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.

IMG_2095IMG_2102

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.

IMG_2079

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.

IMG_2053

Fairy Lake

IMG_2041

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.

IMG_2085

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.

IMG_2064

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.

IMG_1729

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.

IMG_1681

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.

Cars  (6) Cars  (5) Cars  (4) Cars  (3) Cars  (1)

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.

 

Sunday Afternoon Coffee [thirty-six]

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I don’t hate being 30… yet. I went out with The Sexy Electrician to one of my favorite restaurants, Over the Tapas, for dinner and just relaxed with some wine on my birthday. There was also all the floating. It hasn’t been much different than 29. Other than the fact that I am THIRTY.

Sunday 36 (1)If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that Petey, Dawn’s dog has been joining us on our M hikes. And I am so impressed that he does it. He’s pretty funny and under foot.

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you to check out Google Street Art Project.  It’s awesome. I have always loved street art and graffiti. Now that I live somewhere very little (good) work exists, it’s nice to be  able to cruise around other cities via the internets.

sunday 36 1 (1)If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you I had a wonderful time soaking up the sun yesterday at Bozeman Beach with friends. It’s nothing like the Rockaways, but it’s got sand and water that are clean and I can work on my tan. After that we went to The Garage for dinner and order a pitcher of sangria, expecting a carafe, it was a huge beer pitcher. We didn’t really need anything to drink the rest of the night. This morning they came over for brunch. I made zucchini with eggs bake that was really good. they provided mimosas and delicious potatoes. It’s been a great weekend so far. Sunday 36 (4)

Sunday 36 (6)
If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you I finally got a vacuum. I was borrowing my friend’s since moving in to my apartment cause I thought it was going to be a birthday present. Since it did not turn out that way, I took to craigslist and found this little guy. Who is pretty damn good for a craigslist find. And it is wonderful to have one when ever I want it. Which is bizarre that I even want to vacuum cause I hate cleaning. I guess that is what happens when you get old.

AJ on the jumping thing at the farmers market

AJ on the jumping thing at the farmers market

Sunday 36 (3)

Crepes

Crepes

If we were having coffee this afternoon, we would talk about the two farmers markets. I have been going pretty much every Tuesday after work and am so happy cherries are in season. I finally got  the larger one on Saturday and found some beautiful Sunflowers. I love summer in Montana!

sunday 36 golfIf we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you about my adventures in golf last week and how I apparently lied to my friends about how bad I am. I told them I was terrible and wasn’t sure they would want me  to go since the ball would probably go all of 10 feet. However, I do know how to golf. When I walked up and lined myself up to swing, they were shocked I knew what I was doing. I shocked myself by actually hitting the ball and hitting it well. I have probably not picked up a golf club in close to a decade, and I was never that good to begin with, I choose track over golf in high school. That being said, I did have years of lessons when I was a kid  through middle school and my parents even bought me Junior clubs. I guess I was suppose to also add that to my  terrible disclaimer. We had a blast, I didn’t completely suck and the nine iron was my friend at all distances. Big Bertha was a close second.

sunday 36 fairIf we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you how disappointing the county fair was last weekend. Even though there is a lot of agriculture in the valley, you wouldn’t know it from the fair. There were very few cows or calves or sheep. A lot more pigs than I’ve seen at the fair at home, but not a lot else. And I have no idea where those pigs are hiding normally. We also expected there to be more vendors like the farmers markets, but there were hardly any. I was glad TSE had free passes for us since he did the wiring or whatever needed to be done for them. Guess we will have to check out the state fair instead next year.

 

If we were having coffee this afternoon, it would be up in Jackson Creek with TSE, we are house sitting again.  And we have my telescope that I am pretty excited to use. The sky has been so clear lately and there is no moon. We should be able to see some cool cosmos.

Floating the Yellowstone

10505156_10204721835352399_587330890761709051_oIf given the opportunity, I think I could float down a river every weekend. It is one of the most relaxing things ever. Great friends, a cooler of beer, good food and a raft with a lazy(ish) river might be the best combination of things ever. For the last two weekends, I got to enjoy this wonderful combo followed by more relaxing by the river. I love summer in Montana!

The Sunday after the Fourth of July and the next Saturday, my friend Dawn invited us to float with her and her best friend Ang’s, family on the Yellowstone south of Livingston. We rented rafts from Rubber Ducky and dropped in at Emigrant. We spent about four to five hours on the river with a few stops along the way, stopping at Mallard’s Rest.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA10536234_10204721864673132_5555038360798993101_oThe first weekend we had a fishing boat and non-fishing boat. Since John, Ang’s husband, and The Sexy Electrician were the only guys, they were our captains for the trip. TSE had never rowed a raft before, so it was kind of entertaining watching as his fisherman directed him from one side of the river to the other looking for sweet spots. Unfortunately, it was midday and warm so no fish were caught. It seemed very few people were getting any bites, so we didn’t feel too bad. The fisherman and grandson decided to stay at the house when we stopped by their river beach for a bathroom break. The rest of the float was pretty easy for TSE.

YS River round 2 (1) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYS River round 2 (2)The following weekend, the same crew was out with a few different faces. There was no fishing and another friend brought their raft, so their rowed and TSE got to relax the whole time. I was lazy the entire time. The only thing I did was occasionally grab a beer or snack for someone.

After finishing up, we piled in to the car we had left at the end and headed back up to grab the other vehicles at the launch. And maybe a drink at the Old Saloon before heading back to grab whoever was waiting at the end for a ride back to Ang’s parent’s home.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Weekend one we had a fun ride back

10491108_10204723245107642_7833751990279630460_n

 

YS River round 2 (29) YS River round 2 (15) 10454503_10204759648737710_6044981636864666661_o

I would like Ang's Parents to adopt me

I would like Ang’s Parents to adopt me

They have an amazing house with a huge porch and property right on the river with a stretch of beach. We hung out drinking, celebrating my and Ang’s birthdays a bit. Both days were so great, it was hard to pack it up and go home at night. Hopefully they invite us back again. In the meantime, I’m sure we’ll head out on some other river adventures.

YS River round 2 (48)

*PIctures of me from Dawn or Ang. Or The Sexy Electrician