I was astonished to discover on a recent road trip that my friend Bryon had never been to the Rock Creek Lodge. Home to the famous Rock Creek Testicle Festival, the bar/restaurant/gift shop in rural Montana is a treasure trove of weird and sometimes inappropriate gifts. In college, I frequently stopped to purchase a magnate that pictured a cartoon bull with steam coming out of his nostrils and read “I had a ball at the Rock Creek Testicle Festival.” Several of my close friend’s moms have that magnate hanging on their fridge as a gift for letting me stay with them. You're welcome.
Bryon was likewise surprised to learn I’d never stopped at the 50,000 Silver Dollar Bar in Haugan, Montana. Both stops are between Bozeman and Coeur d’Alene on I-90, a route we’d traveled more than thirty times. We pledged when our ski trip was over we’d stop at both locations on the way back to Idaho. Below are some pictures and the highlights of each stop.
Rock Creek is right off the interstate and besides a large parking lot and stage for the festival, it feels abandoned. Not pictured are men's and women's g-strings, a life size wood bull with large testicles that almost touch the floor, and racy post cards. My wife and I caught the tale end of the festival two years ago and had the opportunity to try a Rocky Mountain Oyster. They taste like chicken. The party had died down when we were there but from what I've heard it's a pretty rowdy four days.
Pictures: Bryon stands outside the $50,000 Silver Dollar Bar in Haugan, Montana. Second picture, there are plenty of cheesy items to purchase. Third picture, inset in all those pieces of wood are silver dollars, many with an accompanying signature. Above the door there's a current total count, 58,390 silver dollars. Last picture is of Bryon, I really think he should have bought that hat.
Cheep knives, air soft guns, cross bows, t-shirts with wolves on them, gaudy jewelry. Within the Silver Dollar Bar is everything you could ever want to bring home and throw away two years later. While Bryon and I were checking out the weapons a man accidentally shoved a knife through its holder and cut himself on the hand, bleeding everywhere.
Both locations were quite the experience for us. I can confidently say we will never go to both again. At least not on the same day.