Nothing Else is Even Close

 Submitted by C. Borden | Published: January 11, 2022

I remember the first time I drove through the mountains and felt their tug on my soul. I remember the first time I promised myself that someday…someday, I would find my happy place, and it would be a place with trees, rivers, and lakes tucked in the mountains. For a gal born in the north and raised in the south, finding my way to the mountains seemed a distant dream unlikely to ever come true.

Ten years ago, I visited Libby for the first time with the love of my life. We walked among the massive trees of Ross Creek Cedars. We deliberately got lost on logging roads that took us from Yaak to Eureka to Trego and then near Happy’s Inn, where we found ourselves on Highway 2 and on our way back to Libby. We dipped our toes in the icy waters of the Kootenai, and walked the banks of Spar Lake. We explored Libby Dam, and kept count of the incredible eagles flying overhead. In Libby, we discovered people who were warm and friendly. No strangers here, we were welcomed and greeted like old friends by shop owners, fellow shoppers, and just random people we passed along our way.

I have lived all over this country – Ohio, Florida, Alabama, Texas, Hawaii, Colorado… Being a Veteran and a military spouse forced me to travel many places. All of those places are beautiful in their own ways. Nearly all of those places have friendly people, places to visit, and ways to get outside, but none captured my heart. For all the places I have lived, there are a hundred more that I have traveled to and visited, hoping to find that one special place I could someday settle down and plant some roots: from the Smoky Mountains to the Rockies of Colorado and Wyoming, even throughout the rest of Montana.  

No place has gripped me (and my hubby) like Libby, like Lincoln County, during that first visit. From that first visit, we could not wait to come back again.  And so, we did.  Again and again.

Now we have been in Libby for nearly two years. We have experienced Libby summer and fall with its festivals, farmers market, and summer events. We have lived through Libby winter and spring with the wonders of all the natural changes. We got to hug Smokey Bear for his birthday, and watch guys and gals toss logs like they were toothpicks. We got to see artisans from all over the world share their craft, talent, and skill as they cut away at massive chunks of wood. We have eaten at nearly every restaurant in town and have tried nearly every coffee shop. We have witnessed the changing of the larch from green to red to bare to vibrant green again. We have watched the snows kiss the mountain tops and the snow lines slowly move down the mountains to the valley we call home, and then watched it recede again as spring sets in. We have witnessed the rise and fall of the Kootenai as run off fills her banks to nearly overflowing and then as summer slowly saps her mighty roar.  We’ve stepped outside on spring mornings and breathed deeply the scents of the wild flowers, bushes, and trees that are thick with flowers, birds, and bees. We’ve climbed all over looking for morels, and then huckleberries, and then gathered firewood for winter. We’ve watched the sun rise over the Salish mountains and set over the impressive peaks of the Cabinet mountains. We have hiked and explored and have barely scratched the surface of all there is to see and do in and around Libby.    

The list goes on and on of the things Libby has given my family, but the list of things left to do is many times longer. We are proud and honored to be part of this community.  Personally, I am deeply humbled that a childhood dream has come true. I am incredibly blessed to be in my happy place. Of all the places I have traveled and lived, no place compares to Libby. Not even close.

About the Author

C. Borden is a writer and self-published author living with her retired Air Force husband, their son, a dog, a cat, and a handful of chickens in Libby.  When she is not writing, she is either working in her garden or exploring the area and practicing her skills as an amateur nature photographer. 

Photography by C. Borden

Libby Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Info Center
905 West 9th St. | Libby, Montana 59923
    (406) 293-4167 |

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