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The Abdication of a Montana Shuttle Queen

The Abdication of a Montana Shuttle Queen

The Abdication of a Montana Shuttle Queen

-cat•ed, -cat•ing
1. to give up or renounce (authority, duties, a high office, etc.), esp. in a voluntary, public, or formal manner
2. to renounce or relinquish a throne, office, right, power, claim, or responsibility, esp. in a formal manner.
ab`di•ca′tion, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

If you have floated the Madison River in the last 20 years there is a darn good chance you know the Shuttle Queen Connie Diede or at least you have talked to her on the phone and trusted her with your vehicle. Connie is a shuttle legend in these parts and has owned and operated the largest shuttle company on the river Meadowlark Shuttles. She moves almost all the guide’s vehicles and most of the recreational floaters. Recently Connie sold her trusted business Meadowlark Shuttles and abdicated the role of shuttle queen to the new Owner Tammi Bergtoll. 

Connie started in the shuttle business in 1998 and never looked back. She has driven more than 1 million miles over the years never being more than 45 miles from home. Her dedication to getting the job done and earning the title is almost legendary. On the day she got married she moved 62 cars and the day her husband passed away she moved 6 cars. Growing up in Ennis she knows almost everyone and the history of the valley. Legendary stories between guides say that she has changed flat trailer and truck tires, refueled vehicles, and even got a substitute trailer to the take out when the original one broke. I know I have called her several times when storms force us to shorten our trip and have her move our truck to the half way point after she has moved it all the way. Having a spare key to hundreds of vehicles Connie has also helped as a make shift locksmith. When someone gets locked out of their truck a quick call to Connie and she shows up with the spare key and you’re on your way. She says the best part of being in the shuttle business is the ability to stay in the valley and the people. “River People are the best people.” When asked why she sold the business she built? “ Wanted more time away and the ability to travel more. I have run shuttles every month of the year”

The new Shuttle Queen in training is Tammi Bergtoll. She grew up in NE Montana in the small ranching community of Saco on the highline. . Tammi is a fireball with an infectious enthusiastic attitude that one can’t help but notice. Tammi and husband Jay have spent the last 4 years in Arizona in the real estate business and longed to get back to Montana. Each time they came home the drive took them past Ennis and they just fell in love with the community. A friend told them that Connie was looking to sell her business and they decided to give up the heat of Arizona. Tammi came on board as the full time gal in charge this spring and is off and running. Meadowlark Shuttle of old is now the new Rocket Shuttle. Connie is riding shotgun to make sure the transition goes smoothly for a good part of the summer. Tammi has been known to leave fresh baked cookies in the vehicle after a shuttle and to deliver them to hungry fly shop employees. So far everything is going smoothly. When asked why she purchased a shuttle business. “We just loved Ennis and wanted to come here and we love the people and outdoors” 

While the old Meadowlark Shuttles and Connie are gone some things are still the same with Rocket Shuttles and Tammi. The same old phone number floaters have been calling for a decade is now the property of Rocket Shuttle. They are still working with all the fly shops and picking up shuttle tickets daily. The white van is still speeding down the highway between fishing access sites full of happy shuttle drivers. Now there might be cookies involved. All is safe and secure in the shuttle world on the Madison River. Long live the Queen.

John Way Posted by John Way

Guide, Outfitter and chief bottle washer for the Tackle Shop.  Recently developing his inter web ninja skills. 

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