We went to the Big Hole!

706 miles ÷ 1 wedding + 2 inches of rain x 4 carseats – 2 hotel rooms = 2 parents who are glad to be home.

My little cousin, not quite so little these days as she once was, was married this past weekend in Wisdom, Montana.  For the event we Blakes journeyed across the state to the land of fly fishermen and beaver hay slides:




Eastern Montana (from whence we come) and Western Montana (from whence my cousin comes) are as different as… well, two different states.  But we Blakes were sure in need of a vacation.  When the Rocky Mountains came into view as we traveled toward the wedding, even I — a true Eastern Montana flat-lander generally not overly fond of mountains — had to comment:  Man oh man, it’s good to see the mountains.

Beau and I had planned to leave for the wedding at 5 a.m. Saturday morning, in hopes that the kids would sleep for at least an hour or two as we traveled.

Instead, we ended up leaving home about 8:30 a.m. — and not because we slept in, either.  We were behind because I was busy with my preparatory work of carefully composing and packing wedding outfits for each of us to wear.

As it turned out, we wore our traveling clothes to the wedding, along with the mustard and peanut butter smears left over from the lunch we’d enjoyed 150 miles back.  There was no time to change, see — no time to stop at the motel before vows were exchanged.  We just drove straight through Wisdom and sped on another 10 miles to the wedding site:  the much-photographed and oft-featured Heidi Hirschy Ranch of the Big Hole.  We made it to the wedding by the skin of our teeth.  We pulled in (pretty sure my husband parked exactly where the bride did not want any vehicles to park; I was a bride once too and so I know these things matter) just as the wagon transporting the wedding party pulled up to the aisle:


Rain clouds were coming down from the mountains as Cousin Morgan came trotting up the road — riding sidesaddle in her wedding dress — with Heidi at her side.


(Morgan, if ever you see this photo, I am sorry that it’s not the greatest picture of your horse.  But look at it this way:  I think she’s smiling for you.)

Morgan and Heidi dismounted and headed up the aisle with Morgan’s parents:  my Aunt Gail and Uncle Rick (my mom’s brother).


The entire celebration had a true Big Hole vibe:  the mountains looming behind jack leg fences, always in the back of your hearing the trickling of snow melt and rainfall accumulating and flowing to live creeks, the Native influence in the decorations and in Morgan’s attire, the flat hats and flowing wild rags bobbing amongst a crowd made up of buckaroos and their families.

It was a fun party.  We drove 706 miles and forgot to hand-deliver the wedding card we took for the happy couple.  So I guess we could mail it now.  Or, to sum up, Dear Morgan and Ty — here’s to your happily ever after.  We wish you the very best — and remind us we owe ya a fifty.

But I got ahead of myself there for a minute.  I never finished telling the story of the trip to the wedding.  Here’s a highlight:  as we pulled out from our house on Saturday morning, we knew 3-year-old Marsielle was enjoying one of those Babybel cheeses that comes wrapped in wax.  Later we noticed she was playing with the wax, molding it into different shapes.  We thought little of it.

Then, along about Billings, Marsi whimpered for help from the backseat.  I peeked back and discovered that the ball of gooey wax was completely mashed into her hair:


I unbuckled my seat belt, pulled out as much of the wax as I could, along with a gob of her hair, on the fly, and this is how her hair looked until after the wedding.  Luckily, before the reception we had time to stop at the motel, where my other cousin’s wife scraped the wax out of Marsi’s hair using a flat iron.

You know what?  This post is going to have to be continued… as I write it’s the day after returning home from our marathon trip to the other side of the state, and I probably should be doing something other than sitting at my computer!  But there are more details to come — just as soon as I unload the pickup, straighten up the house, get the tire on the pickup fixed, and take the kids to softball practice.

© Tami Blake

2 thoughts on “We went to the Big Hole!

  1. Great post about the Big Hole vaca/wedding, just south of my little corner of the world. We share the Pintlar Range, a long, rough ride horse back; one of those bucket list things that was totally worth it.


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