Kerri and I are playing the Chimani game; checking off all the National Parks as we visit them. Even though she has a few more under her belt than I do, I am happy to re-visit places I have been and she has not just so she can get that next check-off.
One park was directly on our path up North so we popped in for a quick visit. The Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site is a working cattle ranch dating back back to the 1850’s and still in operation today. I have visited here before back in 2013. This time around the sun was out and it was not raining on me. Plus having a pretty girl by my side made for a much more pleasant visit.
We toured the buildings, watched the blacksmith to her thang, and had cowboy-coffee at the chuck wagon.
On our last day in the area, Moose and I got out for a much needed hike. Just up the road (about 16 miles) into the National Forest is the Passage Creek trailhead, which leads out to Passage Creek Falls. Moose and I started the hike about noon. Knowing of the afternoon rain risks did not stop us, we are tough!
With out final night in the area approaching it has become tradition to hit the town for a cocktail. Kerri is very particular about her food & drink so she always picks to coolest of places to visit.
Our first stop was the Mint Bar & Grill – before I can drink, I must eat – which is advertised as opening in the 1920’s (prohibition be damned) and has been there ever since. Here we ate some good ol’ ‘murican food with a traditional beer. Afterwards, we walked the 2 blocks to re-visit (we already stopped in earlier in the week, but it is just too cool) the Murray Bar which has a bit more lively vibe. It too has a long history – “more than 100 years” – in the downtown area, and if you are lucky you may see one of the many popular actors or artists who live in the nearby area (we did not). With no more room left in our guts, we relaxed for an hour while sipping an Old Fashion and taking in the local musician.
For Kerri’s birthday we ventured over to Chico Hot Springs for an evening of mixed activities. We started with an hour long dip in the naturally fed mineral water hot tub which averages 103-degrees – a stark contrast to the 40-something-degree weather outside the water. We followed the dip with a proper shower (our first in some days) then off to dinner at the Grille next door – the Artichoke Spinach Dip was amazing! Stuffed to the gills, another trip to yet another next door had us seated at the bar of the Saloon for a night-cap before the short drive back to camp. A worthy place to spend a relaxing evening.
On a super cold day, with the threat of rain all day keeping us from going on a hike, we instead chose to visit Montana Grizzly Encounter near Bozeman, MT.
The bears can be viewed up close and personal in a large enclosure separated by what seems to be way-too-small-a-wall. Since I did not see human bodies scattered all over, I assumed we were safe enough. The handlers hide snacks all around this enclosure so the bears have to forage as they would in nature. Although it is a sanctuary, none of the bears will ever be released as they were all born in captivity so their natural instincts are severely stunted.