White Sulphur Springs

White Sulphur Springs is a town about an hour and a half north of Bozeman. It is known for it’s annual music festival, Red Ants Pants.  While my mom was here, I thought we could go check out it’s other notable feature, hot springs.  You may be beginning to wonder if I have a problem. But trust me, if you had this many natural hot springs around you, you would also be in one as often as possible, especially in the spring, fall and winter.

Anyway, the day was rainy, perfect for hot springs. My friend had warned me that they were nothing fancy. I would say they are a cross between Chico and Norris,  the pools are cement and tile but the atmosphere is more rustic.  There is a hotel if you want to stay over night and the town is right there, so no need to drive around once you get there.

Maybe a bit rustic…

They have three different pools. Inside is the warmest where the spring comes in. It was around 105 degrees while we were there. We stopped in here first. I’m glad we did, when I tried to sit in it again at the end, I couldn’t take the steam anymore.  The other two pools are outside one is slightly warmer than the other. Both around the 100 degree mark. All in all it was great. The drizzle kept us from over heating. I only had two complaints. One,  is that they need benches in them, the smaller , warmer one outside had more seating areas, but I guess the cooler pool was to be more of swimming pool instead of soaking grounds.

The other complaint is that we should have went to Bar 47 to get our adult milkshakes to take to the springs with us. Bar 47 is just down the street a block and my friend told me we needed to get one. They are delicious.  Mom had the grasshopper and I had the Dirty Girl (AKA a root beer float with alcohol). It would have been wise to have them or some sort of beverage with us in the pool, but even as an after snack they were great.

Main Street- the street was closed for construction

After soaking we went to The Mint for broasted chicken. This was another stop we were told we have to make and that we would probably have to wait at least 30 minutes. We went, we waited, it was delicious. We were in there at an odd time in the afternoon. I guess at one point in time she told someone it would be  at least  three hours before she could put their order in. She can only do one order at a time in that contraption. She also makes your fries in there with the chicken. It was totally worth the wait.

Delicious 

 

Next time we will order the chicken to go, grab our shakes and take it all the to the hot springs. Lesson learned. And another awesome soak in the books.

 

 

Pine Creek Falls

Paradise Valley on the way to the trailhead

Paradise Valley on the way to the trailhead

I did this hike last year but never got around to posting anything about it. A couple weekends ago, we piled into the car and headed to Paradise Valley to see how far we could get on the trail. We knew we would be able to make it to Pine Creek Falls about a mile in. Pine Creek Lake is about five miles up, but there are water crossings that were likely to be too high to cross if the snow didn’t stop us first.

IMG_4104Last year, I stopped at the base of the falls. This year we went the top and then a bit more before our hangovers stopped up. At the top of the falls, you can see out the valley on both ends. Like so much of Montana, it’s beautiful.

IMG_4105The hike to the base is a pretty easy mile. At that point, you have to cross the creek via logs and start climbing up on switch back to the top of the falls. It’s probably about a mile up since you switch back and forth so much, but it is worth it.

IMG_4101This is another one of those easy hikes (to the base) that you can do in a short amount of time with someone visiting. If you want to, you can camp right at the trail head.  Pick a day and hike.

Goldbug Hot Springs

The last weekend in May, after going to Missoula for a Ryan Adams concert, a few friends and I set out for Goldbug Hot Springs in Idaho. The images we saw were amazing. Stepped pools of hot springs hanging out on the side of a mountain. We were told the three mile hike was strenuous. And that we would probably see people skinny dipping since it’s so remote.  It was amazing. Simply amazing.

We started out from Missoula which made our drive there only about three hours, it’s around four hours from Bozeman. We used this article to guide us to the falls. They are just south of Elk Bend, ID. You turn at mile marker 282, there is not a sign, and drive down what looks like a private road. It’s not. At the end there is private land and the trail head. You will walk through private land for about a quarter mile before you’re back on national forest land. The trail climbs pretty quickly with some switchbacks then levels out for about a mile. The last section is pretty straight up, but the hike is only two miles, it’s not as bad as everyone made it sound. It would be brutal in the sun, there was not a lot of shade, but we had a perfect overcast sky.

You climb all the way up the valley – Photo by Noah Bostrom

Once we arrived at the top, we did not run into anyone skinny dipping, through I can see why you would. There was a large family up there. We tried out a few pools and settled on one of the warmer ones for a bit. Once the family left, we took over the larger pool they were in. The temperature was perfect to sit in forever. And there was a waterfall on the side of it that was also perfect. I don’t really know how else to describe it. Go check it out. It’s worth a diversion.

Photo by Noah Bostrom

Photo by Noah Bostrom

Photo by Noah Bostrom

Photo by Noah Bostrom On our way back down we meet a few groups hauling their camping gear in to set up for the night. We chose to camp back down the road, North of Elk Bend, along the Salmon River. It was beautiful. There are a couple of campsites along there, no amenities and it was awesome. We sent up camp, including a hammock and had dinner done in an hour. Perfect car camping.

Photo by Noah Bostrom

Moon Rising

On the way home E and I were on the look out for another adventure, hiking or otherwise. We turned around to go down a promising looking dirt road leading to Vipond Park near Dewey, MT and wound up in an ghost town that was apparently an old silver mine. There was a a saw mill or something up there too.

It was kinda of awesome and one of the wonderful things about Montana.

