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.