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