Northern Yellowstone [Weekend Trip pt.2]

The second day of our weekend was suppose to be nice, or at least no rain. That didn’t really happen. It was still cold and the sun refused to shine. But we went on a couple hikes anyway. And they were pretty awesome.

Love not being the one who got up first to start the fire. Or breakfast

Love not being the one who got up first to start the fire. Or breakfast

Let me back track for a minute. We had a pretty busy day planned for ourselves. We had two hikes planned, one up to the see the Petrified Trees on Specimen Ridge and the Bridge on the way to the Hellroaring Creek. We also planned to stop at Tower Falls and go to the Boiling River and not get home too late. Because of the weather, we were a bit lazy getting out of our sleeping bags and into the cold air. If we had drug ourselves up a bit earlier, we would have maybe completed all our hikes. Since there was snow, yes in August, the night before (even if it wasn’t on us), we were lazy and cut all things a bit short.

Black Canyon

Black Canyon

We did stop at Tower Falls. I don’t know why, but I think it is one of my favorite in the park. We went down to the river and hung out for a bit before heading out. We also spent extra time looking around at the canyon area, which I hadn’t done before. It is such a beautiful part of the park.

Petrified Tree

Petrified Tree

Our next stop was the petrified trees. And not the one linked above. This was a hike to the top of Specimen Ridge, but not the long way that you can go, it’s like 10 miles. This was from an unmarked parking lot on the south side of the road just west of the Lamar River bridge. If you cross the bridge you went too far. The trail itself is pretty obvious. It follows an old jeep trail for the first bit, then it splits and heads south east up the hill. And it is steep. STEEP. It’s only three miles round trip, but it will kick your ass. The weather was threatening rain the entire time, and parts of it were muddy and slick from the rain the day before.

Muddy Slope

Muddy Slope

Petrified Stump

Petrified Stump

On Specimen Ridge

On Specimen Ridge

Lamar Valley from Specimen Ridge

Lamar Valley from Specimen Ridge

The trees made it worth it. We would have completely missed the first one you pass on the trail had it not been for the couple stopped next to it. We were focused on getting up the hill. We turned around where the trail hit the hill top. We could have continued on the ridge line for a bit, but it didn’t look like the view was going to get much better.  We managed to make it back down the hill will out sliding on our butt through the mud and moved on to the next trail.

Suspension Bridge

Suspension Bridge

Beartooth pass 2014 (145)The trail to Hellroaring Creek is actually a four mile hike round trip. The bridge is about half way in over the Yellowstone River and the trail to it is the most difficult part of the hike. You switch back down a big hill with great views of the river. They make up for it. We were really hoping to see a bear in the meadows beyond, but had not luck. The bridge is really cool and worth the trip, even if my legs were hurting from the earlier hike. Beartooth pass 2014 (147)

We forced ourselves back up the hill and into the truck to head to the Boiling River. We stopped briefly at the Mammoth Hot Springs since The Sexy Master Electrician had never been on the way. The sun decided it was finally time to come out as we arrived at the river. Naturally. Why wouldn’t you want it to be sunny and hot as you enter a boiling river? I don’t know why not either. It still felt great. We found a perfect spot that didn’t have terrible scalding and freezing alternating currents. My muscles needed it. It was a perfect end to the weekend.

Boiling River

Boiling River

So that’s the end of our last summer weekend in the park. It closed early October and some roads closed after Labor Day for construction. We will be going back to the Boiling River this winter and hopefully do some snowmobiling too, but I can’t wait to head back next summer for more exploring!

 

Sunday Afternoon Coffee [Thirty-nine]

IMG_2290If we were having coffee this afternoon, it would probably be in my kitchen while I mix up some cookies. I’ve been in a cookie making mood lately. I made some two weekends ago and here we are baking again. Yummy!

If we were having coffee this afternoon I would tell you about the wedding I was on my way to with The Sexy Master Electrician, (he passed his exam and is now even more sexy) during my last post. I met the whole family and their significant others. It was a bit overwhelming sometimes, but mostly fun. We spent a lot of time setting up for the wedding and then drinking. It was a beautiful day for a wedding and the huge bonfire felt amazing once the temperature dropped. I didn’t take too many pictures… not sure why. Anyway, it was nice to actually get out of town for more than a weekend. But it’s always nice to return.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I made another cape. This on is for a 6 year-old’s birthday. She saw mine and TSME told her that I made it, so I was talked into making one for her upcoming birthday. Hopefully she likes it, I like the buttons.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon I would tell you about volleyball. Two Wednesdays ago a a group of us started playing on the city league. I love volleyball. I hate co-ed because the net is so high, it’s hard for me to get up to block and hit. The first week I walked away pretty bruised from all the diving and colliding as the team worked out it’s first matches. This week I came down on someone’s foot on the other team at the net and really twisted my ankle. Just like me to hurt myself. Last time I played volleyball, years ago in New York, I hurt my knee diving and ended up in physical therapy for eight weeks. It’s not that bad, but I really need to work on my accident prone issues.

