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Day 10 - Helena, Montana

Ya know, to see the West and Northwest is a wonderful thing. Montana is such a beautiful state. Montana was the 41st state in the USA and it became a state on November 8,1889. We got an invitation to stay at the Holland Lodge in Swan Lake, Montana.

Ziggy was on the lookout for the Great Grizzly Bear she heard so much about. Ziggy reached in her bag and pulled out her Montana hat. Doesn't she look sweet?

We met an old man who had been living in the mountains for 60 years. His name was Henry Twodogs and his donkeys name was Clyde. He offered to take us up in the mountains for a "look see". We jumped at the chance.

This morning, we met Henry down by the lake and followed him up a trail about a mile or so overlooking the most beautiful valley. We unpacked a small lunch and sat there on a rock and had lunch.

I asked Henry Twodogs about his life and he said he was one of the last remaining members of the Kalispel Indian Tribe. They were an ancient indian tribe that lived in Montana for 100's of years and were cousins to the Blackfeet. Now, most all the tribes are living at the Flathead Indian Reservation.

"But I can't be in one place too long so I live in these here mountains and live off the land. I make money by taking some folks around and showin them my favorite spots. They pay me what they can."

"Well," I said, "I'll pay you well because the subscribers to my ezine are paying for me and Ziggys' trip around the US."

To which he replied, "What's an ezine?"

After I told him what an ezine was, he walked over to Clyde and pulled out a brand new laptop computer. I showed him my web site and made him a member of the Kitchen Club. He told me he could probably use that recipe for the Bruscialoni that was in there only using bear, deer, or elk meat.

Just then. we heard a noise. Ziggy jumped 6 feet into the air onto the back of Clyde. Henry said, "Oh, Don't worry. That's my friend Betty!"

After Ziggy got comfortable enough to go over to Betty and smell her, she wanted to ride her. Henry warned Ziggy, "Betty ain't no riding bear. You can try but I thnk she may just roll over on ya and squoosh you!"

Ziggy declined.

On the way back down the hill, I asked him about what it meant to him about being American. He said, "Well, my ancestors didn't care to much for it. After all, we were here first. But I get to go where I want to go and when I want to go and I never get bothered at all. That's a pretty good thing to me."

When we got back to the lodge, we said our goodbyes and headed to Helena, Montana. When we got there, we were so hungry, we stopped off at a place called Bert & Ernies. Located in historic downtown Helena since 1974, Bert & Ernie's offers the best in simple, classic American food and fine beers and wines.

We were invited into the restaurant and they gave us a table with a spectacular view. He said, "One of the great advantages of living in the Pacific Northwest is that we get to enjoy salmon before anyone else, except Alaska, of course." This is what we had and they were gracious enough to give us the recipe.

Montana Bert and Ernie Prime Rib
Serves 4

ask your butcher for:
prime rib roast with or without bone (any size)
bottom round center cut

Preheat oven to 550F degrees.

Make a rub of salt, pepper and garlic powder and apply to meat. Place meat in a shallow roasting pan fat side up.

Roast at 550 at 5 minutes per pound for RARE, or 6 minutes per pound for MEDIUM and 7 minutes per pound for WELL DONE.

Turn off oven at the end of cooking time and DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR FOR TWO HOURS.

At the end of the 2 hours, remove meat from oven to slice; it comes out perfect everytime.

Works the same with Roast beef. Try it you won't be disappointed.

Good eating dude and dudette!

_______________________________

Looking out the window, we saw Jennie J. and Pat B. walking down the street. I didn't recognize them, but they didn't recognize me either. But they sure did know Ziggy cause they're subscribers. They came in and introduced themselves and then gave Ziggy a sliver of beef jerky. She slipped into her backpack for the trip to South Dakota. That was so nice.

We said our goodbyes and there were hugs all around cause we are off to Pierre, South Dakota. We want to visit Mount Rushmore. Woo hoo!

See ya Tuesday in Pierre, South Dakota :)

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