I was excited to attend this year's NACTA Conference, not only because it is a place where I can recharge my teacher battery, but also because it was in Bozeman, Montana and I have never been to Montana before. (NACTA is the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture and is made up of all the people in University and Colleges of Agriculture who care about teaching!)
I have been told the Pacific Northwest has 4 seasons - 1) not quite winter, 2) winter, 3) still kinda winter, and 4) road construction. It was definitely road construction season.
The conference was on the Montana State University campus. This was my first time choosing to stay in the dorms for this conference and it was totally the right choice. My own room, a great 7th floor view of the Montana mountains and only a half mile walk each morning to the conference in the student center. There was no A/C and the construction crews on campus got to work at 7am, but I was only really in the room overnight (temps in the 40s-50s) and I needed to be up for the conference anyway!
Bozeman has the cutest downtown. It was alive and walkable and a perfect place to walk, shop, eat, drink and while away the day. I started one morning at the leaf and bean for coffee. Yum! It was only around a mile walk from the dorm to Main.
And then, of course, a stop at every book shop on Main. I picked up a book on Yellowstone (foreshadowing) and a few postcards.
There were some great old buildings.
Even the stoplight control boxes were artistic.
I had lunch one day at Montana Ale Works - a brewery on east Main.
I had a great pilsner with my burger and fries. The weather - up until the conference started - was perfection.
There was still plenty of work to do - so I spent at least one whole day in the Bozeman Public Library watching the storm clouds roll in over the mountains while I worked. I miss thunderstorms.
Campus was beautiful. It actually felt a lot like Oregon State in size, proximity to downtown, and the booming growth/construction.
I saw the SAE house on my walk downtown. Not quite like OSU's. ;-)
This statue on main made me laugh. I initially thought someone knitted him a sweater, but it was a paint job.
I walked to Bar 3 BBQ for lunch one day and tried out a "Carolina" Pulled Pork sandwich. As a North Carolina girl, I couldn't resist seeing what passed for Carolina bbq in Montana.
Gotta say - while not what I am used to in N.C., I definitely wouldn't send it away. I cleaned my plate - which made the 1.4 mile walk home a lot SLOWER!
It was a beautiful, walkable city - except it was construction season in Bozeman, too!
Friday night, we were left to our own for dinner downtown. We ate at the Copper Whiskey and then strolled around downtown. We found this concert to raise money for the Montana State Rugby team - behind the Rocking R Bar - and listened until the rain moved in again.
Oh, and of course there was a conference with lots of professional learning. I promise - this was a work function.