Over the hills and far away, nestled just outside the Beartooth Mountains of Montana, lies a little place called Nye. A sign off the highway leading into town welcomes visitors: “You Are Now Entering and Leaving Nye”.
Nye is most notably known for well, nothing. And that’s the way I like it – but I didn’t always like it.
When my parents first bought property here 20 years ago I thought they were crazy. Why the hell would we want to leave the comforts of our California pools and air conditioned malls to drive for two whole days only to arrive in the middle of know where with only a tent, a stream and one country music station to get us through summer vacation? I assure you at 16 years old and coming from Los Angeles that all sounded horrible.
A lot has changed since high school. Aside from the fact that we now have a house with running water and Nye has more than one music station, I’m older and wiser and escaping the hustle and bustle of city life now sounds like heaven on earth. And that is exactly what Nye is, just a little slice of heavenly perfection.
Whether its a horseback ride into the mountains, white water rafting, fishing along the Stillwater River, ATV rides, kayaking, hunting, hiking or hanging at the local bar, this little town is full of big amenities and it’s all offered up in serenity’s backyard.
This year we had the pleasure of visiting during the 4th of July holiday which just so happens to be my favorite time of year. It’s a real Americana experience! From small town parades and rodeos to gun shooting and Whiskey drinking, we celebrated in full red neck style. It was also our son’s first time up to visit Grandma and Grandpa on the Madden Family Ranch so it was an extra special visit! He took to it like a cow to cud. 😉
Here are a few of my favorite pics! You can check out all of the pictures from our trip on Instagram!
Day #1 on the Ranch: Uncle Jon got Wes his first pair of cowboy boots and of course we all just about died from cuteness overload…because all cowboys need cowboy boots!
Wes quickly warmed up to Molly, our Border Collie. It was an instant friendship that led to many adventures.
I think they both met their match. By the end of the trip they looked like this:
Day #2: My arse is still sore from a 3 hour horseback ride but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The ride started out bright and sunny but as commonly happens in these here parts, a sudden hail storm fell upon us and we ended up huddling under a tree to escape the rain.
After the ride, we warmed up by a fire and had a picnic. Our good friend and Weston’s Godfather snapped these candid photos of Wes and me. I am forever grateful…
Day #3: We took a trip to Red Lodge, a super cute town about 45 minutes from Nye. Red Lodge has an annual 4th of July parade that is so quaint and wholesome that parents actually let their kids eat the candy being thrown from the floats. Imagine that?
After the parade we headed over to the fairgrounds where we did some tailgating before entering the Rodeo. Weston was so excited, I think he must have been a rodeo rider in his past life. I have a masterpiece video clip of him from the rodeo so if you’re looking for a good smile, visit my Facebook page or Instagram and check it out!
Day #4: While the rest of the crew went on a hike, I stayed back and enjoyed some quiet time with Wes and my parents. It was so nice to see my son enjoying a different pace of life. It warmed my heart to watch him fall in love with Montana as much as I now love it. I pray that these summer trips up to Grandma and Grandpa’s become a standing yearly tradition. My hope is that Weston will look back on these visits and cherish the sanctity of the time spent here and gain new perspectives from a land where different values carry different priorities. I call this one, “Weston was here”.
All that said, while you can take the boy out of Los Angeles, I suppose you can’t take Los Angles out of the boy! I love the juxtaposition of this photo!
I always thought Montana had nothing to offer because I was young and naive and craving a faster pace, not a slower one. But this is God’s country, rich in history and beauty and full of bounty. Now the only thing I don’t like is leaving.
Thanks again, Montana, for a spectacular visit. You will be dearly missed!
– The Confessioness