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Beyond the Park: Explore Western Montana’s Glacier Country

The Crown of the Continent. The Backbone of the World. Heaven on Earth. Glacier National Park boasts some pretty apt nicknames. But did you know the epic beauty and unrivaled adventure extend well beyond park boundaries? From charming small towns to pristine rivers and recreation areas, Montana offers a wonderland of discovery.

Blodgett Canyon Overlook shows off Western Montana’s classic big-mountain views. Photo: Noah Couser

Summertime is the park’s busiest season, making it the perfect time to explore what the rest of Western Montana’s Glacier Country has to offer. Here’s a list of things to do and places to see outside the park, plus a few tips and tricks to navigate our peak season and busiest times of day.

SCENIC DRIVES
The stunning scenery and glacial-carved terrain roll right on out of the park for hundreds of miles in every direction. Take the road less traveled on some of Montana’s scenic byways for a jaw-dropping drive in some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes. The best part? There’s usually a backroad adventure or hidden small-town treasure around every bend. Hit the road on one of our favorite routes:

Highway 200: Bonner to Clearwater Junction
Highway 83/Highway 12: Lolo to Idaho
St. Regis-Paradise Scenic Byway
Montana Tour 200 
Highway 2, Kalispell to Troy
Highway 89, St. Mary to Choteau
Lake Koocanusa Scenic Byway

WILDLIFE VIEWING
Sometimes the best way to spot our majestic wildlife is to go where the crowds aren’t. Western Montana is a birder’s paradise and haven for creatures big and small, offering some pretty incredible viewing areas. Remember to bring your binoculars and always follow wildlife safety guidelines—this is grizzly country, after all! Head to one of our most-treasured wildlife habitat areas:

National Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge
National Bison Range
Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge
Bull River Wildlife Management Area

HIKING
One of the easiest ways to cover ground in and get up close and personal with Montana is to head out on your own two feet. Every single one of our trailheads leads to a path of discovery, running the gamut from easy rambles to backcountry wilderness treks. You’ll find sprawling valleys, wildflower-filled meadows, towering peaks, pristine alpine lakes and waterfalls, lush forestland and quiet canyons, all offering an awe-inspiring and unforgettable adventure. The following wilderness areas offer of miles upon miles of trails to explore, or check out more of our favorite trails here.

Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex
Cabinet Mountains Wilderness
Mission Mountains Wilderness Complex

OUTSIDE PLAY
From rodeos to rock climbing and zip lining to llama trekking, Western Montana offers infinite ways to play. Here, we hit the rivers and lakes for boating, rafting and world-class fly-fishing. We explore small towns for real cowboy adventures and relaxing yoga retreats. We take to the trails by bike and by horseback. Below are some of our favorite ways to play, Montana style:

Biking: Whitefish Bike Retreat
Gondola Rides: Whitefish Mountain Resort
Rafting: Adventure Missoula
Fly-Fishing, Kootenai Angler
Yoga Retreats: Dancing Spirit Ranch
Horseback Riding: Swan Mountain Outfitters
Llama Trekking: Swan Mountain
Rock Climbing at Lake Koocanusa: Rock Climb Montana
Cowboy Up: Rodeos

With Swan Mountain Outfitters, see Western Montana by horseback, on a llama or on your own two feet. Photo: Donnie Sexton

HISTORY + CULTURE
Montana’s rich heritage and breathtaking vistas inspire a cultural landscape you’ll not want to miss. From two Indian Nations—the Blackfeet and the Flathead—to numerous museums, galleries, theaters, historical sites, farmers markets, shops, eateries (from fine dining to food trucks) and watering holes (did we mention we have more than 20 breweries and distilleries?) you’ll be planning your next visit before this one’s even over. Check out the following Montana must-see cultural destinations:

Bigfork Summer Playhouse  
Missoula Art Museum  
Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana
Museum of Mountain Flying
Smokejumper Visitor Center

The Missoula Art Museum showcases a thriving art scene in Western Montana. Photo: Slikati Photography

LODGES + CABINS
Staying outside the park gives you the opportunity to explore some of our border-town communities infused with the spirit of Glacier Country and that warm western hospitality we’re known for. Take advantage of beyond-the-park adventures and then head into the park at less crowded times of day. Here are three friendly and memorable places to get cozy beyond park boundaries:

Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge
Park Cabin Co.
Polebridge Cabins

