Legend has it I’m smack dab in the middle of some sort of Indian spirit journey destination spot. Or maybe I read that this is a place where they go for vision quests…no wait, it said it was where the native Americans sent their touched in the head squaws. All I know is there are some amazing peaks poking out from a dark black panorama of Montana sky. Here’s the deal about the Crazy Mountains, everybody has their own story of why they’re called “the crazies”, so, I want to provide my own version of why the Crazy Mountains are named such.
It was 1809 and Lars Rasmussen was heading west towards what is now Idaho with dreams of becoming a potato farmer. Lars had a rough upbringing, the runt of the family you could say, and not the brightest from the little town of Crowcatchem, Maine where his family migrated to from the upper spans of Holland.
Lars was always a dreamer, he always had eyes for bigger things, things much bigger than what the rest of the family became complacent with in Maine. So, one fine autumn day, he treked out for) the west, in hopes of getting rich quick in the big wild West. Armed with nothing but his wit, a pen knife and his old coon dog Ralph, the West opened up before his eyes. In awe, after crossing the Yellowstone River about ninety times, he saw a mountain range ahead of him.
Confused, he turned back in the direction in which he came from, afraid that he had taken a wrong turn somewhere. Trotting back towards the east, he crossed back over the Yellowstone River about ten more times, in different locations, but all of them looking very much the same. After about two days of crossing the river over and over again, he decided to head back.
On this next voyage across the river yet another ten times, he encountered some wise natives to the area having a spirit adventure along the river banks. In a timid voice he asked which way the land of food from the dirt was, and the native shrugged. They had eaten some naturally occurring fungi and thought they were losing their minds. This queen fellow on a horse with that weird animal with floppy ears couldn’t be real.
Lars continued on towards the west and yet again, crossed the Yellowstone River for what seemed like the gazillionth time. Getting discouraged by the river, he started questioning his navigation skills. Ralph, the dog, said “screw it, I’m going back to head with the natives.” Lars was alone, and overwhelmed, he screamed at the river, “why the hell do you torture me so!”
The natives, still having a swell time with their psychedelic snack, heard the echoes coming from the direction of the mountains. The natives, fearing that the mountains had come alive, fled from the area, never to return to the area again. They went back to their camp and told of the mountains that screamed like a crazy person. Thus the name, Crazy Mountains.
Lars, he made it to Idaho.
Me, I’m hunkering down for the night in Livingston, Montana. Let’s hope the crazies don’t get me.