Team Short Shorts

Team Short Shorts

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that our office is moved last weekend! After much planning and packing, Envi Design has it’s own space on the east end of Mendenhall. We loved sharing with Massive, but we have both grown and needed more space. Plus sometimes their musical choices are not so great.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you how I made TSME go Frisbee golfing with me last weekend. There are few course around Bozeman, some set up with baskets actual tees and some like the one on campus that everyone just makes up. We went to one over in Rose Park. It wasn’t very clear where we were going all the time, but it was fun. Even TSME had fun and wants to try it again. He had been resisting all summer, sometimes I think he should just listen to me:) IMG_2264 IMG_2267

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would ask you if you saw the eclipse Wednesday morning. I was taking TSME to the airport (he is living in up in Miami for the week. I am a bit jealous) at 4:30 in the morning and we were able to see the red moon and the eclipse. It was pretty cool. It was the first I have seen!

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The Beartooth Pass [Weekend Trip pt. 1]

View from Rock Vista

View from Rock Creek Vista

Weekends upon weekends ago, some time in August, The Sexy Electrician and I took a weekend trip through Beartooth Pass. The drive is one of the most beautiful in the country and the highest in the Northern Rockies. Neither of us had ever been on the 68 mile highway and decided early in the summer it would be on of our weekend trips.

Crazy Creek Falls

Crazy Creek Falls

Since it is only open June through mid October, weather depending, we wanted to go when the summer days were long and hot. August should have been perfect. Instead, the weekend we picked promised rain and even snow at high elevations. We thought about moving it back, but the next weekend didn’t look much better and we didn’t really have a free weekend to push it back anyway. In the end, it was a bit cold, and towards the end of the drive our views were hidden by clouds. It was still amazing.

Mausoleum

Mausoleum

We decided to drive it east to west and drove up to Red Lodge on Friday night. We had to stop at the bar in Roscoe, because we kept hearing about it. We also had to stop at this awesome old mausoleum that was right outside of Red Lodge. So cool.

RedLodge alesWe went and set up camp before it started to rain again and then explored Red Lodge. Our first stop was the brewery. Red Lodge Ales. TSE loves their IPA. I am a fan of their hef. The other bonus is that my boss designed the space so I needed to check it out. I love the bathroom partitions.

We wondered downtown to find something for dinner and ended up at Bridge Creek Backcountry. Then after some recommendations from our waitress headed out to check out a couple local bars. The first was Snow Creek Saloon that had some very loud live music. After a drink we headed over to The Snag to finish the night. I know Red Lodge is known to be a town that knows how to have fun. But the rain and cold seemed to be keeping people at home and we were both kind of tired that night, so we really didn’t live it up. We will have to return.

Around Red Lodge

Around Red Lodge

The next morning after pancakes and packing up camp, we went back into town for coffee at Coffee Factory Roasters. Then wandered around to some of the various galleries and shops that were open. The sun finally started peaking out, so we figured we should get on the road.

Red Lodge BT DriveThe drive was amazing, a bit scary on some of the switch backs, and amazing. I’ll let the pictures do the talking. The view at Rock Creek Vista were the best for us. The Absarokee and Beartooth Mountains are so gorgeous.

Twin Lakes

Twin Lakes

The Twin Lakes are beautiful. It’s all just beautiful. It started to rain again around the time we reached the Western Summit Outlook, there may have even been some snow. When we reached the Clay Butte Fire Lookout, the clouds had taken over. There was still a nice little party going on for it being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We had some cake.

Clay Butte Fire Lookout

Clay Butte Fire Lookout

Once we started entering lower elevations the weather was a lot better and we were able to enjoy both the Lake Creek and Crazy Creek Falls.

Top: Panorama of Absorkees  Middle Three: Falls  Bottom Three: Cascades

Top: Panorama of Absorkees
Middle Three: Lake Creek Falls
Bottom Three: Crazy Creek Falls

That completes the drive through the Beartooths. We stopped briefly in Cooke City for gas and coffee before heading into Northeastern Yellowstone where we were camping for the night. I’ll fill you in on our Yellowstone adventures in another post. Let’s face it, this one was too long as it was!

Seasonal Montana Dinner

IMG_2097Montana is awesome. Sometimes it’s too hippy for even me, but most of the time it is just right. I randomly came across the company Seasonal Montana and found out about their farm dinners, I was super excited. Sophisticated, sustainable, local, and outdoors, perfect Montana.

