Category Archive for "Montana"

Daily Journal: Seeking out the Snow

November 24, 2014

The temperatures have been telling us that winter is surely here in NW Montana. However, for some of winter’s prime activities – you still have to actively seek it and really earn your turns. It was a great day of finding winter in the backyard and being able to see our yurt across the lake in the distance.

Daily Journal: Winter a Yurt – bring it on!

November 21, 2014

Winter has arrived to NW Montana and temperatures last week were plummeting by the minute! Forecast called for wind chills to exceed 20 to 35 degrees below zero up at our yurt throughout the week. Winter in a yurt? Bring it on!

Daily Journal: Share the Sun

November 20, 2014

Another fine ending to a day here in NW Montana with another beautiful crystal clear big sky which brought plenty of solar power to our Goal Zero solar panels and Yeti 1250 generators and batteries. We will now have enough power in our yurt for nearly two weeks as long as we remain conservative. Feeling refreshed – WooHoo!  

Daily Journal: Montana Larch Trees

November 19, 2014

This photo is shown looking up to our yurt through the golden needles of our Larch trees (also known as Tamaracks). Last Sunday, we were completely fogged in as frigid arctic temperatures and heavy snow approached. That Sunday—November 9th—marked the last of our beautiful fall-colored Montana Larch trees until next year as our temperatures dipped into the teens and negatives. Winter has arrived in NW Montana. I used to call the Aspen my favorite type of tree because of the brilliant colors their leaves produce in the fall – but not anymore. My new favorite tree is the Larch which…

Blades of Glory, Yurt Style

November 17, 2014

One by one, the blades of our heat-powered fan atop the rocket mass heater begin to turn. Once around, twice around, four times, eight times. Soon, it’s turning too many times to count, humming as it pushes heat from the stove into the room. This simple action is how we know the stove is warming up. The turning blades are how we know the heat has penetrated the system, and most importantly: We know it won’t be long before warmth is circulated throughout our yurt.     I think a lot of people have had us in their thoughts the…

Daily Journal: The Middle Fork Montana

November 17, 2014

Beautiful fall light moves across Cascadilla Creek as we hike back towards the Middle Fork of the Flathead River here at home in Northwest Montana.  

Daily Journal: Montana morning light

With temps dipping into the 20s at night and highs only in the 40s, we are becoming more engaged with our wood stove. One special perk is you get to see some really amazing sunrises and Montana morning light when restocking the wood stove for breakfast. This sunrise was captured from our yurt looking into Glacier National Park as another storm front moves in bringing more rain and snow to NW Montana.

Daily Journal: Montana Sunrise

The Montana sunrise peeks over the Bob Marshall Wilderness each morning, lighting up the east-facing side of the yurt, illuminating the yellow larches, and warming the earth for a new day. Finding beauty in our surroundings grounds us daily into this new life.

Daily Journal: Montana Fly Fishing in October

November 10, 2014

A late afternoon of casting flies and catching cutthroat (& releasing) with friends — there’s nothing quite like Montana fly fishing in October.  

Soaking up simplicity — One of the best hikes in Whitefish

One of the things that worried me most about moving into an off-the-grid yurt in Montana was time.  It would take us more time to access our home. It would take us more time to do dishes by hand. It would take us more time to bring up water and transfer it into various buckets and bins for usage every week. But as I sit here, savoring a cup of french press coffee that I put time and care into making, I realize that through this yurt, I’m learning to slow down and embrace the pauses — to embrace the…

Yurt in Montana Update – Demolition Complete!

During the past few weeks, Sean and I (along with a number of extremely generous friends and neighbors) finished the disassembly of our yurt from it’s former home, just 15 miles to the south of where we live. It currently resides in six parts: the first in our basement, the second in our home office, the third in our living room, the fourth in our storage shed, the fifth in the other storage shed, and the sixth in a storage container on our property. It’s hard to believe we finally own it, and it’s also hard to believe that someday…

#TBT (Throw-back Thursday) — Bye, Winter. It’s been real.

