16 January 2009
On The Way to Red Lodge Montana
Sorry, dear friends for the lateness of this entry. We did take an adventurous trip to Red Lodge last Tuesday. But other things have naturally distracted me. A limited report on Cowboy Coffin and Pine Box Co. is found here on BillingsFreePress.Com.
But there was more to the trip. As you can see above we are on Highway 212 with the ski-hill way in the background. You can just barely make out that big S curve on M.
Here we are a little closer. The road to Red Lodge was notable for being clear of snow and ice with a fair number of Angus cattle being fed—at least I think that's what those black cows out in the fields are called. Hardee's must be selling quite a few of those really good hamburgers.
As you can see there is some snow on the streets of Red Lodge, especially the side streets. Main Street looked pretty much as we remembered from a few years ago when our kids were in the skiing teen age mode and still at home. Hmm, that was quite a few years ago.
There is a nice Carnegie Library next to the train station. See above. The train station is now being used as an art gallery. I think the Library is still being used as a library, though I didn't go inside. The outskirts of town show some new buildings and a few places on Main Street have been gentrified for the tourists too. Looks like the Roman Theatre is still in business though I didn't look very closely because I was hungry.
We stopped at Foster and Logan's Pub & Grill on Main Street where the menu looked good, including a surprising number of small micro-brewers' offerings.
Red Lodge has its own brewery.
Which we didn't get a chance to visit but promise to do so next time we are in the neighborhood. The buffalo burgers at F and L's were very good. I would recommend them to my readers. And try the beer too.
It looks like there are several good places to eat in Red Lodge. One of the places we need to try soon is the Pollard Hotel.
After lunch we kept on going up Highway 212 toward Cooke City to look for the Cowboy Coffin and Pine Box Co. The Google map was useless as it suggested we should head out on Highway 78 toward Roscoe. Good thing we called Rand Herzberg, former ranger in these parts and now practicing some fine carpentry in his workshop about 3 miles south of Red Lodge. Here is an example of some of his nice joining to the right on one of his rectangular coffins. The "classic" shape is wider toward the shoulders, and takes longer to make with more skill involved, and so naturally costs more but they are all still quite reasonable.
Neat little boxes for cremated remains are also available. Please see Rand's very helpful website.
On the way home we stopped in Joliet to check out Charles Ringer's Studio and Gallery. It's the one with the very tall and scary Creature on the right hand side of Front Street as you are heading back to Billings. Smaller versions of this 18 ft creature are available according to the above website.
Mr Ringer was tied up but was apologetic on missing us so we will go back at some later time as both the workshop and the gallery looked like they had some interesting ideas brought to life in metal sculpture.