Tag Archives: Play

Montana Cowgirls

You guys, there are some things that I think are adorably fun. One of them: dressing up like a fancy cowgirl. Now I realize that you may be asking, “Tia, you’re from the country. How in the world is dressing up like a fancy cowgirl fun?”

Well, I’ll tell you. When I do cowgirl things in my hometown (like helping Old Man River move cows), I don’t get to dress cute. Usually my uniform is jeans, a sweatshirt and a baseball hat to keep my windblown hair in place.

Anyway, back to the story…remember how last week I told you that we headed to Billings, Montana’s Trailhead, for a conference? As part of the conference, we attended a kick-off party with a dress code that requested that we wear our cowgirl (or cowboy) best. The result? Tons of fun. Take a look…

Going out with our boots on.

Going out with our boots on.

Cowgirls take selfies too, right?

Cowgirls take selfies too, right?

Montana girls. (Don't mind the flipped Montana state sign).

Montana girls. (Don’t mind the flipped Montana state sign – I literally have no explanation for it).

Yee-haw!

Yee-haw!

Giving our best Montana howdy in the form of a hat tip.

Giving our best Montana howdy in the form of a hat tip. If you travel to Montana and see a cowboy, chances are you’ll receive a hat tip from him. 

Thanks to my lovely lady friends for making dressing up in our cowgirl best so much fun.

See y’all on the trail,
TT

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. 

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

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.

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

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.

A Weekend of Family in Glacier National Park

There are some weekends that I simply don’t want to end. And this last weekend was one of them.

You see, it was time for the annual Allen Family Reunion in Glacier National Park. For the third year in a row (we must really like each other if we have reunions every year…that or we’re crazy), the troops from near and far packed their bags, loaded their cars and convened one one of the most beautiful places in the world—Glacier National Park—for a weekend of fresh mountain air, outdoor adventures, cousin bonding time, hugs and kisses, plenty of teasing and playing music around the campfire.

Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park is a stone's throw away from Apgar Campground.

Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park is a stone’s throw away from Apgar Campground.

To start the weekend off, we make the two-mile trek into Avalanche Lake. It’s an easy hike with only about a 500-foot elevation gain, making it perfect for a variety of ages. Along the way, we passed giant ancient cedar trees, rushing creeks and stunning waterfalls.

Avalanche Creek along Trail of the Cedars.

Avalanche Creek along Trail of the Cedars.

Two adorable hiking buddies. Side note: When you're this little and cute, it's okay to wear abundant amounts of pink and tutus in the great outdoors.

Two adorable hiking buddies. Side note: When you’re this little and cute, it’s okay to wear abundant amounts of pink and tutus in the great outdoors.

I'd wager to say that this hike is one of my favorites (especially when hikes with my mama and baby sister).

I’d wager to say that this hike is one of my favorites, especially when it’s done with my mama and baby sister.

Due to rain and various hiking speeds, we took our annual family photo at Avalanche Lake in groups.

Due to rain and various hiking speeds, we took our annual family photo at Avalanche Lake in groups. The group on the left was standing in a literal downpour.

And while Friday night started off a bit dreary, the rest of the weekend was gorgeous and allowed us to revel in family and various activities, including golf, whitewater rafting, a Dutch Oven cook-off, family auction and plenty of time around the fire.

Great Northern Guides was brave enough to take 24 of us out on the river. If you're looking for a great company for your group trip, I highly recommend them.

Great Northern Guides was brave enough to take 24 of us out on the river. If you’re looking for a great company for your group trip, I highly recommend them.

Goodnight, Glacier National Park.

Goodnight, Glacier National Park.

Thinking back on it, I realize that part of what made the weekend so wonderful was that it combined three of my favorite things: family, love and Glacier National Park. In essence, it was perfection.

Until next year, Allen family.

xo,
TT

PS: In need of family fun ideas in Western Montana’s Glacier Country? We have you covered.

Memorial Day Weekend in Montana

Happy Memorial Day weekend! Around these parts, Memorial Day weekend is the official kick-off to the summer season, filled to the brim with kick-in-the-pants Montana events and activities designed to welcome summer with open arms.

Sidenote: In case you haven’t noticed, Montana (especially in the spring) can be a bit temperamental. Heck, we’ve even been known to call her a drama queen. But drama or not, we still love the gorgeous girl. ‘Just be sure to roll with the punches and pack appropriate attire to be ensure you stay cozy all weekend long.

