Rugged and Hip Montana….Take #2

LOCATION:  Three Forks, Montana
CAMPGROUND:  Camp Three Forks
WEATHER:  Very nice.  High 85.   (66 in the mountains)

We did a repeat of yesterday, but even better, today.  Hike; view waterfalls; lunch and beer at microcbrewery.  I could get used to this routine!

We drove about an hour south through another part of the Gallatin National Forest.  We followed the roaring river all the way.  Rafters were having a great time managing the rapids, and fly-fishermen stood knee-deep in the river casting for river trout.

Our destination was Ousel Falls Trail.  It is near Big Sky, home of a huge ski resort and village.  It is very ritsy with beautiful condos, cute shops and restaurants, and log mansions (not log cabins!) 

The sign on the trail said that the trail is “easy enough for a 5-year-old” – but what about an old 75-year-old?  Actually, he did quite well on this 2-mile round-trip hike.

The trail took us up and down, through a beautiful forest. 

The trail followed one of the spurs of the river…

The falls were pretty spectacular.  We could hear them before we could see them…

One of the reasons we selected this particular falls is that it is named after a bird called the Ousel, one that likes to hide under the falls and dives for bugs in the water.  This is what it looks like, although we did not see one….

We finished the hike, again thirsty and hungry, and headed to Bozeman to another one of its 10 or so brewpubs/microbreweries for lunch.  We shared their special – chicken wings and a pint of craft beer for $12.  Good deal and great beer!

We realized that we are in the Brewery District of Bozeman.  We slipped across the street to another microbrewery.  This one was really taking a lot of precautions.  They had built plexiglass partitions between each booth.   It took me a while to get their sign….Drink ’til  MT (MT for Montana and in this case for “em-pty”).

Next up was the historic district of the city.  Cute, cute, cute – with hanging baskets everywhere.  We drove through a section of town where gentrification is obviously taking place.  Cute little houses  are being updated and condos being constructed. 

George tried some of their beers and chatted up the bartender.  Since we were the only customers, she gave us a lot of attention

George liked her so much that he bought some of their bison jerky (smoked with Montana huckleberry vodka) and a growler

Back to the RV park to recuperate.  Then to dinner at a saloon near our RV park.  Located in a town with a population of about 50, it is the only existing business, and things were popping.  Surprisingly, this tiny  restaurant out in rural Montana offers gourmet food.  We shared a tuna steak served charred on the outside and rare on the inside – just like we like it – along with onion rings, salad, warm home-made rolls, and broccolini.  Really good!  The  bison on the wall watched us eat……

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