Once again, the weekend after the 4th is the big ol' Goosetown Softball Tournament in Anaconda, MT. Teams come from all over the place and probably double the population of that cute little burg, and it's been a tradition of ours for years and years. I don't play anymore with my broken up old body, but Mrs Shady still does (this year on a brand new ACL) and I am happy to be the support system. Because I get to go ride. I did one of my lame reports on this last year, and it's here: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=599050 And now, the 2011 version! We sold our camper a couple years back, and our friend that we camped with sold hers, so now we're down to what we refer to as "the Box". My 8x20 Haulmark. Cheap and works for me, as my needs are simple. I loaded the bike up into it and we hit the road Friday afternoon. We arrive in Anaconda and it's getting a bit late, and I want to get up into the hills and set up a camp. So I leave the girls in the Box, who assure me they will be up to no good while I'm gone and thusly bid me a farewell. And I'm dumb enough to leave them there. I'm-a hittin' the road Jack Anaconda is the coolest little town. Once one of the richest in the world (mining), there is fascinating architecture and history, and funky little places to check out. But I'm on the move as the day's long in the tooth Rolling towards Butte I cut north into the hills Stopped at this interesting place with old chimneys. It was almost a little creepy the way the rocks were stacked in different formations around the area. Made me think of the Blair Witch Project movie, or some cult spot. Continuing on, there are many trails that beg exploration And old mines The road was closed 7 miles ahead, the sign said, and my planned loop was threatened. Lots of washouts from our record snow runoff. But as I headed up anyway, I bumped into a pickup with 3 really stinky guys in it that were missing some teeth. They were quite friendly and assured me passage was no problem, they'd come around the barrier earlier with their truck. I rolled on. Little cricks burble everywhere I find me a spot a few more miles up, set up camp, and after a couple beers and a fantastic CAO cigar Big Cuz sent me, I crawl quite tired into my home for the night My cheapo sleeping bag that packs real small, is rated for 30 degrees. I would like to see the guy who tests them. Because it did get to 30 degrees and I nearly perished that night. An extra little cotton bag liner saw me through. In the morning, there was frost on the grass which surprised me even though I was at about 6500 feet. I waited for the sun to warm the tent up then took this picture. Made a big ol' cup of coffee on my SteverStove. This is livin', babe. My watch is this bright thing in the sky. It said maybe get moving so I packed up my camp. And rolled on towards the Boulder River. Boulder, MT This big mine you could see from outer space. It's called the Golden Sunlight mine. I thought that was funny, and chuckled for several miles about it. Nothing against mining, we wouldn't have motorcycles or much of anything else without extracting resources from the earth, but razing a whole mountain and naming it something happy to make it sound better just cracks me up. It's like having the Fragrant Daisies Sewage Treatment facility, or the Happy Cows Slaughter House. Got into Whitehall and just loved this old sign Back up into the hills I heated up some beef stew for a nice hot lunch From there over fun and curvy Pipestone Pass Headed back through Butte and to Anaconda The girls had been winning and it was looking to be a good tournament for them. After Val's ACL replacement, and the trading of minor injuries between her and Clarissa, someone had named them Parts and Spare Parts. That's what their shirts say now Get them on the field and they're all business Back to the Box, we have afternoon beers and snacks, and after several games the girls are zonked and resting for the evening game Even Darcy was wiped out But they kept hammering away, and by Sunday night they'd played 8 games into the championship, and just lost out to a team from Spokane that they beat handily earlier. So our team the Growlers took 2nd out of about 30 or 40 teams. It was awesome excitement! I like team pictures like this after the games, when everyone's all beat up and dirty and bleeding. Real players they are, and there is a guy's team in the Growler's organization featured here too. This is right after the championship game. It occurs to me that with all the beer we drank, I don't have any beer drinking pictures. I was reminded of this last year in that thread as well. When the cold beer was out, the camera was away. So, just imagine a bunch of pictures of people drinking beer and laughing and being just like a beer commercial. People around here all know about Goosetown. Lot of the guys say "Oh man you're going to sit over there and cook in the July sun, get all dusty and miserable, get home at midnight on Sunday after it's done, no way man not me." And others will say I'm a little off base for going to a girl's softball tournament where all those big ugly manly chicks gather, what a waste of time. I have one thing to say to them. Suckers!