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Saturday 12 Sep 2015
Bozeman Montana, USA

The heights of summer

Another 'all blue' sky day with no suggestion of a wisp of a cloud. Drove 50 miles south to visit the ski town of Big Sky, Montana, following the rushing Gallatin River on a narrow road with towering forests on each steep side of what seemed like a canyon. Drove to the top of the resort. The main Big Sky mountain village at the foot of Lone Mountain (11,186ft) is yet another immaculate and beautiful location for skiers with a series of upmarket lodges and shops alongside, enjoying the summer sun. Walked around the raised boardwalks and cafes and investigated the ski lifts and trail maps.  Some young families were just relaxing in the sparkling air around the mountain base station or in outdoor cafes. Beautiful inspiring setting in summer and winter for those who can afford to live directly next to the pristine main slopes with views to die for. 

Having noted earlier which local events were on today, then drove to visit a song-writers festival that was being run this weekend in the very small town of       Three Forks, Montana, 30 miles directly west of Bozeman, on the main highway west towards Butte. Drove there from Big Sky.

Three Forks (population 1,909) is named from the 3 rivers that form the head-waters of the Missouri River. This little town is rich in fur-trapping & trading history. The town was put on the map when Lewis and Clark conducted their major expedition in 1805/6 to explore the West and they stopped-off and passed thro' this town. The expedition met their first native Americans - the Shoshone Indians -  shortly after leaving the town. The Shoshone helped the expedition find a route over the mountains. The party then followed the Snake and Columbia Rivers to finally reach the Pacific Coast.

The song-writers session was held outdoors in an open marquee within the wonderfully restored and stately building : the impressive Sacajawea Hotel. (Sacajawea was the name of a young Shoshone Indian who accompanied Lewis and Clark as an interpreter and guide. She was one of French explorer Toussaint Charbonneau's wives).        

 Spent more time sitting outside on the hotel patio, eating, rather than listening to the song-writers, who were all be-decked in boots, western gear & fancy accents. Much later, drove back to Bozeman to recover from the 97 degree heat, for the last night in Montana on this first leg of the trip.

Note: The rental car (Toyota Avalon 3.5 litre) has never missed a beat on this 2000 mile round trip : brilliant performance - Thank the Lord.                                                        To fill the empty fuel tank cost less than $38/£25. Doubt if have spent more than £125 on fuel in total for the complete trip.

Tip of the Day: As it says on the back of the Sacajawea Hotel servers' T-shirts:  'Never drink the water downstream from the herd.'

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Travel blog by viajero2601


Are you ready for 8-9 weeks in the saddle ? This mission takes us across the old Wild West (incl. Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota & Montana) then to Oregon, then meanders around Colorado & finally to NYC. Now to find a sturdy pony....

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