STATE PARKS + FISHING ACCESS SITES
Psst…did you know that Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks fishing access sites are also campsites? Check out their website for campsite info. We love our state parks, and while many do reach capacity throughout the summer, they offer a true and unforgettable Western Montana outdoor experience. Make your way to one of the following public-land paradises: 

Logan State Park 
Thompson Falls State Park
Placid Lake State Park  
Salmon Lake State Park 

Swim, boat, fish and play at Placid Lake in the Swan Valley, a Glacier Country gem. Photo: Kelsey Lau

PEAK SEASON TRAVEL TIPS + TRICKS
Glacier National Park is expecting another record year for visitor numbers. Planning your trip with this in mind can help you navigate some of the peak-season challenges. Check out Glacier National Park’s Twitter feed for real-time updates on parking-lot statuses, weather, road closures, and other important information. Webcam feeds are also updated on Glacier website for some of the park’s most popular spots.

Here are few other tips and tricks we recommend for making your visit to Glacier National Park enjoyable and memorable:

  • Take a Tour: Help reduce traffic and hop on a bus for an educational and interactive tour with Red Bus Tours or Sun Tours. Check on the Glacier Institute’s list of summer programs and outings.
  • Shuttle it: Ride Glacier National Park’s Free Shuttle System.
  • Plan for delays: With a record number of people heading to Glacier National Park this summer, roads, parking lots and trails will be busier. Pack extra food and water, and set aside a little extra time to fully enjoy your adventure in The Crown of the Continent.

One of the best experiecnes you can have in Glacier National Park—a Red Bus Tour.

There’s so much to see and do in Glacier Country. From our charming small town to the Going-to-the-Sun Road, we’ve got a lifetime of discovery and experiences to offer. Come see for yourself!

Hidden History Gems: Meet Montana’s Off-The-Beaten-Path Museums

History buffs + eager explorers—this one’s for you. Western Montana is home to several museums, some of which are a little off the beaten path, making them all the more explore-worthy. These hidden gems display everything from American Indian beadwork to homesteader history to storied lake monsters, and each one offers a celebration and preservation of Montana’s rich heritage, coupled with a unique adventure in small-town discovery.

The eclectic Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana. Photo: Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

TROY MUSEUM & VISITOR CENTER
Troy, Montana
Open: Memorial Day – Labor Day
Step back in time and experience the cultural and natural heritage of Troy Learn about Troy’s homesteading days, mining and logging life, and the 1910 fire, and play a round of folf (frisbee golf) at the museum’s on-site course. If you time it right, you can attend the Arts on the Grass event on the museum lawn, where local artists and craftspeople sell their handmade work, perfect for taking something home to remember us by.

OLD JAIL MUSEUM
Thompson Falls, Montana
Open: Memorial Day – Labor Day
Visit one of Sanders County’s oldest buildings, now honoring the pioneers who settled our corner of Big Sky Country. The Old Jail Museum was formerly the county jail, and sheriff’s office and residence. View historical artifacts, maps and photographs taken from original glass negatives giving a glimpse into the early days of mining, logging, farming and ranching in Sanders County. Also, the town of Thompson Falls is a hidden gem in and of itself, offering Clark Fork River access and pristine national forestland recreation.

NINEPIPES MUSEUM OF EARLY MONTANA
Charlo, Montana
Open: Memorial Day – Labor Day
Nestled in the breathtaking Mission Mountains, this Mission Valley treasure protects and preserves the history and culture of the Flathead Indian Reservation, home to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. You’ll find American Indian artifacts (including a large collection of beadwork); a life-size diorama of wildlife in an early camp scene complete with elk-hide tipis; vintage photographs; a collection of weaponry; and a gallery of Old West art. Ninepipes offers tours and a nature trail, plus it’s close to the National Bison Range and bordered by Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge, so be prepared to spend some time in the area.

Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana display’s the history and culture of the Flathead Indian People.

MUSEUM OF THE PLAINS INDIAN
Browning, Montana
Open: Year-Round
This permanent exhibition gallery displays a diverse and bountiful collection of historic art created by tribal people of the Northern Plains, as well as contemporary work by American Indian artists and craftspeople. You’ll find traditional, detailed costumes on life-size figures. Other displays exhibit the social and ceremonial aspects of the region’s tribes. Help support individual artists and craftspeople by taking home a meaningful souvenir. The museum galleries offer oil paintings, watercolors, sculptures, beadwork and traditional crafts for sale.

