Friday, November 02, 2007

Absarokee Euphoria

Kirby Looks
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
Another beautiful autumn day in Montana and another superb example of small town high school football—this time in Absarokee.

I queried the people at the gate about how I would go about getting up on top of the foothills nearby that overlooked the gridiron. One of the Absarokee coaches informed me about the property owners that I would have to speak with first. Right there on the sidelines, he pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and called someone who knew the landowner's home number—Chris. Then, he called Chris directly for me. "Absolutely," came the answer from the other end of the connection.

I walked up the long driveway from the highway. Chris' 83-year-old father, Grant, was waiting for me near the house and offered me a ride on the ATV to the bottom of the foothills where the bridge crossed the Rosebud River.

With a least four cameras in my possession, I never thought to photograph Grant sitting on the ATV or standing on the bridge that passed over the river—a true Homer Simpson moment on my part. Nevertheless, we chatted all the way to the bridge as I held on, my legs dangling over the side of the ATV. Four deer grazing in the meadow gawked as we slowly rumbled down the path. We could have gone on for miles and I wouldn't have objected.

The game lived up to my expectations. An eight-man football nail-biter. Stanford roared out to a 22-6 lead. The margin was reduced to 22-12 at the half. And with momentum building early in the third quarter, Absarokee took the lead for the first time. Shortly after Stanford regrouped to take back the lead. And as the final minutes ticked off the clock, the Huskies of Absarokee marched down the field destined to tie the game it seemed and possibly win if they made the conversion. But it wasn't to be. A deflected pass, resulting in an interception that went unchallenged for a touchdown.

Unforgettable perhaps.

Absarokee Vista
Originally uploaded by mdt1960
But what I'll never forget were the few, but pristine moments of solitude I experienced while walking down from the foothills. It was like a dream. I passed along the tree-line path that followed the Rosebud River and its cold water from springs and run-offs in the nearby Beartooth Mountains. And up ahead... was it possible… the sound of high school football just out of my sight? I considered those out of body experiences that we hear about when the world becomes rather surreal. Could I have died?

Again, it was like a dream.


Stuart Griffin said...


Can we expect your presence at Drummond vs. Wibaux the trilogy? I find it hard to believe you could miss the match up of these two teams. Would love to see you there!

Morgan said...


This past weekend's trip to Sunburst and back has taken its toll (over 900 miles). I felt obligated to go there given the daylight game conditions of such a great location where games usually take place on Friday nights.

If I end up in Wibaux, I'm going to be there to take it in as a spectator rather than as a photographer. Do you suppose I can convince Coach O. and the Drummond bus to pick me up in Laurel on their way to the game? I'm sooooo tired of driving...

stuart griffin said...

I have read that article you posted about Coach Oberweiser as well as many of the things you have posted about him. I think you have already answered you own question.

Anonymous said...

I just found the site thanks to the GF Tribune. Really nice to see a site focused on a great Montana tradition. It brought back some memories, even though I wasn't fortunate enough to get to play at Absarokee so MANY years ago. I got to beat up on the Columbus Cougars in 1977 instead.

Go Wolves in 2008!!