Tag Archives: Missoula

An Epic Montana Road Trip (AKA My Favorite Kind of Road Trip)

So…I’m sensing a theme in what I’ve been doing lately. Apparently, I’m all about a good road trip. (You can see the proof here, here and oh ya, here.) But honestly, I can’t even blame myself at this point. Instead, I blame Montana’s wide-open spaces, colorful characters and a landscape that seems to be calling my name ALL THE TIME. With that said, it seems appropriate that this week (Friday, May 13 to be exact) I’m setting off on an epic road trip through Western Montana’s Glacier Country

Cruising Montana's roads.

Cruising Montana’s roads.

“What’s so epic about it, Tia?” you ask. Well, I’ll tell you. I’m taking the usual road trip and turning it into a (road trip) party. Because why take a road trip alone when you can take a road trip with 20+ of the most fun, adventurous people you’ve ever met?

This is how much we love Glacier National Park.

This is how much I love road trips and exploring Montana!

This week, I’m welcoming Expedia and their team of viewfinders—as well as some incredible folks from England, Australia, Korea, Mexico, Brazil and Canada—to my corner of Montana where we’ll experience some of the best that Big Sky Country has to offer. And because there’s literally so much to explore, we’re breaking the road trip into three sections, with each leg focusing on a particular offering in Western Montana: urban (Missoula), unplugged (Flathead Lake Lodge) and unexplored (Whitefish and Glacier National Park).

Urban, unplugged and undiscovered.

(Montana) urban, unplugged and undiscovered.

If you want to see what May in Montana is like, follow along to see real-time updates on snapchat (username: GlacierMT), instagram (GlacierMT) and twitter (GlacierMT). And if you want to see way better photos than any of the ones I’ll take, search hashtag #PictureMontana on instagram and twitter to see photos from the rest of our soon-to-be Montana-lovin’ crew.

In the meantime, I want to know one thing: How do YOU #PictureMontana? Comment below and let me know.

xo,
TT

Chasing the Sunset in Missoula, Montana

Truth time: this month’s Montana sunsets have been amazing.

A recent sunset from Caras Park in downtown Missoula.

A recent sunset from Caras Park in downtown Missoula.

Maybe it’s the changing of the seasons or the collision of mountain ranges with the Missoula Valley, but March’s sunsets have been incredible. So much so that after work one day, I was at home relaxing and happened to glance out the window when I heard it: the sky was YELLING my name. Okay, not really, but I felt like it was. So I did what any Montana-lovin’ sunset-lusting girl would do: I bolted out of the house and headed to one of my favorite spots just west of Missoula to capture the sunset’s colors. And you guys, they were so good.

Hi there, cotton candy sky.

Hi there, cotton candy sky.

This particular view reminded me of home and the farmer's fields along the Rocky Mountain Front.

This particular view reminded me of home and the fields along the Rocky Mountain Front.

The Clark Fork River was the perfect backdrop to the early night sky.

The Clark Fork River was the perfect backdrop to the early night sky.

Montana's backroads are the perfect avenue for sunset chasing.

Montana’s backroads are great for sunset chasing.

Goodnight, Montana.

Goodnight, Montana.

Your turn: where’s your favorite spot to chase sunsets?

xo,
TT

5 Things I’m Loving in Missoula, Montana

Let’s all just take a moment to celebrate a few things: it’s been a fun winter, we’re starting to see glimpses of spring, the sun is shining and I’ve spent the entire week in one place: Missoula, Montana.

The view of Missoula from Mount Sentinel.

The view of Missoula from Mount Sentinel.

This morning, as I was trying to fix my (always messy) hair, I was thinking about all of the things I love and have to be grateful for. And while there is so much that makes my life happy, these are the 5 things I’m currently obsessed with here in Montana’s Garden City. 

1. Baba’s burgers. Still a bit of an unknown in Missoula, Baba’s is my favorite place to get a burger. It’s nothing fancy (but totally cute) and is located a bit off the beaten path on East Broadway (744 E. Broadway to be exact), but they seriously serve up some of the tastiest burgers I’ve ever had. I’ve never been a huge burger girl and now, after eating Baba’s, I’m firmly in the burger-lover’s camp. Well done, Baba’s. Well done. Sidenote: in addition to beef burgers, they have elk and bison burgers PLUS super tasty greek garlic fries. 

