The last time we were in Missoula, in 2002, on the TransAmerica route, Michael (one of our cycling companions) rented a truck and we drove up to Glacier National Park where we bicycled up the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
This time in Missoula, Going-to-the-Sun took on a new meaning. We were returning to Taco del Sol. The fish tacos had taken on legendary status as Mike, Maria, Sarah and I fondly recalled the delicacies.
Quivering with excitement we ordered the large fish burrito to share, after verifying that there were no difference in ingredients between the taco and the burrito save for the shell.
My hands shook with anticipation as I picked up the order. I delicately placed the foil wrapped burrito in front of Sarah and we reverently divided it in two with a plastic knife. It seem blasphemous to use such a crude instrument on something so lionized. I wished for the sword of Macleod to divide what we were about to eat.
The moment of truth was upon us…
After our first bite, we both looked at each other and sheepishly asked, “What do you think?”
The fish burrito was very good.
There were no angelic voices of the Seraphim as I chewed and savored the flavors. I did not achieve a higher level of consciousness. I was expecting a reaction more along the lines of the Viagra commercial warning, “If you experience an erection lasting more than four hours, call your doctor.”
The experience was a bit of a let down. It was like finding out that my tooth fairy only paid half of what some of my other friends received for their teeth. At the same time, the tooth fairy experience taught an important life lesson. You can trade your nickels ($0.05, 21.21 mm in diameter) for other kid’s dimes ($0.10, 17.91 mm in diameter) by convincing them that nickels are larger and therefore, worth more.
Numismatic lessons aside, the fish taco experience did reinforce the point that after a full day of hiking or bicycling, even simplest foods taste amazing. The second point is that you can never go back to a time and place and have the same experience so savor the moment now and hope that it ages like a fine wine.