Lots of music in Montana in July, and we managed to catch our share of it: Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Abigail Washburn, Corb Lund, Emmylou Harris, Taj Mahal, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Ben Bullington, Billy Joe Shaver, Rodney Crowell, and many, many local bands with talent up the whazoo. The only disappointment was when a thunderstorm cancelled the wonderful Justin Townes Earle at the Red Ants Pants Festival in White Sulphur Springs. And when you can listen to much of it in the out of doors…well, just can’t beat it. Skipped the photography for most of the music, but did get one of Steve Martin, who is no musical slouch. He’s kind of a funny guy, too…
I did sneak in a couple of one day river trips, though: one on the Blackfoot, and another on the Crimson Bluffs section of the Missouri. We rafted the Blackfoot (of A River Runs Through It fame) on a Monday a couple of weeks ago. Going on a Monday meant that we had the river to ourselves, which doesn’t happen on the Blackfoot on summer weekends. The Crimson Bluffs section of the Missouri (near Townsend, Montana) is just about always pretty empty. And it hasn’t changed much from July of 1805, when Lewis and Clark came through. They, of course, were hauling boats upstream – just a tad harder than a leisurely float downriver.
We put in at York’s Islands, which were named for York, Meriweather Lewis’s slave who was with them for the whole journey.
Steve Martin played the White House 4th of July celebration a couple years ago & he was hilarious. Good music too. Best part of the whole show (saw it on tv).
Bluegrass & rivers … what a combo!
He mentioned that 4th of July at the White House – said “my playing for the President was the highlight of his life.” Ha!
Just lovely. I’m reading Undaunted Courage, about the Lewis and Clark expedition, and remembering when I got to attend a conference in Great Falls where Stephen Ambrose spoke about his book. I’m also remembering the awesome two week encampment re-enactment they do every year around July 4th at the falls. It’s pretty great if you’ve never been.
I never have been to the encampment – will have to go. Undaunted Courage sure shows how tough those guys were, doesn’t it?
I saw Steve Martin at the Hardly Strictly Festival In Golden Gate park a few years back he can pick with the best of the, Beautiful river run. I’ll pass your post on to my friend that does river trips in canoes. 🙂
I so want to go to that festival…maybe one of these years!
Lovely rivers. We did the Smith a few years ago in canoes and had a fabulous time. The water was so high that we arrived in camp around noon. A park ranger rowed by and teased us for getting a late start and we had the last laugh: “This is our take out for the day. We want our money back – we came to paddle!” It gave us long lovely days oohing and ahhing at the wildflowers, mushrooms and birds around camp.
Yes, the Smith is definitely one of Montana’s special spots. And nothing wrong with spending a day just hanging around camp!