Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Great Montana Trip of 2009 - Sunday Part II

After driving around for a while, we went back through White Sulphur Springs, where we decided to eat some lunch. We stopped at a spectacular little deli. The Corner Stone Deli, is the kind of sandwich shoppe that every town in the US should have. Nicely decorated in a modern looking country theme, with older waitresses that call you honey, rather than having a list of sandwiches to choose from, The Corner Stone has you take a checklist and choose every aspect of your sandwich, from bread to cheese to meats and toppings. And the have a huge selection. Roast Beef, Pitas, Corned Beef, a dozen sauces. GREAT STUFF. Of course, we didn't order the sandwiches, though we should have tried one. We ordered the fried chicken and potatoes with a side of their homemade potato chips, all of which were some of the best food we had on our trip. Highly recommended. I also liked the local brands scored into the rough hewn log floors, really cool touch.

After lunch, we drove around town for a while, looking at the old houses. There's also a great attraction there, I think they call it the Castle, a rich past resident's home that they give tours through. We went last time we were there, so we skipped it this trip, but if you have time, you should swing in there.

Then it was time for the cabins. We arrived shortly after Steve and his family and Rich and Sue. The cabins are a lot of fun. They're fairly rustic and run down, but it's pretty clear that it's intentional. Most have old fridges and antique wood stoves, and you bring your water in with a bucket. There's 8 or 9 cabins, with the owner's house, a fairly modern log cabin build home on the hill above. In days past, I guess the only real amenities were electricity and some outhouses but they've built a nice shower house/restroom in the corner in the past few years, which is great. You can feel like you're roughing it, yet still take a hot shower the next morning.

We were planning to sleep in Strontium, while the rest of the family shared three cabins. After a few hours getting things unloaded and generally goofing around, we all settled in for the evening and relaxed, playing in the stream that runs through the area, eating sunflower seeds and reading a blissfully CusslerCameo-free book, playing Frisbee. The weather was perfect. After a day in the sun and dry desert air of Montana, the little valley where the cabins were felt like heaven. They had a sweet smelling cool breeze and just the right amount of sun.

Then, disaster on a Three-Stooges scale! Steve and Co. decided to play volleyball with their newly bought official sized volleyball net. I don't know how many of you have ever tried putting a volleyball net together, especially for the first time, but it appears to be quite an ordeal! Now, I can only say appears to be, because I spent the entire time in my chair laughing at them, but it seemed to take a lot of effort just to get everything out of the box. And of course, they make the poles modular, without any identifying marks on them so that you have to fit them together via trial and error... granted, maybe looking at the instruction manual closely would have helped, but these were MEN we're talking about!

Just as things were looking up - they had one full pole assembled and had connected the same section together a half dozen times - Something seemed amiss. There was much head scratching an net waving. Poles were taken apart moved around, put back together. Alack and Alas! The accursed manufacturers had sent us two of the wrong pole, providing a pole sans holes where holes ought to have been!


Luckily, we all took it in stride and had a good laugh over it.

We cooked some excellent brats and wienies over the grill (As well as some satanically hot jalapeno ones) Soon, the sun lowered and the mosquitoes came out, but only briefly before the sun disappeared and it got cool, forcing the little blood-suckers back into hiding.

We spent the rest of the evening sitting around the campfire, roasting marshmallows, telling stories and amiably letting the day finish.

It was an all too brief time there, we had to leave the next morning, but even that short amount was quite relaxing.

The next morning we said our farewells to some very groggy family and headed home, stopping at the strange and wonderful cemetery in White Sulphur(More on that later), in Boseman to eat Cajun with a friend, and in Idaho Falls for dinner.

In Idaho Falls, we got a second flat tire. This trip was not a good one for poor Strontium's feet!

Overall, it was a very enjoyable trip. We hung out a group of people that I'd only been able to spend a short time with previously, I didn't permanently damage my eyeball with bug spray, we visited 5 graveyards and a ghost town, watched grown men frolic in streams and no one died!


Steve at Random said...

I find that I have quite an addiction to your writing. I believe I could read a grocery list by Kris and still be absorbed. How disappointed I was that you didn't order a sandwich after carefully explaining how it was done. I even have a picture of an older than average server in mind with a pencil behind her ear waiting for you to pick your meat, bread, special sauces, etc. By the way, the young gal at Target in Bismarck was delighted to have Derek and I return our regulation volleyball net and ball. I was primed in case she wanted to know what was the matter, but she demurely gave us our refund and asked no questions. Bummer!

Kristopher and Crew said...

Excellent! A Happy ending!

We really thought about the sandwich but the chicken was so amazing that we couldn't resist!

randymeiss said...

Thanks to your blog we've added some more places to our list of future vacation spots. Sulpher Springs sounds amazing.

I can just see Steve attempting to set up that volleyball net. I'm sure it was hilarious.

I look forward to reading about your return trip.

randymeiss said...

Sorry, I also wanted to echo I also enjoy your blogs immensely. Your writing style entertains as well as informs and that is an amazing talent. Thanks for sharing it with others.

Kristopher and Crew said...

thanks, guys. that's really gratifying and nice of you to say!