11 years ago Kail Mantle and his wife Renee began a tradition that would become one of the biggest events in Three Forks. With memories of the old west, they lead a horse drive from their winter pastures in Willow Creek, through Main Street in Three Forks and to their ranch.
"We decided to let people come along to help, so they've been coming ever since and its quite an adventure," Mr. Mantle said.
People line the street, cameras in hand, to take in the amazing sight of over 300 horses making the 35 mile journey. A select few are lucky enough to help drive the horses, and they say its an experience they'll never forget.
"Outside of my marriage to my wife and the birth of our three kids its absolutely the greatest thing I've ever done," said Darin Adrian who came all the way from Benton, Kentucky to participate.
"It's, I think, the most exhilarating, amazing, challenging thing I have ever done," Stacia Gray said. Gray traveled from Kansas City to help with the drive.
Professional photography trips are scheduled for the horse drive, and the photographers say its some of the best photo opportunities they have anywhere in the world.
"I've been given opportunities to take pictures that bring a tear to your eye and take your breath away. There's lots of shots that do leave me breathless," said Stephanie Adriana, a professional photographer who leads trips to the horse drive for photo opportunities.
The sense of community the horse drive brings out in the people of Three Forks is evident.
"It's pretty neat to see the camaraderie after this is all over. Most people can't live with their neighbors in the world, we can't live without ours. Everybody comes together to help with this deal," said Mantle.
But this will be the last horse drive in Three Forks, Mantle and his wife are selling their ranch to instead raise cattle.
"The horse industry has changed and the tourists businesses have changed and morphed into something that, this doesn't work anymore," he said.
"You know i think the western way will never be lost, but it is the end of an era." said Adriana.
One last tip of the cap to the old west.