Tag Archives: Glacier Country

A Montana Girl’s Love Letter to 2013

Well, another year has come and gone. And to be honest, I can hardly believe it! It’s like the older I get, the faster time seems to go. (Side note: I’m beginning to sound like my mama!)

While time continues to sprint away from me, I can say with much satisfaction that 2013 was a wonderful year…one I’ll remember fondly. From start to finish, it was full of adventures, celebrations and spectacular Montana moments.

Here’s a look back at some of my favorite moments of 2013…

January, February & March

Winter beauty in the barrow pit.

Winter beauty in the barrow pit.

Exploring one of my new favorite places--Kerr Dam in Polson.

Visiting one of my new favorite places–Kerr Dam in Polson.

Exploring the Swan Mountains.

Exploring the Swan Mountains.

Dog sledding (my first time!) on Swan Lake.

Dog sledding (my first time!) on Swan Lake.

April, May & June

Marveling at the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.

Marveling at the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.

Visiting my hometown. Go Elks!

Visiting my hometown. Go Elks!

Celebrating the 80s with these lovely ladies.

Celebrating the 80s with these lovely ladies.

Soaking up the beauty of Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge.

Soaking up the beauty of Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge.

Meeting this sweet nephew.

Meeting this sweet nephew.

My favorite view...in May.

Having my breath taken away by the Mission Mountains in St. Ignatius.

Hiking to Avalanche Lake in the rain.

Hiking to Avalanche Lake in the rain.

Striking our best "Bridesmaids" pose at a perfect summer wedding.

Striking our best “Bridesmaids” pose at a perfect summer wedding.

Taking in a small town rodeo.

Taking in a small town rodeo.

July, August & September

Catching the sunset at Placid Lake.

Catching the sunset at Placid Lake.

Eating as many Flathead and Rainier cherries as possible.

Eating as many Flathead and Rainier cherries as possible.

Visiting Waterton Lakes National Park with my baby brother.

Visiting Waterton Lakes National Park with my baby brother.

Celebrating a Missoula wedding.

Celebrating a Missoula wedding.

Soaking up the grandeur of Glacier National Park.

Soaking up the grandeur of Glacier National Park.

October, November & December

Exploring a Montana backroad.

Exploring a Montana backroad.

Spending time on the Blackfeet Nation.

Spending time on the Blackfeet Nation.

Kissing my newest nephew as much as possible.

Kissing my newest nephew as much as possible.

Taking in a bird's eye view of Western Montana.

Taking in a bird’s eye view of Western Montana.

Welcoming winter.

Welcoming winter.

My first rod.

My first fly rod.

Ending the year in St. John, with my 406 hat.

Ending the year in St. John, complete with my Montana-lovin’ 406 hat.

As for 2014? I can’t wait to see what this year brings.

Wishing you all love, joy and happiness as you journey through 2014.

xo,
TT

Storm Cycles, Amtrak and Montana: A Match Made in Powder Heaven

Last winter, I had the utmost privilege (and I mean that in the most serious way) of working with two of the skiing industry’s up-and-coming skiers: TJ David and Brody Leven. I kid you not, these guys are two of the most stellar gentlemen I’ve ever know. They came to Montana to ski areas along Highway 93 for Skiing Magazine (read all about it here) and to produce an episode (check that out here) of Storm Cycles.

I’m happy to tell you that TJ David has returned to Western Montana with another stellar crew to capture footage for season two of Storm Cycles in partnership with Amtrak. This time TJ and the boys (as I’m now calling them) traveled from Chicago on Amtrak’s Empire Builder to Glacier Country where they’ve been hitting up our ridiculous amounts of snow. From the looks of it, they’ve been in powder heaven.

And because this crew is as great as they sound, they offered to share some of their photos (which are stunning) on the blog so I can share them with all of you.

Here are some photos of the last few days…
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They also put together a little teaser from their time in Western Montana. Check that out here.

Rumor has, from here the boys are headed over to Washington before making their way north to British Columbia. If you want to follow along on their journey, search hashtags #amtrakseason and #stormcycles on instagram and twitter for up-to-date shots of their journey. You can also read more about it on Amtrak’s blog.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a train to catch.

xo,
TT

Tommy Moe + Private Ski Day at Lost Trail = Montana Awesomeness

It has to be said: today was one for the record books.

Why? Because today Olympic gold and silver medal winner Tommy Moe spent the day skiing with Sally Cramer–the lucky winner of our “Win Your Own Mountain” giveaway–and 10 of her friends at Lost Trail Powder Mountain in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley.

