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God’s Country – Part Five

July 17, 2008

We spent lunchtime in the tiny town of Story, at a quaint little restaurant called the Waldorf A’Story, nestled inside the Piney Creek General Store. The store front boasts a large sign that reads “The Story Real Escape Co.” and looks a lot like the Alamo would look it it were made from river rock instead of adobe. The grocery side was about 1200 square feet, packed full of treasures and sundries. The area around the single checkout counter was filled with freezers full of ice cream and directly across from the ice cream were shelves jammed with toys of all shapes and sizes.

Further down, one aisle was all specialty Asian cuisine–I guess there’s a market for it there. Another was full of tin signs, rusted horseshoes and mismatched weathervanes–I bought one for my husband, the Green Thumb, that says “Experimental Dandelion Farm – Do Not Disturb Weeds”–and in the back was a small room filled to the gills with wine from all over the world. None of the aisles were large enough for more than one person to walk down at a time, but even the chaotic shelves (packed with gourmet food items and dog food in the same area) seemed to jive with the overall feeling that this place had it all–with no worries.

The “Restrunt,” as it’s called, was tucked into the corner of the store, separated from customers making their purchases by a double doorway. The interior was all rough-hewn log walls and ceilings, keeping corrugated aluminum in place, the logs reminiscent of the fort we had just visited. One giant log–split in half and polished to a sheen so clear I could see my face reflected in it–served as the long bench in front of the bar.

On the walls were chotchkies of every shape and size–a lifesize mannequin of a hockey player, complete with helmet and an open mouth that contained a bottle opener; hurricane lanterns; an old sled; a giant carved Indian; hot sauce labelled “Smack my Ass and Call me Sally”; and in one corner a giant buffet–deep brown mahogany, ornate and mirrored, glass figurines covering every square inch. The bathroom was far back in one corner and was the type that you had to step in, suck it in, and shut the door before you could even sit down. The kids each took a turn and each one came out laughing. It was completely charming.

The menu was just like the rest– laid-back , friendly, unhurried… like you might be having lunch at your long-lost friend’s house instead of someone’s “establishment.” Some of the culinary options were the Yullno-u-ata hoagie; The Piney Creek Soup Fer Shur (cuppa or bowla); Nuthin Butta Haffa Samich; the Mother of All Salads; and the kids’ choice… the plain, ol’ BLT. I had the Alaskan Creamery, a grown-up version of the PB&J, stuffed with smoked salmon and the cremiest Cream Cheese I’ve ever had.

We spent an hour relaxing in the tiny eatery. I let the kids drink their fill of soda, which I rarely do, while we chatted. When everyone was finally sated, we left the red and white checkered tablecloth behind and moved out front to the rocking chairs and picnic tables.

We sat for awhile in the sun, feeling full and happy, and watched the kids play in Piney Creek (that’s Piney Crick, if you’re from there). There was just enough cool breeze to make it a heavenly afternoon and the kids came back from the banks of the creek with handfuls of wildflowers–red, yellow, deep blue, purple, and white. I threaded the tiny white flowers through the braids in the girls’ hair and we sat awhile longer, listening to the sounds of the creek babbling by, and the wind whispering through the treetops.

We laughed with my Grandad and drank in the amazing scenery around us. It was good to just be with him, out in the warm afternoon sunlight. It was good to hear him laugh, that laugh that I remember from when I was a child. I wondered why I hadn’t done more of this with him over the years and vowed to get back up that way before too much more time passed.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Tulip Girl permalink
    July 17, 2008 12:18 pm

    Sounds heavenly!

  2. July 17, 2008 12:40 pm

    The teeny-tiny town I grew up in had “cricks” instead of creeks too, ha ha! 🙂

  3. July 17, 2008 12:46 pm

    Tulip Girl, it is heavenly!

    I used to work in Story and ate most of my lunches at the tiny “restrunt” there at the Piney Creek General Store. This was about 10 years ago, and they had the BEST home made salsa EVER!! And, one of the chef’s specialities was a grilled veggie sandwich…it was a piece of heaven in and of itself. MMMMMMMM.

    So many good memories of this wonderful place, Steph. Thanks for all your posts on your trip! I almost feel like I was right there with you.

  4. Krysta permalink
    July 18, 2008 5:03 am

    I feel so very homesick now. Think you done did me in with “It was good to hear him laugh, that laugh that I remember from when I was a child.”

    And there’s nothin quite like goin and playin in the crick when you’re a kid 🙂

  5. July 18, 2008 11:16 am

    I have to ask about the Alaskan Creamery! What kind of cream cheese and what kind of bread? That sounds really yummy!

  6. Lordy permalink
    July 24, 2008 9:55 am

    What a delightful tale of flight and fancy. It is a place of great joy.

    Story, Wyoming is a beautiful place nestled in the Bighorn foothills. It has deer, bear, turkeys and even some people. It is situated near the Bozeman trail where several rancher and homesteader battles took place in addition to the Indian warfare.

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