We then moved to my cousins in Laurel , Montana. Whenever we visit Mike and Jeannie we are usually doing something every day and this trip was no different. We also eat like royalty since Jeannie is a fantastic cook and she spoils us with great meals, most made with produce right out of her garden. It is like eating in a gourmet restaurant every night.
Mike and I played golf with our friend Mike Lee and met his girlfriend Lynnette for dinner. We also met them at a Billings Mustangs baseball game.
Cousin Mike has a 1954 Ford that has been in his family since it was new and Josie and I tried out the back seat.
We were able to visit their cabin on the Stillwater River where they have a great array of bird feeders that Jeannie is constantly filling. Just down the road from the cabin we had a very nice dinner at Montana Jacks which is owned by Gary Bergdoff's daughter. You may remember him as Radar on MASH. There we met up with a very nice black bear.
On another day we drove up to the Pryor Mountains Wild Horse Range. When you travel the back roads in Montana you never know what you will see in the road. On the way up the very rough road to the range we stopped at the Ice Caves. Because of a temperature inversion at the mouth of the cave, ice is present year round. As you can see Josie took the term Ice Cave very seriously and was dressed for it. Once at the top of the mountain we found over 50 wild horses and visited an old log cabin now used as a refuge in case of bad weather. I was able to check off a life bird, a Dusky Grouse while looking for the horses. We also had a Greater Sage Grouse and two of her young ran across the road.
Mike and I have been on many fishing and hiking trips over the years and this year we drove to Red Lodge and then over the Beartooth Pass and fished Beartooth Lake in Mikes raft. The Beartooth Mountains get their name from the rocky spire that you see behind me in the picture that the Natives said looked like a bears tooth. We then took the Chief Joseph Highway over Dead Indian Pass back to Laurel. Along the way we fished the Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone. If you are ever in this part of Montana and Wyoming you should make this scenic drive, one of the best in the world. It is a great road to enter or exit Yellowstone National Park from the Northwest. We caught a few fish but none big enough to keep. That did not really matter, just getting out in this beautiful country is a treat.
We attended the Montana State Fair and walked through most of the exhibits. Of course when you are attend the fair you have to eat something fried and on a stick. We chose meatballs on a stick. We also played bingo and Jeannie won the first game.
Mike and Jeannie are also birders so on our last morning in Laurel we drove out into the high prairie and found many great birds, among them a Short-eared Owl and a brood of Gray Partridge.
We will truly miss Mike and Jeannie and the great fun we had visiting them. Tomorrow we drive to North Dakota.