top of page

More Bozeman

Got to admit, living my best life here. The Beast's view while resting

We are staying in a converted barn with chickens (no, not inside) who so far have failed to wake us but keep trying, and two donkeys nearby who like to bray. The Bozeman prairie is flat, at 5,000 feet with mountain ranges on either side with our temporary home in fields of light green and a sandy yellow wheat, tucked in close to the foothills of the Gallatin range, which are covered with either grass and fir trees. The Beast is parked in a "lot" looking out across to the Bridier range, 10 -15 miles north, craggier and higher, some around 10,000 feet. It's cool at night and 80ish during the day, with clear air and sparkly sun, sunsets have grey and purple clouds that make the light something crazy I've never seen before.

To remediate my lack of a hiking boot, I took a ride over to the local REI, which is more like a supermarket, with a mass of people coming and going. I actually saw a guy ride his bike out the front doors and no one batted an eye. There was a woman warmly greeting people, who told me that "One of our awesome boot people will help you out" Ray, who is a little older than me, was stocking shelves with a two day growth and the perma tan that seems prevalent from outdoor life, acknowledged me waiting, but continued to work on boot displays for perhaps five minutes. When he did come over, I asked him a few questions about the boots I had chosen, such as "What is the difference between these?" which stumped him. He did, however, offer that he was from Tenafly, NJ and had retired from a career as a construction engineer, and that there were people in Bozeman who had gone no further than Yellowstone, which baffled him. "I mean, how are they going to know how to take a bus?" "Are there buses in Bozeman?" "No, not really."

Nat, near the top of Drinking Horse Mountain

View looking towards Billings from the top of Drinking Horse Mountain

The one selfie I'm allowed per calendar year

There is a healthy respect for nature here, which we found out when we decided to stretch our legs by walking through fields and up a dirt road to the entrance of Levenrich Canyon, where we vaguely thought we'd take a wander, but were greeted with serious mountain bikers checking their times and more importantly, signs about only hiking with bear spray. On the way down, after seeing a 1 foot long garter snake, which caused both of us to have an internal dialog about whether to flee or just lay down and die, choosing the former we stomped down the hill, creating vibrations (snakes can't hear) to warn any other man-eating serpents that we were big and not to be messed with. The albino snakes we feared were in front of us turned out to be twisted white pieces of rope.

Max, a brown bear (see profile) saved in the Alaskan wilderness

To better understand bears, we went to a habitat where injured bears are housed, learning that black bears aren't always black and brown bears aren't always brown. The way to tell one from the other is to look at their shoulders. Brown bears have a bump and black don't, and the line from a forehead of a black bear to the tip of its nose is straight, while for a brown bear, it's curvy. And if you encounter one, "if it's brown, lie down, if it's black fight back". The subtext was that you're probably screwed either way. There was a man working there who had emigrated from Michigan, encouraging me to move Bozeman, oddly showing me a photograph of someone standing next to a snow bank that was taller than her.

Yes, we got sucked into the Boot Barn, no Nat didn't find the right pair, and yes, I finally got that hat I've been dreaming of, and yes, a baby in Boston will one day wear baby cowboy boots.

I'm not sure I've ever seen so much well sculpted muscle in one place, there are some serious hard bodies on these outdoor people, most of them blonde, wearing plaid and genuinely friendly, except for the goth woman who served us dinner late one night, but she was probably tired and didn't really fit in. Beards, craft beer, trucks with caps, bikes hanging off cars and Chacos, so many Chacos.


bottom of page