Day Trip to Urban Life

CAMPGROUND: 3rd (and last) night at Greek Creek Campground, part of Gallatin National Forest
LOCATION: 30 miles south of Bozeman, Montana
WEATHER: Much cooler. High 65. Rain in the afternoon

Since it was cool overnight, we closed up the windows in the Airstream. The trailer must be pretty tight, as we did not hear the highway noise at all.

George likes to do a yoga routine almost every morning. Since there isn’t a lot of space inside to do that, I make myself scarce while he is exercising by taking walks. I walked around the campground this morning. Most sites are empty, but all have reserved signs on them for tonight (busy Friday).

We drove to Livingstone, a town that had been recommended. It indeed is a cute town with 7500 people. The downtown is vibrant with shops and restaurants. A lot of the buildings have old-style neon signs. We checked out a downtown brewery. We found out its name, Katabatic, means an unusually strong wind that often blows through the town. The bartender told us that they close nearby I-90, not due to snow, but because the high winds blow over everything – including semi-trailers.

After checking out Livingstone (would not be a bad place to live), we headed to Bozeman. With 45,000 people, it seems like a perfect size. The town is really hopping. We went to one of its 9 brewpubs for lunch. Located on a lake, we watched picnickers and swimmers brave the elements.

The place was jammed, and we had a good lunch. The owners named it MAP because they love to travel – kindred souls!

We parked in downtown Bozeman and checked out some of the shops (all full of shoppers). Everyone seemed to be strolling the streets of its historic downtown. There is a live theater downtown as well as an opera house and huge library. Not one single shop was a chain; everything cute and local. I could live here, too, I think. It must be even busier when the Montana State University students return for the school year.

The downtown merchants were getting ready for a Friday Art Walk tonight.

This wine store/bistro was one of the cute storefronts.

We did our grocery shopping in a really nice store. (Sometimes shopping in smaller towns is quite limited). We should be well-stocked for a week or so.

KARMEN’S KITCHEN TIP: When we started this year’s trip back in May, my oregano was growing like a weed. I took the oregano pot with me and used the oregano until we had to give it up at the Canada border. With the rest, I picked, washed, dried, and diced the leaves. Then, I filled up an ice cube tray with olive oil and the oregano. After the cubes froze, I popped the cubes into a baggie. Now, when I need to flavor a dish with oregano, I pull out one of these cubes from the freezer.

Back at the campground, George got a campfire going. Between the rain showers, he was able to grill portabello mushrooms.

DINNER: Stuffed portabello mushrooms. While George was grilling the mushroom tops, I made the filling – sausage (previously cooked and frozen), onion, garlic, mushroom bits, an olive oil/oregano cube, and breadcrumbs (panko). I sprinkled on Parmesan upon serving. Side was a lettuce and tomato salad.

After dinner, since it was still light, I stoked up the campfire and enjoyed the rest of the evening. Several campers came into our campground, made the loop frantically searching for a vacant site, then took off again to look for a site at another campground.

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