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Hemingway Adventure

Big Sky, Montana

Big Sky, Montana, USA 
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Big Sky, Montana. Hemingways for the 1990s prepare to cross the Gallatin River for five days' elk-tracking and hunting.
Michael Palin - Hemingway AdventureBreakfast at Big Sky, an hour’s ride from Bozeman up the dramatic Gallatin Valley, with rugged vertical rock faces on its east bank and a fast, bustling river. This is skiing country and the buildings are raised on stone pilings against the winter conditions.

This time of year, October, is, I’m told, about the best time to visit. Less busy than the summer, more accessible than the winter, and beautiful too, with the sun hitting at dramatically low angles.

Hemingway enjoyed driving across America. In his sixtieth year, he drove through Iowa, Nebraska and Wyoming, keeping himself going, according to his biographer Carlos Baker, by listening to the World Series and ‘stopping at grocery stores in the smaller towns to buy apples, cheese, and pickles, which he washed down with Scotch and fresh lime juice.’ Eurghh.

At the side of the road just before Big Sky resort there is a long single-storey building with a log-cabin finish called the Corral Bar. It’s a folksy, friendly place with a good smell of bacon and fresh coffee and, I like to think, just the sort of spot where Hemingway would have found the company he liked. The rest-rooms are called ‘Bucks’ and ‘Does’ and the decoration favours things like bleached deer skulls. A huge moose-head hangs out over one of the tables. It bears an expression of amused tolerance and the curly-haired bison next to it looks positively angelic. Man, beast and breakfast in perfect harmony.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Hemingway Adventure
  • Chapter: Big Sky, Montana
  • Country/sea: USA
  • Place: Big Sky, Montana
  • Book page no: 238

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