When we pressed
even Missoula, things began to seem strange.
Like we were traveling through another dimension — a dimension
not only of sight and sound but of mind, mountains and cooked animal
parts. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that
of imagination, deep fryers, Idaho and Canada. Wait, there’s a signpost
up ahead… our next stop: The Testicle Zone!
Luckily the festival
fortnights after the big bash, The Rock Creek Lodge was still having
a ball serving up Rocky Mountain Oysters.
The Rock Creek Lodge is a typical mountain inn with
of their obsession with livestock gonads. We sauntered in and bellied
up to the bar amongst the usual mix of cowboys and Grizzly Adams
types, fortified ourselves with a beer — even though the sun was
still high in the sky — and chatted up the bartender, Frank, between
the telling of tall tales by our already half-in-the-bag barmates.
us, but he died doing what he loved, leaving this world on the
last day of the twenty-fifth Testy Festy.
Conceived to boost sales for the Lodge, the Testicle Festival can
be likened to any major ballet companys production of the
Nutcracker — it keeps the place in business for the rest of the
the past few years. After a bit of prodding, however, we
were treated to a peek of the photo albums from the early years.
Suffice it to say Mardi Gras in New Orleans began to seem tame compared
to the antics of the original Testy Festys. Let’s say bovine reproductive
organs were not the only species represented. Yeah, that’s a good
way to put it.
Yup. Sharing space with an ex-home-on-the-range-roaming stuffed
buffalo was The Set Free Ministries, a self proclaimed Biker Church.
Refreshments are served after the services, in the bar. Bring
heavily flavored cocktail sauce makes consumption a little easier,
just try not to think about it and pop em down.
the coin toss, I was the first to give the balls a try. Summoning
up my courage, I dipped the wafer into the cocktail sauce and
took a bite. Spicy and glistening with oil, down the hatch, knowing
that any sign of discomfort would turn Veronica from the task
at hand. It was not easy but I smiled right through it. The uneasiness
over the main ingredients overpowered the fact that the taste
wasnt completely appalling.
into her panic mantra (People do this every day and do not
die, People do this every ), closed her eyes, dipped
and chewed. Uh. The best compliment she could come up with was
that it wasnt the WORST thing she had ever done. Close,
but not the worst. It helped that we were pretty hungry and with
the proper breading to grease ratio almost anything is edible.
It also helped that often the breading would accidentally slip
off… oops, I guess Ill just eat this part.
Quite a few grey slices of bull ball were left in the bottom of
the basket. Mmm, Mmm, Good eatin.