Cheap eats, street festivals and puppy love! I think we found our temporary home away from home ❤
Bozeman, Montana, thank you! Thank you for a small town feel with the hipster comforts of the big city. Thank you for midweek music in the streets, food truck festivals, rodeos and music festivals. Thank you for giving us a thousand reasons to blow our trip budget having the time of our lives!
On our first morning in this lovely town, a family friend of Jeffrey's treated us to our first meal out in a while at the most adorable breakfast spot called The Western Cafe. It was a lot like the hipster restaurants in Seattle, or well most any city these days, expect that it was unironically kitschy and awesome-- and just $8 a plate!
The next day we went downtown to check out the area and grab a cheap dinner with the dog. I use BringFido.com, an awesome website that lists pet friendly places in any town, and was happy to discover Bozeman (despite Montana State laws) is quite dog friendly.
Well imagine our delight when we discovered Main Street downtown barricaded off, festival banners waving high across the street and a steady stream of happy people walking towards the entrance! We happened upon the Bozeman Food Truck Festival. It was a great collection of about 10 food trucks and a dozen or so booths from local restaurants-- and it was 100% dog friendly! It was our first chance to see how Rally would do around large groups and she did amazing! Jeffrey and I enjoyed sampling the local treats such as the giant slow roasted turkey leg pictured above, and Rally got a dog bone to munch on too.
The very next day, the same street was barricaded for "Music on Main", a weekly event held every Thursday all summer long. The music is bar quality cover bands at best, but at least it makes people come out and enjoy each other's company in the evening sun.
Also, I'd like to take this moment to say, Bozeman is one of the most liberal cities I've been too. It blows all my Montana stereotypes out of the water. We saw this guy putting up a banner that read, "The Green Coalition of Gay Loggers for Jesus". We immediately cross the street to take a picture, where the man, who introduced himself as Brian, told us it was a charity project. We donated $1 for a photo under the banner and trusted it would indeed go to the local food bank. Once home, I did some research on the internet, and this project just makes me so happy! Apparently, the Tea Party group from a nearby small town wanted to have a protest during the Main Street Fourth of July parade in Bozeman, protesting government spending and taxation. In Tea Party tradition, this also includes loads of racists and hateful picket signs. Ironically, this protest would cost the taxpayers of Bozeman just over $1000. Brain and 65 others gathered and created the Green Coalition of Gay Loggers for Jesus under the promise raise money to pay for the Tea Party protest street closures. They raised the money with an additional $1500, which was donated to the Gallatin Valley Food Bank. Well, the dueling protests between the Tea Party and these "gay loggers" was too much for the city to handle, so they made a rule that only one organization could apply for a protest permit per day. Brain quickly applied for next year's Fourth of July permit, leaving the Tea Party guys straight outta luck. Well played Bozeman, well played.
The best thing about Bozeman, is that there is SO MUCH going on, we didn't even experience everything! We arrived just one day after the Big Sky Country Fair, the self-claimed largest fair in Montana State. While our stay, they had a big outdoor music and arts event called the Sweet Pea Festival. It was a bit out of our price range and genre, but again, it's great to see people coming out and enjoying the arts together. Then the next weekend they had the Bozeman Stampede, which I am kicking myself for missing! $13 for a seat in the grandstands to watch cow wrangling, horse riding and everything else I don't know about rodeos! We did manage to see the fireworks display from our RV spot in the good old Walmart parking lot.
All in all, Bozeman made us feel at home. The next blog will touch on a few of the great people we met during our stay. And we found punk rock, so it's gonna be good! Much love to everyone back home. As much as we fell in love with Bozeman, we still love Washington and miss everyone very much <3