Hawaii Mom Blog: Visit Montana: Experiencing the Beauty of Big Sky Country




March 16, 2016

Visit Montana: Experiencing the Beauty of Big Sky Country

I was extremely excited to visit Montana for the first time.

I've heard many stories about Montana (aka Big Sky Country) - the peacefulness, the crisp air, the picturesque countryside, but nothing could prepare me for just how beautiful this state would be.  

We had two days in Montana, which meant not much time to explore, but we were determined to make the most of our short time there.

After we crossed the border from Idaho into Montana, the emerald green tree-filled mountainside, speckled with yellow to signal autumn's arrival, was simply captivating.

We drove for miles and miles and miles through more of the same, until we made a rest stop at St. Regis Travel Center.

We then continued our journey past brown & green pastures, where cows and horses grazed, and the occasional deer darted past us.

We soon came upon Flathead River, which was quite a sight.  Even though we are surrounded by the Pacific Ocean in Hawaii, driving along this winding river was pretty spectacular.

Eventually we would make our way to the National Bison Range, where we were lucky enough to spot not only bison, but antelope and deer.

An hour later we made our way to the recently-opened Red Lion Inn & Suites Ridgewater Polson, a quiet town with a population of just 4600 people, and where most business close quite early on Sundays (if they open at all).

After several hours of driving, we were ready to get a good night's rest for another long day of driving.

Our second day in Montana was what I looked forward to most - a visit to Glacier National Park.

A 90-minute drive on the highway on the way to Glacier National Park bestowed more of Montana's beauty. Flathead River was incredible, but Flathead Lake was even more amazing.

An occasional fishing boat would appear on the placid lake.  It was like a picture right out of a painting!

Eventually the drive would take us through a stretch of farms - most were growing cherries, but there were also some growing peaches and apples, and a few with signs welcoming guests to try fresh cider.

My excitement grew as as we got closer and closer to Glacier National Park. It was dampened a little by the fact that part of the Going-to-the-Sun Road was closed, but once in the park, I was not disappointed.

Crystal clear lakes, turquoise streams, snow-capped mountain peaks - the sights were simply incredible.

Pictures do not do this national park justice.

Although I was most excited to visit Glacier National Park, our entire stay in Montana proved to be awe-inspiring.

And it's not only because of the invigorating fresh air, the quaint farms, or the beautiful lakes, but it was also because of the people.

The people in Montana were so friendly & warm.

When we dined at East Shore Smoke House, an elderly gentleman seated at a nearby table immediately told us hello and commented on how cute our boys were.  Turns out he yearned for grandchildren of his own, as we overheard him telling other guests at another table how he really wanted grandchildren, but was content with his dogs.

Upon leaving the restaurant, he and his wife came up to our table, told us about the area and where they lived, and mentioned how he wished it were summer so he could take the kids out on the river!

During the drive through Montana, I'd once in a while have a twinge of envy as we passed charming homes on the edge of Flathead Lake, or farms on huge pieces of land, imagining how wonderful it would be to go fishing on the lake, or grow fruits on a farm.

But then reality set in.

I'm too much of a city girl at heart.

And I have a fear of water (more like a fear of the creatures that are lurking beneath the surface), and I can't grow a thing (not even herbs!).

Two days in Montana was enough to showcase its beauty, but I do hope to visit again one day soon to explore even more.

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