The Frontier

October 18, 2009

[Our hotel internet is down and I"m currently on the Dillon Public Library wi-fi. If there’s no internet tonight, I"ll have my dinner post up in the morning]

Our landscape has changed yet again to rolling hills of brown and a snow-capped mountain backdrop.

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Every so often we come across a town straight out of an old western movie – run down wooden buildings, a saloon, a boardwalk.

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And there have been several bear sightings…

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Kanz used to do this same dance back in college! I believe he used to do it to Snoop Dogg though 😉

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I even had the chance to flirt with a sweet cowboy

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Our journey started at Quake Lake, where a huge earthquake in 1959 left the side of a mountain in  a pile of rubble, killing a group of campers and creating a lake. 

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You can still see the tops of trees that were flooded by the sudden lake. They seemed sad. Perhaps Fanghorn Forest could pay them a visit? 

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The missing mountainside. I have to say, I was quite nervous to be driving through this with signs for "Falling Rocks" everywhere!

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If you look at the light brown pile right between the mountains, that’s where the landslide landed.

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We emerged from Quake Lake to find a gorgeous valley.

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And a while later, arrived at the town of Ennis. There wasn’t too much to see. All of these towns shut down for the winter and most of the stores and restaurants are closed.

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After leaving Ennis we climbed up a huge mountain and found this view:

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And on the other side lies Virginia City, one of several gold rush towns dating back to 1863 and actually a former capital of Montana!

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The former building of the state’s first newspaper!

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I was happy to see the settlers were also fans of Quaker Oats 😉

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I found myself a cowboy!!

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Lucky for us hungry travelers, we found the one and only restaurant open – a small cafe serving lunch.

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We were the only diners –

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Only missing a cowboy hat and a bonnet!

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Y’all know Matt – he loves his beer – so he ordered a delicious root beer.

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When in the West…..

Eat a Buffalo burger and fries…

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Matt and I split a buffalo burger with pepperjack cheese, lettuce and tomato. It came with fries, of which I ate about half, and we ordered side salads with veggies, cheddar cheese, olives and honey mustard dressing.

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To be honest, I think the idea of a buffalo burger was more appealing than the burger itself. But it was still a fun lunch.

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These were the best fries I’ve had in ages. Totally crispy and they tasted like they were freshly made

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I was sold by the sign that said "homemade pies" when we walked in so we asked what they were. Our waitress said they had cherry and apple, and they were indeed homemade by the owner. I suggested apple and Matt suggested cherry and we decided on the cherry.

But we were surprised that our waitress bought us both since we couldn’t decide (and only charged us for one – a mere $4)

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They were both fabulous and we licked the plate clean!

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We have arrived in Dillon where the Great Harvest headquarters are and have plans to explore a little by foot – if the weather holds up – and then dine at one of the steakhousey restaurants.

So long, part-nahs

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stacey October 18, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Haha :) What a crazy place…it’s so barren!! I would be nervous driving under “Falling Rocks” signs too!!!

Hmm, your cowboy looks familiar 😉 Keep having fun, I am loving reading about your trip and of course your pics are awesome!


2 Julie @savvyeats October 18, 2009 at 5:19 pm

You and your husband are absolutely adorable, fyi :)


3 Fancy October 18, 2009 at 5:23 pm

I agree with Julie, you and Matt are just so cute :)


4 Laura October 18, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Matt really does look slightly cowboy-ish, heh. I loved the photos of you flirting with “other” gentleman there. Made me smile on a grey spring day! I’m absolutely loving these photo “tours”; it’s all *so* different from what I’m used to in the southern hemisphere and it totally looks like something out of a movie. It’s fun being a tourist through someone else!

And I’d just like to say again what I always think, is that I love that you’re so fit and healthy, look so beautiful and glowing, and can just go to a cafe and order a burger, fries, and pie, and enjoy them without guilt or second-guessing yourself, the way it should be. The way you approach food is the way I’m striving to approach it myself. It seems like the best way to actually enjoy life! (Although, to be honest, I’m way lazier than you on the exercise front, so should probably work on emulating that as well!)


5 Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 18, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Those fries do look very good! Nice and crispy!


6 Becky October 18, 2009 at 5:57 pm

You guys are so cute and looks like you had a lot of fun :)


7 Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope October 18, 2009 at 5:58 pm

Once again, this scenery is just gorgeous! And the town is adorable. How neat that it looks just like the western frontier back in the day.