While more than 18,500 people entered the giveaway, it was Cramer from Spokane, Washington who was the lucky winner. Which means that she, her crew and Tommy Moe (who we like to call the nicest man we’ve ever met) had the entire 1,800 acres of terrain to themselves.

And while I would love to tell you all about it, I really don’t think my words would do it justice. So instead, I’m going to show you. 

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We’d say it was a pretty great day.

xo,
TT

PS: Want to have your own ski day with Tommy Moe? Consider a heli skiing trip with Tordrillo Mountain Lodge in Alaska. Tommy is one of the owners and regularly hits untouched powder with the lodge’s guests.

PPS: Thanks to my lovely friend, Sammi for taking these photos of our awesome day.

Western Montana: Choosing a Travel Guide Cover

Every year, we are tasked with selecting a cover for our annual travel guide. And every year, we have stunning selections to choose from. (But then again, it helps that we live and play in one of the most beautiful places of the world). However this year, we decided to do something different. We decided to let you, the public, vote on which photo would grace the front of our travel guide.

If you like us on facebook, chanced are that over the last few days you’ve seen people weighing in with their opinions on which photo they liked best.

Blackfeet dancers in Glacier National Park.

OPTION A: Blackfeet dancers in Glacier National Park.

A red bus tour in Many Glacier, Glacier National Park.

OPTION B: A red bus tour in Many Glacier, Glacier National Park.

Why?

Well, there’s a few reasons…

  1. We are in love with both images.
  2. It was too hard to choose! Picking a favorite cover was like asking my mom to pick a favorite child out of her vastly different five children. 
  3. Social media plays an active role in our promotion of Western Montana. Because of it, I’m able to interact with people who are coming to Montana and to answer various questions like “Where’s the best burger in Missoula?” (By the way, the answer to that is The Mo Club). In a nutshell, it allows me to interact with people in way that was out of reach before. Each week on the blog, I’m able to share with you my own Montana adventures and experiences, all while showing you my silly, dorky side. (PS: I love you guys for allowing me to do that).  

And so, it seemed that this year it was time. Time for you to vote. We genuinely wanted to know which photo you connected with and which photo made you feel like you were seeing something truly special. After all, that’s what Montana is. It’s a special place that is best described as magical, majestic and awe-inspiring. So with that, your messy-haired blond friend thanks you for sharing your two cents. After all, this is YOUR cover.

cover winner

xo,
TT

Winter in Montana

It’s official. Winter has fully arrived. And I must say, it has done so with a bang….of snow. During the early season, snow fell in our upper elevations and laid down a strong base (like the strongest in years!) for the winter recreation season. Well played, Old Man Winter.

So far, Western Montana has been covered with inches of snow (all of our six ski areas started off with summit depths that ranged from 38 inches to 52 inches), crystal clear blue skies and at least one blond girl resisting the urge to drop into every untouched field of snow to create snow angels.

Here’s a recap of winter in Western Montana so far…

Taking in the early season snowfall.

Taking in the early season snowfall.

Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park

Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park.

The view from Apgar Lookout, Glacier National Park.

The view from Apgar Lookout, Glacier National Park.

The view of the summit at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

The view of the summit at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Downtown Missoula.

Winter has arrived in downtown Missoula.

Montana is a winter wonderland.

Montana is a winter wonderland.

If I'm missing, it's because I'm snuggled up in one of these cabins at Double Arrow Lodge.

If I’m missing, it’s because I’m snuggled up in one of these cabins at Double Arrow Lodge.

Raise your hand if you fancy gliding across snow-filled meadows. (My hand is raised).

Raise your hand if you fancy gliding across snow-filled meadows.

Happy, happy winter.
TT

PS: Love the above webcam images? Stay up-to-date on Western Montana’s winter wonderland by checking out the webcams at Glacier National Park and Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Soaking up Fall in Montana

This fall has been one for the record books. The past few weeks have brought crisp days, a bright blue sky, moody and mysterious storm clouds and the stunning colors of autumn. But instead of me telling you all about it, I’d rather you see it for yourself.

Here’s a look at fall in Western Montana’s Glacier Country

Highway 2 heading toward Glacier National Park.

Highway 2 heading toward Glacier National Park.

Oh, Missoula.

Oh, Missoula.

Taking in the colors near East Glacier Park.

Taking in the colors near East Glacier Park.

An evening stroll along Elk Creek.

An evening stroll along Elk Creek.