Ryan Adams in Concert

IMG_4023A couple months ago after a few to several glasses of wine at my friends, a group of us decided we should go to the Ryan Adams show in Missoula. I had wanted to go, but figured I was the only freak in my friends who knew who he was, I was wrong. There was another and two others who thought it sounded like fun.

Fast forward the last Friday in May and we are on our way to Missoula. We knew it was at Big Sky Brewing, but had no idea it was outside and we were passing storms along the way. It turns out that they have a mini festival like space set up behind the brewery and the sky decided to be perfectly clear for the show.

One of the things I miss about New York is going to see bigger names at smaller venues. I’m not a huge fan of the stadium shows that we get out here, but this was just perfect. Apparently I need to check out their summer series because they get some great bands through. Wardell opened for Ryan.  They became the next days road trip music.  Ryan was awesome too.

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I had an amazing time hanging out with some great friends and great music in the great outdoors.  I love summer in Montana.

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Ousel Falls

IMG_3996While my mom was visiting over Labor Day this year, I tried to find an easier hike to do since last time she was here I drug her on a long six mile hike. The weather was also being uncooperative so something too long would probably end in a down pour. After a couple cloudy days, we finally had some sunshine on Monday and headed up to Ousel Falls in Big Sky.

On the way we stopped at the Coffee Pot for a huge caramel roll on the way, a new favorite. IMG_3995Then we continued through the canyon and to Big Sky. The trail head is easy to find and the roads well marked to it. In The Meadow you will turn south on to Ousel Falls Road and follow it until you see the parking lot and trail head.

The trail is wide and well maintained. It’s only about two miles out and back. The falls are not huge but they are lovely and so is the little hike to them. You can go stand right at the base:IMG_4010and up above: IMG_4011If your looking for an easy little hike that is shaded, I highly recommend it. Plus there are picnic tables at the end for you to enjoy the view and lunch while you’re at it.

 

Sunday Afternoon [forty-seven]

IMG_3990If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you I am so excited summer is here! I’ve already been camping and I DIDN’T GET SNOWED ON! In MAY! Yeah- that’s pretty exciting. The summer is already filling up and I can’t wait. And hopefully I will do a good job of keeping this thing updated with all the fun.

Camping without SNOW!

Camping without SNOW!

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you about the Big Sky Youth Empowerment Spring Run Off. It is a huge fundraiser that I was invited to by a friend. It was a lot of fun and I got to dress up. Maybe some day I’ll be able to afford to bid on one of the trip to Italy. Or Costa Rica. Or a spa package. Big dreams.

All Dressed Up

All Dressed Up

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I saw a bear in the wild up close. We were on our way back from a project site in Big Sky and it was just ambling along the road in front of us. I’ve seen bears in captivity. I’ve seen them through binoculars in the wild. It was awesome to see one up close! IMG_3960

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I moved apartments. Same complex, but I moved to a one bedroom that is upstairs. I am part cat I think. I love sunlight, I can’t get enough. This is perfect. I also got a “grown-up” rug for it. It’s so wonderful and I fell like such a big kid, first a new mattress and now a rug. Next thing you know, I’ll buy new furniture. rug

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that after never making it to The Stockyard while I was in school, a group of us went before it switched to dinners. It was a Bozeman breakfast institution. The owner decided to switch focus onto other projects and have switched to dinners a couple nights a week. It was delicious. So glad we made it happen.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would show you the derby hats we made for a Derby party. It was so fun. I have yet to deconstruct my hat, I think it might come in handy again.

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I won a bunch of fly fishing stuff. My friend works for Simms who hosts the event Chica De Mayo. I have never been fly fishing. I have watched people fly fish. I’m not sure it’s for me but I may have to try it now. Thanks to my sewing skills, I was able to string a rod faster than everyone else who tried. #madskillz

A round of girls stringing some rods

A round of girls stringing some rods

The loot

The loot

If were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I have a new Bozeman obsession. It’s a new breakfast/lunch place called Feed. It’s amazing food and adorable. I can’t get enough. See the picture above.  If you visit, we will go there. IMG_3901 IMG_3900 IMG_3898

 

Sunday Afternoon Coffee [forty-six]

sunday 46 4If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I had such a good time in New York and Washington DC. The Sexy Master Electrician even had fun and had to admit he liked the east coast so far. Peter and Mimi had a beautiful wedding and I am so happy we could make it.

TSME and I at the wedding

TSME and I at the wedding

Thank you to all my friends who made it out in a snow storm for happy hour. To those that I missed, I hope to catch you next time! Full recap to follow!

Post Run Pic with Mikki, photo via Mikki

Post Run Pic with Mikki, photo via Mikki

The Crew on the bus to the start, via Mikki

The Crew on the bus to the start, via Mikki

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you about this year’s Run to the Pub. I didn’t do nearly enough training/build up as I did last year, but I still managed to finish the 10K under and hour, so I am happy. I might be getting used to this 10k business…

Post run treat

Post run treat

The Finish Line (& beer truck)

The Finish Line (& beer truck)

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that after being back in New York, and coming back to lovely spring weather in Montana, I have decided to ride my bike more. That means to work and around town. I used to walk much farther than I drive now at times. Silly. Time to get back on my bike.

If were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that as much as I am sure we need the moisture, I am excited for the snow to be gone and the mud to dry so I can do more hiking. Spring is here, I hope we do not have a late season snowstorm… even though I’m sure it’s coming.