To help make this weekend one for the record books, your messy-haired Montana-lovin’ blond friend created a “Top 10 Things to do in Western Montana this Memorial Day” list. (That’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it?)

Biking in Glacier National Park
May 25 – 27
There are no time restrictions in place for bicyclists on the Going-to-the-Sun Road this weekend, which means cyclists can ride to their heart’s delight on open portions of the road. An added bonus: biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road is one of the most memorable ways to experience the park.

Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Bigfork Whitewater Festival
May 25 & 26
While this year marks the 38th year for the Bigfork Whitewater Festival, it’s also the year that the festival is mixing it up and adding new events and races to the roster. New this year: raft races, a Stand-Up Paddle Board Race, triathlon and kid’s activities. Rounding out the weekend is the Whitewater Weekend Jam, with live music on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Zip lines at Whitefish Mountain Resort
May 25 – 27, Call 877.SKI.FISH
While the mountain officially opens for the summer season on June 15, zip lines are rocking and rolling this weekend! Tours go rain or shine (luckily for us!), so be sure to wear a rain jacket and closed-toed shoes.

Flying high above Big Mountain at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Flying high above Big Mountain at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

Loon & Fish Festival, Seeley Lake
May 24 – 26
This free community event celebrates local art and wildlife, with art demonstrations, wildlife programs, films and children’s activities.

St. Regis Annual Flea Market
May 25 – 27
As Montana’s flea largest market, this is a not-to-be-missed event. Scoop up local bargains, fill your bellies on Montana treats and bask in the treasures found at more than 200 vendor booths in St. Regis.

25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Bigfork
May 24 & 25
Okay, so it’s not a real spelling bee, but the Bigfork Summer Theater’s performance of the “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” is sure to be a crowd-pleaser with enough laughs to make your weekend a happy one.

Farmers Markets
May 25
The communities of Bigfork, Hamilton, Kalispell, Missoula and Stevensville are hosting farmers markets on Saturday, where you can pick up a plethora of local goodness.

Soak up the sun at the Missoula Farmers Market. ('Just be sure to bring a jacket!)

Soak up the sun at the Missoula Farmers Market. (‘Just be sure to bring a jacket!)

Live Tunes at The Raven, Woods Bay
May 24 – 26
Situated on the shore of Flathead Lake, The Raven is hosting live music all weekend long! The Lil’ Smokies will be busting their tunes Friday night, followed by DJs spinning sweet beats on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Kids’ Day at the Carousel, Missoula
May 25
Happy 18th birthday to A Carousel for Missoula! In honor of their birthday, the Carousel is giving away free rides ALL day on Saturday. Happy birthday to you, you lovely little treasure!

Celebrate the Carousel's birthday with a ride on one of the hand-carved horses.

Celebrate the Carousel’s birthday with a ride on one of the hand-carved horses.

Tunes at Symes Hot Springs, Hot Springs
May 24 – 26
Kick back and soak in the natural hot springs at Symes Hot Springs Hotel. In honor of Memorial Day, the hotel is hosting live music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. PS: Be sure to swing over to Camas Organic Market for weekend treats.

Wishing you all a safe, happy, fun-filled and relaxing Memorial Day weekend!

xo,
TT

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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

Be a Winter Warrior (and win cool stuff)

We’re saying it: Happy winter! While the first official day of winter isn’t until December 21, around these parts we get pumped for winter early. How pumped, you ask? Very pumped.

In fact, this year we’re so excited about winter that we’re celebrating it and spreading the good word about winter in Montana with our Winter Warrior campaign.

Catching air at Lookout Pass last February. (Photo by Glacier Country Tourism)

As part of the campaign, we’re encouraging folks near and far to sign up to become a Winter Warrior and to learn more about their favorite winter-geared activity of choice in Western Montana’s Glacier Country.

The best part, besides finding out all the info you need to shred, sled and play in Western Montana this winter, is that after you sign up you’re automatically entered into our weekly giveaways.  And boy howdy, we’ve got some good swag to give away!

Here’s a list of the goodness we’re giving away every week, all winter long. Drumroll, please…

Now that you’ve made it through this list (pretty sweet stuff, right?), be sure to head over and sign up to become a Winter Warrior.  After all, winter is rad.

And winter in Montana? Well, it’s even radder.

Bonus: When you order your Winter Warrior packet, we’ll send you one of these cool stickers.

Happy shredding,
TT