Life is bright in Montana

We came to Montana because of Facebook. I put a post on my personal page asking if anyone in the US or Canada required house sitting over the winter and my friend Wendy responded, telling us we could stay in her house in Whitefish for a month before Christmas.

She and her husband Bob were planning to return to Playa del Carmen, Mexico (where we met) in mid November and asked if we would like to visit with them for a few days before they left.

Since Wendy is one of my favourite people on the planet, I said HELL YES!

From the sweltering summer heat of La Penita de Jaltemba, Mexico, Montana seemed like a far-flung option, with an emphasis on the word far.

But why not? We thought.

Arriving in Montana I had no answers to that question. Only answers as to why going there was one of the best ideas we never had.

Man, oh man, this place is GORGEOUS.

Big Sky Montana

They call it ‘Big Sky’ and I spent most of the drive from Bend, Oregon, hypothesizing on what that actually meant, wondering if, how and why the sky would be perceived as bigger in ‘The Treasure State.’

I may have sucked the whole sky into my lungs as I gasped at every sight we encountered over the state line.

Montana big sky

The bright blue sky, the expansive fields and glass-like lakes made us think that the whole state could be classified as a national park.

Montana lake

It was so good to see our friends again. Wendy and Bob threw us a going away party at their home in Playa del Carmen, Mexico before we left there earlier this year. We spent Christmas eve together the year before, sharing pot-luck parties and copious tacos throughout the year preceding it.

Reuniting in their ‘other home’ of Whitefish, Montana during a severe cold snap was a world away from Playa, yet felt wonderfully familiar.

Wendy drove us to the actual national park (Glacier) and I came to see why the choice was made to protect that particular piece of natural treasure.

Glacier NPGlacier MontanaShe said she needed to say goodbye before she left and we huddled together on the shore of Lake McDonald giggling like children while the most freezing wind I have ever felt whipped against our cheeks and chattering teeth.

Lake McDonald

Did I mention I’d never been so cold?

Lake McDonald

Glacier national park was cloaked in snow, which I thought was a very fitting way to see it.

Tyrhone Glacier national park

Icicles hung from the eaves of the closed Lake McDonald Lodge as Wendy and I ran around the buildings peering through the windows.

Icycles galcier np

A few frozen huckleberries clung to the bush, braving the winter chill.

Huckleberries Montana

We only saw one other couple the whole afternoon, as no-one else was keen enough to brave the cold. It was so much fun, I felt like a kid in a closed toy store.

It has actually warmed up a bit here in Whitefish since Wendy and Bob left ten days ago. It also started to snow. The first day it did, I ran around the house like a crazed animal putting on scarves and gloves and flinging Tyrhone’s at him, crying “It’s snowiiiiiiiiiing!!!!!” like it was some kind of national emergency.

“Let’s gooooooooo!!!!!” I yelled to a bundled up Tyrhone as I headed outside to run under the crystal white confetti.

snow whitefish

It was beautiful. The crisp air, the mist on our breath, the snow in our hair.

Yesterday, we headed to the ‘Big Mountain’ to see if we could practice snowboarding. We’d picked up second-hand gear from a great consignment store in Bend, Oregon and wanted to try it out. The resort isn’t officially operational yet which means no lifts, but the mountain is open to anyone keen enough to hike.

snowboarding whitefish

We practiced on a small slope and hiked back up to do it again. The snow was soft and powdery like icing. My lungs heaved and my cheeks flushed and my heart pounded as I glided a little, carved out a small turn and promptly collapsed into the snow in a fit of giggles (you can find a clip of it on facebook).

Before this journey I was a bit worried about how I would handle the winter. While there is still a long way to go (we are house sitting in the Colorado Rockies for three months from January!), winter is breathing new life into me.

The crispness of the air, the ice and the snow is bringing simple beauty into sharp focus.

montana leaf

The cold is clearing my head and bringing me into the magic of the moment.

Sarah Somewhere Montana

Far from being dreary and dark, life here is so, so bright.

subscribe to sarah somewhereIf you would like a tour of the fantastic house we are staying in (as well as a laugh) read Tyrhone’s descriptive post here.


Life is bright in Montana — 28 Comments

  1. I love the snow! Of course, I don’t think I could ever live somewhere where it snows a lot. I know Shawn couldn’t since he came from upstate NY where there’s gobs of snow. But there’s something about it that just makes me feel like a little kid again.
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    • It has been dumping down today! I almost got stuck in it in my car, but apart from that I love it! It is so festive and gorgeous. Happy Thanksgiving hon xoxo

  2. It is amazing to read a travel blogger rave about my favourite place in the world! My family and I go down to Whitefish as much as possible during the year. Have an amazing time while you are there!

  3. It sounds so silly, Big Sky Country, but when you drive through Montana and take in the splendor, you get it, it is big sky country, even though you can’t really explain why. Montana is all kinds of spectacular!

    Today, we are watching our first snowfall of the season. I’m always so excited by the first snowfall, there is something magical about big fluffy white frozen flakes falling from the clouds. Happy Thanksgiving, Sarah!
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    • So true! The snow makes everything feel festive, doesn’t it? Glad we got all our Thanksgiving food a few days ago so I don’t have to go out in it again though! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family Patti xoxo

  4. I love Whitefish! I got the opportunity to spend a few days there a few years ago and I just loved the way I felt there. I loved the food, the nature… ah, everything. I was there in the summer so I didn’t get to see the snow; seeing your experience in the winter just makes me happy. Enjoy the wonders of Whitefish! :)

    • Thank you Erica! It really is a beautiful place, isn’t it? All year round it seems it has a lot to offer. Hiking, fishing, boating and camping in the summer and skiing (and eating!) in the winter. Happy Thanksgiving xoxox

    • Hi Katie, yes, I lived in London too and it is a different kind of winter. Poor London really is in a black hole, weather wise! We are enjoying the novelty of the snow here. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving from Montana!

  5. Hey Sarah, Happy 5th and great to see you so happy and in so many amazing adventures. I feel like I missed some posts so not quite sure how you ended up in the US. I feel like it’s been YEARS since you left. I’m tottaly curious how you are managing it (financially). Do you guys make enough of your blogs to get by?
    Thanks so much for going through that initial fear and showing us it’s possible – v inspritational. x kaz from perth

    • Hi Kaz! We drove up here from Mexico to do some house sitting and have a change of pace. We are doing fine financially, traveling like we do doesn’t cost as much as people think and house sitting certainly helps to keep our costs down. We don’t make much money from our blogs, but Tyrhone makes a small income from his web design and we are building up a few projects for the future. Just following our hearts and trusting that we will be taken care of. So far, so good! I hope you are well my friend, drop me an email and let me know what you are up to (and give my love to all the girls) xoxoxo

    • Ha! Neither did I! As soon as we came over the border I started seeing signs for huckleberry smoothies everywhere, so it’s definitely a Montana thing! I still haven’t tried one but will let you know when I do :-)

    • Thanks Gilda, yes we have our boards poised and ready… kinda! I am still a little new at it so it may take me a while to get my confidence up, but I will try! :-)

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  7. Stunning photos Sarah!
    I spent a week in Whitefish over New Year’s. A perk of being a nanny and going on vacation with them! Montana has a magic to it and I can totally relate to the wonder of BIG SKY. It’s hard to describe until you experience it. Your photos sure do a great job!
    Glad you’re having so much fun in the snow!

    • Hi Maddie! Yes, it was absolutely beautiful! We are looking forward to more snow in Colorado where we will be for the first three months of next year. I hear it is beautiful there too. Loved your Bruge pics! Wishing you and Paul a very merry Christmas xxx