Blackfeet exhibit at Museum of the Plains Indian. Photo: Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

TOBACCO VALLEY HISTORICAL VILLAGE
Eureka, Montana
Open: Memorial Day – Labor Day
Sitting along the Tobacco River, this unique, volunteer-run village houses a collection of historic buildings from the 1880s and early 1900s. Explore a schoolhouse, church, library, general store, fire tower, railroad depot, caboose and several log cabins, all outfitted with era-appropriate artifacts. Interpretive programs are also offered on site. Bring a picnic lunch, and explore the adjoining Eureka Riverwalk Trail or the Eureka Kootenai Rails to Trails/Tobacco River Memorial Trail.

LARUE-HOT SPRINGS MUSEUM
Hot Springs, Montana
Open: Memorial Day – Labor Day
Paying homage to the Hot Springs homesteader days, this little gem showcases a gathering of artifacts from local tribes and homesteader families, plus a large doll collection and the trophies and ribbons won by local resident Fay Hayne, a local trick rider and barrel racer. Also on display, 120 years of VFW uniforms and memorabilia, antique farming equipment and trucks, plus artifacts from local merchants, craftsmen and ranchers. Explore a historic cabin and the original Hot Springs concrete jail.

GLACIER COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM & ARCHIVE
Cut Bank, Montana
Open: Year-Round
This museum includes a captivating collection of historical artifacts, buildings and memorabilia on display, as well as a comprehensive early history of the people of the region, including a vast Blackfeet Indian collection. The 14-acre site is home to two museum exhibit buildings, an oil worker’s house, oil derrick, 1917 schoolhouse, 1980’s caboose and a living-history interpretive replica homestead house and farm. History buffs can also find educational and interactive exhibits on Lewis and Clark, local artists, community businesses, oil and Cut Bank’s early days.

The Glacier County Historical Museum has numerous displays and exhibits of the county’s diverse past.

POLSON FLATHEAD HISTORICAL MUSEUM
Polson, Montana
Open: Memorial Day – Labor Day
Home of the Flathead Lake Monster—a 7.5-foot, 181-pound sturgeon caught in Flathead Lake in 1955—the Polson-Flathead Historical Museum offers firsthand examples of the trials of surviving the harsh conditions of the region’s homesteading days. Exhibits include a trading post, stagecoaches, a chuck wagon and buggies, a pioneer kitchen, Calamity Jane’s saddle from her “Last Ride,” firefighting equipment and antique trucks that still work!

SEELEY LAKE HISTORICAL MUSEUM
Seeley Lake, Montana
Open: Year-Round
The old Double Arrow Ranch barn is now the site of the Seeley Lake Historical Museum and Visitor Center, recalling the past of the Seeley Lake region. Outside displays include a horse-drawn log-haul wagon, a gravel haul and spread wagon, a Lewis and Clark Botanical Garden, Blackfoot Indian Lodge, a dugout canoe and a forthcoming 100-year-old canoe. The grounds also include seven double (two-horse) stalls featuring locally-themed displays named after the horses who occupied them, such as Nip & Tuck: Old Time Logging; Ace & Joker: Norman Maclean Fire and Fish Display; and Popcorn & Peanuts: Cabin Fever Cures.

BRAND BAR MUSEUM
Ovando, Montana
Open: Year-Round
Formerly a saloon once referred to as the “Bucket of Blood,” the Brand Bar Museum today houses Ovando memorabilia and stories of days gone by. This collection of local history and unique antiques also has a hoosegow—a jail for visitors—where you can overnight in a bunk (or you can camp out on the lawn). The Brand Bar Museum is always open. Just ask one of the nearby local businesses for the key. You’ll find it.

A Blackfoot Valley gem: The Brand Bar Museum. Photo: Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

RAVALLI COUNTY MUSEUM & HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Hamilton, Montana
Open: Year-Round
Blending art with local and natural history, this cultural venue provides rare historical collections honoring our American Indian heritage, life in the West and the travels of Lewis and Clark. Educational programming includes lectures, tours and workshops for children. The museum serves as a hub for community events, including McIntosh Apple Days, A Cowboy Christmas and Bitter Root Day, and is situated at the confluence of the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail, the Nee-Me-Poo National Historic Trail and the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

Oh Snap! A Montana Spring in Pictures

As you know, a picture is worth a thousand words, and when we get our fans and friends out there capturing Montana moments in Glacier Country, we’re left speechless. These snapshots of our corner of paradise speak for themselves. Do we actually get to live, work and play in this place? Yep, we sure do, and you’d be ahead to come experience the magic and wonder for yourself. There’s a reason why we call it heaven on earth. So, although we love telling you all about our stunning landscapes and unrivaled recreation opportunities, this time we’re going to just show you. (We’re still bragging, but with less words and more pictures.)

