Friday, June 01, 2007

Liberty and the Lone Mountain Ranch

Well, here I am, sitting outside the saloon at the Lone Mountain Ranch, here in Big Sky, Montana. How did I get here? That's the easy part to explain. I hopped on a plane at Dulles, switched to a smaller plane in Denver (hello Hammonds!), flew into Bozeman, and was the driven the last hour or so to Big Sky.

Why am I here, though? There's this group called the Liberty Fund. (No, it's not an insurance company!) The Liberty Fund is a non-profit devoted to pie-in-the-sky stuff like conversation and the exchange of ideas. Me and a dozen-plus others have been invited to talk, over the course of several days and nights, about the topic of "bureaucracy, democracy, and judicial review." Scintillating, I'm sure you're (not) thinking. Essentially, the Liberty Fund is all about liberty (uh, yeah) and responsibility. Free market, libertarian, you get the point. Anyways, much of our lives and livelihoods are regulated by government bureaucracies, so you can see why they might be interested in the topic. What this means for me is that I get to talk with some fellow geeks who think this is all way, way cool.

In the meantime, we get our afternoons off. So who knows what awaits me? I've already talked to the staff about mountain biking, plus there's horseback riding, hiking, whitewater rafting, you name it. No skiing, although I'm looking at snow covered peaks and they had snow here as recently as two days ago. Right now, it's a very crisp, mountain air 40 degrees. My little fingers are freezing!

I'm off in a few minutes to warm myself up, by going for a run with a guy who's a professor at UNC. I guess we won't be talking about college hoops! There's more I could say, but I'll just provide some quick parting shots, about how much the ranch costs (about 10 grand for a family of four for one week), the food (should I order the elk tonight?), and my cabin (where I had a roaring fire going last night).

Stay tuned...

~Steve

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