Water to Whiskey

It has truly been a summer of firsts. This weekend I ran my first 5K, and I was pretty excited about it if you couldn’t tell from the photo below.

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The 5K was held in Ennis, MT. A great little fishing town located at the base of the breathtaking Madison Mountain range.

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The race started on a bridge over the Madison River (hence the water part). It ended at Willie’s Distillery (the whiskey).

The best part of this 5K is that the distillery, who was a main sponsor also put on a FREE pig roast after! In addition to the delicious pulled pork sandwiches, there was live music, and fun yard games.

For those 21 and up you could get a specialty drink from Willie’s tasting room. In true Montana fashion I tried the chokecherry moscow mule, which was delicious!

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For anyone that likes 5K’s or free food I highly recommend attending this event next year. However, it’s always a great time to visit Ennis, if you enjoy the outdoors!

We camped along the Madison River (also another first for me). This was great because you can walk into town. After Willie’s Distillery check out the Gravel Bar. They have live music every Saturday night, and a full menu if you’re hungry!

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Be sure to stop in a fly shop or two to learn about the world class fly fishing in the area. If you are a fisherman or fisherwoman or have any interest whatsoever, trying it out on the Madison River would be an awesome experience.

If hiking is more your speed than I would say the Sphinx is the most famous hike in that area. There is still quite a bit of snow on the mountains right now, but if you’re planning a trip between July and September that would be perfect (that may also be your best bet for fishing this year)!

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If you live in or are visiting Montana take some time to visit the small towns! They are truly the Treasure State’s hidden treasures ( I know that was super cheesy)!

#keepwandering

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Last minute MDW trips

Memorial Day Weekend is 24 hours away, and for those of you still trying to figure out some ideas…don’t sweat I got you covered.

I love MDW. Growing up my mom always threw a big party and it truly is the kick off to summer. So, here are my ideas for some last minute getaways. This will really only help my Bozemanites, as they are all an hour or less away!

  1. Yellowstone National Park 
    This is a no brainer in my book. This is a great time of year to head to the park. Everything is open now, so if you head in from the Gardiner entrance you can get to Old Faithful and all of the other awesome attractions that are normally closed in the winter. Plus, it’s still early in the Summer season, so you won’t be dealing with the insane crowds. For more on how to plan this trip I will refer you to my previous post about a weekend getaway to YNPS. 
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  2. Camp at the Pine Creek Lodge
    The Pine Creek Lodge is located in the AMAZING Paradise Valley. This funky little place has campsites along with cabins. There is also a restaurant, bar, and outdoor music venue. It is rumored that John Mayor will sometimes stop by and play his music for those lucky enough to be there that evening! This weekend the lodge has live music on Friday night starting at 7:00 pm. On Saturday and Sunday they will feature artists during Brunch. Also close by is a hike in the Pine Creek Recreation Area if you would like to get outdoors during your stay.

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  3. Virginia City & Nevada City
    For those history junkies, Virginia City would be a great overnight trip! Memorial Day Weekend kicks off the ghost town’s season. Virginia City is also about a mile away from Nevada City, another one of Montana’s first mining cities.

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    You can ride the train to get between the two, which I highly recommend if you have kiddos with you. There are a few restaurants in both Virginia and Nevada City. For a fancier fare head to the Wells Fargo Steak House. There is not a bad thing on the menu! You’ll find great nightlife at the Bale of Hay Saloon. And for breakfast you will want to hit the Star Bakery! There is so much to do in these two ghost towns that I definitely recommend an overnight trip!
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    (You can also pan for gold!)
    You can stay at the Historic Fairweather Inn. If you are feeling adventurous ask to stay in the haunted room! Since it is opening weekend there are plenty of special events happening too!
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  4. Hot springs day trips
    Finally, if you aren’t feeling an overnight and just want a fun daytime activity you can easily hit the hot springs. The first option would be to head to Chico Hot Springs in Pray. For a day soak it will cost you $8.50. There is also a bar and restaurant by the pool. I recommend bringing your own towels. They will charge extra for that!

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    Another great hot spring is Norris Hot Springs (also known as Water of the Gods). Norris is SUPER funky, but sooo much fun! To soak at Norris it will cost $7 for the day. There is also live music every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Live music begins at 7:00 pm and will cost you an extra $2.

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No matter what you decide take this weekend to get out and explore! I would love to see your adventure pictures, so use the hashtag!

#keepwandering