We left our apartment at 3:30am in the morning, cos our plane leaves La Guardia at 7am. It was a pleasant 50 min drive to La Guardia, really funny to drive thru the city at this hour. The funny thing is, Times Square was filled with people, like how it would be at say, 10pm. I guess NYC is truly a city that never sleeps :P Since we checked in online earlier in the day (we flew United all the way) at home and already have our boarding passes, we just needed to check in our luggage (it's $20 per bag if you check in at the airport but only $15 per bag is you do so and pre pay at home). The flight to O'Hare in Chicago was uneventful but all the 'fun' began in Chicago. I will not go into details in this post (it's so stupid, I would need a whole new post dedicated to that), but our flight to Bozeman was delayed for close to 5 hours! Let's just say the whole plane cheered when the plane finally took off from O'Hare.
After such a long long day, we were so glad to see this out from our plane window. Yup, that's rite! The Bridger Range! It's part of the Rocky Mountains and it separates Bozeman and Clyde Park (where the Ranch is located). The view from the plane was just breathtaking, the beautiful blue skies, the vast plains and the rocky mountains. I guess it's "Welcome to Montana!".
We had to fill in some forms and once that's done, we could help ourselves to some pre packed lunch/snacks and chill for a little. We had a choice of BBQ Chicken Pitas or Ham Pitas. Of course we could take both if we wanted...lots to go around! In the box was also some chips, potato salad, some dessert and a huge yummy chocolate chip cookie.
Once we were done with our food, we piled into a huge motor coach for the 1 hour ride from Bozeman to the Crazy Mountian Ranch. Of course (in true Marlboro style), there were more food/snacks and drinks for us in the motor coach. I was a really pleasant ride in the big windows motor coach. The scenery was just breathtaking, with the rolling mountains and beautiful countryside. We even crossed over the Yellowstone River a few times. Jimbo, one of the guest relation staff made the ride interesting by pointing out interesting sights and telling us all about Montana and the Ranch.
After about 45 minutes or so on the bus, the motor coach pulled off the main road and we saw the famous Crazy Mountain Ranch gates. Yes, the Ranch is real...it's not some urban legend made up marketing people from Marlboro :P After clearing security (yes, security is tight here at the ranch), we were finally in! As we made our way down the road, the Marlboro theme song (theme from Magnificent 7) came on. With the Crazy Mountains ahead of us, whip cracking cowboys on horseback riding beside the motor coach and as we watch the town slowly emerge from the horizon, it was definitely a surreal experience. I found a short vid on YouTube, showing the cowboys riding next to the motor coach. Pretty cool huh?