My order: a regular cheeseburger, fully loaded, with a small order of greek garlic fries. YUM.

My order: a regular cheeseburger, fully loaded, with a small order of greek garlic fries. YUM.

2. Sora & Company. For those of you who know me (in real life or from reading the blog), you know that I love to shop. So I’m really excited for Missoula’s newest boutique, Sora & Company. Located at 145 W. Main in downtown Missoula (two doors down from the Mo Club—another great place to grab a burger), Sora officially opens today (Friday, March 4) but I got to attend a preview party last night and you guys, their stuff is cute and affordable. PS: be sure to check them out on instagram.

Hello, pretty little things.

Hello, pretty little things.

If I'm missing later, it's because I went back to buy these shoes.

If I’m missing later, it’s because I went back to buy those shoes.

3. Ginger beer on tap at The Dram Shop. Another new(er) addition to Missoula is The Dram Shop at 229 E. Front Street. First off, they have a super fun vibe (and you can order food from Missoula’s nicest restaurant—The Pearl) and a variety of beer and wine on tap. But the thing that this girl loves most is that they have Glacier Ginger Beer ON TAP. It’s made locally in Whitefish and is literally the best ginger beer in Montana.

Hello, lover.

Hello, lover.

4. Missoula Art Museum. If you have not been here, put it on your list of must-see places to visit in Missoula. Located one block off Higgins Avenue in downtown at 335 N. Pattee, the Missoula Art Museum has some amazing exhibits and is one of the city’s best-kept secrets. An added bonus: entry is free.

MAM is open Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

MAM is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

John Buck, an artist from Bozeman, has his work on display through March 12, 2016.

John Buck, an artist from Bozeman, has his work on display at the museum through March 12, 2016.

5. Montana sunsets. I’m not sure if it’s the changing of the seasons and longer daylight hours, but the sunsets in Missoula this week have been amazing. They’ve been lighting the sky up with colors that have literally stopped me in my tracks.

A cotton candy sky over Mount Sentinel.

A cotton candy sky over Mount Sentinel.

Your turn: what are you loving this week?

xo,
TT

One Day in Missoula, Montana

I’m convinced that summer in Missoula, Montana is the stuff that dreams are made of. The days are long (like really long – in July the sun rises at 5:46 a.m. and sets at 9:34 p.m.) and there’s always something to do, from floating the river to perusing shops and art galleries downtown.

Hello, pretty.

Hello, handsome.

But to be honest, sometimes there’s so much to do in Missoula, it can be hard to fit it all in and know where to start. So, my friends, that’s where this bossy messy-haired girl comes in. If you only have one day to spend in Missoula, these are my top 5 recommendations.

1. Attend Downtown ToNight (or Out to Lunch) at Caras Park. 
While many cities have their regular events that bring locals and visitors together, there’s something incredibly cool about these two events that take place at Caras Park. Both Downtown ToNight and Out to Lunch feature entertainment from local musicians, a bevy of food trucks and perhaps the best people watching in all of Montana.

My recent view of Downtown ToNight at Caras Park.

My recent view of Downtown ToNight at Caras Park.

2. Go to the river. 
One of my favorite things about Missoula is that the Clark Fork Rivers runs through the heart of the city. And whether you’re a floater, fisherman or someone who just enjoys water, there are several places to play on the river. Check out the kayakers and rivers surfers at Brennan’s Wave, cast your fishing line just behind the DoubleTree Hotel or join fellow water lovers on black inner tubes and float from East Missoula to the takeout just past the wave.

Your next fishing hole: the Clark Fork River right behind the DoubleTree Hotel.

Your next fishing hole: the Clark Fork River right behind the DoubleTree Hotel.

3. Eat, eat and eat. 
Truth time: Missoula has some great restaurants. And if you know me, you know that I love food (read more about my recent food tour here) and I love to eat. My favorite places include The Catalyst (their tomato lime tortilla soup is amazing), Five on Black (where I literally always order the same thing – it’s that good), Biga Pizza and The Mustard Seed (their chocolate cheesecake is my absolute favorite).

