Every so often, a bunch of great people decide to congregate in one place, and it becomes too good of an occasion not to make the trek.
Saturday was just such an occasion.
I have been a longtime admirer of North Bridger Bison and the Skoglund family who, five years ago, boldly made the decision to dedicate their lives to caring for a piece of land; and from that land, delivering the best-tasting, highest quality bison meat.
That piece of land sits just about an hour north of Bozeman, Montana, which is accessible via a pleasant drive through the striking Bridger Canyon.
The invitation was "dinner for 200 in the bison pasture."
We immediately made arrangements to attend.
So, on Saturday morning at 6:00 am, I loaded into a truck with my brother Jeffrey, my brother-in-law Kyle, and our Dad Mark. We departed North Idaho and headed east on the 90 toward Bozeman.
The ranch, the event, the conversation, and the food all exceeded expectations. The landscape has benefitted from an especially wet Spring, and the rolling pastures were green and teeming with life.
I stood on a knob in the terrain, running my binos back and forth over the herd, expressing my gratitude for the beauty and creativity laid out before me. The stunning picture of the day only mildly sobered by Matt Skoglund's reminder that it was -45F in December, in the very same place I stood.
Eduardo and his team spared nothing in their efforts to make the meal memorable and fitting of the occasion. Plate after family-style plate was presented—and swiftly devoured.
As we have said time and time again, sharing a great meal with truly great people is always time well spent—then you add to it the unique beauty of the bison range, and it can hardly be beaten.
If the stated aim of Windward-Westward is "deeper relationships with the natural world and richer conversations around the table," we have a few notes to borrow from last Saturday night on a pasture north of Bozeman.
Here are a few photos of the evening, courtesy of Jeffrey Allee: