Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spring Cleaning, Yellowstone Style

This week I had the good fortune to take a group of Yellowstone's corporate partners into the interior to get an up close view of YNP's version of spring cleaning....the roads, that is. Despite the mild winter, Yellowstone was doing its best interpretation of winter with single-digit temps, frost, and lots of snow. For the unfamiliar, here is how crews clear the roads each spring (keep in mind that the "roads" have been groomed/packed for over snow use by snowmobiles/snowcoaches for the last three months): Attach two bulldozers in tandem fashion with high-test rope, attach now linked dozers to V-plow equipped front-end loader, apply about 3,200 pound-feet of torque, and watch the snow fly. Rotary plows and additional V-plows widen and buff the road surface to a shine.

Along the way, our group is investigated by a seriously curious raven who makes up the only other creature (human or otherwise) we come in near-contact with all day. A morning drive through Montana's Paradise Valley was also sparkling in the local -4 degree air.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Backroad Drive to Butte, Montana - and Beyond

Time travel is possible. To drive to Butte, and to pass through the surrounding small towns, is to travel into another time (and perhaps dimension). Whatever money was here has clearly left. What Butte's heyday left behind to our benefit is a treasure trove of pre-war architecture, cool neon, and a really big hole in the ground. The whole place (at least for this outsider) is like some sort of art-movie set. As a photo illustrates below, Butte (and the Marlboro Man) is just a shadow of its former self and I love it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The View From The Bar N Ranch

This view, comes with dinner.


Sent from my iPhone

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Good day, Sunshine!


The sun makes a much anticipated return to Bozeman.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Boise, Idaho: Hipsters, French Fries, and Serious Cocktails

Hipsters are masters of irony. Let's take one of the reddest states in the union, and transform a college and government town into a land-locked micro Seattle or Bay Area facsimile. Boise and its food have been the center of attention in several food and travel mags lately. With this in mind, the author and his faithful traveling companion and co-gastro-adventurer left Bozeman for one of the West's other "B-towns."

Checking in to the Modern Hotel was like entering a crisp edition of Dwell magazine. The Modern is a refurbished mid-century motor court hotel that now houses not just clean Ikea-like rooms, but also likely one of the best old-school-is-new-school cocktail bars in the American west.

Ordering a beverage at the Modern's lounge is a bit of a process: do you want wine, beer, or something hand-made? Do you want a light pick-me-up fizz, or a stiff Manhattan? French 75 - or is it 66? Or something else entirely?

Pictured here is a Ramos Gin Fizz with a delightfully fluffy egg foam. Perfect. Also pictured is a simple glass of Rose of Cremant.

Need a foil for the fizz? Head over to the Boise Fry Company, where burgers are served "on the side." This small shop focuses on the fries. Pictured here are the purple potato fries and the very deluxe, duck-fat fried and truffle-salted "bourgeois fries." Fry heaven.

Also ironic is the Vietnamese population of Boise which influences other meal decisions, such as the Bahn Mi from the Baguette Deli. Although we failed to find time for a meal at one of the city's Basque restaurants, I did enjoy the Andalusian eggs from Goldy's.

Worth mentioning is Boise's Record Exchange and the city's considerable music scene, offering diners (and hipsters) something to do in between meals.

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