Two words: Biga Pizza.

Two words: Biga Pizza.

4. Take a hike, walk or bike ride. 
Because it’s surrounded by mountains, Missoula has some of the best hiking, walking and biking trails around. For a view of the city, make the jaunt up Mount Sentinel to the “M” or run up Waterworks Hill. Located along the Clark Fork River, the Kim Williams Trail is easy to get to and is perfect for walking, running or biking. And if you want to get a bit further out of town, head to the trails in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area + Wilderness, Blue Mountain or Pattee Canyon.

Yours truly, taking in the view of Missoula.

Yours truly, taking in the view of Missoula.

5. Get ice cream. Right now. 
Whenever I have people from out of town come to visit, there’s always one stop we have to make—the Big Dipper. While you’ll often see people lined up and waiting in line for ice cream, especially on hot summer days or evenings, believe me when I tell you this: the wait is worth it. My favorite treats include coco-nuts, as well as huckleberry, vanilla-reese’s and mint oreo ice cream.

The queen of all ice cream shops.

The queen of all ice cream shops.

And just in case you have more than one day in Missoula, here are a few other not-to-be-missed activities and attractions:
-Take a guided tour of The Smokejumper Visitor Center. Located near the airport, these one-hour tours give a sneak peek into what it’s like to be a smokejumper.
-Go shopping. Missoula has two areas that are a must for shopping: Southgate Mall and downtown. Southgate Mall has a variety of box stores (it’s also where my beloved Mustard Seed is located), while downtown has locally owned boutiques.
-Attend a Missoula Osprey baseball game.
-Check out the markets. There are three different markets along Higgins Avenue in downtown Missoula: the Missoula Farmers Market, The People’s Market (jewelry, furniture, clothing, etc.) and the Clark Fork River Market.

xo,
TT

Exploring Missoula, Montana

You guys, I just had one of the most fun weeks ever. Why? Because I was able to spend it exploring Western Montana with five of my favorite humans.

Meet my lovely friends: Spencer, Caanan, Kent, Kristin and Jade.

Meet my lovely friends: Spencer, Caanan, Kent, Kristin and Jade.

For some background, this is a trip that the six of us had been planning for the past 18 months. You see, Spencer, Jade, Kristin, Kent and Caanan are some of the busiest people I know. But even with everyone’s vastly different schedules and obligations, the stars aligned perfectly for all of us to come together and meet in Montana. We had seven days to explore the region and let me tell you, explore it we did. We packed countless adventures into our time together and it was a week that left me feeling happy, full of joy and completely re-energized.

The first stop on our trip: Missoula. Missoula, for those of you who may not be familiar with it, is perhaps Montana’s coolest city. It’s this beautiful combination of a strong urban core (full of darling shops, locally owned restaurants and a lively music scene), stunning scenery and outdoor adventure.

We only had about a day a half to play in the Garden City before heading north, so I put together a slate of some of my favorite activities for all of us to do together in Missoula. Our “must do” items included…

Going on a pedal-powered tour of downtown Missoula with Thirst Gear. If you are visiting Missoula, I totally recommend checking out the city on this bike. It was an absolute kick in the pants. Plus, all of their drivers are awesome (and cute). Our reward for pedaling through the city? Big Dipper Ice Cream.
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Fueling up at a few of my favorite local restaurants. Topping the list: Scotty’s Table, The Catalyst and Lolo Creek Steak House.
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Shopping the cute boutiques in downtown Missoula. My favorites include The Green Light and Cloth & Crown (which is where I scored the cute gray jacket below).
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Perusing the local farmers markets. On Saturdays during the summer, Missoula has three markets: the farmers market on North Higgins, the People’s Market on Pine and Higgins and the Clark Fork Market under the Higgins Street Bridge.
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Exploring Missoula’s craft breweries. After perusing the local markets, we headed out for an afternoon brewery tour with Tap Room Tours. If you are a craft brew lover, this is the tour for you. Tap Room Tours offers behind-the-scenes looks into Missoula’s local breweries and distillery. Plus, the owners Phil and Cate are two of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.