Warning: daydreaming for an unspecified amount of time is sure to ensue after you make your way through this post.

Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park.

Photo: Quinton Tolman (instagram.com/quintontolman)

Wildflowers in Glacier National Park.

Photo: Matthew Mason (instagram.com/mason.art.globe)

Waterworks Hill in Missoula, Montana.

Photo: Sara Schroeder (instagram.com/saraoutside)

Blodgett Canyon near Hamilton, Montana.

Photo: Hunter Day Photo (hunterday.photo/montana)

Horses at Bar W Guest Ranch.

Along the Bull River.

Photo: Glacier Country Tourism

Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park.

The forest near Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park.

Photo: Glacier Country Tourism

A mountain goat at Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park.

Photo: Kent Johns (instagram.com/kent_johns)

A wedding in Glacier National Park

Photo: Emil Rajkowski (instagram.com/raj_photo)

Aurora Borealis over the North Fork of the Flathead River.

David Marx Photo (instagram.com/davidmarxphoto)

A peaceful view of Flathead Lake.

Photo: Glacier Country Tourism

A kayaker rides Brennans Wave on the Clark Fork River in Missoula.

Photo: Glacier Country Tourism

How’s that for inspiring? There’s more where these came from. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for your daily dose of Western Montana beauty.

Want to share your incredible travels in Western Montana? Use #GlacierMT on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for a chance to be featured.

A Look Back at a Montana Girl’s 2012

Before we jump headfirst into the new year, I feel like 2012 (and all its craziness) deserves a proper goodbye.

First things first, I feel blessed that it was a good craziness. Sure, there were a few bumps and hiccups along the way but that’s life. And for this messy-haired girl, life is best lived fully, with ample amounts of happiness, fun, adventure, laughter and love. As for the small rain showers that appear along the way, I’ve found that it’s best the channel the attitude of Dolly Parton who says, “If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”

With that said, it’s time to take a look back on 2012. While it was a year that will likely be most remembered for a devastating hurricane, a heated political race and national heartache, it’s my hope that we will also remember the good…that we can remember how neighbors helped each other, prayers were sent to the heavens, the kindness of strangers increased and love was openly shared.

January, February & March
Confession: Sometimes I think of winter as a curmudgeon. Why? Oh gees, I don’t really know. Probably because I don’t like being cold. And yes, I know I should be a HUGE fan of winter, as I’m a Montana girl through and through and to live here, you kind of have to love winter. And I’m not happy to tell you that in 2012, I discovered that winter is really not that curmudgeony.

What changed my mind? I got out and explored! Instead of grumping at winter, I learned to love it. I also faced my ridiculous fear of chairlifts and got back on a snowboard. Winter + Montana snow + looking a chairlift right in the eye and learning to not fall every time you get off it = A happy winter.

winter

Other highlights included a trip to see the family, my baby sister’s Senior Night at The University of Great Falls, as well as a visit to the beautiful island of Hawaii. Because after all, once you face your fears of snowboarding and chairlifts, it’s best to reward yourself with a trip to the beach.

march

April, May & June
Spring and early summer brought more adventures, both personally and professionally. During these three months, I spoke at a tourism conference, visited Paradise (literally), bunked with hobbits, traveled to Los Angeles for work (my very first visit ever), biked the Going-to-the-Sun Road before it opened to vehicular traffic and planned a family reunion.

june

August, September & October
For me, this is the time of year when Montana really shines. These three months also happened to be some of the busiest of the whole year, both personally and professionally. During this time period, my grandma passed away, I took a spontaneous trip to Mexico City, visited my best friend in Chicago, did some river therapy in the form of fly-fishing and simply tried to soak up every morsel of summer possible. I also “welcomed” my 30th year of life (yikes) and turned it into a week-long celebration instead of just a day. You only turn 30 once, right?

aug

October, November & December
Ah, the last few months of the year. A time of crisp autumn air, gorgeous fall foliage and the changing of seasons before the holidays arrive. For some reason, these months were also action-filled with a wedding, winter’s first snow and trips to both El Paso and Seattle. The year ended with a few much-needed days spent at home playing with my favorite 3- and 4-year-old, topped off with just the right amount of family time.

dec

All in all, 2012 was a good year. As for 2013? I feel like it will be even better.

