Gardiner, Montana… Summer 2016 another one for the books…

As the evening stars over take a bright clear day, the season is changing here in Gardiner, Montana… Summer is fading…

Day light fades as evening over takes Gardiner... The summer is fading too...
Day light fades as evening over takes Gardiner… The summer is fading too…

The summer of 2016 is another one for the books in this sleepy little town, the season is changing. But, as I reminisce about the summer of 2016 a smile crosses my face…  Gardiner always delivers in the summer… I know this from experience… Something that keeps drawing me back…

Nature and Beauty...
Nature and Beauty…
canary_springs
Canary Springs, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park.

There are old friendship to be strengthened. and new ones to forged…

Old Friends...
Old Friends…
Portrait of Zac...
Portrait of Zac…

 

 

 

New friends made... 2016, Flying Pig crew...
New friends made… 2016, Flying Pig crew…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the summer time, romance is always in the air…

Drink until she is cute...
Drink until she is cute…

 

 

 

cowboysSome just for the summer and some forever…

 

 

 

 

 

The River bekecons, and is always a good time and a way to cool down during those longs summer days…

Good times on the river...
Good times on the river…
The confluence of the Gardiner River and the Yellowstone River...
The confluence of the Gardiner River and the Yellowstone River.

Though for me Gardiner is more than Nature, Yellowstone Park, friends and the river… There is something about the town, that draws me back…saint_marys

 

 

 

 

 

arch

 

 

 

 

 

 

The spirit to push West. Gardiner is that to me… Thank you Gardiner for another amazing summer… See you soon…

Head West...
Head West…

 

Canyon Collected at the Two Bit.

leon
Leon the Entertainer… Banjo
jake
Jake Heidrich… Mandolin & Harmonica

 

 

The original grass band from Canyon Collected the dance hall stage at the Two Bit...
The original grass band from Canyon Collected the dance hall stage at the Two Bit…

Canyon Collected an original grass band from Colorado, they describe their music as “whiskey bent on blurring genre lines and creating new music rooted in an all american cross country experience”.  The four members all have unique style in their playing & song-writing, and have been together since 2013. Each summer the band hits the road on tour performing across the country.  Every tour they are sure to come to Montana with a gig in Gardiner an important stop.

TIA MARTINI...
Tia Martini…Ukulele
OLIVER ADAMS...
Oliver Adams… Guitar
A couple of local song birds, Audrey Bowers and Jesse De get the show started...
A couple of local song birds, Audrey Bowers and Jesse De get the show started…
The dance hall...
The dance hall…
Good times are always to be found at the Two Bit...
Good times are always to be found at the Two Bit…

Only in Gardiner… A man can dream big…

 

lou_inside
Louie had a dream, a dream to build something great…

Gardiner is a unincorporated community, it is not governed by a local municipal; there is no mayor, no city counsel, no building codes… Gardiner in many ways is wild and free.

This is what draws many to Gardiner, in G-town you can do what you want…

Lou, wanted to build something great, something for himself, something for his community. Lou, is a simple and proud trades man. A plumber and refrigeration guy, who cut his teeth in New England. Lou, loves the building trade, his skills go far beyond plumbing.

Lou stands tall, proud of the house he is building...
Lou stands tall, proud of the house he is building…
cabinphoto
A picture from the winter of 2008, the beginnings of louie’s dream…

Only in Gardiner, because of it’s lack of codes and red tape could someone build a house little by little. And, that is what lou does… With patients and great skill Lou is building his dream…

gardiner_view

Great views from Lou's home his is building for himself...
Great views from Lou’s home…
The house on the hill has been under construction for 10 yrs, only in Gardiner...
The house on the hill that has been under construction for 8 yrs, only in Gardiner…

Ask Lou when his house will be done? He will smile and tell you he is working on it… Lou’s house is known though out Gardiner, some scoff, others are amazed at the skill and his determination. I personal believe in Lou and his dream. Someday this house will be finished and it will be amazing.