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Group_Tap Room Tours

To my Montana loving friends, thanks for letting me share some of my favorite Missoula moments with you. And Missoula, thank you for being so awesome.

Your turn: Where would be on the top of your list when visiting Missoula?

xo,
TT

PS: I have way too many stories from our adventures to fit into one blog post. Stay tuned for more posts about our time playing in Montana’s Glacier Country.

Top Activities: May in Montana

Oh, hello spring. It’s good to see you. So good in fact that I think you deserve a hoop, holler and maybe even a curtsy. After all, you and I both know that this winter was a bit of a long one. Not that I’m complaining…because I’m totally not. After all, our snowpack levels are off the charts and that alone practically guarantees a fun summer!

Spring was being mysterious in Glacier National Park's Two Medicine Valley in early May.

Spring was being mysterious in Glacier National Park’s Two Medicine Valley in early May.

Anyway, earlier this week I was chatting with a pal of mine and he was lamenting that he wasn’t sure what to do on spring weekends in Western Montana. His quandary? He wanted to be able to take to the outdoors but wasn’t sure where to start and which areas were open. I could feel his pain (this girl certainly doesn’t want to drive somewhere only to find out a trail system isn’t open yet) so I did some investigative research and rounded up the top activities for May in Western Montana.

Kerr Dam near Polson
If you’re a nerd like me and you’ve been keeping up with snowpack levels in Western Montana, you probably already know that our snowpack is sitting between 100 percent to 160 percent in various mountain ranges. This means that once the spring thaw kicks into high gear, Flathead Lake will take in massive amounts of water. To prep for the incoming water, Kerr Dam (located on the southwest corner of the lake) has many of its gates open to release some of its current holdings. Be sure to walk down to the boardwalk for a view of the dam and canyon.

The gates at Kerr Dam.  Photo: Alicia Pierce

The gates at Kerr Dam.
Photo: Alicia Pierce

National Bison Range, Moiese
In my many road trips up and down Highway 93 this month, there has been at least one bison standing in plain view from its perch on the rolling terrain of the National Bison Range. In addition to being stunning animals, many of the mama bison have had their calves which makes May the perfect time to head to the range. Personally, I recommend taking Red Sleep Drive (a 19-mile one-way road that travels through the range) for wildlife watching combined with stunning views of the Mission Valley and nearby Mission Mountains.

The view looking west from Red Sleep Drive.

The view looking west from Red Sleep Drive.

The Whitefish Trail, Whitefish
If you’re into hiking or biking, The Whitefish Trail (located just west of town) is the place for you.

The Whitefish Trail earlier this week. Photo: Jess Downing

The Whitefish Trail earlier this week. Photo: Jess Downing

Be sure to check out Woods Lake, the newest section of the trail, for views of Whitefish Lake, Woods Lake and the Whitefish Mountain Range.

Glacier National Park
I know I’ve said it before but I’m totally saying it again: May is the perfect time to bike the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. The road is currently closed to vehicular traffic at Avalanche on the west side which means bikers have free reign of the road from Avalanche up to the Loop. Or if you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, you can hike the road as well.

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

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

Or you can take to some of the trails in the area, including Apgar Lookout, Trail of the Cedars and Avalanche Lake. Keep in mind that some portions of the trails may be muddy and you may encounter a bit of snow, especially in shaded areas.

Side note: Wildlife, including bears, are active in Glacier National Park. Be sure you make noise on the trail and hike with bear spray.

Farmers Markets
With the arrival of May, farmers markets are starting throughout the region. Be sure to check out markets in Kalispell, Missoula, Polson and Ronan for local goods.

The People's Market in Missoula.

The People’s Market in Missoula.

Missoula Hiking Trails
For a quick hike in town, consider the hike to the M on Mount Sentinel. Hikers can make it up and down in around an hour and you’ll see a bird’s eye view of the Garden City.

