28.04.2012 - 28.04.2012
After breakfast and check-out it was time for photographs. We drove to Deer Lodge centre and found a nice place next to an old railroad with Rocky Mountains in the background – so beautiful! Many great pictures were taken. And the sun decided to shine for a while too. Even though the sun shined it was really freezing outside. We got into our rental car and kept on driving along I-90-East towards Big Timber. On the way we passed Butte, Whitehall and Three Forks with unimaginable amazing nature, flat countryside mixed with mountain ranges. That distance represents the whole Montana in my opinion! So beautiful and fascinating nature with colors that only exists there… We stopped for lunch in Livingston. We had to try a Blueberry Pancake of course! My friend and I decided to share a portion of food and we barely finished it. How can you eat all that food on your own – is it even possible?
Then we headed towards Boulder Valley. The GPS suggested another and (according to the GPS) even faster route then the one we had planned to drive, so we took a chance and chose the faster route. Now afterwards we should never have done that, because that route was NOT faster… but it’s always easier being wise afterwards! That route started off on a narrow lingering road among mountains and valleys and not really suitable for that rental car we had. Due to the frost in the ground the road was breaking up here and there and further along the road was unevenly scraped and bad that we barely could drive. So after cursing and threats against the GPS we eventually got to a paved road.
Finally we had reached Highway 298 and we arrived at the Engle Ranch after only few minutes of driving. As a true Horse Whisperer fan, you know that’s the ranch where the movie Horse Whisperer was filmed in 1998. Both the white house where the Booker family lived in and the Creek House were visible from the Highway 298. We spoke with Mrs. Engle who owns the ranch and asked if we could take some photos. Since it was spring and the cows were calving we weren’t allowed to cross the bridge over to the Creek House, but other than that we could walk around on our own. Mrs. Engle briefly told us about different scenes and where they were filmed on the ranch.
Here follows some fun film facts for those of you who don’t already know…The white house where the Booker family lived in was built only for the movie. It literally consists of four walls and a roof. No scenes were filmed inside that house, they were all filmed in a studio. Today the Engle family more or less uses that white house as storage and the house is nowadays a ramshackle. The Engle family lives in another house only like 10 meters away from that white house. After visiting the Engle Ranch we drove to Big Timber and stopped for gas. Lazy J Motel (where Grace and Annie lives in the movie) is located in Big Timber. But the real motel name is Flying J Motel. Unfortunately we had no time to find that motel and its location was unknown for the GPS. Perhaps it’s out of business? After filling up the car with gas, we accidently chose the wrong way trying to get out of Big Timber and ended up at Crazy Mountain Museum, though it was closed. So I had a look around and saw a cemetery right next to the museum. I immediately recognized that gate to the cemetery which was used as the Big Horn Battlefield gate in the Horse Whisperer movie. So fact is: the scene where Grace and Annie stops at the Big Horn Battlefield gate (or what you are fooled to believe anyway) was filmed in Big Timber, just outside that cemetery.
We drove back to Bozeman and then took off south towards West Yellowstone. When we arrived in West Yellowstone we found a staying for the night just outside of the city. Due to low season we could easily find a staying, otherwise I highly recommend that you book staying in advance in or outside of Yellowstone National Park.