Our time farming in Montana started off with a bang – a literal bang as we watched John Wayne defeat the water-stealing James Kincaid in Riders of Destiny. We sat alongside all 200 residents of Wilsall, Montana and enjoyed a night of prime rib, auctioneering, and an old Western. We sat in the bleachers, overlooking the rodeo arena and the Crazy Mountains.  I don’t believe I have ever felt so old-fashioned American. I was swept up in the cowboy hats, boots, dust and sun. The Wild West is alive and well in Wilsall. It feels like a lawless country, where you are more afraid of your neighbor’s judging eyes than of the law.  This part of the country attracts folks from all walks of life. Within our first two hours we had met a man who had dated Joni Mitchel and married Miss Argentina – who ended up winning Miss Universe. We discovered that one of the individuals we are living with is the former drummer of the band Morphine. If you have never heard their music, check it out. It is a nice blend of rock and jazz. The artists and ranchers who make up this eclectic population have colorful backgrounds and personalities.

The night began as the auctioneer opened with a Scandinavian joke that would have made any Minnesotan laugh.
Lars:Say, Ole, I went by your house last night and noticed you kissing your wife in the window.
         Ole:The yoke’s on you, Lars, I wasn’t even home last night.

After a lively auction, and with dusk approaching, we settled into our seats for the movie. The screen flickered on and we watched an emotional, Oscar-worthy, memorial service of all of the citizens who had passed away over the last year. Live music accompanied a powerpoint presentation as we became familiar with the lives of all of the late citizens of Wilsall. It was incredibly sad and with the need for a little mood lifter, I began to look around at the citizens of Wilsall. Right off the bat, I noticed a Fabio look-a-like, a stroller carrying both a beer and a bottle in the cup holders, and observed a mother daughter duo who should audition for “Tweens and Tiaras.” Her spunky daughter was posing on the rodeo railings, inside tractor tires, and alongside the porta-potty, while mom shouted, “now this time make it a little more sassy!” We were introduced to a town favorite, Good Looking Jerry, who kept us laughing with another joke.

         Q:What’s the difference between beer nuts and deer nuts?
     A: Beer nuts cost a dollar fifty and deer nuts are always under a buck.
Our first evening at Crazy View Farm was filled with new friends, food, and laughter. Who could ask for a better night? We rode home in the back of the pickup truck and crawled into our comfortable camper for the best sleep I have had in a long time. Thank goodness for a real mattress after sleeping in a tent for the past month! 

Home sweet home in our camper!

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