Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Beavertail and Testy Festy?

Once again, we have a gorgeous campsite - tucked away
in the woods with a river view.
Betsy here.  Nance said that I had to write about our last 2 days.  We are heading to Wise River, Montana to meet our New Orleans friends, more later in another blog.  So heading thirty miles east of Missoula, we stopped at a state park, Beavertail Hill.  It was named that because the park has a hill behind it that looked like a beavertail until the interstate cut it in half.  We took a chance stopping because no reservable sites were available, only walk ups, but found a gorgeous campsite right on the Clark Fork River.  We loved the private site so much we stayed 3 nights.  Only electric hook ups were available but that was OK because our water tank was full and it gave us time to hang out by the fire, read, relax, hike and play with Spirit…….that was until I spotted a brochure for a nearby ghost town.  I have always loved visiting ghost towns.

Garnet Ghost Town was about 30 miles away but we were near the interstate.  What I didn’t know was that 10 miles of the trip was on a road where speed was only 15 mph because it dwindled from blacktop to gravel to mud and rocks and it was up the side of a mountain with twists and turns and switchbacks.  It was beautiful though but hairy.  At the top was an old gold mining town from the 1800’s with buildings managed by the Bureau of Land Management.  Spirit came and it was fun to walk around the old ore pits and mine shafts.  Of course we had to drive back down the same mountain.

The next day we decided to hike in the Lolo National Forest and found several great trails all of which were mostly up hills and mountains but the views were spectacular overlooking the many branches of the Clark Fork River.  

After hiking all morning we passed what is billed as the “World Famous Rock Creek Lodge.”  I need to point out that where we are camped there is nothing but fishing camps, there are no stores, restaurants, gas stations, anything close to a town.  So the famous Lodge seemed like something we should investigate. As we got closer we saw a lot of old cars lined up, heard a band playing and realized we had come upon a Crusin’ Montana event.  They were having an old car show and lots of people showed up.

The Lodge turned out to be an old bar and campground dating from 1945 and they actually are world famous because they hold the Testicle Festival every year in August.  It’s also known as "Testy Festy."  You can only imagine the T-shirts they sell!  Rocky Mountain Oysters if you’ve heard of them or even tasted them are actually beef testicles, in all sizes I might add.  So every year they are cooked and honored at this World Famous Lodge.  It’s probably best we won’t be here in August!  No more narrative necessary, just enjoy our photos.

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