Portrait Lou...
Portrait of Lou…

The Rodeo comes to Gardiner.

booth
The community of Gardiner, travelers and Electric peak all came out to watch the Annual Gardiner Rodeo…
The Gardiner Upper Yellowstone Round Up is held annual every late June, In Jim Duffy Arena.
The Gardiner, Upper Yellowstone Round Up is held annually every late June, In Jim Duffy Arena.
rodeo_clown
The ring leader of the rodeo…

The whole town is a buzz for the event that brings the local community and travelers together. Gardiner, Montana is a western town with western values, these aspects are shared in the tradition of Rodeo. Passing on the tradition to the next generation…

next_generagtion2

The next generation...
The next generation…
  • The rodeo has many events to showcase: bare back bronc riding, Bull Riding, Calf Roping, Cowgirl’s Barrel Racing, Cowgirl’s Breakaway Roping, Junior Barrel Racing, Junior Breakaway, Saddle Bronc Riding, Steer Wrestling, and Team roping to name a few…
    Bronc Rider...
    Bronc Rider…
    Bull Rider...
    Bull Rider…
    Barrel Racer...
    Barrel Racer…
    Team calf ropers...
    Team calf ropers…

    But the event that the next generation and everyone looks forward to is chasing the cash cow.

    Youngsters chasing the cash cow...
    Youngsters chasing the cash cow…

    rodeo_horses

    The next Generation...
    The next Generation…

     

     

 

 

 

 

The race is on… The annual Gardiner raft race…

starting_line
The annual Gardiner Montana Raft Race, is about to start…
The river rats where getting pumped for Gardiners annual raft race...
The river rats where getting pumped up…

Every year once the high waters have mellowed, once the flows of the Yellowstone river turn green and warm a bit. The seven white water raft companies that call the Yellowstone and Gardiner home race to see who is the best.

The race is on, who is the best company?
The Race is on, each company digs deep… To prove that their raft company is the best in G-town.

Each company sends their there studs, whether male or female, seasoned or rookie. To be on the race boat, you must dig deep and in sync. The captains are the lead guides; on the stick, in the back, barking out strokes, and steering the raft.

The Studs, Race boat...
A stud, and a race boat…
But, each company sends a party boat as well, they race, drink beer and look pretty...
But, each company sends a party boat as well, they race, drink beer and look pretty…

 

The race is fast, three miles down stream from the confluence of the the Gardiner and Yellowstone rivers, through the center of town, and across the finish line at the airport. The rivers swift current and the paddlers strong strokes make short work of the coarse. And in the end, only one company can pridefully claim that their the best in G-town.

The race is tough... Running the town stretch,
The race is tough… Running the town stretch the winners surge ahead, the loser fall back…
The best company in G-town for the summer of 2016, Wild West...
The best company in G-town for the summer of 2016, Wild West… 

But, the racers all have fun. And, more importantly learn about themselves, their fellow river rats and the mighty Yellowstone. Forging memories that last forever…

The Flying Pig company, The Pigs of 2016 took third...
The Flying Pig adventure company still fly’s high even when taking third place.

 

Being a rookie raft guide ain’t easy.

The Yellowstone River divides Gardiner, MT, the rivers flows from the park north, wild and free through the town… The waters are a friget forty five degrees during high water, the current swift. It is not easy being a rookie guide on the stone.

The Rookies work hard at Montana White (MW)
The Rookies work hard at Montana White (MW)
Portrait of Cody Brundidge...
Portrait of Cody Brundidge…
a_season_captain
A Season Raft captain. The Town Stretch, Gardiner, MT.

Cody is a rookie at MW or Montana Water, a first year raft guide. Cody is proud the day that I took his portrait, recently he got check off to take boats with paying customers down the mighty Yellowstone. One hour before this photo Cody took his first run down the Town Stretch of the Yellowstone river as the Captain.

Cody is on his way to become a seasoned guide, a river rat… To be Continued…

cody_on_his_way
Cody is on his way…

The Boys of Summer…

The Boys of Summer...Brothers Ben and Shane are enjoying the long days and adventure!
The Boys of Summer…Brothers Ben and Shane are enjoying the long days and adventure!