Country roads, take me home.

Country roads, take me home.

The changing colors of the western larch or tamarack.

The changing colors of the western larch (tamarack).

Looking out over Missoula from Mount Sentinel.

Looking out over Missoula from Mount Sentinel.

Cruising Montana Highway 200.

Cruising Montana Highway 200.

Exploring a Montana backroad.

Exploring a Montana backroad.

Happy, happy fall.
TT

Montana: We’re Open

Due to the Federal Government shutdown, Glacier National Park is closed. And to put it simply, it’s a bummer.

But you know what’s not a bummer? There are so many things to see and do in Western Montana outside of the park. After all, our region is home to charming small towns, plentiful hiking and biking trails, local Montana breweries and scenic backroads that lead to adventure and an opportunity to find your own Montana moment.

Sampling locally made beer at Kettlehouse in Missoula.

Sampling locally made beer at Kettlehouse in Missoula.

Because I’m a bit bossy (it’s okay, I’ve come to embrace it), I’ve rounded up some activities and things to do if you plan on playing in Western Montana this fall. After all, while our national parks may be closed for the time being, Montana is indeed open.

Take a (Scenic) Drive
It seems like no matter which way you go in Montana, chances are you’ll find one of our scenic drives. Some of my personal favorites include cruising up to the Northfork to Polebridge, venturing off on a backcountry road near Eureka and taking in the sights and colors along the West Fork Road south of Darby.

Cruising the Seeley-Swan Valley.

Cruising the Seeley-Swan Valley.

Go Fish
As a Montana girl, it probably comes as no surprise that fly-fishing is one of my loves. (You may recall my love of fly-fishing from this post). While I don’t claim to be an avid or expert fisherman, I can tell you with conviction that nothing soothes my soul quite like fly-fishing. If you’re looking to cast a line in Western Montana, I’d suggest taking to the waters of the Bitterroot River and the Blackfoot River.

Putting in on the Bitterroot River just south of Darby.

Putting in on the Bitterroot River just south of Darby.

View Fall Foliage
While Montana may not be the first place you think of for viewing fall foliage, the state certainly delivers, especially if you’re smitten with yellows and golds. Top fall foliage viewing routes include the Seeley-Swan Valley on Highway 83, the Missoula Valley (best viewed by walking the trail along the Clark Fork River or hiking the M for a complete view of the valley) and the Bitterroot Valley on Highway 93. If you’re looking to get off-the-beaten path in the Bitterroot, venture off on the East Side Highway.

A look at fall in the Mission Valley, courtesy of Donnie Sexton.

A look at fall in the Mission Valley, courtesy of Donnie Sexton.

 Fall Events
This autumn is packed with fun upcoming events throughout Western Montana. Of note: Great Northwest Oktoberfest in Whitefish October 3 – 5; Scarecrow Festival in Stevensville October 5; Tamarack Time and Brewfest in Seeley Lake October 11 – 13; and Tamarack Time! in Bigfork October 19. An added bonus: Great Northwest Oktoberfest was just named one of the top Oktoberfest events in that nation by SheKnows.com

And if you have questions? Call us at 800.338.5072. Our travel counselors can help you make plans to experience the best of fall in our neck of the woods.

xo,
TT

One Day in Glacier National Park

After last week’s family reunion in Glacier National Park, me and my messy hair decided to stick around the park for a couple of reasons.

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1. I didn’t want to leave.
2. Some lovely ladies from Helena were headed up to Glacier Country and I felt it was my duty to be their tour guide in Glacier National Park for the day. Hey, it’s a tough gig but someone’s got to do it.

And because this girl is a big believer in cramming as much as you can into one day (especially when it stays light out for ridiculous amounts of time), my partner in crime and I departed Whitefish in the morning, bound for St. Mary to meet the rest of the girls with our sights set firmly on driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road to Logan Pass. And because we are good hostesses who just happen to love being outside, we felt it was our mission to soak in as much national park air, charm and jaw-dropping scenery as possible.

And soak it in we did.

Here’s a look at one of the loveliest summer days I’ve ever spent in the Crown of the Continent…

Stop #1: The Goat Overlook on Highway 2 in Glacier National Park.

Stop #1: The Goat Overlook on Highway 2 in Glacier National Park. (Yep, that is indeed a mountain goat. And she had a baby with her!)

Stop #2: Glacier Park Lodge in East Glacier. Not only is the lodge as lovely as ever, but she's celebrating her 100th birthday this year.

