A Hemingway Tour
Ernest Hemingway spent 5 Summers in the Absaroka/Beartooth Mountains in the 1930’s. He wrote here, fished here, hunted here and many of his experiences in this region helped make him the American Icon he became. We believe that the time Hemingway spent in this region represents the most neglected part of the writer’s biography.
On the tour we traverse some of America’s most spectacular scenery. We will cover parts of the world-famous Beartooth Highway and the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway, making many stops along the way. Wildlife is abundant in this part of the country; bears, moose, elk, deer, eagles are all around. The main goal of our tour is to familiarize our customers of the profound affect the Yellowstone High Country, just outside the Park’s NE Entrance, had on Hemingway’s life and work. We will uncover for you connections to 7 major novels, several short stories, articles and essays. We will look at letters sent by the writer detailing his exploits and hear personal accounts from newspaper and magazine articles dating back 80 years. Our customers will learn everything from his fishing tackle and hunting gear to what he wrote and when.
It has been said that studying Hemingway is like cracking a code. Separating the fiction from the biography can be difficult as both are so closely intertwined. We hope our educational tour will offer a perspective that hasn’t been adequately presented as yet. We feel with our twenty years living in Cooke City and our years of study of all work relating to this area puts us in a unique position to offer a Hemingway experience unlike any other in the world. In the preface to The First Forty Nine Stories he list’s some of his favorite places to write in this order: Madrid, Paris, Key West and the ranch near Cooke City, Montana. While some of those places are virtually unrecognizable from Hemingway’s day the Yellowstone High Country remains largely unchanged. Many of the buildings in Cooke City and Silver Gate have stood the test of time. Of course, the rivers and streams, the mountains and the valleys, the wildlife and the wonder are just as they were when Hemingway returned here year after year to spend time with his family, to hunt, to fish and to write.
Chris and Patty
Chris and Patty met in Cooke City in 1995 and and were married in 1998.
“We have made Cooke City our home ever since, raising two children. For the last several years we ran the the Loving Cup Cafe, a little mountain coffee house that served breakfast and lunch. Though we built and owned the business, were successful and enjoyed it, we did not own the building and knew it couldn’t last forever. Over the years living in Cooke, especially while running the Loving Cup we met a lot of fascinating people from all over the world and many local characters. I had always known there was a connection between Hemingway and Cooke City because he mentions it in the preface to his collection of short stories. Through my own research and the help of many of these characters I was able to document Hemingway’s five extended trips to the ranch just east of here. With the help of a local historian and some very old newspaper articles I found out local impressions of the famous writer. Having romped through this terrain as a young man, I immediately recognized many of the places Hemingway raved about in letters to his friends. I read every thing Hemingway wrote after his first visit here, carefully documenting each mention of the area and his time here. When I put all this together I realized that his time in the Yellowstone High Country had a profound affect on both the life and the works of Ernest Hemingway. This tour is a way to present all of this in an informative entertaining way and in a spectacular setting. Patty studied business at the University of Oregon and Chris studied Literature at the University of Montana. Connections in the community have made this business possible. 20 years in the tourism industry gives us great confidence in our ability to offer a complete experience. The Loving Cup Cafe received a 2014 certificate of excellence along with a 4 1/2 star rating from Trip Advisor so our customers can count on quality food and hospitality.
In our National Parks and in the study of Hemingway, there has always been a thin line between exploration and exploitation; our reverence for subject and setting will ensure that we remain on the right side of that line. We intend to show our customers a Hemingway different from the image that most Americans now have of him. Our tour covers the most prolific and successful period of the author’s career, from A Farewell to Arms to For Whom the Bell Tolls and everything in-between, fishing, hunting and history from a local perspective. ”