Photo Friday: Ennis, Montana

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Our plans to go to Big Sky from Jackson fell through—the fact that it was shoulder season and there wasn’t a whole lot open paired with, shocker, the rain paired with the route that we’d have to take back through Yellowstone again—so we decided to take the quickest route from Wyoming back up to Montana.

We searched and searched and searched some more for a place to stop along the way to Missoula and kept coming up empty. This is where it comes in handy having fellow travel writer friends, as I happened to be emailing with my friend Matt—who is the Outdoors expert for Discover America among the many hats he wears; and also the same helpful soul who redirected us to Miles City weeks prior—and also well-versed in Montana. He pointed us in the direction of Ennis and Beavertail National Forest.

Well, the rain followed us (again, shocker), so no outdoors for us, but we stayed at the most beautiful little RV park in town.

In fact, this was our backyard (all for the bargain price of $31 a night for a full hook-up):

Not bad, right? The best thing about the amount of precipitation the area had received is that the countryside was nice, lush and green.

Ennis itself was darling—funny how the favorite places on this trip were the unexpected stops I’d never even heard of before—and when there was a brief respite from the rain, we wandered around downtown—just as the rain started to pour again! Seriously, we can’t catch a break. And thus, got no photographic proof of the old-fashioned Main Street-esque area. Instead, we drove around shooting random ceramic fish statues from the truck for something, anything, to do.

(And I stole SVV’s camo hat for the occasion. He said it looked better on me anyway, so I inherited the $5 Wal-Mart find and he replaced camouflage with a moose cap.)

Driving back to the RV park, we saw a big tent in an open field. SVV’s interest was piqued so we veered over in that direction. “I bet it’s a livestock sale!” my Western-savvy self exclaimed.

I was, in fact, right.

We didn’t attend the auction, but we did visit the steer for sale. Part of Ella’s ongoing training is getting her acclimated to a variety of situations and other animals. The steer were the perfect opportunity.

And she was good…at first. Until Mama Steer with her fresh-out-of-the-oven calf, umbilical cord still attached, lunged at her and started hissing!

This set the puppy off, who in turn started growling back.

The cowboys laughed as the steer were straight-up terrified of our six-pound ball of white fluff.

The babies, on the other hand, were unfazed. They just sat there and looked at us with large unblinking eyes.

While the timing of our trip may have not been ideal due to the turbulent spring weather, I still think it was worth the sacrifices to see all the newborn wildlife staggering about on wobbly legs.

Cows seemed to be a recurring theme of this trip, and while they’re not exactly a novelty in this country, I couldn’t help but point my camera in their direction every time we’d come across a herd.

Especially when that herd included babies.

We didn’t leave with any steer to take back home as a souvenir of our time in Montana, but we did leave with a lot of nice photos. And at the end of the day, to us, that’s worth more than livestock gold.

*All photos taken with a Canon T1i and a Canon 24-105mm lens.

**For moreย Photo Friday fun, visitย Delicious Baby.

  • July 8, 2011

    I read Ennis and thought, “oooh, Ireland” and then read the rest of it. Now I know there’s an Ennis in Montana too. That first photograph is simply breathtaking, by the way. On a totally unrelated note, this post has got me singing “Meet me in Montana” in my head (my brain’s wired like this I think).

    • July 9, 2011

      And now I know there’s an Ennis in Ireland! News to me =)

  • July 8, 2011

    You two really did have quite the adventure, even if unexpected.

  • July 8, 2011

    You photos are always soooo breathtaking.

    ALSO? Livestock sale? AWE. SOME.

  • July 8, 2011

    Ummmm…..just a little bovine trivia: a steer is a castrated male. A female is a heifer until she has a calf, at which point, she is then called a cow. Love the photos!

    • July 8, 2011

      This is why I love the Internet. I stand corrected ๐Ÿ™‚

      • July 8, 2011

        You’re certainly not the first to label them incorrectly. More commonly the mistake is to just call them all cows. Or to assume that if they have horns then they must be male. ๐Ÿ™‚ Montana and Wyoming are both big ranching states. We have several bulls in our herd in Texas that are from Montana.

  • July 8, 2011

    I love how you guys can make an adventure and a photo-op out of a detour. I would not have been as equally amused by the cows through my own eyes, but through yours they’re quite the majestic creatures. Especially the be-bes.

    • July 9, 2011

      Or maybe we’re just simpletons who find the most boring of objects (in this case: cows) entertaining =) Depends on your way of looking at it!

  • July 8, 2011

    I love these photos. Seeing cows, especially longhorns, always makes me a little homesick. And I can’t help but throw in a “hook em!” (from the girl who went to the real UT ๐Ÿ˜€ )

  • July 8, 2011

    I love cows, they are so fun to photograph and the babies are adorable. I always geek out when I see them in the Bay Area because we just don’t get a chance to see them to often. When I was working in Switzerland my office was next to a farm and I loved seeing them all year round, especially in the Spring when you could hear their cow bell for miles. Whenever we travel to France I can’t get enough of them and have hundreds of photos because they can be quite beautiful. Thanks for sharing, the photos are amazing!

    • July 11, 2011

      But you live so close to Cowtown! No excuse, ha =)

      I agree, though: Not sure what it is about them, as cows aren’t a novelty to this Southern-bred girl, but I can’t help but take their pictures!

  • July 8, 2011
    Tommye Price

    Kristen, you must have missed that lecture in Mr. Murray’s biology class. Having children show cattle and spending part of my childhood on a farm, I knew the difference. I had plans to correct you, but someone beat me to it. Anyway, I was responsible for teaching grammar and such, and you are certainly doing quite well in that department. I love the big skies of Montana, and your pictures are wonderful!

    • July 9, 2011

      If you promise not to tell Mr. Murray of my grave error, I’ll vow never to end a sentence with a preposition or split an infinitive… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • July 8, 2011

    Beautiful! Love the photos of the little babes.

  • July 8, 2011

    I love the little calves. I want to kiss their noses, but that would probably earn me some hissing from the mama cows. And I may be bigger than Ella, but I’m guessing her growl is more menacing than mine.

    • July 11, 2011

      I don’t know, I might need to hear both of your growls in person to determine a winner ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • July 8, 2011

    Gorgeous! I love the little babies!


  • July 8, 2011

    So cute. Your journey is really inspiring me to make that epic American road trip happen. But Australia will do for now!

    • July 9, 2011

      Yes! Everyone should do it once in their lives. Though I’m mighty jealous of your travels around Australia and might have to make that my next big road tripping endeavor.

  • July 9, 2011

    I just can’t get enough baby animal photos.

  • July 12, 2011

    Love the pic of you! The rest are gorgeous as well ๐Ÿ™‚

  • July 13, 2011

    A great post. Love the photo of the storm. BTW, that’s a well-traveled dog!

    • July 14, 2011

      She’s been to more states than many humans I know–and she’s just a year old! =)

  • July 16, 2011

    What a beautiful post! Amazing pics… Loved the Cows, they are revered here in India.
    Have a fabulous weekend:)
    My Yatra Diary…

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