I’ve been absent from blog space for a while, but as many of you may know, my house was destroyed by fire on December 23. My mother actually passed away on that same day. So Mrs. Lincoln…other than that, how’d you like the play?
I was 400 miles away with my mom at the time of the fire, but imagine being at her bedside and getting a call at 3:00 am telling me that my house was ablaze and my wife and son were not accounted for. I’ll certainly never forget it. Fortunately about 10 minutes later as I was frantically gathering my stuff to leave, I got another call saying that Ellen & Sam were OK and at a neighbor’s house. That was probably the longest 10 minutes of my life.
The Yellowstone Rod Run, which takes place in West Yellowstone, Montana, has been going on for 40 years. Now, 40 years is a long time for any show, let alone one that is as remotely located as this one. But without fail, year after year since 1970, folks have been making the pilgrimage to this little town located at the west gate of America’s oldest National Park.
I personally love Yellowstone and have been there at least ten times which is pretty good for a boy from the Midwest. So when this show finally lined up with an opening in my production schedule, I pounced on it!
We flew into Bozeman, MT which is a beautiful and surprisingly trendy town that’s also home to Montana State University, and then drove the 90 miles south to West Yellowstone paralleling the Gallatin River which must be loaded with trout because it was certainly loaded with fly fisherman (and women).
The car show was on a Saturday, but we came in early enough to take part in some of the pre-show festivities which included a cruise into the park to Old Faithful Lodge on Friday morning and run up to 320 Guest Ranch for a cookout that evening. The sight of over 100 rods, customs, and classics rollin’ thru the West Gate of Yellowstone National Park was something I think I’ll always remember.
The weather on Thursday had been rainy, but Friday and Saturday were picture perfect. Saturday’s show was held in West Yellowstone’s City Park and somehow they managed to shoehorn in over 500 cars and a few thousand people.