10 Days to Montana and Back - Skillful Cook
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10 Days to Montana and Back

Montana view.

Ten days, one SUV, four adults, one baby, one dog. Nine hundred million gas station and fast food stops, two hotels, three thousand miles, one overstuffed car topped covered with bungee cords and a ripped plastic tarp.

Four days of BFF-couples woodsy cabin time, three miles of walking trails for the girls, nine games of Madden for the boys, 4 people x 10 days drive-through chai tea lattes, four+ hours of daily explore-around-and-be-amazed time, at leeeeast twenty thousand iPhone pictures.

Four pairs of hiking shoes, one mild hiking trail in Glacier National Park, an overwhelming number of breathtaking views, five false-alarm bear sightings, zero real bear sightings, not even close to enough cans of bear spray, seven hundred different times that my friends almost killed me for my paralyzing fear of bear attacks. SERIOUSLY THOUGH.

That’s about how this week was! Thanks for following along on Instagram – your comments and recommendations for experiencing the best of Montana made me want to hug your face. Youdabomb.

Just one more thing. MONTANA FOR LIFE.

Collage of vacation photos.

Places We Ate (and Luv-Ed)

(and what I ordered, because I just have to tell you)

The Palette Café in Columbia Falls (spinach bacon artichoke salad and pumpkin soup // I wanted to order the whole menu)
StormCastle in Bozeman (Mexican breakfast scramble)
Sir Scott’s Oasis in Manhattan (steak and shrimp)
Pescado Blanco in Whitefish (tacos verduras with butternut squash and mushrooms, and yes I could live the rest of my life on their chips and salsa)
Casey’s in Whitefish (black bean soup plus a goat cheese and beet salad)
Ciao Mambo in Whitefish (eggplant parmesan with homemade herbed ricotta that rocked my world)
Wheat Montana in a small town on our way somewhere (wheatberry chili with sausage)

Places We Visited (and Luv-Ed)

Flathead Lake
Glacier National Park
Hungry Horse Reservoir

Want to see more trip highlights? Check 'em out here!

Filed Under: Life

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I know what you mean about the bear attacks! We went to South Dakota this year (even less bears than where you were) and on the first hike we took I really didn’t take in much of the scenery because I was scouring the mountainside for bears and mountain lions. I did chill out a little after realizing the worst thing I saw on our hikes were some cute little mountain goats. Sounds like you had a fun trip!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m so glad you enjoyed your trip!!! I’ve lived in Montana my whole life and sometimes the beauty around the state is just to much to even take in. 🙂

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Yaay I’m so glad you two had fun!! I’m 100% with you on the bear spray – even after being here for 2+ years I am TERRIFIED of having a bear run in. Despite the fact that it hasn’t happened, and likely never will.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I would be completely locked in my house in fear all the time. Mountain lions, bears… mountain goats? you guys are the real deal out there.

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Yes, YES, to Montana Forever! That’s my home state, grew up there, and seeing your pictures makes me wonder how in the world I’m living in the middle of Northern Minnesota when I could be soaking up the beauty that is Montana (not that I don’t love Minnesota, it’s just not Montana). Truly there is no other place like it and I guess I’ll be content and grateful we go back several times a year. Your pictures are stunning, congrats to surviving the road trip with a baby and a dog (we do it with five kids and it’s, well, special) and so glad you didn’t have any mad encounters with bears.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    I am so thrilled to hear you had a good trip to Montana! I’m a native and love showing off our state! Thanks for the pictures.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I didn’t mention in the post but seriously every person we encountered was truly “Montana cool”. You people are awesome. 🙂

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    So fun! So beautiful! So glad that you had a good time! Looking forward to hearing more about it. 🙂

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Ha! True that. He’s a cutie though! He actually ended up staying with his grandparents during the middle part of the trip, so we did get some baby-free time. 🙂

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh my- you were so close to us here – just a couple hours from Glacier to Coeur d’Alene. It’s gorgeous there isn’t it. I am SO loving the beauty that is all around here in the inland NW.

    So happy you were able to get up here & experience it. (before the snowfall) This is truly one of the more beautiful times of the year here.

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Glacier National Park is our favorite! Our kids’ favorite hikes are there – Avalanche Lake and Iceberg Lake. I would highly recommend visiting Moose’s Saloon in Kalispell for ambiance and great pizza (where, shockingly, adding sauerkraut to their pizza makes it even tastier).

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      We ALMOST did Avalanche Lake but 1) too far for the boys, and 2) too many possibilities of encountering a bear. 🙂 🙂

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow! Beautiful pictures! Love the laptop-in-car situation (glad we’re not alone in that) AND I would so buy the print on the right-hand side, third up from the bottom and put it on EVERY MONTH OF A CALENDAR. Gorgeous!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      You are too cute. Have you ever used your phone as a wifi hotspot? We set up one for the long trip and it was awesome having wifi in the car! 🙂

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow, this post just brought back memories for me. My husband is from Minnesota (Iron Range) and moved out to Whitefish where he lived and worked for 6 years before we met (and I lured him off to Southern California). But I remember visiting him and seeing the beauty of Montana and Glacier National Park. Whitefish was such an amazing and quaint town. Imagine, a town of only about 8,000-ish residents! (But then again in SoCal I’m from a city of millions of people!). It surprised me to learn that so many people from Minnesota love to go to Montana on vacation – in fact, the first time I visited Minnesota, I was driving by Target Field and there were huge “Visit Montana” billboards all around. Looks like you had a great time and picked a terrific time to visit Montana!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      How funny! We went there because my friend’s husband grew up there. 🙂 He was kinda our tour guide for the week.