After Glacier National Park we head to Bozeman, MT. One our favorite places to be together.
Day 1. Thursday, August 10, 2017
We hit the road with a rough start. We planned to stop at a state park in Great Falls to cook up some meat that we didn’t get the chance to cook while camping in Glacier. It was super hot, and Adam wasn’t really feeling like doing it, and I was going to selfishly leave him to it and go for a run around the park. We arrived at the park and paid a fee to use it. Then we had trouble finding a picnic table that wasn’t in the sun, and cooking in the heat with no shade would suck. We finally found one, but when Adam walked up to it there was a sign indicating that it was some sort of group-use site only – and included a $100 reservation fee! Seriously!? WTH? We both angrily jumped in the car and quietly drove on towards Bozeman.
But then we found cappuccinos in Helena and all was right with the world. Oh, coffee. Onward.
We ended up on I-15 and quickly felt bored, so Adam started reading descriptions of all of the National Parks. That was fun, and we mentally added them all to our list of places to go on our someday “super-fun-tour,” as we call it. We’re totally gonna do it. Just don’t know when.
Anyway, we arrived in Bozeman and checked into the C’mon Inn, which we have some special memories from during “Gus,” our 2010 Montana vacation. We showered a few days’ gunk off of us and head downtown. Google maps said Main street was closed, but we didn’t believe it. We were just going to eat at The Garage (a restaurant we like) and probably head back to the hotel for some cribbage. But when we got there, Main Street was closed. For Music on Main! There was a band playing on a small flatbed truck, there were food trucks lining the street and people mingling everywhere! What a really great surprise! Bozeman loves us. So we had our dinner, then head into the crowd to check it out.
This is where we started making the slow decision to jump off the keto wagon and onto the fun, fast-moving sugar train. Put a little “life into living” as they say in the NSNG world. (NSNG stands for No Sugar No Grains – it’s a thing if you wanna Google it. It’s similar to keto, but not quite as strict.) We started by taking it easy. Well, I lie. We got wrapped up in the moment and tried ice cream from two different ice cream truck vendors – they were locally-made! How could we not!? It was glorious, too. Being in ketosis, I no longer crave ice cream and easily pass it up, but that certainly doesn’t mean I don’t still love it! I would live on the stuff if it wasn’t so bad for me (in large quantities, anyway).
We also got a coffee at the Zocalo coffee house. It was delicious and was an early start to our Bozeman coffee tour that Adam planned for the next day.
Then we stopped at Sweet Peaks. Yup, you guessed it. More ice cream! I tried a lavender flavor at the counter and it was amazing, but I ended up with a scoop of honey cinnamon and Adam got a sundae. We devoured our delicious ice cream while playing cribbage. Because, you know, we had to get that in!
It was late, so we head back to the hotel and crashed out, excited for our next full day in Bozeman.
Day 2. Friday, August 11, 2017
We got up and hit the town. Adam made a list of four coffee shops he wanted to try. With trying Zocalo the night before, these would be stops 2-5.
Stop one was called Ghost Town. Right off the bat, as we pulled up to a cool building with open garage doors, the guy roasting the coffee stepped out and greeted us. He was from Plymouth, WI! We chatted for quite a while, and then we tried the coffee. It was amazing! Next up was the Bumble Bean, a drive-thru hut-style coffee shop. We grabbed some decaf Americanos and wound our way around town to our 4th stop at Cold Smoke. We sat at Cold Smoke for a while and played some cribbage. Afterward we head out for our 5th stop which was Treeline. They had the prettiest foam designs, and we tried an affogato – which was espresso poured over ice cream – and they used the locally-made stuff that we loved! So good. That was the end of the tour… Until later that evening. And so far? Ghost Town had us won over.
We went back to the hotel and washed up and head back towards downtown to enjoy some wine tasting at Corx, a small wine bar. Now, I have to say that we hadn’t had anything to drink since the beginning of April (well, Adam had a couple shots of Crown Royal in there somewhere, but that’s been all). We never planned on quitting drinking or anything – not even cutting back. It happened kind of naturally once we got into ketosis. We just didn’t find ourselves in a situation that felt worth it. We didn’t want to kick ourselves out of ketosis and feel like crap because of it, and then feel like crap from the alcohol on top of that. So we just weren’t wanting to drink. So you can probably guess what happened next. We got drunk way too easily.
At the wine bar, we ordered flights so we could try all the reds. Two flights totalled two 8-oz. glasses, so we figured that wasn’t bad. One 8-oz. glass each. We also ordered a meat and cheese plate to go with it. I think we were feeling a good buzz half-way through. We then ordered a dessert plate with goat cheese-stuffed strawberries that came with a balsamic chocolate dip. It was so delicious! We tried a sweet white wine with that. And then, what the heck! Let me try that sangria, too!
After wine tasting, toting two unopened bottles of wine for later, we buzzily stepped out of the dimly-lit wine bar into the glaring-sunlight on Main Street. Guess what? There was an art walk going on!
We stopped at a clothing shop where I drunkedly decided it was a great time to shop for clothes I didn’t need. So while Adam sat on a bench in this fun little women’s-specific outdoor clothing store, I picked things off racks and head into a changing room. Turns out there was a local artist there selling jewelry and was part of the art walk. I heard them offer Adam a glass of wine, and soon after a girl knocked on my changing room door offering me one. “Sure, why not,” I responded cheerfully.
Before I knew it she was handing me a plastic cup of wine through the cracked door as I stood there in my underwear. Nice! And then she was flinging clothes over the door in different sizes and colors… It was fun, but I ended up buying an expensive, short pair of coral-colored corduroy shorts. I found it kind of funny. Not sure I’d have made that purchase sober. But I do love those shorts. I also got a super-comfy skirt – at least that one came from the sale rack.
