAST of Missoula (thanks Tim!)

Montana is a wild place.

If you are wanting to vacation here or move here permanently, you should know what you’re getting yourself into.

The wild places that are beautiful to see and experience can turn lethal, even for an experienced hiker like Tatum Morell. While the search for Tatum continues, her family believes she didn’t survive her solo trip into the rugged, mountainous terrain.

Another incident of lethal wildness happened just north of Missoula, in Ovando, earlier this week. A woman on a peddle-bike trip was pulled from her tent while she was sleeping and killed by a Grizzly bear. In response, authorities located the bear and executed it.

While these two examples of the lethal wild might grab headlines–and worry visitors and residents alike for a brief time as they imagine the different ways our wild state can kill you–it’s the human animal and all the chaos we seem to generate that worries me the most, not bears and desolate landscapes.

For example, put substances in the human animal, like alcohol and meth, and you will have sometimes dangerous people who can’t get their shit together to hoop-jump our capitalist labyrinth for a stable roof over their heads.

Or put the human animal in control of metal death machines known as “motor vehicles” and just watch the carnage ensue.

To emphasize the riskiest thing you’ll do this summer (spending time, on the roads, in metal death machines) here’s a brief anecdote from my family’s trip to the Olympic Peninsula this past week.

Here is how the fuckhead in the Toyota truck nearly killed us: the impatient motorist decided to pass an RV on a one-lane highway, but miscalculated the distance of the oncoming vehicle, so to avoid a head-on collision, the truck veered further left onto the shoulder.

If the driver of the oncoming vehicle had panicked and overcorrected, coming into our lane, then it would have been US involved in a violent, most likely lethal, automobile accident.

Thankfully that didn’t happen, only a minor heart-attack (not really) experienced by my wife.

While my family survived our road trip, the threat of the motorized human animal is VERY present. It seems I can’t leave the house without witnessing some incredibly stupid and dangerous driving from the full spectrum of the human experience; young, old, distracted, drunk, tired, full of rage, out of state, or turning around to yell at your middle kid for thinking it’s fun to chant the word “penis” ten thousand times a day.

So be careful out there, you animals. And try to remember that no amount of helpful technology will change the nature of the metal death machines you are operating.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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1 Response to Where The Wild Things Are, Montana Edition

  1. Djinn&tonic says:

    Penis, penis, penis! đŸ™‚

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