Monday, August 29, 2011

Romancing the Range - Montana Country

Grandchildren trying to fly fish on the Madison River.

Vintage horn knives with silver bands - a great antique find in Bozeman.

Absolutely amazing chocolates made in Bozeman.

Gorgeous Box

Fresh apricot torte from the Livingston Farmers Market

Freshly made loaf of sourdough Cranberry walnut bread from the Livingston Farmers Market.

Early morning crazy Montana sky.

Cattle grazing just outside the entrance to Chico Springs Lodge.

The original lodge at Chico Hot Springs.

The Yellowstone River in Paradise Valley - just outside of Livingston.

Fantastic dive just outside of Livingston -gourmet delights such as a Wine Lover's quesadilla - stuffed with Pecans, dried cherries, sliced apple, basil, feta and cheddar cheese. To Die for!

Live music there on the weekends in the summer !

Imagine our surprise seeing this in the road coming toward us! But the cowboys just waved us on!

Closer they come!

Closer - Closer - will they hit the car?

Surrounding the car on all four sides!

Almost done!

Paradise Valley- just south of Livingston. Such a romantic scene.

Mountain Ash tree - native to the area.

Some folks go to Montana for the fly fishing - I go for the romance of the land. It's a glorious state with a huge sky - thus the name Big Sky! My son and his family live in a quaint town, Livingston, Mt. about 3o minutes outside of Bozeman. Completely a family atmosphere, the houses and stores were mostly built in the early 30's to the 50's. Not one modern building here! The town creates a communal spirit around it's rodeos, farmers markets, and Art Walks. The farmers market on Wednesday nights is unbelievable - baked goods and many varieties of vegetables. I purchased an apricot tart from a woman that raised her own dairy cows, churned the butter, and then made the incredible tart. Fresh breads are made from local grains, fruits and nuts. An amazing chocolate company,"La Chatelaine", is located in Bozeman and has the most amazing chocolates I have ever tasted. Fleur de Sel Caramels, blood orange infused truffles, blackberry zinfindel are just some of the delectable flavors. They are packaged in a fantastic orange box. You can purchase them at Friday night we went on an Art Walk in the many galleries in downtown Livingston. Afterwards, we had dinner in Bistro 225, an award winning bistro in town. I tried Pork Rilette for the first time and it was amazing. I found several recipes for this divine concoction and will try it at home.

The landscape is breathtaking- Large rivers, crazy clouds in the sky, and large parcels of land. One of my favorite trees was the mountain ash - filled with clumps of large red and orange berries. On our way to Chico Hot Springs to take the grand kids swimming, we found our selves in the middle of a cattle drive. The cowboy just waved us thru and told us to go slow and sure enough the cows just slowly went around the car! After that experience we stopped at Paradise Cafe to enjoy a Saturday breakfast - love the quesadillas here. They also have great fried trout tacos and these lobster quesadillas with lobster, roasted garlic, cheddar, crumbled bacon, green onions and capers. Awesome place with live music on the weekends outside the restaurant in a field by a babbling trout stream! After breakfast, we took the kids to Chico Hot Springs to swim in the warm water of the ancient pools. In its heyday, people traveled to the Lodge to enjoy the healing powers of the warm pools, but today its a great vacation spot and hosts many weddings each year. It has a great restaurant, horse back riding, dog sledding in the winter, and a day spa for relaxing!

One of my favorite things to bring back to Romancing the Home is a great selection of antlers for the Thanksgiving season. Mr. Rth met me at the airport ( he had arrived several days earlier to fly fish ) and we drove to our source which had moved 40 minutes north of the town. We purchased an entire suitcase full to bring back to Chicago. Antiquing is great, especially if you like horn and Indian relics. Lot's of iron stone, old silver and bottles are prevalent, and there are some fantastic shops in Bozeman.

If you want a relaxed vacation in the States, I highly recommend this trip. Maybe, you might even want to learn to fly fish!


Beeutiful by Design said...

Sigh - Montana is on my bucket list. Actually in my fantasy world I retire to Montana to become a famous author! Your pictures do not disappoint.

cityfarmer said...

such beauty ... and seeing the grandkids... what a trip!