Animated Map of Paulie & Me Brewery Tour

This is the animated Map I built to show the progression of “Paulie and Me” on their microbrewery tour of the US.

I built this using photoshop and Final Cut, rather than a dedicated graphics or animation program. The results are pretty good for never having done anything like this before.

This map is embedded in the official Paulie and Me TV show teaser.

Montana Road Trip Pt. 4: Rust and Mountains, Bozeman – Nevada City

Burger Bob's, Bozeman, MT: This place hasn't changed a bit since I was here last ten years ago, from the MSU Bobcats helmets on the walls to the beer bottles chilling in a tub of ice. I admire any place confident enough to use self-deprecation to stand out in the fierce food service competition.

Burger Bob's, Bozeman, MT: Bob's lives up to their promise, plus I get one of the best burgers I've had in months. I imagine the beef coming from a field around the corner rather than from around the world.

Downtown Bozeman, MT: Bozeman's downtown is filled with art made by "local" artists, many having moved here from other places for the "quality of life" Montana's mountain towns offer. Many locals view this influx as detrimental to the character of these places (as well as an increase in property taxes).

Highway 287 toward Ennis, MT, south of Three Forks, MT: Beyond the curve of this highway the road is hemmed in by the 10,000 foot peaks of the Madison Range on the left and the Tobacco Root Mountains on the right. I have never been to Ennis and am stunned at the beauty of this highway. I can hardly believe I've never seen this stretch of road before and wonder what other treasures I've missed sticking to the interstate for all those years.

Highway 287 toward Ennis, MT, south of Three Forks, MT: The arid conditions spared this old ranch cabin, preserving a glimpse of a hard way of life that still exists for cattlemen. Ranchers in this area are known for still doing much of their work by hand or on horseback. I imagine that, for the ranch-hands that lived in this cabin a century ago, seeing the rugged beauty of the Tobacco Root Range right out the front door may have taken some of the bite out of the ever-present wind scouring the valley floor.

Top of the pass near Eight-Mile Creek, Hwy 287, Overlooking Ennis, MT: Homage to the trusty Toyota I borrowed for this trip. It is a joy to drive on the twisty backroads and its large windows offer excellent visibility as I gape at the mountains drifting by.

Virginia City, MT: These pumps and boarded up station sit at the edge of one of Montana's most famous ghost towns, Virginia City. Though most of the gold rush buildings are being restored, this historical late-comer sits decaying. Much of Montana's rural history is visible in rusting heaps along its roadways. Barns and machinery in various states of degradation, populate the open spaces between communities. Broken down farm trucks become archeological stratification: 1960's Chevy next to a 1950's International next to a 1940's Dodge next to a 1930's...

Nevada City, MT: Nevada City is another famed ghost town. Unlike Virginia City a few miles away, Nevada City almost disappeared before being reassembled from period buildings found and shipped in from around the state. This sign commemorates the vigilante actions that gave the old west some of its "wild" reputation. This reputation lives on in the largely self-reliant towns along western back roads.

Montana Road Trip Pt. 3: A Taste of Rural Life, Columbus – Bozeman

Stump Gulch outside Columbus, MT: The Stump Gulch fire roared through here leaving behind these smoldering hillsides. I drove through here two evenings ago, at the height of the blaze, and watched columns of flame cast infernal light over miles of interstate. The highway worked as a fire-break, stopping the wildfire's progression south. Smoke still darkens the sky as the fire burns northward.

Road toward the Crazy Mountains, outside Big Timber, MT: I love this view of the Crazies jutting up out of the flat prairie as I drive toward Big Timber. The ruggedness of the range foreshadows the mountainous landscapes that are to come as I head west.

Big Timber, MT: At one time, wooden fences kept cattle from wandering from one range into another. This one, however, holds back a development of new mini-mansions. This creek will soon be drained trying to keep lawns of non-native grasses green in this arid environment.

Big Timber, MT: Wood fences have long-since been replaced on working ranches by barbed wire. Wildflowers line this working ranch in the shadow of the Absaroka-Beartooth mountain range.

Main Street, Big Timber, MT: Main Street in the working town of Big Timber is lined with muddy pickup trucks and hardware stores. The facade on the Timber Bar is covered with neon lights and has, no doubt, acted as a beacon to ranch hands for miles around. I am sad that I have to leave before nightfall.

Main Street, Big Timber, MT: The art in Big Timber doesn't seem like a kitschy glorification of the past to drive tourism but, rather, a celebration of a way of life the town still clings to. The influx of wealthy outsiders trying to carve out a slice of "Montana" for themselves is slower here (and many rural areas) due to its distance from developed features like Yellowstone Park.

