To start with, this morning we slept until about 8:15. I woke up a little before that and tried to check my phone to see what time it was. Unfortunately, there was a goof (thanks, Jen) and my phone was not properly on the charger so it was deader than a doornail when I woke up. I finally booted her in the butt and asked her what time it was. She told me it was 8:15 and we got up and started moving.
We visited with her grandparents a bit and then decided it was time to hit the road. They invited us to breakfast and, at first, I declined. I didn’t want them paying for our food. They said they had a gift card and not to worry about it. When her grandpa added, “And we don’t get to go out much – we rarely have any company,” I was sold – we went to breakfast with them.
They took us to a rather cool place to eat. It was called Sparky’s Garage. The entire decor is that of a mechanics garage and they proudly show off that it started as a garage and is now a restaurant. When we arrived, there were a few people – this was about 10:30 a.m. By the time we left, it was packed and there was a line waiting to be seated.
The food was delicious and we walked away stuffed to the gills. I had the “Cadillac Breakfast.” This was a combination of biscuits and gravy, 3 eggs and one each of sausage, ham and bacon. I didn’t finish the biscuits and gravy, I was so very full! And, all that food was only about $10!
We hugged and left the grandparents with the intention of heading out for the day. We were going to start driving on the back roads and see where they took us. The entire purpose of our trip, right?
Well, we got sidetracked in Dillon. We started walking around downtown.
We stopped at a quilt store, a high-cost fashion store (we didn’t realize that was what it was) and a small used-items shop. We found the cutest t-shirt for Brendan there. It has the Spiderman logo on it!
When we finally left town, it was close to 12:30 and our immediate plans were to stop and visit her aunt and uncle on the old family ranch. There were 3 plots, as I understand it, that are family owned and operated. Only two remain in the family, today. We visited with them and left them some of our goodies and then finally got on the road about 2 o’clock. The goal? Ennis, Montana.
This is what has surrounded us since we entered Montana. Mountains on all four sides! I’m in heaven, I am!
We stopped at random small towns on the way through but the best part was the towns of Nevada and Virginia. They have something they do during the summer and are completely boarded up in the winter. It looks like an old world western town atmosphere and I’m terribly excited about coming back in the summer to check it out. I’m hoping it’s not too terribly expensive when it does open, though.
We were created in Ennis by some pretty decorative walls and buildings. The problem is, I know they were done that way for the tourists, not for themselves.
We are now in Ennis, Montana. We traveled the back road (Hwy 41?) and stopped at various places along the way. It is pronounced Eh-nis, not EE-nis. In other words, it’s not a shortened form of the word “penis.” Sorry, that one is a private joke between Jen and I.
This town was mostly closed up when we got here. Our arrival time was 3:15 and the town rolled up the streets at 3:00 p.m. We found a shop or two opened but, for the most part, it was closed up tight.
First up – another high priced clothing store. What is with those, anyway!? Why not just sell shirts for $5 and pants for $10? You’d pro’lly make a lot more money that way! We did try on their funny hats, though…
From there, we walked down the street in search of a bathroom. When we found one, it was inside of a distillery.
Yes, a liquor-making-store. Of course, we had to try a sample! The gal working there, Elizabeth, was extremely knowledgeable about the process of making moonshine and burbon. I was impressed with her lecture and, even if we did get distracted taking pictures, listened with eyes wide open!
The sample was so very good and the sales pitch was so amazing, we had to buy some booze to take home. It’s from the very first run of the place and she says it’ll be as good as the one we taste tested. She even included the recipe for how we’re supposed to mix it up.
With our thanks, we left her some of our canned grapes and the last jar of Honey Butter. We will have to make some when we get back home because giving away our last jar of it really hurt. Easy to make and I knew we were giving stuff away anyway… right?
I’m assuming this truck belongs to the owner of Willie’s Distillery. Nice truck – for a Ford. I love the license plate, myself!
From there, we found an antique store open and wandered in.
Nice place. Higher priced but an antique store typically is. We left her some bread and she sold us some Montana chocolates. Oh, they were yummy!
It is no 6 p.m. and we just finished stuffing ourselves with some delicious burgers at this sports grill in Ennis. We are stuffed and it was only a $20 ticket when we were done. A tad pricy but still reasonable for a tourist town. The waiter was nice, even swapped out my coffee when I discovered it was as strong as the gasoline in my car!
All in all, our trip has been fun. We’re very low on funds, at this point, and not sure if we’ll drive straight home or stop at her grandmother’s house again to get some sleep. Even though it took us many hours to get here, we’re actually only about 4 or 5 hours from home.
We’re still deciding…