July 28, 2014

A Little More Country

 My husband has been trying to sell me Montana for years, so this Spring we decided to bite the bullet, cash in our frequent flyers and hop aboard one of the few non-stops from Jersey to Bozeman.
In a short four hour flight we arrived just in time for happy hour, country style.

I have had an image in my mind of Montana; 
a state of wranglers and ranches, 
of log cabins and dusty roads, 
of cute boots and cowgirl hats...
 I learned that this image was just the tip of the top of the proverbial iceberg.

I never expected the mountains, higher than the sky;
 the rivers and lakes, from crystal clear to vibrant turquoise; 
the ability to literally see for miles; 
the stars; 
the inner peace that only nature and lack of commercialism and media can bring.

Here is an unseemingly abbreviated version of our experience. 
 I actually took over 900 pictures and kicked myself the entire time for not bringing my Nikon.

What the hell was I thinking!?
(I guess when I say that I unplugged for the week I wasn't being completely honest...but no television, computer, internet or phone service is close enough...cameras don't count, right?!...)

Regardless, I guess I'll have to go back with my Nikon, and bombard you guys once again with images galore.


Home, home on the range...

I ran five miles on our first morning in Montana.
I averaged about a 13 minute mile because I kept stopping to take pictures...or at least that is my excuse...

These morning runs were incredible.
You could actually see your mile markers stretched out before you.
I have never run when I can see my three mile turn around.
Now I understand why they call it Big Sky Country!

We took the most stunning ride up into the Flint mountains.
Those cool plants are called 'Bear Grass' and pepper the landscape through these mountains.
They were magical looking, and it was fun to tell my son that it was named 'Bear Grass' because Bear's use them as q-tips to clean their ears...

Info on Bear Grass

Bear Grass Family with Stevie Wonder


We turned the corner and WALLA!
The water was crystal clear;
You can see the distinct drop-off, however it is still about 10 feet deep at the end of where it looks shallow.

Action Shot

Nature Graffiti

Fresh Air Does it Every Time!

Bread Time with Annie, Elias and John;
Each Kid Made Their Own for Dinner!
Child labor at its finest.

That is a cow walking down the road...

Big Fork Fun
King of the Stage

Redefining an evening run

It doesn't look like much, but it was perfect!
No televisions, no computers, no internet, no phones...
Just a firepit and our family.
It was so nice to unplug!


Our view from the firepit.
West Glacier was a great place to stay.
If you go, bring stuff to cook out on the open fire, but also stop into the 'Belton Chalet' for cocktails and their mussels with jalapeno and chorizo or their roasted bone marrow.
Either are a great treat at the end of an outdoorsy day.


Lake McDonald Lodge Hide and Go Seek

Lake McDonald


Bringing the Animals for a Boat Ride.

Lake McDonald

About 9 miles from the British Columbia Border you will find the world's best baked goods.
Polebridge...a town with two buildings.
I had a spinach, onion and asiago scone with roasted chicken and red peppers.


Let's Go to the Sun!
I even liked the beer in Montana!

The glacier run-off makes the water look bright aquamarine, turquoise or smokey grey depending on how the light reflects the sediment.
I have never seen water like this!
This picture doesn't give it justice...

The first tunnel before major switchbacks.
This road is incredible and terrifying.

Check out this link:
Going To The Sun Road Info

Yes, that is the road.
Again, photos don't give it justice.
I was pooping my pants.

Having a heart attack....

One of the lower sections of the road.
Here I was brave enough to take a picture.
When did I become such a wimp!?

St. Mary's Lake
We happened upon a small picnic area that was completely vacant!
It was so special to have this spot to ourselves after witnessing that every other stop was packed solid with other sightseers.
Great things can happen from emergency pee breaks!
Yay Us!
St. Mary's photo-opp

On Top of The World!

My turn for a photo-opp

Roadside beauty

Look! Cows!

Look! More Cows!
Many Glacier
Sadly, melting fast...

Link to Many Glacier

I could sit here for hours!

Many Glacier Again
Waterfalls Everywhere

Logan Pass

A goat came to join us on our walk 

Snowball fights in July!

Turn around Monkey!
There is a goat behind you!

Yes, we are tourists...

The Great Northern Railway

This is the town you want to visit to go skiing,
 or after many days of hiking.
You will be rewarded with lots of top-notch restaurants, bars and cool shops.


Elias, back in the day

Lake Alba
I think Elias is getting sick of posing for pictures...

Teaching Respect


A Must...

The Icing on the Cake:
A Hero-themed kid's parade in Philipsburg before a street long dance party, live music, kids games and activities, and of course, microbrews.
It was the perfect way to end our stay.
Thank you Rue's for hosting us!


I don't know what I love more;
the fact that they painted a horse, or that there is a four year old riding unassisted...

So, bottom line is that you should go.
I definitely came home with country in my soul.

Thank you Montana!