For months I’d known that we had a wedding coming up in the rural mountains of Montana. I’d seen the pictures of the mountains on the bride-to-be’s Instagram. One of which she simply captioned “The picture doesn’t do it justice.” Yeah yeah, the mountains are gorgeous, take a pic etc etc. But she’s SO right! That’s the only way to explain the beauty via a picture. It feels so much more visceral when you are actually there, breathing the air, feeling the breeze and soaking in the beautiful views!
The Old Piney Dell
Naturally, I was very excited to explore more and photograph a part of America I’ve never seen before. We arrived in Billings, Montana in the afternoon and drove west to the town of Red Lodge. We checked into our motel, and headed straight our for dinner and drinks. I found the Old Piney Dell on the map and was amused by the name. Once we arrived I was also happy surprised with the cozy, lodge-y interior style and vey impressed with the food! Greg ordered the bison, and I the filet. Both were amazing and I exclaimed that it tasted so real!
The next day we got up, brunched at the Red Lodge Cafe & Lounge, then we were off on the Beartooth Highway to see more of majestic Montana….
I thought I could imagine the views and the feels. I thought, “Yeah, I’ve seen a few of these hills from the road by now.” Untilllllllll I got out of the car at one of the first lookout spots Greg noticed while I was on my phone…. I looked to my right, immediately rendered speechless, breathless and moved to tears by the views before me.
I’m talking about hands on my knees, gasping for breath, overwhelmed with the sights before me, kind of crying. I’m emotionally now reliving it. I’m not ashamed. Living in the midwest for your entire life makes you forget that the world and America is not just flat cornfields with occasional skylines along the lake.
We kept on up the highway, stopping here and there to take more pics. Stopped again at this look out point where it was 20 degrees colder and I walked on the mountain snow!
We stopped in the little town of Silver Gate, to stretch our legs and what not. Then decided to see how close we were to Yellowstone National Park. Turns out we were about 2 miles away! We made it to the entrance of the park much too late in the day. We agreed it would be a shame to try and rush through something so amazing and vowed to return for a full-on Yellowstone trip!
Creative direction dreams come true…
Sometimes I sew, and sometimes I slay! I sewed this maxi skirt for myself a few years ago. I wore it to a Winter wedding and a Christmas party. It wasn’t quite right for this wedding and honestly, it’s too damn tight to wear all night! But I envisioned this skirt in some sort of mountain woman chic style shot so I brought it along anyway….
Heading back the other way down the Beartooth was a bit of a different perspective. We stopped along this stream, and I almost cried again! THIS IS REAL! And this was it, this shot I’d been imagining. I quickly changed and set up the angle I wanted for Greg. *I’d like to just say, his creative eye and photography skills have gotten pretty darn good! Then we made some photo magic and I got to live out my creative dreams, in a skirt I designed and made with my two hands, in a look I styled, in a composition I set up, in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen!!!
I wanted to stop again at this first spot now that the light had changed. It was equally as beautiful. I was feeling Rocky Mountain high with flashes of delight! Another car pulled up, and I thought “Hooray! Someone to take pic of both of us!” The two ladies did not speak English, but thanks to iPhones, we easily exchanged photo favors for each other.
A majestic Montana sunset as we headed home to meet wedding friends for dinner. Stay tuned for part two of Lauren exploring Montana where I share more pics of Red Lodge and gorgeous wedding we attended!