Missoula from Mount Sentinel.  Photo: Chris Mickey

Missoula from Mount Sentinel.
Photo: Chris Mickey

Located a short drive from Missoula, Pattee Canyon is home to abundant hiking and biking trails. An added bonus? Spend some time hiking here and you’ll see plenty of wildflowers, including wild clematis, trilliums and glacier lillies. The 27 miles of trails have been cleared for the season, so if you’re looking for friendly and easily navigable trails, this area has you covered.

Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana, Charlo
For a heaping serving of Montana history, check out Ninepipes Museum. Located at the base of the Mission Mountains, the museum has an extensive collection from the area’s early settlers, as well as American Indian beadwork and clothing. After perusing the museum, head over to Allentown Restaurant at Ninepipes Lodge for lunch or dinner and take in the view from their dining room.

The view from Allentown Restaurant.

The view from Allentown Restaurant.

Your turn…what are some of your favorite adventures in May?

xo,
TT

Spring in Montana and Glacier National Park

First things first: Happy spring!

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’ll be straight with you. I know it seems like spring is not actually here (especially with the 14 inches of fresh snow at Whitefish Mountain Resort), but I promise you she’s on her way.

The view from Apgar Lookout webcam in Glacier National Park on the first day of spring

The view from Apgar Lookout webcam in Glacier National Park on the first day of spring.

Sure, spring plays coy every once in a while and is known to have a flair for the dramatic, but she is also one of the loveliest seasons in Montana. During her reign, Montana is covered with blooming flowers, emerging wildlife, fresh mountain air and bright blue skies. And with all of those attributes, you’d think spring would be a popular time to visit Montana…right?

Well, I’ve got good news for you: Spring in a season that is still largely undiscovered, especially here in Glacier Country. It’s not because she’s not enchanting, it’s just that her big sister summer is Montana’s most popular season in terms of the most time to visit. And while summer will likely remain Big Sky Country’s reigning queen, little miss spring is definitely holding her own.

Here’s are my top picks for some of the best places to experience spring in Montana.

Glacier National Park
While the park is open year-round, spring is one of the quietest times to visit. And even though the Going-to-the-Sun Road isn’t open in its entirety to vehicular traffic until at least June 20, there are still ample opportunities to play in Glacier National Park. Topping the list: biking the iconic road. Read more about biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road in this story from Elevation Outdoors.

Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

The view from the loop on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

The view from the loop on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Additional activities: Wildlife watching (be sure to keep a safe distance and never feed wildlife), red bus tours (the Huckleberry Tour begins May 25) and hiking. For the latest updates on which hiking trails are clear of snow, call 406.888.7800.  

Where to stay: Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Browning (open year-round), Historic Tamarack Lodge & Cabins in Hungry Horse (open year-round) and Glacier Outdoor Center (opens in April). Additional properties around the park open in early May.

In the news: Fodor’s recently picked Glacier National Park as one of the 10 best national parks to visit this spring. Read more about it here.

Bigfork
This is one of the cutest towns you’ll come across in Western Montana. Located on the bay of Flathead Lake, it has an adorable downtown village, fun shops and easy access to hiking trails and water fun. In the spring, Bigfork also has a wide variety of events including Taste of Bigfork and Bigfork Whitewater Festival. Scheduled for May 24 and 25, the festival has kayakers paddling on the class IV section of the “Wild Mile” of the Swan River.

The Raven in Woods Bay (just south of Bigfork).

The Raven in Woods Bay (just south of Bigfork).

Additional activities: Take time to stroll through downtown and check out the art galleries and restaurants that call this quaint town home. Also, be sure to take the short drive south to The Raven for dinner and a drink. And if you’re looking to land a fish? Book a trip with Bagley Guide Service or Crane Mountain Guide Service.

Where to stay: Mountain Lake Lodge (gorgeous views of Flathead Lake) or Bridge Street Cottages.

Missoula
With the Clark Fork River flowing through the heart of downtown, spring takes off early in Missoula. (Side note: I’ve already seen kayakers paddling on Brennan’s Wave). And while there are events that happen here in the spring (like the International Wildlife Film Festival and Garden City Brewfest), it’s the easy accessibility to the outdoors that make Missoula a standout destination.

A spring stroll on the Clark Fork River.