All your man needs now is some Cowboy boots and spurs! 😉


8 Food Makes Fun Fuel October 18, 2009 at 6:00 pm

everything looks straight out of a western! Too cool!
I love that you took a picture of the old quaker oats,


9 Julie October 18, 2009 at 6:00 pm

I’m loving this photo tour, they pictures are amazing.

And my gosh, I can’t get over how awesome Montana is!! I love the wild west feel and old abandon towns. It seems so cool, almost fake…like right from a movie set. I have put visiting Montana on my bucket list. I think it has surpassed driving cross country.


10 Marisa (Trim The Fat) October 18, 2009 at 6:11 pm

So cool that you get to see that part of the country!

Love your pics! Now, I want pie….


11 ellen eats beets October 18, 2009 at 6:26 pm

too cute you two! Looks like you’re having an amazing time!!


12 Jenn (www. ) October 18, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Love the little lunch cafe! I love small, empty places like that. The burger, salad, fries AND pie look so good! Like something you’d eat at a Mayberry diner. :)



13 To Kiss the Cook October 18, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Nice hat, love. Hope that one”s going home with you:) Speaking of things going home with you, GREAT shot of Matt waiting for the root beer.


14 Biz October 18, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Love the pics. I, too am afraid of mountain driving – my husband seems to like to go really fast and I just have to look down and read a magazine – too scary!


15 Cynthia (It All Changes) October 18, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Wow I thought towns like that only existed in Movies. How awesome to experience history like that.


16 lynn (The Actors Diet) October 18, 2009 at 7:11 pm

fun! that town does look like it’s straight out of a western – in los angeles there is actually an old movie set you can visit that looks like that.


17 Amy October 18, 2009 at 7:15 pm


You are such a constant source of inspiration and motivation for me to maintain a healthy lifestyle and outlook (even after I’ve had week-long slip-ups)…

Thank you for your blog :)


18 sue October 18, 2009 at 7:24 pm

that’s so sweet of them to give you two slices of homemade pie! yum!


19 Meredith (Pursuing Balance) October 18, 2009 at 7:44 pm

Glad you’re having a good trip! That is kind of sad (and creepy!) how you can see the tops of the trees sticking out of the lake. Just shows you that life really can change in an instant!


20 Deva (Voracious Vorilee) October 18, 2009 at 7:49 pm

That is an eerie photo of the treetops. I am glad that your trip is going well. Loved the pic of you flirting with the “other gentleman!”


21 Katie October 18, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Buffalo is crazy healthy : ) Maybe just thinking that makes me crave it all the more… yum!


22 Mara @ What's for Dinner? October 18, 2009 at 8:13 pm

Nothing like a burger, fries, and pie to signal that you’re not only on vacation, but on vacation in the country 😉


23 Alison October 18, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Great pictures Kath!


24 Maddy October 18, 2009 at 8:21 pm

I agree with others- I’m loving these pics of you and your husband! So adorable =)

And that picture where you have your arms spread out looks like one of those motivation posters. Like you should have the word “DREAM” written underneath it. hahaha


25 AnnQ October 18, 2009 at 8:36 pm

What a fantastic trip! The scenery is absolutely gorgeous, and you two make SUCH a beautiful couple! :-)


26 Paige@ RunningAroundNormal October 18, 2009 at 9:05 pm

You guys are so silly! haha Looks like a blast though. The views continue to be awesome. what a cute lunch :)


27 Jenna October 18, 2009 at 9:09 pm

that town looks just like a city from the wild wild west! glad you had a fun lunch at the diner :)



28 Kath October 18, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Thank you everyone!!


29 alyssa October 18, 2009 at 9:27 pm

wow, what an incredible place! your new camera makes all the difference in the world!


30 ga October 18, 2009 at 9:34 pm

hi kath we love your blog! keep up the good work!


31 Jess! October 18, 2009 at 11:14 pm

I don’t even know my own blog!! It’s :)


32 Diana October 19, 2009 at 7:56 am

That place looks awesome! :)


33 Sarah October 19, 2009 at 10:05 am

Yay, I love it when you find good french fries, it totally makes it worth eating them :)

I love all the landscape pictures too, so peaceful! Thanks for sharing.


34 Mel @ She Runs Brooklyn October 19, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Wow, this post gave me the chills. The scenery is very gorgeous!! You guys are adorable.


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