Just as suddenly as it came, winter in northwest Montana has gone – seemingly for good. Although the snow-capped peaks of Glacier National Park line the eastern wall of the Flathead Valley, the majority of the valley floor is becoming lush and green again. Birds are chirping, turkeys roam our yard, the daylight last longer and we find buds on the branches of larch trees and the lilac bush outside our home. While at one time, we dreaded the return of summertime while living in the hot, desert, today we welcome the changing of the seasons. As Sean says, it’s…

A #WhitefishMoment with the Agnews

Moving to Whitefish, Sean and I quickly learned that there were “locals” and there were “tourists.” But unlike many places we’ve visited where tourists are considered outsiders, we love how the Whitefish community embraces the folks who visit and yet still maintain an authentic, western ambiance. Sean and I know all too well that Whitefish has an uncanny ability to permanently capture some visitors with its abundant outdoor activities, friendly locals, and unique character… it captures them — like it captured us — and we end up becoming part of the community. Larry and Connie Agnew fall into that category,…

The Quest for the Perfect Butcher Block

December 24, 2013

My love for finding treasures dates back to elementary school, when I would go to rummage sales with my neighbor, Ally. It was so exciting – the thrill of the hunt! Sometimes for a purpose, and sometimes for nothing in particular. I bought so much junk… Caboodles, doll houses, trapper keepers, books, T-shirts, jewelry—the list goes on and on. Today, garage sales might be the only place 25 cents goes a long way. But yet, I was inspired then just as much as I am today when I shop for decor for our home at vintage shops. There’s something so satisfying about browsing through vintage wares, selecting…

Top 5 Reasons to Ski Whitefish Mountain Resort

December 9, 2013

It’s official. I wrapped up my first “Opening Weekend” at Whitefish Mountain Resort. For those who don’t speak ski-town, that’s code for “the weekend the resort opens.” Unlike Sean, Whitefish is the first resort town I’ve ever lived in. He’s lived in Steamboat Springs, Whistler, and grew up in Southern California, near resorts like Mountain High and Big Bear. Me? I grew up on Nordic Mountain—a whopping 265 vertical feet of sweet Wisconsin “powder.” (Emphasis on the quotes.) Whitefish Mountain Resort’s 2,305 vertical feet provide a bit of an upgrade as my “home mountain.” The entire mountain was open for the…

The road to the Polebridge Mercantile

December 2, 2013

The snow is falling in northwest Montana, and we’ve wasted no time getting after some deep powder turns. Whitefish Mountain Resort opens this weekend and the incredible local backcountry scene beckons with each inch of snowfall. A few weeks ago, after one of the first snows, our friend, Emily and her dog, Daisy (yep, same name as our dog), made the journey with us to Polebridge and the Polebridge Mercantile. The word “journey” is no exaggeration. Polebridge is a remote, off-the-grid (literally, electricity-free) town on the western border of Glacier National Park, along the North Fork of the Flathead River. The…

Our First Snow – a lesson on appreciating the forest & cultivating the trees

Well, it’s official. Our first snow in our new home has come and gone. It’s November in Montana, and dare I say it…winter is here! And while our hometown has changed since last year, Sean’s giddy feelings about the “first snow” have not. It’s like watching a kid on Christmas… except “Christmas” isn’t a set date. Christmas could happen any day—so when it does, it’s that much more of a surprise. If you know Sean, you know he was SnapChatting the moment it started to dump:   For the past two weeks, northwest Montana’s forecast has been calling for “snow”…

Fall Colors at 114° West

November 1, 2013

Having moved to Whitefish in March, I’m still in that phase of awe as we transition through new seasons in our new home. Although I took these photos weeks ago, the fall colors in this part of the country are still spectacular, and the crisp, cool air is a refreshing change, preparing us for winter—which is just on the horizon. Not much longer and we’ll be on skis again! These trees are called larch trees, and while they look like pine trees, this breed sheds their needles every fall. Before that, they turn a blazing shade of yellow. It’s like being…

Adventures in our own backyard: Picking for Huck Pies

September 26, 2013

One of the reasons Sean and I were initially drawn to Montana was the abundance of outdoor activities at our disposal. At any given moment (in any given season), we could be paddle-boarding in Whitefish Lake, backcountry skiing in Glacier National Park, cycling the hundreds of road biking routes through the lush valley, mountain biking the muddy paths of the Whitefish Trail, or hiking up Big Mountain. I’ve got literally hundreds of photos of various activities we’ve done—I’m determined to post them here to showcase Montana’s magnificence! In the last few months, we’ve hiked at Whitefish Mountain Resort a number of…

Daisy the Weim and the Cone of Pride

When we arrived home from New Zealand/Australia a few weeks ago, we were greeted by a Super Highway of bear activity, right out our front door. It was sort of like being at the zoo—except the house was our cage, and the bears were in the open, roaming as they pleased and picking apples from our apple tree to store up for winter. We would take our ceremonial photos, and then run outside yelling and banging pots to scare them off. After a week, we counted five different bears that had made our property a regular stopping point on their…