Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Marilyn Mitzi Stonehocker
Condon, Montana 

Springtime in the Swan Valley

Montana Memories


March 25, 2021

Photo provided

Marilyn Mitzi Stonehocker Condon, Montana

Looking out the window I see melting snow, new grass emerging from a long winters nap, fragile buds starting to come to life. Springtime in the Swan Valley represents memories.

My teenager years. Saddling my horse after a quick brushing, too excited to do the job proper, my saddle bag containing a package of hamburger, one potato, one carrot, some tinfoil, salt & pepper. Matches, maybe some pitch to help start the fire to cook a meal at some point. The good ole' days.

Riding from the family home, stopping only to meet my friend, off we rode, usually fast paced. The horses ready to get out of winter pastures, reaching for quick bites of new grass as they moved toward the mountain, the Valley of Hush, peaceful, alive with new life. A fat doe, shaggy from winter hair, laden with a fawn for a June birth, running across in front of me, I smile.

Climbing the mountain, finding the trail, crossing the creek already starting to swell with spring run-off. Trees over the trail creating obstacles to detour around, yet we kept going. Soon our growling/rumbling empty stomachs cause us to pause and find the just right grassy, dry spot to have our feast. Finding dry wood was never easy, hence the pitch. Soon a fire blazing, trying for patience until we had coals. Never happened. Our foil package placed in the fire, soon the smells got the best of our hunger, half cooked hamburger, crunchy carrots and semi soft potatoes. I felt like a princess eating a fine meal prepared by a talented chef! By now the fire had settled to coals, marshmallows roasted, graham crackers assembled, the chocolate bar placed. The moans of my childhood memory, eating s'mores over an open fire, nothing better.

Our eyelids drooped, the sounds of silence around us as we drifted to sleep. Stomping horses nickering to head home awaken us. We doused our fire from our water canteens, kicked in the rocks of our fire pit. Tightening our saddle cinches, we mount and head home.

Dusk is arriving, the quiet surrounding us as the horses make their way homeward. No talking, just reflecting, another Montana Memory made.

Huckleberry Scones

2 ½ cup flour

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon soda

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup huckleberries (my preference) or any berry

1 tablespoon lemon juice

In a large bowl put flour, sugar, soda and baking powder. Grate cold butter on top. Mix with dough hook. Add berries. Beat egg buttermilk, vanilla lemon juice. Pour over dry ingredients. Place on floured board, pat into an 8" round circle, cut into wedges. Place on parchment paper cookie sheet. Bake 20 minutes in 425-degree oven.

Drizzle glaze over each cooled scone. Mix 1 cup powder sugar with enough cream to make a thin glaze. Enjoy with hot coffee.


Reader Comments(1)

LTL writes:

Thanks for the Story's


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