Big Sky Backdrop {Animal Friends & Animal-friendly Eats in Montana}

Big Sky Backdrop {Animal Friends & Animal-friendly Eats in Montana}

It was a whirlwind of a day in Montana. I am grateful to have tasted some really good vegan options… I ate well! And today that started at Bernice’s Bakery in Missoula, which has vegan bakery options. I was there bright and early with some other early birds. And I ate a cupcake for breakfast. It was just much more appealing than a muffin. DSC_0005

Their gorgeous vegan and wheat-free chocolate cupcake was a great beginning to a day of Montana love and appreciation. Staff always has a vegan option. I thank the college crowd for this trend. Youngin’s and their ideals.DSC_0002

Good Food Store is a must-stop for stocking up on road trip necessities: fluids, things with chia seeds, sweet snacks, salty snacks, and big organic apples. That covers all my bases really. DSC_0009

Never heard of this brand so I had to check ’em out. Daniel’s Vegan Cookies had many varieties available but… it’s always chocolate chip for me. They were no Uncle Eddie’s, but that’s ok. They were different: soft, fruit-sweetened, more bar-like. Perfect for munching while driving.DSC_0010

I made it to National Bison Range, the main reason for my trip. I played amateur nature photographer and snapped shots of the local residents. Unfortunately all the bison were elsewhere. I imagined them smoking cigarettes on the other side of the mountain discussing existentialism. I did see one lone bull. I was pretty bummed about not seeing any but I guess that’s wildlife for you. The scenery and other inhabitants of the refuge made up for it some.DSC_0013

Collected from seasonal antler shedding…DSC_0017

Surrounded by vegetarians.DSC_0025

The lone bull I saw. The outcast.DSC_0041

My favorite photo of the refuge. DSC_0046

More veg-heads nibbling on the greens.DSC_0068

A herd of cattle.

What are you looking at?DSC_0109

Rain clouds gathering.DSC_0119

Next, I headed east for a lunch option that looked very promising. I was thankful for a flat stretch of interstate driving through what seemed to resemble my father’s train set. Burnt siennas and umbers on rolling hills sprinkled with pine trees. It really did look like some model. I was on the way to Butte. I drove through Drummond, a creepy town known for its proud bull shippers. And meth addiction I suppose. DSC_0126

In case you thought you might try meth, read this poem.DSC_0130

Butte has a great eatery with some tasty vegan options: Hummingbird Cafe. Butte is another of Montana’s college cities, home to Montana Tech of the University of Montana. Though I didn’t explore the place past my food destination, the town seemed run down and sad. DSC_0139

I had their t.l.t.: tempeh bacon, lettuce and tomato. And a side of potatoes.

And a big side of their Avocado and Tofu No-queso-dillas. Served with a glorious almond cream sauce. This was heavenly.DSC_0135

After the fantastic lunch, it was time to make an appointment I had set back near Missoula. Though I despise obligation to anything other than my whims on a trip like this, it was an appointment I wanted to keep, especially since I had no quality time with the bison. And so, after some back and forth emailing through the day, I found myself tucked away on state land opening the gate on the state’s only farm animal sanctuary, New Dawn MT Farm Animal Sanctuary. I got an intimate tour of the grounds and met all the rescues… and got a lick down from a frisky bull. Here are my favorite shots of my visit.DSC_0191

This pig had wiry boar hair. What’s in your brush? Hope it’s not this guys hair.DSC_0145

Ol’ blue eyes. Goats always seem to have such inquisitive personalities, kind of say, “Hey-a, how’s it going? So-a what’s going on here?” DSC_0146

A curious and expressive llama was confused by my presence. Such a unique animal. Their gait, their reaching necks and small heads and piercing stares… then a abrupt gallop away. DSC_0151

A beautiful black-faced sheep. “Do I have to get up for you?”

Rasta sheep. DSC_0159

With their winter coats on. This was one of my favorite shots from the sanctuary. DSC_0156

Pot-bellied little guysDSC_0174

The rescue roosters DSC_0177

A friendly dog resident. He brought me over that circular thing wanting to play. But there were dairy cows about moo-ing something fierce. DSC_0183

And they wanted to lick me. And they did. I left the sanctuary covered in their saliva. IMG_7333

That’s all I got, Montana. I left with the sun, heading west. Running away from sundown. DSC_0196

Thanks for the Big Sky, vegan eats, and animal friends.DSC_0200