We left and hit up our 6th coffee shop. Rockford coffee. We walked up and down Main Street towards the taco/ice cream bus that we remembered from our last Montana vacation. Then we found another coffee shop – our 7th, and finally last stop of the Bozeman coffee shop tour. It was Wild Joe’s. I sat on a couch while Adam got our coffees and I quickly started feeling really horrible. Adam wasn’t feeling great, either. We needed… or wanted food in a bad way.
We finally made our way to the taco truck but it was so busy that we gave up waiting and called for Uber to bring us back to the hotel. I’m sure my body was freaking the hell out after the overabundance of sugar it wasn’t used to, and starting to come down off the wine just a little.
But then we made it worse because, well, we were drunk. Little did we know, this was turning out to be quite the learning experience! Back at the hotel we *cringe* ordered pizza – like drunk people do when they’re hungry – and ate it – even though we really didn’t like it. We also tried to drink more wine, but Adam ended up dumping most of it down the drain. And the second bottle ended up left behind the next morning as a tip for housekeeping.
Day 3. Saturday, August 12, 2017
We slept in later than we’d planned (for obvious reasons), but once we were up we got going. First stop? Coffee.
We talked about the wine and decided both of us really didn’t like it as much as we remembered. I honestly felt the same about beer. And I’ve never really liked booze unless you dump sugar in it and turn it into a margarita or chocolatey martini or something. So… Why even drink alcohol if I don’t really like it? And why overeat pizza if I’m not really enjoying it? Why feel like crud when we can feel so great!? Well, the answer is because it’s fun to try stuff. So… we didn’t have a single regret. We might’ve done things a little differently had we known just how bad we were going to feel, but still – it was worth the fun and we learned a few things, so bonus. Onward once again. For more sugar. Sugar train. Fast sugar train. Once you get on, you don’t want to get off.
We drove an hour and a half to Twin Bridges for a county fair that we were really excited about. We were hoping for rides, a midway, farm animals, a corn dog, maybe a funnel cake… And it was basically just farm animals, a pig auction, judged plants, garden veggies, crafts, and a rodeo. A rodeo! Oh, and corn dogs. Foot-long corn dogs! So… Okay. Here’s what we did.
While waiting for the rodeo to start, we drank frrsh-squeezed lemonade and walked around to the different buildings looking at all the ribbon-winning items you’d see at any fair. Flowers, giant zucchinis, quilts, rabbits, cows, adorable baby piggies – all pretty regular stuff. Then we tried the “petting zoo” because they had kitties! But we arrived just after a bunch of rowdy kids, so those cats were so worn out they barely acknowledged my existence and the pats I tried to lovingly give them. Then we stumbled into the pig auction and watched that for a while.
In between all of this, we hit up the food trucks and basically just got all the things. A giant corn dog, some noodles, a polish dog, a funnel cake, more lemonade… And then we sat at a picnic table and played cribbage while sipping on hot (real) coffees and eating some sugar-coated mini donuts. And then we got a giant bag of kettle corn for the rodeo. We were feeling so full, but powered through that fresh kettle corn like a couple of champs!
The rodeo was great fun. And it was my first rodeo! There was a clown and cowboys and cowgirls and horses and bulls and barrel-racing and bucking and calves and lassos and steers and music… It was great! I got to see people get thrown from crazy bucking horses and bulls, and one guy even got kicked pretty hard. Scary stuff. And the rodeo clown made bad jokes in between everything. He strangely made a few digs on the Green Bay Packers, which we kind of just fake-giggled along with… He obviously was not a fan.
But then? Wild cow milking. Yeah, I didn’t know what the heck that was, either. Well, I had an idea, but… what? How does this work? Seeing the actual thing was so funny. These teams of two ride out after a group of crazy, excited, running cows and try to lasso one. Once they get one, one of the teammates holds it while the other milks it, then they run the milk to a judge or something. It’s complete, hilariously entertaining chaos.
Actually, here’s a video of some of it!
After the rodeo we head back to Bozeman with full bellies. On the way we came up with a name for our little vacation mascot, which was a small bear hanging off of our rear-view mirror. We called him “Wrong-way Beary McBearBottom Longfellow III.” We were feeling silly. What a fun day!
Day 4 & 5. Sunday & Monday, August 13 & 14, 2017
Homebound. We slept in again and got going around noon, headed towards Wisconsin. We drove all day, and then just kept going. We drove all night, switching off whenever, stopping for coffees and pee breaks, we played trivia, and stopped for 45 minutes to sleep. More coffee (the real stuff), more trivia, and more driving. We started getting close to home and the only thing that was keeping us going was really bad internet jokes. But we were so tired at this point, we were borderline delirious and sooo losing it. We were laughing until our guts hurt and tears ran down our cheeks. At the worst jokes. But we didn’t care. It was a great way to wrap up the driving part of our trip.
We got home at about 1pm and felt pretty rough. We crashed out hard, sleeping for about four hours. After our glorious nap, we got up, had dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings and watched a movie in our hotel room while binging on pints of ice cream. At this point, why not? We didn’t feel great afterwards, but we were smiling.
What a vacation. I mean… Yeah. It was really, really great. We were completely worn out, we felt like garbage from all the crap we ate the last week, and we were ready to get back on the smooth-riding keto wagon and get back in the truck. Success.
Time to start brainstorming and planning the next one! It’s good to be alive!
Tonight I love cappuccino foam. It puts me in a short but intense state of relaxation.