After retiring in 1999, I had more time for summer getaways to Montana. The first year found me bunking with the Mentzer boys as I had done many times since 1982 when their dad first invited my brother and me out to do some elk hunting. (more on this great family another time.) That was the summer I entered the Helmville rodeo trying to make some worm money on bareback bucking horses!! Off I flew on the first try and the old boy turned and gave me a good stump on my right ankle for being dumb enough to try rodeo at age 55!! That was the story I told some old bank workmates along with picture of a real cowboy I took at the rodeo. THEY BELIEVED IT!! Actually I stepped on a tippy rock while fishing and took a real dandy fall. My mile long journey back to the car was rather painful but I made it! The fall produced a badly broken ankle that now sports a plate and 6 screws.
The next 2 years saw the wife and I trying the RV route and a travel trailer later. This was a lot of fun but rather cramped and a pain to set up and take down properly. I forgot to unhook the electric cord early on and I left a campground dragging the cord merrily behind us. I thought how friendly the other campers were as they gave us a big wave send off but they were really trying to tell us "You Dummies" forgot to unhook!!
So, I decided in early 2002 to try locals realtors to find a long term rental. Months went by and no replies so I decided to call them in hopes of a rental. As luck would have it, a young couple from Missoula had stopped in one office that morning to advise them that their cabin just may be available for the summer. The realtor gave me their number and I quickly gave them a call.
This is Bill and Sandy, owners of the cabin, at our anniversary dinner last Thursday. Bill is an environmental engineer and Sandy works in a dental office and have 3 great sons all in college and headed for great things! They built the cabin several years ago with logs which later was sided for better weather proving. The picture was taken during an early September snow fall! The interior was rustic but charming we thought and very homey. There was a lovely field behind the cabin with cows, horses, coyotes, etc. for a real western feel.
Bill even left us with a real nice bottle of wine to "get us started right!" For the next 5 years we spent a lot of our Montana summers in the Cabin with much joy as we shared it with many friends.
But now Bill and Sandy and the boys have more time to enjoy it themselves, for which we are glad. We had and have a great relationship with this family and we thank them for their friendship and hospitality.
I never left this place at the end of our summer stay without sobbing grateful, but sad tears.