Stop #2: Glacier Park Lodge in East Glacier. Not only is the lodge as lovely as ever, but she’s celebrating her 100th birthday this year.

Stop #3: Park Cafe in St. Mary. Not only are their servers hilarious, but they literally have the best pie in the West. (You can totally quote me on that).

Stop #3: Park Cafe in St. Mary. Not only are their servers hilarious, but they literally have the best pie in the West. (You can totally quote me on that).

Stop #4: Wild Goose Island Overlook on St. Mary Lake.

Stop #4: Wild Goose Island Overlook on St. Mary Lake.

Stop #5: Another view of St. Mary Lake. In all of my years, I had never seen St. Mary Lake as calm as it was that day.

Stop #5: Another view of St. Mary Lake. In all of my years, I had never seen St. Mary Lake as calm as it was that day.

Soaking up the day's rays, with St. Mary Lake as our backdrop.

Soaking up the day’s rays, with St. Mary Lake as our backdrop.

Stop #6: Passing through the tunnel just below Logan Pass, we saw one of the park's iconic red buses.

Passing through the tunnel just below Logan Pass, we saw one of the park’s iconic red buses.

Stop #6: Logan Pass and its blanket of snow. (This photo was taken on Monday, June 17).

Stop #6: Logan Pass and its blanket of snow. (This photo was taken on Monday, June 17).

Looking down the road from the top of Logan Pass.

Looking down the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the top of Logan Pass.

Our crew of lovely ladies Logan Pass.

Our crew of lovely ladies documenting our time at Logan Pass.

Stop #7: A boat tour at Two Medicine with Glacier Park Boat Company.

Stop #7: A boat tour at Two Medicine with Glacier Park Boat Company.

Stop #8: 'Just a messy-haired girl looking at Running Eagle Falls in the Two Medicine Valley.

Stop #8: A short hike to Running Eagle Falls in the Two Medicine Valley.

It was a good day. But I’ve got one question for my traveling partners: When are we going back?

Until next time,
TT

PS: Are you planning on spending time in Glacier National Park this summer? Peruse www.glaciermt.com for planning info or tweet questions to @GlacierMT.

Falling in Love Montana Style on “The Bachelor”

Some places are made for falling in love. One such place (if I do say so myself) is Whitefish, Montana. If I had to sum up Whitefish in three words, I’d say it’s Montana’s “quintessential mountain town.” A stone’s throw (30 minutes) from Glacier National Park, it’s surrounded by stunning mountain peaks and incredible outdoor recreation, while the town itself is as cute as a button and has a charming downtown.

And this Monday, it will take center stage on ABC’s “The Bachelor.”

Photo courtesy ABC

Photo courtesy ABC

The episode will showcase the town of Whitefish and the surrounding Glacier Country area as the destination where the remaining bachelorettes will compete for the love of Sean Lowe–the dreamy blue-eyed blond haired bachelor. (Um, swoon).

The Bachelor arrives via seaplane to The Lodge at Whitefish Lake. (Photo courtesy Brian Schott)

The Bachelor arrives via seaplane to The Lodge at Whitefish Lake. (Photo courtesy Brian Schott)

The ladies arrived to The Lodge at Whitefish Lake on a historic jammer. (Photo courtesy Brian Schott)

The ladies arrived to The Lodge at Whitefish Lake on a historic jammer. (Photo courtesy Brian Schott)

During the episode, Sean and the ladies spend time at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, take a scenic helicopter tour over Glacier National Park, ride horses at The Bar W Guest Ranch and are serenaded by rising country music singer Sarah Darling in a live downtown concert.

Sarah Darling performs on Central Avenue in Whitefish. (Photo courtesy Brian Schott)

Sarah Darling performs on Central Avenue in Whitefish. (Photo courtesy Brian Schott)

Sounds juicy, romantic and beautiful, right? Be sure to tune in this Monday, February 4 at 7 p.m., MST and watch as Sean searches for love in the grandest lady of them all–Montana.

xo,
TT

Fall: A Tale of Montana Truth

Truth: My blog post is late.

Truth: I have a very good reason it’s late. (No seriously, I do).

Truth: My blog is late because I’ve been out soaking up the autumn colors in Western Montana. (You can’t blame a girl for that).

Truth: This fall is gorgeous.

Truth: I have the pictures to prove it.

Mount Sentinel from Missoula.

Missoula from Mount Sentinel.

Autumn perfection.

Country roads, take me home.

Hay, barns and a late afternoon sky.

Happy, happy autumn!

xo,
TT