The really great thing about selling wholesale is that we get to ship our products to some of the most amazing shops all over the country.  But, what we love even better, is when we are in a place where we actually get to visit one of those shops.  As I was driving across the country a couple of weeks ago I was pretty pumped to visit Missoula, Montana, not only because I had a feeling that it might be a town that I could fall in love with, but because it is the home to one of our retailers, Noteworthy Paper and Press.

As it turns out, Missoula reminds me a lot of my town.  It’s also a college town and seems to have a lot to offer culturally, and it has a vibrant downtown area, much like Columbia.  Unlike Columbia, it is much closer to the mountains.

If only I lived closer to the mountains.

Noteworthy Paper and Press is located on one of the main roads right through the heart of the city, and just a stones throw from the Clark Fork River.  They offer a wide variety of stationery, greeting cards, wedding invitations and other paper goods – and they run an in house press for custom work.  Really beautiful stuff.  1canoe2 is in good company.

We couldn’t resist picking up a couple of things while we were there.  Abby bought a tiny journal to stash away in her backpack so she could record all of the details of our trip into the wilderness and beyond.  Smart girl, because there were some details that we won’t want to forget.  Or, maybe she was thinking, “If we get attacked an eaten by a bear it would be good if we left behind a record of what happened.”

Several people have asked if we ran into any bears, and the answer to that is, yes.

First of all, it’s been a rough summer for hikers and bears.  Early in our trip, when we pulled into Jackson Hole, WY, we were greeted with this:

Yes, the day before we visited Yellowstone a man was killed by a grizzly bear.  This made national news, so of course our crew back home was concerned.  Beth even laid claim to some of my stuff if I should happen to not make it out of the park alive.  Glad to know she was thinking of herself.

Abby and I actually wanted to see a bear.  Not up close and personal, but from a safe distance.  We had a whole list of wildlife that we were hoping to spot, and we were able to check off every single one.  In Yellowstone we saw deer, elk, bison, pronghorn, and a sly little fox.  But we didn’t see a bear.

When we got to Glacier National Park, before we even were allowed into the backcountry, we were required to watch a video about what we should do if we encountered a bear.  Don’t run, back away, and don’t look the bear in the eye.  And, if it attacks, you better hope you have bear spray.  We did, don’t worry.

This is a picture of Abby and I on day 5 of our backpacking trip.  We’re eating breakfast.  It was pancakes that day, and they were delicious.  What you don’t know is about 30 minutes after this photo was taken a grizzly bear wandered into our camp.  Just sauntered on in, smelling everything, looking around to see what was going on.  But, did Abby and I get to see him?  Nope.  We were off brushing our teeth in the designated tooth brushing area.  The rest of our group was pretty excited, and a little freaked out.  We heard the yells and the whistles, but by the time we got there our guide, Corey, had already calmly shooed the bear off on its way.  Apparently the bear sniffed around our tent.  I guess he was looking for us.

So we didn’t see a bear while we were in Glacier, but later that week, as we were driving out of Montana heading west we saw a little black bear along the road.  Not quite as exciting, but we got to check “bear” off the list.

Interestingly enough, Abby and I got to see something that no one else in our group saw that same morning the grizzly bear paid us a visit.  While we were waiting for our pancakes, which were delicious, we walked down to the river to hang out on the suspension bridge.  We just wanted to see what was going on down there, and we saw…

**If you are planning on visiting Glacier and want to experience something like we did, please check out Glacier Guides.  Abby and I have both backpacked before, and planned our own trips, but since our backpacking week was in the middle of our longer three week trip we decided that it would be easier and more stress-free if we went with a guide service.  We were glad we did!  Glacier Guides was great, and our guide, Corey, was the BEST.  We learned so much from him.  He is super experienced, really knowledgeable about the Glacier area, good at getting rid of grizzly bears, and he makes delicious pancakes.