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.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Wise River and Some Good Friends

We spent a wonderful week in the tiny town of Wise River, Montana to catch up with some good friends from New Orleans and enjoy Montana.  Boy did we have fun…we laughed, ate, hiked, fished, talked, laughed, ate…well you get the picture.  

Betsy, Ann, Sandy, me, and Kim enjoying wine on the back deck of the ranch.
Rock Cliff Ranch 
Thanks to Ken and Roger who allowed us to hang out at their incredible ranch and to Ann for being such a gracious hostess. While Roger was back in New Orleans (safely away from four women), Ken and Ann showed us a great time. Ken’s love for everything Montana really shines and he treated us to a Montana experience and we felt like we were at the best dude ranch in the country. He led us on a 6.3 mile “hike” which took us over mountain peaks, through valleys, into spectacular scenery, and back home again. He showed us how to fly fish, move irrigation ditches and cows, educate us on what elk poop looks like, and even put a city girl on a horse.  All the time his sense of humor shined and he patiently put up with our wondering questions. Thanks Ken – you are the best dude of any ranch!

Kim and Betsy on our morning hike.
Our guide, Ken, kept encouraging us...after
five miles we were getting tired.  We finally
ended after 6.3 miles and over 2,300 feet
of elevation change.

We were treated to some spectacular views of the Big Hole River along our walk.  Note how high we were and we started at the road.
A trip to a Montana ranch would not be complete without getting on a horse.  Kim was thrilled to have the experience and looked like a natural.
Ann took us to Phillipsburg the first day we were there. This little western town has charm, character, and one awesome candy store. We four women hit the town and were ready to shop. Believe it or not, we only bought fly fishing lures and candy; therefore, our bank accounts are still intact, although Kim the shopper would like to have spent more!

The buildings in Phillipsburg are some of the prettiest painted buildings in the U.S. Why? Because a paint company from Philadelphia encouraged cities and towns to enter a competition that displayed an array of architectural styles and painted exteriors. The commercial district of Phillipsburg entered both competitions in 1997 and 2000. Phillipsburg was awarded finalist status and has brought pride to the city and tourists making this “Montana’s Prettiest Painted Place.” The town is great to wander around, grab a bite to eat and enjoy the mountain drive that gets you there. I was in heaven because the famous candy store (the Sweet Palace) makes salt water taffy.

Sandy and Kim spent a successful day fly fishing on the Big Hole River, a premier blue ribbon trout stream.  In addition to landing rainbow, cutthroat, and brown trout, they were treated to some spectacular scenery.  The clear cold river is framed by the lush green river valley rising up to jagged mountains and into blue Montana sky.  Meanwhile, Betsy and I spent time driving the gorgeous Pioneer Mountain Scenic Byway (click here to see the previous post on the byway).

The little fishing town of Wise River and the Rock Cliff Ranch were absolutely perfect places for us to spend time hanging out with wonderful friends and enjoying Montana.

Below are some more pictures from our time in Wise River with the New Orleans Gals (and Guy)...

Sandy, Betsy, me, Ken, and Kim after a lunch of burgers and fries at Matt's Place Drive-In.  A famous  Butte landmark that was probably the first drive-in in Montana.
Butte was built around the copper mining industry which is still active today.  
June 1917 saw the worst disaster in the Granite Mountain/Speculator Mine history and the loss of life for 168 miners.  The memorial looks out over the mine and honors those who lost their lives.
I picked a less than ideal way to come down the mountain and end our hike .  Some people found it easiest just to slide down.  Good thing we had a handsome cowboy to lend a hand.
The old abandoned schoolhouse we passed on our hike.  

The Big Hole River.
Sunset at the ranch.

1 comment:

  1. I cooked your pork chop recipe and I have to say it was wonderful!!!!! Thanks so much for posting the recipe. I hope you don't mind but I am going to post it on my blog. I must say that yours were prettier than mine. They had a real thick coating of the rub on it but not too much.
    thanks again
    I enjoy your blog.


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