Thursday, June 4, 2009

Road Trip #2, The Flathead Valley

"A tired dog is a good dog" Bob Warwood

My Memorial Day weekend was a road trip to gorgeous Columbia Falls, Montana. I was with the Butte Girl. Her uncle has been having some medical problems and was in the hospital so we went up for a visit. He is still on the road to recovery but things look good. We headed to CF Friday afternoon. As usual, here are some photos that tell the story of my travels.

As far as I'm concerned, all good road trips begin with someone else driving. In this case, I recommend a Butte Girl. They aren't afraid to drive fast, they keep it between the lines and they carry loaded .38's in their vehicles. Its a great combination.

Sloan is ready. We've knocked a turd out of her and she is ready to hit the road. She doesn't travel as well as she used to but then who does.

The Tobacco Root Mountains. I love the Tobacco Roots. At the rate the snow is melting I won't be able to get to Mine Lake until mid-July. I like that all the farmers have their irrigation lines out and running. They'll be cutting hay in 2 or 3 weeks. I like watching the swathers and balers operate.

Butte exits coming up!! We are going to take Montana Street to go to Muzz and Stan's for a quick bite to eat.

This is Our Lady of the Rockies. It is the second largest statue in Montana and the largest Madonna in the United States. I'm not going to go into an entire history of Butte for all of you non-Montanans but suffice it to say that the copper mine in Butte made Montana. Butte had a population of 120,000 people at the turn of the 20th century and was one of the largest cities west of the Mississippi. Although its on the west side of the Continental Divide I still love Butte. It has more sense of community than Bozeman, Billings, Great Falls and Missoula put together times ten. Take time to click on the link and read the story about what the people of this largely Irish community did to make this happen. They are just everyday folks like the rest of us. Its a good story.
Two happy girls.
Butte Girl "you aren't going to put these pictures on your blog are you?"
Me, "Of course not."

Muzz and Stan's Freeway Bar and Grill.

Muzz and Stan's world famous Wop Chop. Now this is a porkchop sandwich. Just the right amount of mustard, onions and pickles and big enough for two people looking to split a sandwich. (I could have eaten the whole thing). You have to love Butte, America. You can still call a sandwich a "Wop Chop" and no one gets offended. Not even the Wops.

"Are we there yet?" She wants to stand up so badly and take in the entire trip but her old legs just can't hold her up as long as they used to.

We decided to get off the interstate at Garrison and take the backroads into Columbia Falls. It was a pretty drive.

The Blackfoot River was pretty swollen at the time. Its come down a little bit but the Clark's Fork, which it feeds, is still close to flood stage.
I'm not sure which mountain range this is and don't really care. You see, back in the 19th century the western boundary of Montana was supposed to be the Continental Divide but the mapmakers got drunk and drew a crooked line that remained our permanent western boundary. Its the reason Idaho is only 13 miles wide at the top. Now, I don't know about you, but I don't really feel that I have to claim the western part of the state where all the liberal faggot hippies live just because a couple of guys couldn't hold their booze 130 years ago. I ain't gonna. Except for Butte and Anaconda. These mountains are pretty though.

Sloan is a traitor. I feed her. I pay all her bills and she latches onto Butte Girl like they've been lifelong best friends.

The Duke (aka MRM) in a Tigeresque fist pump after draining a 30 footer to save par. It was Sunday so I was wearing red and black just like Eldrick. I wasn't cussing and pouting as much as he does.

The result of going for the par 5 7th hole in two shots. I can't remember the last time I had a chance to reach a par 5 in 2 shots so I had to go for it. The result is, in golfers lingo, being "treefucked". Hmmmmmmmm. I see an 8 in my future. I think that shirt makes me look fat.

The daunting par 3 16th hole at the Meadow Lake Golf Club. If you don't clear the water you bring in 6 you bring in 7.

Almost a perfect setup at the top. Just a beautiful looking golf swing.

Eyeing my chip for birdie. Made a four and was happy as hell.

Our accomodations for the weekend. Meh, they'll do. I mean honestly. Could anyone reading this want to stay here? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Look at this place. Look at the glass atrium in the background. Its awesome!

From the outside. Again. I think we'll manage just fine.

Sloan checking the area for grizzly bears.

This is Flathead Lake. It is the largest natural fresh water lake west of the Mississippi. Just ask my sister. She knows that. It only cost her $20. TWENTY BUCKS LP!!!!! Nothing tastes better than free booze. "Yellowstone is bigger than Flathead" BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. As if.

I must have said something funny. I just can't help it. I'm a funny SOB.

Sloan checking out the view of the Flathead Valley.

The view coming into Polson. How would you like to wake up to this every morning? Those are the Mission Mountains in the background.

The Mission Mountains.

This is a quick photo of Missoula. The crummiest town in all of Montana. I'm not sure but I think Missoula is Flathead Indian for "shithole where people dont shave or bathe". The streets wander aimlessly. They change names mid-street. There is no rhyme or reason to its planning. Its home to the only Hooters in America where shaving your armpits if you work there is optional. Hippies, hippies everywhere. Its also home of the University of Montana and their predominantly overrated football team. Remember, you can't spell scum without the UM. If God was going to give Montana an enema, He'd put the tube in Missoula. But I digress.

The Pintler Mountains by Anaconda.

A view of uptown Butte and the Berkeley Pit. The pit is 1 1/2 miles wide and 1800 feet deep. It was at one time the largest open mine pit in the world.

A picture of a gallus frame by the Butte Girl's house. These were used to lower miners underground back in the old days. There are something like 12 of them still standing in Butte.

The Bridger Mountains and almost home. Won't be long now.

Well that's about it. Road Trip #4 is scheduled for this weekend when I head to Ft. Benton/Big Sandy for the Steamboat Classic. It's supposed to be cold and rainy. It could be the drizzle I've been looking for.


Kymical Reactions said...

This is a great photo essay of your weekend trip! I also want to add that I love your dog. I think Sloan may have a sweeter face than my Lexus - and Lexie has a face that will melt your heart.

Milk River Madman said...


Thanks for that. She is a pretty girl. Her disposition matches her face. Just sweet and happy.

h said...

I'd have hit a low hook through that little gap tween the 3rd and 4th trees with a bit of back-spin.

Milk River Madman said...


That's a great call. Unfortunately that is a shot I don't have in my bag.

Nan-Nan said...

I can smell the mountain air from here, Mad man. Love the photos. Sloan is just precious! How old is she?

Milk River Madman said...


Old Sloan is 14 and going strong.