Adios, 2012. You were lovely...and for that, I thank you.

Adios, 2012. You were lovely…and for that, I thank you.

Wishing you each a happy, healthy, successful and love-filled 2013.

xo,
TT

The Year of Turning 30

Well folks, this is it.

This year is something that I’ve both partially dreaded and looked forward to…it’s the year I officially celebrate three decades of life. (Yikes, right?)

Little miss and mama.

When I was younger, I always thought of 30 as kind of old. (I have obviously since changed my tune). The women I knew who were 30 were a mix of mature, cool and solid…and they always seemed much older than me. After all, most of the 30-year-olds I knew went by “Mom” or “Aunt.” And they were cool (especially my aunts), but in my mind it also seemed like it would be nearly impossibly to ever reach the age they were. As the years have passed and I’ve steadily been closing the gap that stood between me and this year, I realized (DUH) that 30 is not old.

Over the last three decades of life, I’ve learned a lot of things…and while I have many (like many, many) things left to learn, I’m happy to add the following to my “Things You Should Know By The Time You’re 30” list…

-Smile. It makes you look much nicer.
-Dance at weddings. For that matter, dance anywhere you can.
-Treat people with kindness. Even when you might not want to.
-It’s okay to be silly.
-Tease.
-Always moisturize.
-Work hard.
-Even though it’s hard to image when you’re little, there is a chance you won’t look like a cabbage patch doll forever.

Left: As a cabbage patch doll at around age two. Right: Proof that by the time you’re 30, you can look slightly less like a cabbage patch doll.

-Coo over other people’s babies.
-You can be tough without being mean.
-Enjoy the present.
-Be nice to your brothers and sisters.
-A hug goes a long way.
-You can never tell people “I love you” too often.
-Make sure people know you love them by how you treat them, not just the words you say.
-Always carry lip gloss.
-Love what you do. (I love Montana and feel pretty darn lucky to get to share it with other people as part of my job).

Hiking near Missoula, Montana.

And while I could go on, instead I’m going to go soak up the last few days as a “20-something” and greet 30 with a big smile on my face. Because in all actuality, it is awesome.

xo,
TT

My Montana Mama

It had been a while since I’d been home. Not the home where I lay my head every night, but the place where I was born and raised…a little town that sits in the shadow of the Rocky Mountain Front called Augusta, Montana.

The Rocky Mountain Front.

And since it was Mother’s Day last weekend, I decided to pull a fast one on my mama and head home to help celebrate one of the world’s greatest gifts: mothers.

The drive from my current house to my home is a lovely one. It takes you through lush Montana valleys, across mountain passes and onto the rolling hills of the eastern edge of the Continental Divide.

Hello Highway 200.

Nothing says home quite like ranchers moving cattle down the highway.

The last 1/2 mile is fittingly called Lovers Lane.

Upon arrival, I headed to my family’s second home, also know as “the store.”

Hello old friend.

And it was here that I spent several quality hours with my mom. We painted, cleaned and caught up on the types of things that a girl just needs to visit about with her mama.

It was a great weekend…one that reminded me just how grateful I am to call this lady mom.

Little Susie.

Here’s why…
-She’s bossy and sweet. A combination that’s hard to pull off.
-She’s a lover of people, especially babies.
-She treats her nieces and nephews as if they were her own children. (She literally loves them that much).
-She’s funny. (Sometimes it’s intentional and other times she has no idea how much she’s really cracking us up).
-She’s classic.
-She loves with all her might.
-She can wear purple lipstick and get away with it. Not many women can (or should) do that.
-She’s tough.
-She gives good hugs.
-She taught us how to work. Much of our free time growing up was spent working. Sure we enjoyed play time, but some of my fondest memories are working alongside my family.
-She is one of the best storytellers ever, a trait she inherited from her papa.
-She’s fierce and elegant at the same time.
-She expects the best from people.

In a nutshell, I’m glad she’s mine. She’s a tough, Montana-lovin’ mama and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Playing in Glacier National Park last summer.

Here’s to mothers everywhere,
TT

Giving Thanks

Last week, I packed my bags and headed for my childhood home. During the two-hour drive over the river, across the mountain pass and through the woods to my folks, I had an excited anticipation of just being home. My schedule this summer and fall (between weddings, adventures and daily life) got the best of me and I hadn’t been home for a few months. For this mama’s girl, that was simply too long.

