A Travellerspoint blog

My time in Bozeman, Montana

hunting, fishing, sunset, and a sky full of colours

sunny 25 °C

My time in Bozeman, Montana was so amazing. The place itself is really cool as it is set in the plains surrounded by magnificent mountain ranges. In the way that Auckland is named City of Sails, Montana is named Big Sky Country – and that it certainly is. Dom and Erie always laugh at me because I have figured that you can measure your own personal sky by counting how many hands it is across, similar to how you measure a horse. I swear that the sky is bigger in Montana, it stretches farther, it’s bluer and deeper, and just prettier. I was determined to go out and watch the sunset from a mountain and to see the stars while I was in town…

The night my parents left town, Uncle Butch, Aunt Terri and I went to a pig roast. Not the best place for a vegetarian, but they were determined to hook me up with a guy who had lived in New Zealand and Colombia. Isn’t that so thoughtful? However, when we met the guy it turned out he had lived in Colombia for 4 years and had never learned Spanish so the future arranged wedding that my parents and Aunt n Uncle had planned was instantly off! It was a cool gathering though, they had a keg and so much pork! I tried the tiniest bite ever but it was so gross, so I didn’t try anymore. Thankfully they had bread and a salad too for us veggos! After the party, Aunt Terri and I wanted an adventure so Uncle Butch suggested we do what is called ‘The Bermuda triangle.’ This is when you go to the 3 bars that are positioned in a triangle and have at least one drink in each. When we entered the first bar, The Hauf, we ran into a group of people who some worked with Uncle Butch. We joined up with them and started chatting, and I met two guys Casey and John. I instantly clicked with these two, and their two other friends, because when they asked why I was doing my travels, they asked if I was just following my heart - instant trust and friendship! The bar itself was awesome. Everything was carved with names, and I was super excited because you could eat peanuts and then throw the shells all over the floor. I asked John if we could carve Katy into one of the tables and the owner of the bar even gave us the knife to do it!
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John and Casey came with us to all 3 bars, and at the second bar we played a game of shuffle board (Aunt Terri and I lost by just 1 point!) and had our next drink. When we got to the final bar, Uncle Butch and Aunt Terri decided it was time for them to go home after their drink. So I stayed behind with John and Casey. We went to another bar, one with live music, and danced for what felt like hours. There was a guy who approached me, he was the tallest man I had ever met, and he wanted me to teach him how to dance – so I tried my very best! He was so happy, I think I made his entire week, especially when I thanked him for the dance afterwards and told him he did very well – something people always did for me when I was learning salsa or merengue in Colombia.
We went back to John and Casey’s place and John and I took Trigger out for a walk, where we went down to the skate ramp and just talked for hours and hours and hours under the stars. It was so cool how much we had in common, from ‘warmth insurance’ where we both always try to have one more layer of warmth available when we are away from home, to being able to see the colours of people. No one has ever been able to tell me what colour my aura is, and I learned that to him I am turquoise/ mint green. Which makes sense, as that is the colour of my hakuna matata tattoo and the reason I bought Trixi!
The following night I went for dinner with Jorgelina, my friend from Argentina who I met at my cousin’s wedding. After dinner we partied at a bar that had a DJ playing.
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The next day I had the worst hangover, but I still managed to go fishing with my Uncle. And it turned out to be the best hangover cure ever – the mountains, the river, the grass, the birds, the sunshine, and of course the ginormous sky!
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I caught two fish, and was so proud of myself. I was screaming and jumping up and down. Later, my uncle taught me how to cut it up and gut it. I nearly vomited the first time, but I did manage to do it myself. We then cooked them up and had them for dinner – delicious!
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I spent the rest of the week working, riding my bike around town, buying things I needed to get before being back on the road (headlamp, pocket knife, drink bottle etc), shopping with Jorgelina, fishing with my Uncle, cooking pizzas, pasta and arepas for my aunt and uncle, and working on editing Rob’s book.
One night, John came for dinner at my Aunt and Uncle’s before taking me on a hike up a mountain to see the sunset. When we stopped to buy some cider to drink at the top, I made him laugh by pretending these two giant watermelons were my breasts.
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It was so beautiful, you could see for miles and miles and miles. It was so bizarre watching the sunset behind other mountains, knowing that it was still in other parts of the USA. It felt like a ‘fake’ sunset, as if it was all just an illusion. I am so used to watching the sunset out over the sea when it takes with it all the light from New Zealand.
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On one of the days, I went with my Aunt and Uncle to a Taco bus in Dillon. We had the most delicious Mexican food, and I suddenly got super excited for the next part of my travels.
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On the way back we were looking for sand hill cranes, as opening season began the week after my departure and my uncle had a license to hunt two. We were also keeping an eye out for a rabbit, because my aim was to shoot something. I had already proved to my uncle that I could shoot, having been taught many years ago by my ex-boyfriend. Uncle Butch was most impressed when I managed to hit the target every time with both a shotgun and a rifle, so we knew that any rabbit we did see would be suicidal because there was no way I would miss. Finally, we saw two rabbits just sitting on the side of the road on the grass. It was state land, so I was allowed to shoot them. My uncle got the gun ready for me, and I panicked asking “do you think they are best friends?”
My uncle gave me a weird look, “are you going to shoot a rabbit or not?”
And I knew that I would be disappointed in myself if I didn’t. I was determined to shoot something while with my uncle, because I truly feel that people who eat meat can only do so if they are able to go out and hunt the animal themselves. So I lined the bunny up with the barrel of the shotgun, half hoped that the gun would jam, and I pulled the trigger just as the bunny put his head up – meaning a perfect shot in the head. The rabbit still had grass in his mouth, which my uncle told me meant that he died instantly and never panicked or felt a thing. After I killed the bunny, I was so excited that I had made my shot, but so upset that the rabbit was dead. I even asked if there was anything we could do, maybe we could take the rabbit to the vet…
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I watched my uncle skin it (or really peel it) gagging a couple of times. Thankfully he didn’t make me do it myself, I don’t think I could have. Then we prepared it for cooking the following evening in my cousin’s famous, published recipe… And I can’t deny it, the rabbit was truly delicious!
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I had such a good time with my Aunt and Uncle, and I really enjoyed my time with them in Montana. I think Michigan will always be my home state, but Montana really is the most beautiful part of America that I have ever seen. I was so lucky to have met Jorgelina and John, meaning that I had people to have adventures with while my Aunt and Uncle were working (or deserving a break from me)…
It took me 12 hours to reach Mexico on 3 different flights, where my friend Adrian was waiting for me. As I flew into Guadalajara, I looked out of the window and saw the most amazing thunderstorms surrounding me. Our plane was not even in the clouds, but I could see in the not too far distance that there were different groups of clouds, each with lightening flashing within them. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, the clouds and sky around them would glow different colours every couple of seconds; blue, green, yellow, orange, and white. In all my years of traveling and flying, I have never seen anything quite like it. I can only imagine that a sky full of rainbow colours, as I land in a country I feel my heart has been calling me to, is a sign of amazing things to come.
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Posted by chasingsummer 11:21 Archived in USA Tagged fishing sunset hiking fun adventures montana hunting rabbits big_sky

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