Ennis, Montana-Population 840 people, 11,000,000 trout

In late June, as part of a family vacation, we helped design the centerpieces for the 9th Annual Madison River Foundation’s “Guardians of the River Gala.”  Hosted at the Old Kirby Place and Fishing Lodge, we all enjoyed an incredible evening on the very high shores (due to the season’s continued rains along with snow melt) on the Madison River.

The evening featured a truly remarkable bar-b-q styled meal from Scott and Amy Kelly of Banditos Restaurant, along with live music from nationally known jazz stylist Steve Hulse and his trio.

Our vicinity journeys also included hikes in the mountains, where self seeded succulent gardens were around every corner, along with bluebirds singing their songs above the first blooms of bitterroot.  Homemade huckleberry ice cream, history, garage sales, and antiques led us to Virginia City, Montana,  where we agreed with the town’s brochure:

“No more colorful pioneer mining camp ever existed”

The town remains as if the gold rush never left, and spirits such as those like Al Swearengen, Doc Cochran, and Cy Tolliver can be imagined during one’s mosey through town.

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