The Montana Way

So far this year, I’ve visited world class cities like Miami, London and New York. So to go to the city of Conrad, Montana, and consider that a city is crazy. But all 2,600 of the folks in Conrad are proud to live there.

It’s a pretty little area. The grid street system is named logically. East-West roads are named with numbers and North-South roads are named for states. My uncle Paul and aunt Nancy live on the corner of South Illinois and Fifth Ave. There’s a stop sign, but few people ever even drive by.

Paul and I went golfing Monday at the Conrad Golf Club, a nice 9-hole course with greens in tough shape. It was challenging in that it’s been about 6 years since I’ve even held a club properly. Paul beat me, even though we didn’t bother to add the scores.

Tuesday, we went to the Lewis and Clark National Forest and stopped at the Sun Valley Lodge for lunch. Tucked underneath the shear face of a Rocky Mountain, the octagonal log cabin serves as the restaurant and the place to buy tickets for the 2-hour horseback ride into the Rocky Mountains. Earlier in this blog, I said the visit to London’s National Gallery followed by a show in the West End was my dream day. Indeed it was. But nothing can compare to being on horseback, climbing to an elevation of 5,500 feet and looking at the most amazing mountains ever. I had to put my entire trust into my rented horse, Sonnygirl, as we rode within 10 feet of the ridgeline. The ridge itself was a straight drop of about 1,500 feet. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit scared, but I knew the horse wanted to live to see her next meal as much as I did. Of course, her next meal came at various points along the trail, and mine awaited me back in Conrad. Behind us in the photo is the southern side of Sawtooth Mountain. Nancy is on the left. Paul is in the middle and our guide Jerek is on the right. Nancy is riding Pete and Paul is riding Caveman.

That’s all for now.

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