Bozeman Pass, I-90, between Livingston and Bozeman, MT: Wildflowers grow thick along Montana's roadways adding color to the already stunning landscape. The flowers are so ubiquitous that I didn't even notice them until I moved back east and wondered what was missing: a blur of yellows, reds, blues and whites.

Main Street, Bozeman, MT: Montana Ale Works, built out of an old railroad depot sits across the tracks from an agriculture distribution center. Even with the short growing season at 5,000 feet, this valley supplies many of the fine grains that go into boutique breads and beers around the country.

Montana Road Trip pt. 1: Flatland – Pompey’s Pillar to Red Lodge

Montana’s vastness strikes me as the needle on the car’s speedometer inches up to eighty-miles-per-hour, a speed I never hit on the east coast because of speed limits and traffic. The wildflowers along the highway blur into broad, impressionistic brush-strokes. Barbed wire fence posts flick by as fast as frames on a movie reel. And, yet, the mountains on my left haven’t so much as moved over the last half hour of driving. And, because of their size and distance, they will hang there in suspended animation for the next hour (until I turn north in Livingston).

I feel comfortable in this vastness, even after spending the last three years buried in Maine’s dense forests, driving on roads that look the same, mile after mile. Don’t get me wrong, Maine is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. When I press my foot against the accelerator  in Montana, however, I find myself surprised that anyone could ever fall asleep behind the wheel and die on these roads. Over every hill, there is something new to see!

These images are a small part of what I see as I drive between the grassy plains of Pompey’s Pillar and rocky peaks outside Stevensville, Montana.

Sit back, roll down the windows and take it all in.

Pompey's Pillar, MT: My trip starts where this sandstone column rises 150 ft. over the grassy prairie about 25 miles east of Billings. In 1806 William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition carved his name in the sandstone after climbing to the top to survey the landscape. He wrote in his journal about the jagged mountains he saw on the horizon. Those peaks are the Beartooth Mountain Range 80 miles away. I hope to be there before the end of the day.

Pompey's Pillar, MT: Long before Clark named the pillar for Sacagawea's son, it held special meaning for the people of the Crow Nation who called it, "The Place Where the Mountain Lion Lies." The bluff is a place of great spiritual power to the Crow whose oral histories tell of vision quests at the rock by several prominent Crow leaders.

Pompey's Pillar, MT: Captain Clark wasn't the first nor last to graffiti this rock. These stairs lead visitors to where they can see Clark's signature among petroglyphs dating back before the horse was introduced to the American Indians in the 1700's through etchings made by railroad workers in the late 1880's. If you look closely, you can see the masts where motion-detectors and video cameras stop modern-day defacers from leaving their marks.

Outside Billings, MT: Billings lies in the Yellowstone River Valley, surrounded by sandstone cliffs on both sides. This photo, taken a few miles up-river from Billings, shows the landscape that gives Montana its moniker "Big Sky Country."

Outside Billings, MT: There's no shortage of patriotism in eastern Montana. Political signs often linger, fading in the sun, for years after the elections have decided their candidates' fates.

Pictograph Cave State Park, Billings, MT: This site served as a shelter to the area's American Indians for over 3,000 years, both in the caves (one of which is visible behind the tipi) and, after the introduction of the horses, on the banks of Bitter Creek in tipis.

Farm outside Billings, MT: A tractor kicks up a plume of dust as it crosses a dry field. The Yellowstone River Valley is fertile, yet challenging to farm. Less than 14 inches of rain fall on this field each year.

Red Lodge, MT: The facades on the buildings in downtown Red Lodge have a polished look that illustrates the crossroads that the town has passed. At one time this town eeked out a living on timber, mining and agriculture. Now its biggest growth sectors are tourism and real estate. It's hard to find a town more removed from its past.

Red Lodge, MT: The flags of dozens of countries hang along the streets in preperation of the Festival of Nations, one of the most meaningful ways Red Lodge struggles to keep hold of its past. The festival is a celebration of the influx of multi-national immigrant labor that dug its mines and tilled its fields. The festival includes traditional food and dancing.

Natali's Front Bar, Red Lodge, MT: Natali's is definitely the kind of place you throw your peanut shells on the floor. I arrived a little too early for a drink. The door was open, but no one seemed to be around to explain why there were hundreds of $1 bills pinned to the ceiling.

Montana Candy Emporium, Red Lodge, MT: Made out of an old theater, the Montana Candy Emporium is filled with old-time kitsch, cool cruiser bikes and buckets of local, hand-made candies. I felt like, well, you know...

Road into the mountains, outside of Red Lodge, MT: Red Lodge is the gateway to the Beartooth Mountains. Here' the road splits. Primitive single-lane jeep roads like this one climb to the right to the 10,500 ft. Hellroaring Plateau. On the left, Highway 212 switchbacks its way 5,000 ft. up and over Beartooth Pass. On the other side is my next destination: Yellowstone National Park.