There was only one farm dinner left for the season in September at Bozeman Brewery Company. It was super easy to get The Sexy Electrician on board with the beer pairing. Typically these take place out in the middle of a farm or field. This one was held in the back warehouse of the brewery where they set up the long table.

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Farms

Farms

When we walked in they checked us in, gave us a spot at the table, a beer and Cajun Popcorn. While we were enjoying the sunshine on the loading dock, they brought around tasty little bites of Zucchini Bread with Duck Bacon on top. Yum. So Yum.

TSE and popcorn

TSE and popcorn

Menu

Menu

Once everyone had arrive, we took our seat at the table. Each coarse was served to us paired with a different beer and our host, Melissa, explained each dish. Our brew master explained the beers and why each was selected for that particular pairing. Everything was so good. And it is clear I need to cook with beer more. The Braised Beef was cooked in beer. I even enjoyed the porter beer, (one of my least favorite kinds of beer), because it was served as part of a float with Caramel Chocolate Chunk and Sea Salt Ice Cream. My favorite dish was a surprise to me, the Fall Vegetable Chili, which was made with ground emu. I have never had emu before and it was delicious in this dish.

First Course: Salad and Chili

First Course: Salad and Chili

Main Course: Braised Beef

Main Course: Braised Beef

Please excuse my terrible pictures, I was trying not to be that person, but I totally was. Seasonal Montana’s website has some great pictures and so does their instagram @seasonalmontana. I can’t wait for next spring to go to another farm dinner, this time we will try to make it to one on the farm!

Perfect end the evening.

Perfect end the evening.

Sunday Afternoon Coffee [On Thursday. On the Road]

IMG_1370Soooo maybe this is Thursday coffee. And it would be on the road somewhere between Bozeman and the northwestern corner of Iowa. Cause that is where I am headed for a wedding with The Sexy Electrician  for a wedding. Since I have barely been on my computer lately, (I can go days, all weekend and then some, without turning on my computer, it’s crazy), I figured I am going to be drinking a lot of coffee over the 14 hour drive, let’s do an update.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you I finally got a haircut last week and went with bangs. So far, I am a fan, let’s hope it stays that way. Last time I had bangs was almost seven years ago and the New York humidity did not play nice. Hopefully the lovely dry western air will continue to be nice.

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If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that my parents came to visit a couple weekends ago. I took them on the Triple Tree hike. I thought it was 4.5 miles , but we started at the base parking lot, so it was 6 miles. They made it just fine and were not sore the next day, so I guess I didn’t kill them. We also went to sprint car season final race and had a blast. On Sunday we took it easy and drove up to Fairy Lake. We took my little car up one of the worst gravel roads I have ever seen. We could have easily high centered in on a huge rock or rut. We made it. It was beautiful.  For their final night, we went out to Norris Hot Springs to wind down and relax after I made them hike all over the mountain side.

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Fairy Lake

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Top of Triple Tree

IMG_2038And since Fairy Lake was so beautiful and TSE did not go with us, I drug him up there last weekend after it snowed the week before. (Yes, I said it snowed, it also snowed in August up there.) It was beautiful as always and there was some lovely snow hanging out around the lake. We took his truck, so it didn’t forever to get up there.

Fairy Lake seven days later

Fairy Lake seven days later

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that the TSE was trolling craigslist on Saturday. He came across this awesome old record holder. It looks like a dresser, but bottom three drawers tilt out to hold records. I admit I don’t have any records but I loved the thing. TSE emailed the guy and I went home. Less than an hour later he showed up with it. I was so excited! I love this thing.  I am going to update the finish and pulls. We will see how long that takes me to do…

IMG_2065If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that I have been here for a year now, I can’t believe it. True, a year ago, I wasn’t sure I would be sticking around and ran down to Austin for a couple weeks to have some fun. But I ended up back here and I am so happy how everything is working out!

The reason I know it has been a year is because I crashed the birthday party of one of my now good friends, Dusty. We made sure he was just as snockered his year as he was last year. It was a pretty good Saturday night.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that I finally made it to my first MSU football game of the season last weekend. We won, but barely in the end. It was a beautiful day and perfect for football. I am very excited for the season, even if we are not suppose to be that great.

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If we were having coffee today, I would show you this crazy tattoo. Maybe it’s what I should get. Though I am not sure what the point of the fish is for me…

IMG_2089If we were having coffee today, I would tell you that TSE’s cousin got a new puppy and it is an adorable, fit-in-your-pocket-for-life little one. I love it. We went over for dinner last week to meet him. His name is Rooster, Roo for short. You will be seeing more of him around here.

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He fits in one hand!

