Montana – Day 2

A doing pretty much nothing day—perfect for the first full day of vacation.

Gorgeous weather—cool mornings and evenings, HOT afternoons, clear skies and a whole lot of quiet.

Montana Sky (c’mon, you know I had to do it)
Caption by Laura/photo by j a-b

Jason and I walked over to meet Kat and BW for lunch—a good, long walk down a dusty path where horses had obviously been. You can see for what seems miles, fields of that western green, clumps of dusty green sage, then we hit the center where they keep the horses. So many pretty, pretty horses, cropping the fields, or hanging out in paddocks.

Horses/photo by j a-b

And onto the restaurant where both Kat and I get the grilled cheese. It needs a much less humble name. Thick slices of garlic toasted sourdough bread with (my choice) of melty sharp cheddar. I can manage half of mine—it’s huge!—BW has part of the second half. And since it’s vacation, I’ll have a huckleberry sparkle with that.

Stuffed, Jason and I walk to the shops where BW and Kat have driven as BW wants a bike. They have poker playing raccoons, good for a smile (Not actual raccoons), and I need a belt. Spot a Jason shirt—it just says Jason, so get the shirt, a nice belt. BW rides his bike back, Kat and I drive, Jason walks.

I think at night they come alive.  We need follow up photos of the cards.
Caption by Laura/photo by j a-b

Then it’s a fine time to sit out and read awhile, have a bat nap to go with it.

We’re going to the Tuesday barbecue, so take our time getting cleaned up. I think about walking, but hey, I already have 20k steps for the day. I leaving the walking to Jason.

In what they call The Yard, the have tables set up, a pavilion holding tons of food. Lots of salads, lots of sides, herb roasted chicken, pulled pork, beef, taco makings. Nobody’s going to go hungry.

We tuck in very well, and enjoy the live music—and the side yard full of kids getting pony rides, playing soccer, tether ball, playing corn hole, getting a lesson on roping from a cowboy who’s so delightful with the kids. So dinner and a show.

It’s a seriously beautiful evening—warm, but not oppressing, a lovely breeze, a soft blue sky.

There’s a family at a table near us, and the youngest is a little girl of about three—blonde, a ribbon in her hair. She’s having the best time.

And as it’s BW’s birthday, the waitress brings over a couple scoops of huckleberry (what else?) ice cream with a little candle.

Birthday boy!  Photo by j a-b

Mostly our family has a deal—no happy birthday stuff in public, but we break the rule—keep it low key. But apparently Happy Birthday is the little girl’s favorite song. She’s delighted.

At one point I started to walk down some steps leading to the side yard, and they fired a starter pistol. The kid races behind me: Fireworks! She’s sure that’s what the little crack meant. I say, Fireworks? And she grabs my hand, pulls me down the steps, eager to share her joy. She points to the sky, instructs me to watch, and when no fireworks appear, she’s not the least concerned. Time to run back and have fun with something else.

I found her utterly charming.

Jason opts to walk back—good for him—and we drive along, watching the sun—a hot red ball—sink over the western peaks. Cattle, horses, buffalo—a white-tail deer. I decide to enjoy the romp of the deer as she’s not the one who ate my hostas.

Allowable deer. Photo by NR

And there are longhorns—gorgeous, big, in shades that make me think of Appolusas. We want a picture of the big guy, so BW gets out and obliges—and catches one of the grazing buffalo in the background.

Bull with bison, a still life. 
Photo by BW.

We’re told the sky will be loaded with stars tonight, and Mars will be visible. It’s just dusk when we settle in, so Kat and I decide to start a puzzle. BW puts on some music, and we hang very well until dark.

It takes awhile for those stars to light up, and our view is too obscured by trees to show us Mars. But once that sky lights, it’s damn impressive.

We get a good start on the puzzle before bedtime.

I hit vacation routine in the morning, catch up on the world, then head up to the loft for my workout. The DVD player gives me a little trouble, but that finally resolves. A solid workout gives me 10k steps and a good upper body session with my traveling resistance bands. A stretch, and done.

A long, hot shower, and I’m ready to face whatever the day brings. It’s cool enough this morning for a hoodie as I write this on the back porch. I may go in, do some puzzle, grab my book, take a walk.

I think I’ll write a little tomorrow because it’s starting to tug, but another day of doing pretty much nothing sounds good first.


I’m adding a new section this year: Food-a-rama to showcase different parts of meals.  Unless Nora specifically describes something (like the huckleberry sparkle) I’ll keep the photos here.  You know, we could have a drinking game: when you spot a huckleberry, take a shot! Laura

And now, what you’ve all waited for: today’s #randomkatness:

Before she was pregnant and switched to a smaller size, Kat could have built this with the contents of her cross body bag.  Truth!
Photo by Kat.

