Rocky Mountain High

I am two days home from another beautiful visit to Montana. I always look forward to my trips out, even the 10 hour drive through beautiful country-side. This time, I didnt drive out alone but  had 2 friends, Molly and Steve join me, neither having been up to Glacier. Molly was a little nervous about the free-spirit adventure but I was so excited to show them all my favorite places and hoped my excitement would rub off.  Perhaps Molly had foresight for the 8 foot grizzly that decided to greet her on the trail! Lucky it was just saying hello! and not YUMMY!

For me, there were 3 highlights to this trip.

1) Hiking up to the Hidden Lake Outlook. I have been up there several times but i have never ventured all the way to the look-out (read pansy-ass). This year i decided i HAD to do it! after a short rest with a couple visiting from Florida, i was rewarded with the most stunning views. After i came down, i read that the trail only climbs 450 feet?! WTF?!

(yes there is a bear in there!)

( you cant get insanely $$ gas if the temperature is over 80 degrees. God i love Polebridge!)

2) Spending a night in Polebridge with my dear friend Greg and renting a kayak to float Lake McDonald Creek. After a couple beers at the Northern Lights in Polebridge, Greg and i ventured back to his family property for a fat bonfire and good tunes. We also saw a bear, keeping my record at 100% for bear sitings!

The next day we packed up slowly and headed down to Apgar. I know that this little adventure was very nostalgic for Greg, having lived up there the majority of his life. Everywhere we turned, he had a story from his youth. It was awesome wandering down memory lane. I cant imagine a greater place to grow up! We rented a kayak and tooled around the lake for a bit, had a light lunch and a quick dip in the crystal clear lake. Then we ventured down McDonald Creek. I last floated this creek in 1998 and had such fantastic memories of it. It was just as perfect this time! the flowers still bloom out of the weeds under water, the creek is still the most intoxicating turquoise and the fish can still be seen in depths of 10 feet. We jumped off some rocks, me on the lower level, and after we pulled out, hid the kayak in the bushes and trekked back to the car about 2 miles down a beautiful tree-lined bike path.

That evening, we enjoyed a farm to table meal at the Belton Chalet. We were RAVENOUS and started with a glass of wine that almost put me under the table. We quickly consumed duck and wild mushroom crepes and fresh hot bread. I had Veal with Farinata(!) and fig compote. Greg had scallop and prawn raviolis with chipolte cream sauce YUM!!! we rolled out of there and stopped by the Hungry Horse Dam. As the sun set, we were the only people around and Guitar Man played softly on the stereo.

3) I got to celebrate my birthday!! After a very chill day on the lake, Greg and I made Lobster Tail Ettouffe. My friends Molly and Steve joined us as well as Greg’s mom Donna and Donna’s brother Neil and his lonnnnnnnggggg-time girl, Lisa. Donna, had taken a trip over to her friend Shirley’s house that morning and brought home the heaviest densest most fantastic home-made chocolate peanut butter pie i have ever tasted!!!

Home with fantastic memories again! Thank you for such a wonderful visit. Greg you are my old soul/ partner in crime. Until next time…