Well, it’s back to regularly scheduled programming after my blog literally went viral two weeks ago. I thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you who shared and liked and commented! I am so blessed to have reached so many amazing people through the exposure!
The trip that day was mostly interstate, but we did choose our route to go south down through Swan Lake and Seeley Lake. If you have never been through that part of Montana, do it! Outside of Glacier, these lakes are something to see.
Apparently, the community of Swan Lake formed in the early 1900’s as a community of loggers began cutting timber for the Great Northern Railroad. There are many different tales of how the area got it’s name… Stories tell of trumpet swans that used to populate the lake while others say it was eventually named after Emmett Swan who was an early resident in the Swan Lake area.
Seeley Lake is equally as gorgeous and actually before we arrived in Bigfork for our wedding, we stayed in Seeley Lake. This was our second time in Seeley Lake. We visited in February and spent some time snowmobiling on and around Seeley. If you ever visit, be sure to eat at The Filling Station and enjoy breakfast at the Chicken Coop. And if you are feeling fancy, the Steakhouse at Seeley is supposed to be excellent plus it has a dock for float planes. Can you say high class?
Once we got through the Swan & Seeley Lake areas, the remainder of most of the trip was interstate. We did make a stop for a photo opportunity at Clearwater Junction which is home to Stoney’s Kwik Stop and also a GIANT Hereford Steer! It has become seriously a recognized landmark and once I posted this photo on Instagram I was getting all sorts of comments from people who have family that live around the area. It is pretty funny that a huge steer can be so widely recognizable.
Our next stop was in Butte, Montana at one of our favorite places.. It’s a total hole in the wall, but well worth the stop! It is called the Freeway Tavern and it is the home of something called the Wop Chop which just so happened to be Evel Knievel’s favorite sandwich! In case you were wondering, yes, Evel is actually born and raised in Butte, MT. Hence the reason why this was his favorite sandwich stop!
It doesn’t look like much and don’t expect a five star dining experience. It is a down home tavern that has been a long-standing Butte tradition. So what is a wop chop? Well it is essentially a breaded and fried pork chop. Served on a bun with pickles, onions, and mustard. That is it. It sounds simple but let me tell you, it’s amazing! So amazing that it was even featured on the Travel Channel on Man vs. Food .
From there it was onto West Yellowstone. My husband is really familiar with this area as it is an area he comes to regularly during the winter months to snowmobile. The drive coming into West Yellowstone was simply gorgeous. West Yellowstone was a fun tourist town. I would have loved to spend some more time there and shop in all the little shops along Main Street. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express, nothing too fancy. We ate that evening at Wild West Pizzeria and Saloon which was some of the best pizza as well as a pretty fun place!
West Yellowstone was initially founded in June 1908 primarily to service tourists traveling into Yellowstone National Park. The town’s name changed several times until West Yellowstone was settled upon in 1920. It is known as the gateway into Yellowstone National Park and is also a very popular place for winter sports. My husband told me that in the winter, several of the streets aren’t even plowed to allow for snowmobile traffic only.
When my husband and his crazy friends travel to West Yellowstone in the winter, they travel through these passes, with loads of ice and snow on the ground, pulling a 20 foot trailer full of snowmobiles… Can you say insane?
Even though it was a long day on the motorcycle, we still had fun and the sights and scenery were worth it! I would go back to Seeley Lake and West Yellowstone in a heart beat! I fell in love with Montana as a whole. I keep joking with my husband that I wouldn’t mind at all if when we hit it big we bought a ranch there.
Have you ever been through Seeley Lake, Butte, or West Yellowstone? What are the must sees next time we go back?