Cross Country Road Trip 2012: Montana

Get ready for Part X of our cross country road trip recap: Montana!

To recap, we drove 3,815 miles through 12 states, coast to coast. Our route took us through New York, Ontario in Canada, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, to Portland, Oregon. Check out the route:


From Yellowstone/the Wyoming border it was an hour and a half drive to Bozeman, Montana.


We went to a lovely, quaint neighborhood restaurant called Blackbird Kitchen in downtown Bozeman and had some great pizza.


After dinner we drove another hour and a half northwest to our hotel in Butte, Montana. On the way we enjoyed this lovely Montana sunset.


The next morning we drove about 40 minutes from Butte to Deer Lodge, Montana to visit the Old Prison Museum. I didn’t realize but it’s also the home of the Montana Auto Museum.


We opted to visit the Auto Museum side first.


The Montana Auto Museum held the most impressive and vast collection of cars in any one place I’ve ever seen in my life! And we’ve been to many car museums all over the country (the Larz Anderson Auto Museum and the Henry Ford Museum, to name a few). I really expected the car museum to be an afterthought to the prison museum but I was totally wrong and pleasantly surprised.


The collection of cars here ranged from the early 1900’s to roughly the 1980’s. As we continued on through the museum I expected it’d only be a few rooms worth of old Model T’s, but it just kept going! There was room after room after room of cars. Totally impressive.




There is something fantastically whimsical about old cars. Whenever I see them I envision myself driving them, in whatever era they are from, all decked out in a period-specific outfit and hairstyle. It’s a total guilty pleasure.




I love the matte paint on these cars, so cool.



When we finished at the Auto Museum, we headed next door to the Old Prison Museum.



The Old Montana Prison was built by inmate labor in the 1870’s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


The tour is self-guided (the guidebook was about 40 comprehensive pages, by the way) and covers the entire compound. The ambiance is a little creepy because all you can do is imagine what it was like to be a prisoner here at the turn of the century. The tour paints a very vivid picture of what prison life is like.


Still, I enjoyed how open and accessible all areas of the prison were. I wasn’t expecting to get so up close to things like cells, the maximum security pit, etc.



After we finished with the tour we got back in the car and drove an hour and a half to Missoula, Montana.


We stopped for lunch and had the best hummus I’ve ever eaten. I need to try and recreate it at home!


After lunch we walked around downtown Missoula for a little bit but then got back on the road. We had a 3 hour drive ahead of us to Idaho!


Stay tuned for Part XI – Idaho!

Author: Domestocrat

I'm a lady who enjoys photography, football, cooking, long drives with the windows down, This American Life, kettlecorn, hot yoga, pop punk, my nephews, my cat Reggie, and my home: Boston.

6 thoughts

    1. It really was. I’m so ticked off though – it was on their specials menu on the night we were there so when I went to their website to look it up it wasn’t on their regular menu. It was sausage, red peppers, red pepper flake, grana padano, and a few other things I can’t remember. I’m hungry just thinking about it.

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