After we left the park, we landed here for the nite, in Cooke City….
First, I would like you too meet Rose; Rose is the 61st resident of an American treasure called Cooke City, Montana. This enchanting little place is the second stop that you come to after you leave the east exit of the Yellowstone National Park. Except for this wifi here, I would say that Cooke City has been, pleasantly, left behind.
Rose is the only daughter of Lee and Yoki. Now, when I first saw this man with this thing wrapped around his front, I really wasn’t sure what was going on. After all, I had just witnessed bear and elk and bison roaming around and I was tired. Anything could have been in that sack; his lunch, tools, but it turns out that it was his daughter Rose and she was sleeping calmly. Sleeping like a baby indeed while her loving daddy calmly worked the flowerbeds outside of the restaurant where her mother is a waitress. He works the flowerbeds of the Beartooth Café on Main Street. On main street, the only street,
We are staying in a small cabin at the Elk Horn Lodge. See more at http://www.elkhornlodgemt.com/ It is owned by Jason and Suzy. Two wonderful children Silas and Stella bring contentment to the lodge. There is nothing like a little girl, donned in bicycle helmet and carrying a box of chalk on her arm like a purse, to put things in perspective. Well, maybe the brief rainbow over the town did add some finishing touches to her ensemble. This family is the quintessential hosts. We had a small problem, that was quickly and happily corrected by Jason. A wonderful place to visit maybe, but as for me, I could easily spend a week or two in the Elk Horn Lodge. I hope that people passing thru would stop in for at least one night.
Jason tells me some interesting things about this area as we sit outside in the late evening sunlite. He says that in the summer, the days are much shorter, even to the point that it starts getting dark around 3 pm. Partly due to the sun setting behind the mountains and the town falling into the shade. He confirms my chicken theory and says that they do crow at 4 am; despite the confusing daylight times. He also says that the tourists come here in the winter to ride snow mobiles up the bank behind us. I think to myself “well how stupid is that?” Then… I remember, vividly, driving my 1981 Toyota four wheel drive up a bank that resembled that one. Heck, I remember driving into a snow bank and getting stalled. My buddy Larry pulled me out, then…I pulled back into the same spot just to get a picture.. And he pulled me back out again. So..I guess driving a snow mobile straight up a bank isn’t that odd after all.
We had a great supper at the Beartooth café. I had my first buffalo burger , she said it was Montana Buffalo. She laughed when I asked if the potato chips next to the burger were buffalo chips. Surely she had heard that one. Then we had a chocolate crepe. A chocolate crepe filled with moose tracks ice cream, then covered with caramel sauce and bananas. mmmmmm
It was pretty amazing for Tennessee people to be sitting here, eating buffalo burgers with snow in the background in JUNE!
The Cooke City Store is on the National Register of Historic Places. More can be seen at http://www.cookecitystore.com/
The screen doors slam shut behind you as you walk through the door. Instantly your senses take you back to many years ago to when the Yellowstone busses probably stopped by here. Next to my grandfather’s house was a store exactly like this one; same smell, sounds. Many of you would remember the sound of the slamming screen door, the creaky wooden floors, rounded glass counters with samples in front of what was in the bin. Open wooden bins of fresh fruit/and candy. A cash register that still works by hand crank and you manually count the change back. Items lined on the shelf just a few. I had to tell my kids about they may hear someone say “can you check in the back?” when they didn’t see what they want. These are the stores that made that phrase. They only had room for 4 or 5 of anything, so, often there would be an empty spot and the customer would ask the owner to “check in the back” for more. Today…it’s all open as in Wal Mart and there is no more “check in the back”.
The dogs….. Everybody out here has dogs. One met me at a place of business when I walked in, a beautiful Alaskan Malamute. Another was this dog. He was outside of the Hoosier Bar. He seemed pretty content while he waited outside and listened to the laughter and fun than came from the open windows.We are headed somewhere else today. haha, not sure where. We are a little groggy this am. The 7500 feet altitude, for us flat-landers, is harder to breathe in. We just don’t sleep as well in it. Same was at Flagstaff, same elevation and we didn’t sleep well there either.
See ya’ll soon,
Mark and co…