31 thoughts on “Montana – Day 2”

  1. That’s it. I’m getting out my last bottle of champagne (haven’t stocked back up as the kitchen remodel is taking forever and the new wine fridge isn’t in place yet), hunting down something as close to a huckleberry as possible, and havin’ one of them there sparkles.

    (NOTE: We do get huckleberries in northern Utah, but generally don’t see them in the farmer’s markets for a couple more weekends yet.)

    Keep the tales comin’. Enjoy the hell out of your vacation, and get lots of R&R. And, happy day, BW. Big hugs to all of you.

  2. Beautiful photo’s! Thank you for sharing. Happy birthday BW. By the way, the people standing in the background of BW’s birthday picture remind me of the Georges Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”.

  3. Sounds like another wonderful day in the Last Place God Made, otherwise known as Big Sky Country. Just curious, what part of the state are you in? Love the #randomkatniss picture – looks hard to move the peddles without hitting the lamp. The night pix are lovely and all the food looks delish. Happy birthday to BW!

  4. I’m so amused by your definition of “a pretty much nothing day”. Yours still includes a 20k step day. You didn’t mention it, but I’m sure you got in a morning workout. I thought playing hard meant doing nada, but you are too disciplined to veg out completely. I’m not complaining, just impressed. Also glad you have the itch to start writing again. Imagine if we only got 1 or 2 books a year from you!

  5. I visited a Montana in June and thoroughly enjoyed the huckleberries! The huckleberry lemonade was my favorite, but we had panna cotta, cobblers, mixed drinks, pancakes, etc!

  6. Happy Birthday BW! Thank you for sharing such wonderful stories and photos of your travels. Gives us all a chance to escape even if it’s just for the time it takes to read your blog. Pls keep writing I look forward to every book, blog or post.

    And Laura I think if we took a shot every time we saw a huckleberry we would be very very drunk. ?.

  7. Since you are in Montana any way you should come over to Butte for An Ri Ra our Irish festival amazing fun, food and entertainment

  8. Visit North Powder, Oregon, on the last Saturday in July – it’s our annual Huckleberry Festival! You’ll find a pie-eating contest, huckleberry bake-off, a parade, street vendors, an old car show ‘n shine, and lots more!

    Don’t expect to ever see you here, but no worries – my shelves are stuffed (as is my tablet) with your books, so you’re “here” in spirit! <3 the blogs!!

  9. Being a total foodie, I know I’ll be enjoying and looking forward to the new addition to this blog: Food-a-rama. Thanks Laura and thanks to Nora for the beginning of another (vicarious) vacation travelogue.

  10. Love the card playing raccoons and the Random Katness lamp.
    The Longhorn looks like he’s either not happy to gave his picture taken, or wanting to take yours. Can’t decide.
    Happy birthday BW!

  11. Only very special photography involves a photobombing bison! Sounds like a beautiful time, so glad you’re getting some relaxation.

  12. Small little mention. That one photo should be captioned “Bison with longhorn, a still life.”
    Other than that… wonderful stuff.

  13. Who doesn’t like a good grilled cheese sandwich! There is a place in Colborne, Ontario, Canada I recently experienced on a trip, called the Big Apple. They also make an incredible grilled cheese using the apple loaf baked on site and adding thin apple slices as well with an option of bacon added to it….so delicious.

  14. Montana a beautiful state to grow up in. I lived there for the first twenty years of my life and have such fond memories. Glad you are enjoying my home state.

  15. I feel almost like I’m on vacation with you- except I don’t get to taste the food! Love a good grilled cheese- tasty bread and gooey cheese- what’s not to love? I applaud your dedication to exercise while on vacation. No photo of the lovely belt? Are you sporting fancy cowgirl boots? Loving the blog, can’t wait for more!

  16. Yea!!!! The return of #RandomKatness!! Thanks Kat, you’re amazing! I think you would make a fantastic fairy godmother! Thank you BW, and Jason for adding your lovely photos.( Happy Birthday BW!) Thank you Laura for taking the time to put these blogs together while you are mending. And as always thank you NR for sharing your vacation with us, taking the time to write these blogs and doing so, so amazingly that it feels like I get to be there also! Much love and admiration to you all!

  17. The peach cobbler looks amazing, huckleberries can only make it even better. The sunset photos really pull at me. Happy Birthday BW! Dearest Kat wishing you a quick and easy delivery. You will be an incredible mother!
    Thanks for sharing!

  18. Seriously enjoy every word and photo of your vacations!
    What a shower or that is my guess from Kat randomess.
    A Bull and A buffalo. Great photo!
    Enjoy, we sure do!

  19. I must know! Is a ‘bat nap’ really a thing? Sleep suspended from the rafters? 🙂

    These travelogues are such a joy. Thank you so much for sharing.

  20. I’m really enjoying the blogs and pictures! Thank you so very much for sharing! Very happy the weather is behaving too.


    1. Ap·pa·loo·sa

      a horse of a North American breed having dark spots on a light background.

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