And, to my delight, it seemed like the weather wanted me to get home as badly as I wanted to. Tuesday afternoon greeted me with this…

Clear roads and snow-kissed mountains.

After I arrived home, this was my first stop.

The family store.

For my family, the store almost seems like a more natural first stop than home. Likely, because much our growing up years were spent there. It was there that we spent hours stocking groceries on the shelves, unloading trucks, continually cleaning the more than 100-year-old building and waiting on customers (which was always my favorite part).

While we spent ample time at the store over Thanksgiving break, we also made sure to spend time together at home. Cooking, cleaning, watching movies, laughing and having long overdue visiting sessions.

The view from Lover’s Lane.

We decked the halls (and windows) at the store.

Wishing you each lots of love, joy, friendship, peace and warmth during this Christmas and holiday season.

Montana hugs to you,
TT

Why Do You Love Montana?

Oh, hi. First things first, it’s good to see you here. No matter where you’re reading from, I hope you enjoy the adventures we take together each week…thank you for letting me share my little piece of Montana with you. I love it.

A couple of weeks ago, this messy-haired blond wrote a blog about Montana and all of the reasons I love it. See that blog here.

Afterward, I started wondering what your reasons are for loving Montana.

Is it the view of the stars when you’re camping in the Bob Marshall Wilderness? Maybe it’s the incredible history and rich culture of the American Indian tribes? Or is it the unexplainable connection and sense of giddiness you feel when this sign greets you?

Welcome to Montana. Photo courtesy Julia Bennion.

Well, as usual, my curiosity got the best of me. So I asked a few of my friends the big question, “Why do you love Montana?”

And their love for Montana, and willingness to share it with me, was even more than I expected.

Here are some of their responses…

  • “We love Montana because it’s not easy.”
  • “The…everything.”
  • “I love Montana because of the way of life, the freedom, the open spaces and the mountains.”
  • “It’s home to several local cafes with make the best homemade french fries ever.”
  • “My heart is there.”
  • “The sudden view of the Missions when you drive up Highway 93 around the last turn into the valley.”
  • “The simultaneous warmth and independence of the people. The traditions of the West. The chance to see parts of the natural world as they were intended to be seen.”

Now it’s your turn. What do YOU love about Montana?

Sending you warm Montana-lovin’ hugs,
TT

My Montana Love List

I love Montana. As in I totally heart it. It’s a place that I don’t know if I’ll ever get enough of…

The simplest way for me to describe it is like having a crush that never goes away. And on this crisp, fall day, I’d like to share with you a few reasons that this messy-haired blond girl loves Montana.

-Montana is pretty.

Hello, beautiful.

-Montana has more cows than people. (How can you not love a place like that?)

Moving cows along the Rocky Mountain Front.

-Montana is real and true.
-In Montana, life is how it’s supposed to be.

Fun in the great outdoors.

-Montana is a charmer. And I can’t resist a charmer, even when I try.
-Montana has cowboys. The real ones. I also can’t resist a cowboy.

Hello, adorable cowboy.

-Montana is no stranger to hard work.
-Montana is family.

Family bonding=Rafting the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.

-Montana is home.

What do you love about Montana?
TT

29 Years of Montana

Guess what. Somebody just had a birthday…a birthday where they turned 29 years old.

A happy 29-year-old. My smile is so big because I was in Glacier National Park.

Now I realize that 29 is not “old,” but I almost can’t believe how quickly time has flown. It seems like just yesterday that I had messy hair, was missing my two front teeth and the highlight of my day was playing barbies with my sister.

During the past 29 years, this Montana girl has been spoiled by big blue sky, fresh mountain air and clear views of the evening stars, with not a street light in site. Along with this spoiling came a love for Montana that can never be broken, diminished or forgotten.

Growing up, my family was the type that while we did out-of-state trips, many of our vacations were in our own backyard…exploring places like Lewis & Clark Caverns, Big Sky Waterslides, the open prairies of eastern Montana and of course, spending a portion of every summer in Glacier National Park. And while I loved our out-of-Montana excursions (and still do), some of my fondest memories were created just outside my back door.

Lover\’s Lane (the street I grew up on).

The Rocky Mountain Front. Where the wind blows & everybody knows your name.

Love the 406. (Montana\’s only area code).

Glacier National Park with the sister and the papa.

On this day, I don’t know were life may lead. But I do know that those memories and the essence of Montana will be with me always. Because when you have something as precious as Montana, you don’t let it go.

TT

“Oh, I’ll never leave Montana brother.” A River Runs Through It