Summer time and the living is easy in Gardiner, Mt. The suns sets high and the nights are cool and short. The boys of the summer are out…

Out of... Out of School...
Out of… Out of School…

Although while the school is out for Ben and Shane; the elk once again roam and graze the football field…

Gardiner High Schools field, Rosevelt Arch and Yellowstone... Oh and, the Boys of Summer.
Gardiner High Schools field, Rosevelt Arch and Yellowstone… Oh and, the Boys of Summer.

 

Gardiner, Montana…

Welcome to Gardiner...
Welcome to Gardiner…

I came to Gardiner as a lot of young people do, to work in Yellowstone. I was 19 yrs. old and I had always dreamed of working in a national park, dreamed of Montana…

I guess in many ways Gardiner is somewhat home for me, I’m kind of a local… Yellowstone brought to this sleeply town, year in and year out of checking in at Xanterra headquarters… Then as a raft guide floating the mighty Yellowstone…  Heck, I have even braved the long winter months there…

All this to say, that I love Gardiner, Montana. I am deeply connect to it;  G-town is truly a special place. So when this summer class Small Town Documentary was offered at Montana State was I was on board. And, I knew exactly where I would go photograph and explore…

I hope to deepen this love… To find out more… And, to share this small town with others through this project.

Kenny G,

Gate Way Home... This is a photograph that I took last year of Roosevelt Arch, with a 4X5 view camra.
Gate Way Home… This is a photograph that I took last year of Roosevelt Arch, with a 4X5 view camra.

 

Parkie’s this way…

Parkies this way...At the end of the main drag in Gardiner you have two ways to go. A right, to Yellowstone; a left to human resources of Xanterra and to Yellowstone.
At the end of the main drag in Gardiner you have two ways to go. A right to Yellowstone; a left to human resources of Xanterra and then to Yellowstone.
Many people take a left, coming to the first national for employment.
Many people take a left, coming to the first national park for employment.

Thousands pass through Gardiner, MT every year from around the world and the country to work at Yellowstone, their employed by Xanterra, Yellowstone’s concessionaire. Their are seven different regions in the park that are their final destinations: Gardiner, MT, Mammoth Hotel, Roosevelt Lodge, Canyon Village, Yellowstone Lake Hotel, Grant Village and Old Faithful Inn. Jobs vary from house keepers to engineer workers to the managers of park locations. All are vital to serve the millions that come to visit the park every year.

This is where the employees of Xanterra come to get their uniforms: housekeepers, kitchen crew, servers, carpenters, painters, boat drivers, exc.
This is where the employees of Xanterra come to get their uniforms: housekeepers, kitchen crew, servers, carpenters, painters, boat captains, etc.  Xanterra employs many, many different types workers).

 

 

 

 

For many who come to work at Yellowstone, it becomes their home. Working both the summer and winters seasons, the seasons soon becoming years spent in the park. Gardiner is a life line to the employees of Yellowstone, many who work in interior of the park come to Gardiner for groceries, recreation and community. Many Yellowstoner’s eventually  become Gardiner locals. Xanterra is head quartered in Gardiner and Mammoth hot springs.

The Yellowstone gate pass stickers become badges of honor for Parkies, Yellowstoner's, and Xanterrorist's who have worked for years in the park.
The Yellowstone gate pass stickers become badges of honor for Parkies, Yellowstoner’s, and Xanterrorist’s who have worked for years in the park.

This is Billy Begay, he has worked for Xanterra for 19 summers as a wangeler at the horse corrals at Canyon Village, deep in the interior of Yellowstone. Billy, comes from the Navajo nation located in south western united states where he winters. Billy trades the heat of southwest summers for the coolness of Yellowstone, the cold of Yellowstone winters for the warmth of his reservation; both Yellowstone and his nation, Billy consider’s home. Billy, loves his work in Yellowstone, and is well known through out the region for his kindness, work hard and stories.

Portrait of Billy...
Portrait of Billy…