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Montana Day 1

September 22, 2013

It’s that time of the year for another adventure. I’m solo and in a car this year. The fires in Yosemite got me thinking that I better get out to the national parks this year before they’re all gone?

First stop Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch in McLeod MT. It’s nice to be able to,unpack and stay in one place for a week. It’s not a dude ranch…… No cows here!

Getting to the ranch required a flight from Philly to Denver (2 hour delay for broken hydraulics) then a flight into Bozeman and then a 3 hour drive from Bozeman into McLeod. The last closest town is Big Timber about 40 miles away. The is a convenience store there with a gun shop attached. More ARs than I’ve ever seen. Yes, I’d like some Cheetos and an AR -15 to go please!

After leaving Big Timber you head south on a scenic road that follows the Boulder River. There’s a spot where some of The Horse Whisperer was filmed.

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So if you notice the building in the background, it’s the only building in the town of McLeod… It’s a post office. And that’s it!

Heading to the ranch…. I got stuck behind a cattle drive. Now I had been driving with my windows open when I spotted the cows. First, I checked for horns….Negative…and then, as if I’d done this before, I instinctively put my windows up. As I learned from my time in Dodge City, cows mean flies. Yuck! As I’m driving along at 5 miles an hour, the cowboy in charge starts waving me around. I just look at him with a puzzled look on my face and a furrowed brow. I open my window a bit the hear him bellow, “just push through”. Again with a furrowed brow I look at him and reply, ” Are you serious? I don’t know what to do! I’m from NJ”. That cowboy laughed so hard I though he was going to fall off his horse. And just as I begin to speed up through the herd…..

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A baby quadruped jumps out in front of me. I’m not even on my motorcycle!

The road to Hawley Mountain is breath taking. A poet couldn’t do it justice. There are scattered cabins and camps all along the river….. And then,

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The yellow lines end and you set out 17 miles of them most rutted, rocking road I’ve ever been on, always following the river. Definitely not a motorcycle road. Definitely not for driving at night 🙂

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Once arriving at the ranch, it was a quick dinner, introductions and off to bed! I’m staying in one of the 4 rooms in the main lodge. There are a few small cabins scattered on the property, max capacity is twenty guests. But as this is the last week of the season out here, there are only four of us here. It is just great… There’s a couple from upstate New York and 2 ladies from Indiana.

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My accommodations. Finally lighting the pilot lights in the heaters. Getting chilly here now. Definitely not summerish, at all! It was 73 when i arrived today. Calling for 50% chance of snow this week starting wednesday.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. marcia permalink
    September 23, 2013 6:41 pm

    Looks like a great place. Love the pictures. Great way to keep touch. Love Meme&Poppop

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