Augusta and Veggies

Not Georgia but the veggies are fresh. We decided to take a Sunday drive on Saturday. The travel magazine said visit a town with a western flair on your way stop and buy some chickens and vegetables from the Hutterite Colony, we stopped there on the way home. More on that later.

The drive over was uneventful as far as animals which is ok. We did see a prong horn and about a zillion cows, no big birds. I did however find out where dinosaur eggs come from, Egg Mountain Montana. In 1977 this is where two people who owned a rock shop found some juvenile dino bones. The funny thing with this drive is we stumbled upon the historical marker that mentions the eggs. This is all part of the Montana Dinosaur Trail. So many old bones hanging around to keep Roy company. The drive over actually had us driving on a high plateau I really felt I was on top of the world on the way home we were in the valley. Pulling into Augusta we drive through town and my first thought was cute small town.

Augusta is a town of about 500 people everyone knows everyone reminded me of Ely, NV. I had to use the rest room so what better place then a gas station. Turns out this was a combo old gas station/coffee shop/gift store. I was able to strike up a conversation with the young lady working there. I asked her what it was like living in a small town, she chuckled. They have a school that goes from k-12 and there are only 100 children attending it. She had 8 people in her graduating class. Now that is small. She also said that sometimes you run out of things to do. I told her that happens anywhere. I left after more locals started coming in and she needed to get to work. So I went exploring in the town stopped in an antique store and found a necklace made of an old spoon (this is going to make a great gift). A stop in the store next door put me in touch with an Army Linguist reason that meant something to me was when I was going to join the Army right out of high school that was what I was going to be. It was interesting to hear what might have been. I just am glad I got to serve in the Army sometime in my life. I find out that he wasn’t born and raised in Augusta so I asked why come here he said his wife was born and raised. You could tell how happy he was to have this store which was new and to live in a small town. He now works for the VA and turned me on to something I need to check out when I get home. We talked about why he did not re-enlist he was going to be deployed again and he wanted to be more at home understandable. The interesting thing is he is now in the National Guard as an officer in a chemical unit he chose that MOS because they have never deployed in recent history. Call it Kismet his unit of 13 people are deploying in September. We chuckled at the chance of that. One of his bright side comments was at least I will have my job waiting for me. It is amazing how friendly and down to earth people in this town are.

Lunch time we had a choice of 4 restaurants all bars/casinos so how do you make a choice you ask a local. On a side note; casinos are side rooms off a liquor store bar or restaurant. Each casino can have up to 20 machines and the maximum single payouts are $800. We settled on the Buckhorn which had to be a good place because the first thing I notice is they had a dart machine. The second thing I noticed was the smiling waitress. Roy noticed the gizzards and burrito on the menu. Sadly they were out of both so he settled for a burger. He did say that the burger was very good and hand pressed. I think he was ok without the gizzards. It was relaxing to be able to sit back and feel at home. The western feel to the town was also present at the Buckhorn because I think everyone had cowboy hats and boots on except for the on in rubber boots.

Heading home we took the low road and were able to barely make out the plateau we had driven on to get to Augusta. Yes we are fighting the smoke from wildfires. The sucky part of the smoke is it limits my photo ops because you can’t photograph what you can’t see. We head back towards Helena and stop at the Hutterite Colony to buy those veggies we saw on the way up. If you want to read an overview of Hutterite click here. I was expecting something similar to a road side fruit stand totally not the case. It is just that a colony you drive in and see that they have their own concrete plant, a hog processing plant, the chicken area and a green house. The reason we noticed all that is to get to the fresh veggies they take you around the whole complex. They did not have many veggies for sale some cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, and onions. I bought two onions and headed out. The onions were definitely fresh and homegrown and very good. It was interesting to see how the women were dressed and how shy they were dealing with me. I was surprised by the lack of veggies wrong season I guess to grab more veggies. I am glad I was able to get a glimpse into this colony.

When we got back to Helena we were back in the smoke bowl. It seems every year we are battling smoke or fire at sometime to put a crimp in our plans. I am ok with that because you just adjust and change plans. I do like these short side trips we have been taking hopefully we can do a few ghost towns before we leave. We do have a train/trolley ride that takes us around the capitol/historic Helena.

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