As my time in Great Falls is nears its end, I reflect on my experience and find it pleasant. Sure, the gray sky dumped a few inches of snow on the already melting snow from the previous storm a week before we arrived, and the temperature dropped into a range the Louisiana winters seldom even come close too, but I get to leave, and that makes the weather bearable and beautiful. The rugged scenery is beautiful and evokes thoughts of the pioneer days when things were simpler, but not easier. I can see the settlers as they climbed from their wagon to snag a buffalo burger from the local McDonalds and decided to stay. It obviously was in the summer, and I can’t fathom why they didn’t move on to warmer climes once they realized how cold and snowy it would be, I know I’m not the only one to have pondered this conundrum. I guess we aren’t as rugged as our predecessors and I’m okay with that. If it wasn’t for technology and modern conveniences, I wouldn’t be able to see and experience the incredible scenery around me and spit my thoughts about it for the world to read. The bone chilling wind blows through my slacks, causing my wedding tackle to crawl as far back inside me as possible, and impatient drivers tailgate me as I drive on a sheet of ice and try not too notice that I can no longer see their headlights because they are so close to me. It’s just another average day in the chilly north, I’ve been on the opposite side myself. I lived in Cheyenne, Wyoming for seventeen years and as much as I hate to admit it, I was the one on someone’s ass as I tried to make it back from lunch on time, or hurried about my life, trying to live it as fast as possible for some reason. We live and we learn, and these days I try to slow down and do much more living. I get it now. I understand why we slow down as we age. We get tired of being pushed all day long and say, “to hell with it, I’m not going to be in a hurry anymore, now go around me if you don’t like doing the speed limit.” I am slowing down, of that I am sure, but I still work and things still need to get done, so I can’t slow down as much as I would like, not yet. My days of traveling the country, seeing the sights, and waking up to new sights all the time are still ahead of me, but I’m working on it.
Category Archives: Travel
Tucked away next to a tire shop, it’s easy to miss 2K’s Kafe, and with only a few parking spaces next to the building one must park where you can and walk there. This tiny diner has 8 stools to sit around the diner bar, 6 booths, and 2 tables that seat 2. The first thing I noticed is how cozy and small it was as I looked for three chairs next to each other to see if we would have to wait. The second thing I noticed was an aircraft carrier of sugary confection sitting on the counter. At three inches thick and two feet long, I wondered how the glass underneath this behemoth of a cinnamon roll was standing the weight. But we’ll return to that later.
We didn’t have to wait and bellied up to the “bar”, which is really a peninsula of chairs and glass jutting into the main dining area, just wide enough for our waitress to serve the food. After opening the menu, our second clue that wondrous culinary mysteries awaited us were proclamations such as, “Home of the BIG BURGER,” and “Allow at least 20 minutes for burger orders.” Strange, burgers usually don’t take that long, unless…
The menu was filled with traditional fare and I was presented with a dilemma. Being in Great Falls for two weeks on a business trip, the same faulty logic ruled my brain every time I sat down to eat. Yes, I have been to Great Falls many times before, but you never know, this might be my last time here so I can’t just eat a salad or something healthy or boring, I can do that at home. I need to immerse my taste buds in the DNA of this city, I want to peel back the layers and find the tasty giblets hiding underneath the fast food and chain restaurants. I want to taste Great Falls like I never have before…well, at least some of it. After another inner conflict between what is tasty and good, and what is healthy and not the most exciting food in the world, I opted for the bacon cheeseburger. I mean if I’m going to cheat on an already busted diet anyway, I may as well go big. Besides, I see the cows on the side of the road and they look tasty and I figure I am really saving one of them from the numbing cold. Armed with my skewed perspective, I settle in for the twenty minute wait.
When the food arrived, my hunch proved to be correct. Our waitress, only half visible behind the mountain of meat, brought a monster I was supposed to fight. A one pound patty of beef awesomeness, covered in cheese and bacon and topped with lettuce, onion and tomato. All placed between a traditional sized hamburger bun; it took three big bites to reach the bun. I was swimming in beef with my hand out, trying to reach the safety of the carbs and when I finally succeeded all of the flavors came together in a rush and I was in heaven. This thing wasn’t only big, it was good, real good, and I finished it and the hand cut fries in less than ten minutes. The secret to eating something like that is to not put it down once you pick it up, otherwise there’s a good chance you only have a few bites before it begins to come apart. Not so with this monster, it only showed signs of defeat during the last few bites and by that time there was no need to put it down, I had most of the weight in my belly.
My coworkers ordered some of the U.S.S. Cinnamon Bun to go and fighter plane sized pieces, bending the spatula dangerously, were heaped into boxes obviously stronger than they looked. Being allowed to heft one of them, I can vouch that the glass underneath the mother ship must be very strong indeed. As we left, I vowed to return one day, not to conquer the huge burger again, but to try as many things on the menu as I could. That is my motivation to ensure my feet once again trod through this frozen tundra. I will be back, 2K’s Kafe, and I will fight for a seat and celebrate my victory with something new and tasty each time.
It wasn’t until after returning to work that the real battle with the monster began. Overly stuffed, I struggled to keep my eyes open for the rest of the day and skipped dinner that night so my body could begin to expel the small Wookie I’d stuffed into my gullet. If you are ever in Great Falls, Montana, google 2K’s and eat there, not all of the food is huge and a kid’s burger is available if you are hankering for meat, even though it is only marginally smaller than the big one. What’s more important than the size is the taste, the food is good and you won’t be disappointed. As I write this two days after my fight, I believe it is finally all out of my system and I vow to change my perspective, to squash the false fallacy of eating anything I can because I may not travel this path again and get back on the diet so I don’t have to buy new clothes. Hey wait a minute, is that a 36 oz. steak over there?