A spring stroll on the Clark Fork River.

Additional activities: Hike the M Trail on Mount Sentinel, take in the view of Missoula from Blue Mountain Recreation Area or bike the Clark Fork riverfront trails. Plus, the driving range at Canyon River Golf Club is officially open, with the rest of the course slated to open in the next few weeks.

Where to stay: Gibson Mansion Bed & Breakfast (Tom’s scones are insanely delicious), C’Mon Inn (numerous hot tubs to soak your muscles after hiking) and Holiday Inn Downtown at the Park.

Here’s to a fun-filled spring.

xo,
TT

A (Montana) Valentine’s Getaway for Your Love

Well, the holiday that you’ve all been waiting for is (nearly) here: Valentine’s Day! While there is much discussion over the intense love and hate relationship with the holiday itself, this messy-haired girl has always been a fan of it. And while it’s a day that’s commercially deemed for lovers, it’s so much more than that.

Valentine's Day is a day to tell your sunshine you love them.

Valentine’s Day is a day to tell your sunshine you love them.

It’s a day to tell your mama and/or your papa that you love them. It’s a day when you can send your best friend those earrings she’s been eyeing just because you love her! It’s a day when you (meaning me) can take the garbage out so your (meaning my) husband doesn’t have to. It’s a day that’s meant to celebrate love, no matter what and with no strings attached.

This year, as luck would have it, Valentine’s Day is on a Friday. Which means that if you want to, you can basically celebrate it the whole weekend! And for those of you choosing to do so, I’ve rounded up some of my top Valentine’s Day (or Valentine’s Weekend) recommendations in Western Montana’s Glacier Country.

Whitefish, Montana
Let’s face it: Whitefish is one of the most romantic towns in the West. It has an absolutely charming downtown, wonderful restaurants and cozy accommodations. If you’re looking to “woo” someone, this is the place to do it. Plus, they have a lot of choices when it comes to romantic settings. This girl recommends dinner at The Boat Club at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake, Cafe Kandahar at Kandahar Lodge or Tupelo Grille in downtown.

Downtown Whitefish. Photo: Donnie Sexton

Downtown Whitefish. Photo: Donnie Sexton

And as icing on your Valentine’s Day sugar cookie, check out the Romantic Rendezvous Package at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake and Montana Romance Package from Good Medicine Lodge.

Glacier National Park
If I was a betting gal, I’d bet that your sugar hasn’t experienced winter in Glacier National Park. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to to introduce him or her to this gorgeous place with an intimate weekend at the Belton Chalet in West Glacier. After a day of snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the park, settle in for an cozy stay at the historic lodge as part of their Sweetheart Package, complete with dinner and champagne.

Fireside at West Glacier's Belton Chalet.

Fireside at West Glacier’s Belton Chalet.

A Cozy Cabin in the Woods
If you’re looking for a cozy cabin in the woods, check out Double Arrow Lodge in Seeley Lake. Double Arrow has a Valentine’s Package that features a special menu at on-site Season’s Restaurant, as well as champagne upon arrival. Plus, it also happens to be located in one of the most picture perfect settings in Montana.

One of the snowy sun-kissed views from Double Arrow Lodge.

One of the snowy sun-kissed views from Double Arrow Lodge.

Missoula, Montana
I may be partial to this city (since my husband is from here), but Missoula continues to woo me in terms of its dining options and idyllic romantic settings. If I was trying to charm the socks off someone, I’d take them to Missoula’s snow-dusted, historic and cute downtown, before catching live music or grabbing a bite to eat at Red Bird Wine Bar (try the champagne fondue), Biga Pizza (um, hello Flathead cherry pizza) or Plonk. Other personal favorites include Finn & Porter and Mustard Seed (try the chocolate mousse).

Hello, boo.

Hello, boo.

And if you really want to impress your love, book a stay at The Gibson Mansion Bed and Breakfast, specifically with their Romance Package or by adding an in-room massage treatment to your stay.

No matter where you are or who you love, may your Valentine’s Day be filled with love and kindheartedness.

xo,
TT

PS: You can find even more travel deals and coupons here and here.

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

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.