Winter

For the past 20 years, I’ve been suffering through Portland “winters”. Basically 6-9 months of solid gray skies and rain. When we did get a day or two of snow in the metro area, the whole city would shut down. Now that I’m back in Montana, I love every single damn snowflake.

I woke up this morning in Missoula, and there was 4-5″ of fresh snow on the ground.

As of right now, (11am,) the snow has turned to rain, and the snow is already melting. I shoveled the sidewalk, (because I kinda love to do it right now,) but quickly remembered how much shoveling heavy, wet snow sucks. I figure it’ll take at least one more winter before I start complaining about the snow. Until then, I’m going to enjoy the shit out of it.

The best part, at least in Central Montana, is that for most of the winter the skies are blue and cloudless. I’ll take 0 degrees and sunny over 50 degrees and cloudy any day.

I am, however, hoping it melts before I have to drive home tomorrow afternoon. So I guess there’s still a little Portland left in me.

Eastern Montana/Miles City

I was born in Eastern Montana–maybe that’s why I’ve always preferred flat lands to mountains. It’s not that I don’t like mountains, I just prefer to be able to see forever in any direction. Great Falls is pretty flat, but Eastern Montana is even better. So when I had a reason to drive out that way, I knew it was going to be a slow road trip with a lot of stops for photos.

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There are a lot of small towns between Great Falls and Miles City. Moccasin is one I’d like to explore more.

There was some road construction, (of course,) but it was an awesome drive.

Sidenote: There are only two seasons in Montana: winter, and road construction.

Eddie’s Corner is where everyone stops on road trips. It’s at a crossroads. South to Big Timber and Billings, east to Lewistown, Miles City, and Glendive, west to Great Falls.

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Eddie’s Corner

I passed through Cohagen on the way, too.

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Cohagen Bar

According to my dad, there was once a Cohagen National Forest that consisted of one tree. I can’t find any info on it, and he’s prone to making up stories, but I really want to believe it.

We even passed by a Montana brothel…

Stay away from the blue-eyed one–she’s mine.

(You might have to be from Montana to get that joke.)

One of the best things about both Central and Eastern Montana is the summer thunderstorms.

Storm brewing over Miles City

I hadn’t been to Miles City since high school. I didn’t remember much of the town, except for a few specific spots, but driving through, places started feeling familiar. My brother and I ran in to Tilt Wurks Brewhouse to fill a couple growlers–I was surprised to see such a cool brewpub in such a sleepy little town. Also, they had cool hats, so I bought one.

Tilt Wurks Brewhouse and Casino

One place I definitely remember from my childhood is Spotted Eagle. My dad used to take me fishing there. Had to check it out.

I have memories of the house we lived in until I was four. I seem to remember a white picket fence and a yellow house. I don’t fully trust my 4 year old memories, so I had to drive by to check it out. It wasn’t really yellow, and the white picket fence was gone. Hell, it was nothing like the memories I have. But it was cool to see the place again.

The very first house I lived in as a kid

One of my most vivid memories of that house is the time I decided to take my dog on an adventure. We strolled out of the white picket gate and started walking down the street towards the railroad tracks. The rest of that memory is fuzzy, but I believe one of the neighbors saw us and ratted us out to my parents.

These days, I still take my dog places, but the neighbors generally don’t call my parents to tell them.

Diego the happy dog

I’ll definitely be doing more exploring in Eastern Montana. I need to get back over to Fort Peck, and really want to check out St. Marie and the old air force base.