A Home with a view My Home in Montana

Page 1
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My New Home in Montana
Jon Ellen
Jon Ellen Snyder
After the storm
On Monday, July 25th 2005, I awoke to a bright, sunny morning after a night of intense rain, lightening and thunder pummeled Paradise Valley. My shelter from the storm was the Livingston Super 8 motel; a familiar and comfortable quarters where I often stayed during my annual visits to Yellowstone National Park over the past 32 years.
After a hearty breakfast at Clarks Crossing and a trip to the local flower store, I visited Jon Ellen at ERA Landmark Western Land on South Main Street in Livingston. Jon Ellen graciously showed me several properties in Paradise Valley in June. When I decided upon a house in Emigrant, Jon Ellen negotiated the property for me and even reduced her commission to finalize the deal. She acted as my attorney at the closing; I trusted her with the paperwork and numerous details. Like so many other people in my life, Jon Ellen did a superb job and I was happy to thank her with a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers.
Livingston Rainbow
Livingston and the opening to Paradise Valley
from 10,000 feet in June 2005
The storm passes
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Jon Ellen gave me the keys and directions to my new home. Shortly before noon I headed down US 89, a road I traveled many times before.
In 1972, at the young age of 16, I read an article in National Geographic about the upcoming 100 year anniversary of Yellowstone National Park. The glossy photos captured my imagination and I decided to visit this wondrous Park. That summer, I shouldered my back pack, sleeping bag and tent, pocketed my hard earned $21.00 and left my safe and secure home for adventures in the west. Four days later, my educated thumb, cardboard sign that only said "Please" and I traveled the same road I was driving on today. Times and I have changed. Now I drove a car and no out stretched thumbs were seen along the road. The summer sun felt warm as I drove beside the gently flowing Yellowstone river. In the distance, a lone angler stood waist deep in the cold water, skillfully casting for world class trout.
Yellowstone Valley
Paradise Valley and the Absaroka Mountains
Yellowstone Valley
Emigrant; a one traffic light outpost
in Paradise Valley
US 89 widened to four lanes as I approached the only traffic light in my new home town of Emigrant. A general store, laundromat and a Sinclair gas station with a brontosaurus dinosaur statue flashed to my left. On my right was a saloon, coffee and pastry shop and the local Post Office. In a blink of an eye I was through the town center and on my way south. Five miles later I turned right on to Dry Creek road. In a few miles the pavement ended by a small horse farm. I veered left on to Hercules road and started to ascend the mountain. Upwards I traveled for four more miles over small passes between large hills and through thickly forested spruce groves. Every half mile or so I caught a glimpse of my neighbor's houses and yards that blended into rolling, sun drenched, meadows and forest. The air grew thinner and cooler as I turned on to Sagittarius Skyway, a one and a half lane road with wild flowers and grass growing between the parallel dirt tracks.
Lofty and snow covered, Mount Emigrant soared above the horizon to my right while I gently picked my way along the narrow dirt track. Mule deer with black tipped tails lifted their heads while grazing in the roadside meadows to see who their new neighbor was. A family of rabbits darted across the road and disappeared into the sagebrush. The road climbed higher and grew narrower. A sharp drop off of 150 feet was on my right, while a steep wall of pink and yellow rock, rose to my left. Soon the road leveled and I found myself in a dense spruce and aspen forest. Shortly a small sign that simply said "129" pointed to the right and down my driveway I traveled. My new home!
My new home!
An afternoon rainbow graces my front yard
I left Branford, my hometown, my Mom, my brothers and close friends on the evening of July 18th, 2005. I cried as I crossed the town line and headed north towards Massachusetts. I missed everyone already and I was only in the next town. I thought of the wonderful times I shared with family and friends along the shore at Parker Memorial Park during the warm summer months. Memories of family picnics at Billy and Eileen's home, quiet dinners with my Mom and lively political discussions with my best friend Bill flowed through my mind as the miles spun away.
Seven days and over 3,000 miles later I rolled down the driveway to my new home. A new beginning I thought. I will spend less time earning a living and devote more time to building a life. I will find that elusive women who thinks I am wonderful, marry her and raise a family. Together, we will carve from the Montana wilderness, a life together and a future for our children.
Home Home
View from the southwest
in June 2005
View from the southeast
in July 2005
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My Home
Table of Contents

My Life
Main Table of Contents

Page 2
A Tour of my New Home