Sunday Afternoon Coffee [Labor Day Edition]

Sunday 37If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you to try this odd, but good coffee concoction of The Sexy Electrician’s. He put it in the blender. There’s coconut oil and butter in it. The idea of butter in a hot drink gave me flashbacks to drinking awful butter tea to be polite to our hosts in Nepal.  This was actually pretty good. TSE claims it’s brain food. I’ll drink it when prepared for me.

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I cannot believe it snowed last weekend. That’s right snowed. In the higher elevations, but it was still there for days after. I was out of town on a trip (I promise to getting around to telling you about it!). We were worried that the weather was going to ruin it, but it seems that we missed a lot of it and had a great weekend. But I would like the snow to wait a few more months please.

Sunday 37 4If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would show you these fortunes from the cookies from lunch earlier this week. Pretty good I’d say.

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that this is a really interesting read about a blind architect. Fricken awesome.IMG_1759

I am incapable of taking a good picture when TSE does. I had  to give us each a good one.  Annoying.

I am incapable of taking a good picture when TSE does. I had to give us each a good one. Annoying. Top pic- first night with the family, bottom pic- at the wedding reception.

If we were having coffee this morning, I would tell you that I had a bunch of fun a couple weekends ago at The Sexy Electrician’s cousin’s (the couple has some how been knicknamed TnT) wedding. It was at the beautiful Sacajawea Hotel in Three Forks, about a half hour away. It was a super fun wedding with great food, cake, and dancing.  I met TSE’s parents and his two sisters. I don’t think they didn’t like me.

IMG_1773If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would say that we have been hanging out with TnT quite a bit lately and having a blast. We’ve been doing some backyard barbecuing involving a lot of wine. We went out to Stacy’s for dinner a couple weekends ago. It was so good. I had not been out there before and I loved it. We are going to need to go out there more often.

Sunday 37 2If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that you will have to check out a new interiors store, The Architect’s Wife, going in on Babcock. My boss and I went over to check out the progress. Abby’s design studio will move in a couple weeks and the store will open in October. It’s going to be bad ass, if the signs above say anything at all.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am really excited to have some time to sit down and watch these films on Rebel Architecture.

If we were having coffee  this afternoon, I would show you this funny comic. So true.

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Cops clearing the street after the music is over

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I cannot believe Music on Main is over for the summer! It’s one of the first signs that the summer is starting to end. To top it off, MSU started classes last week. I’m not ready for fall quite yet.

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Helicopter flying the flag for the National Anthem

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I had a blast at the Bozeman Stampede. My friend, Ben, is one of the organizers, so I have been hearing a lot about this rodeo and looking forward to it all summer. There were fireworks, helicopters and some good riding.

Sunday 37 1If we were having coffee this afternoon, we would be talking about how nice it was to soak in the hot springs at Chico yesterday. It was gloomy and rainy all day. Daiquiris and hot water, great combination.

If we were having coffee this afternoon, it would probably be outside while we soak up the sun on the last day of August! the boys are already planning the next ski trip. I still have so much to do before the winter!

 

 

Getting a Little Redneck

Speedway (11)

Sprint Cars

Sometimes you have to get a bit redneck, white trash, or whatever you wish to call it, and you know it’s going to be fun. For me, that generally mean something to do with hunting, guns, or cars. The Sexy Electrician likes races and car shows, so I have tagged along to some of the recent events in the area that fit the bill.

At the end of the first sprint race, there was a crazy, roll-over, parts all over the track wreck, and the guy walked away (to the ambulance)

At the end of the first sprint race, there was a crazy, roll-over, parts all over the track wreck, and the guy walked away (to the ambulance)

Boring cars

Boring cars

For a couple Friday nights we went to our second round of dirt track races at the Gallatin Speedway. When I was younger, we would occasionally go to similar races in Rapid. It has probably been around 20 years since I last attended the races, but I do love a good sprint car race. The rest are still as boring as they were before. Sorry.

Cars  (9) Cars  (8)

Speedway (23)

the winners

To continue my redneck summer, at the fair, we went to watch mud bogging, something I have never been to before. It was… interesting. Fun, but I could only watch so much.

Cars  (12) Cars  (11) Cars  (10)The last car related event of the summer was the Cruising on Main Car Show downtown. I was surprised at how many cars were down there.

Cars  (7) Cars  (2)IMG_1792After a few old cars, I started taking more interest in the logos and awesome old fonts.

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There were some cool cars too, I won’t lie, but if TSE was one of those guys who had to look under every hood, he would need to come find me at a nearby bar when he was done.

I think there is one more round, the “finals,” for sprint cars in September that we may or may not attend, but I think I have about had my fill of cars for the year, even if it has been fun.