Across America, Part VI, Montana

I am used to the word casino as meaning a gambling club. Not in Montana. In this state, a casino is a room full of electronic games that include variations of poker and keno. The hotel we went into last night had three casinos attached to it and what you do is feed the machine a five, ten or twenty dollar bill and that gives you credits with the unit for action being a nickel. I played five card stud, about ten hands, found it excruciatingly boring and cashed out. I won $3.75.

I gambled when I lived in London in the 1970’s. I used to go to Crockford’s on the Mall and when that shut down, I went to the Playboy Club. For some reason, I thought I could win at black jack. I couldn’t and have never tried since. Ultimately, it is boring to me. But the Montana version of a casino makes my London days seem the height of sociability. Electronic games are solipsistic in the extreme and when you are playing for money, I would think they become a little like watching the eddy in the toilet bowl.

  • And who wants to watch the eddy in the toilet bowl when you can drive up to Logan Pass on the “Going to the Sun” drive in Glacier national Park and see the world. The drive across the park is amazing and at one stop where we got out for a walk, my traveling companion, Michael Hughes, glimpsed the tail end of a bear. He has been to Yosemite, Yellowstone and Zion and this is his first bear. It is probably time for him to go gambling.
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