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Return to Big Sky Country

I had hoped to share this wintery journey back in late January… and I have to say 2018 has really been a whirlwind of unexpected detours.  I always like to start the New Year with a fresh perspective full of goals, dreams and new beginnings, as I believe most of us do. All I can say is, though the seeds have been planted, boy has reality kicked me into the unknown! I continue to be shown that there is just so much that is out of our control. No matter how much we plan, sometimes we are tested to just let go and flow & trust the journey ahead. With 2018 already in full swing, I hope everyone is finding fluidity in this year full of transformation. As we let go of the old and make room for the new… I’m reminded to stay connected within, to stay present and just breathe… reminding myself all is unfolding just as it should.

At the beginning of every year my husband Ben, and I take a trip somewhere in the snow capped mountains to ground down into the New Year. Our vacation always pushes our “restart” button so we can have a quiet and connective space to dive into the present moment. Traveling ignites my passion and dream state. Experiencing new land, revitalizing my energy all making space for deep connection within and to the roots of the places we journey. This year Ben and I decided to watch the weather and see where the snow was abundant vs. booking in advance.  It had been a bit dry and warm in the southwest, so we paid close attention to Montana where Big Sky was getting dosed up with some big white fluff!  We had journeyed to Big Sky last winter for the first time and we both were excited to return for our 2018 winter destination!Last year we stayed at Rainbow Ranch Lodge located on the Galatian River. We loved RR so much that I booked us for two nights to kick-start our restorative New Year vaca. For the remainder of our stay, I found a cozy mountain cabin rental located high up in the mountains of Big Sky. Our rental was a 25 min drive to Big Sky resort and the main town area. We didn’t mind the remote location as Ben and I really needed some time to “just be”. We slept in, read books, watched movies, soaked numerous times in the outdoor hot tub, cooked and played a couple of good rounds of Gin Rummy… it was so connective even though we were completely disconnected from civilization.  When we did head into town, we had some big adventures in Big Sky.  We had a blast snowboarding, hiking and had the most scrumptious dinner and cocktails at The Horn & Cantle located at Lone Mountain Ranch.  If you decide to journey to Big Sky, Montana I’ve listed a couple of recommendations to experience.

Horn & Cantle located at Lone Mountain Ranch:  This place is a must visit! This was our first time to Lone Mountain Ranch and Horn & Cantle. LMR is located off the main road to Big Sky, you enter the ranch driving down a road lined with pine trees and beautiful ranchland. Ben and I had just arrived when a light dusting of snow fell upon us. It was close to 5:30 pm and the sun had already set behind Lone Mt. Peak, the sky was illuminated with a soft evening glow. We parked our car and made our way up the snowy path to Horn & Cantle. We took a slight detour when we saw the stables down the way and said hello to LMR majestic horses. After walking the property a bit, we made our way up to H&C. We were a little early for our dinner reservations, so we made a visit to the Saloon first. Upon entering the patio of the Saloon, we were warmed with the outdoor fire roaring. The patio lounge chairs were adorned with thick warm wool blankets, beckoning us to curl up in the crisp winter Montana air.  Ben opened the saloon door for me and we were welcomed with the sounds of an acoustic guitar and friendly voice singing some good old country tunes. The saloon has awesome character, with log beamed walls and ceilings, huge picture windows looking out on the Montana ranch land, top it off with a crackling fire & chimney lined with copper.  We found a table right by the fire, sat down and soaked up the eclectic vibes.  After browsing the cocktail menu, I ordered a Flannel Shirt… I have to say it’s one of the best cocktails I’ve ever had! The name is so fitting as I sipped the scotch, apple cider cocktail with a fresh squeeze of lemon, I felt like being wrapped in a cozy flannel shirt! Highly recommend ordering the Flannel Shirt when visiting the Saloon!On to dinner- Ben and I finished up our cocktails and went in for dinner at H&C. Again, the décor was big Sky Montana Ranch. Grounding the space was a huge stone fireplace and plaid curtains added a modern charm to the setting.  Service was great with a welcoming staff making sure we felt right at home. The H&C menu has a wide selection of apps entrees and sides. We ordered the Swiss cheese fondue to start, YUM, YUM, YUM!!! We also ordered the iceberg wedge salad & bone-in ribeye steak with wild mushroom bread pudding, artichoke chimichurri roasted bone marrow & blue cheese demi-glace…so good and full of an abundance of flavor! Horn & Cantle & the Saloon at Lone Mountain Ranch are must-visits if in Big Sky! I plan to stay at LMR sometime soon in the future and look forward to sharing more about the ranch and their charming cabins.

“Our menu is designed to awaken the taste buds and satisfy hunger by delivering an authentic Montana culinary experience with a unique perspective. We have brought together a variety of cultures and fresh flavors inspired by local purveyors, seasonal ingredients, and classic preparations to serve you the absolute best of the old west.”- Horn & Cantle

Ousel Falls Winter hike: This trail is beautiful and easy. Needing a dose of Mother Nature and epic frozen waterfalls… Ousel Falls trail will not disappoint! I am sure the trail and falls in the summer are even more amazing! www.bigskymontananet.com

  • Distance: 1.7 miles round-trip
  • Average Time of Hike: 1 hour
  • Elevation Gain: 378 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Location: Big Sky Town Center
  • Trailhead: 2 miles South of Big Sky Town Center on Ousel Falls Road
  • Distance: 1.5 miles round trip

Return to Big Sky Link info:

Big Sky Resort: www.bigskyresort.com

Horn & Cantle Restaurant: www.hornandcantle.com

Lone Mountain Ranch: www.lonemountainranch.com

Ousel Falls Trail: www.bigskymontananet.com

Rainbow Ranch: Read last year’s post on RR www.onwordjourneys.com/big-sky-winter-journeys Or visit RR direct website: www.rainbowranchbigsky.com

With love & light… wishing everyone beautiful journeys inward and OnWord!

Big Sky Winter Journeys

Happy New Year everyone!!! I hope 2017 is feeling wonderfully expansive,  supportive & wildly intentional for an amazing year ahead! I just returned home from a snowy vacation full of Big Sky, Montana exploration and some much-needed restorative down time.  Ringing in the New Year in unchartered land for me offers expansion and openness to dream into the unknown. This New Year’s Eve, I decided to go to Montana during the winter for the first time and oh what a wintry wonderland journey it was…

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Big Sky Glamping

What are your thoughts on camping?  How about gathering around a crackling fire, connecting with friends/loved ones thru good conversation under the starlit sky…sounds of the flowing river soothing your soul?  Imagine adding a little juxtaposition to your camping adventure with luxurious comforts that feature a big canvas tent with a private wooden deck overlooking the Black Foot River.  Inside your large tent awaits a plush king bed, cozy sitting area and a full private bathroom with heated floors, spacious shower and two sinks.  Electricity to offer light and connectivity with your mobile devices (if you choose) seals the deal. Then falling asleep listening to Mother Nature’s lullabies and awaken to the sun illuminating your tent with a soft glow and warmth.  No need to grocery shop and load up a cooler, in this juxtaposed camping journey your meals are prepared by your private camp chef using organic and locally sourced produce.  How does all this sound? Too good to be true?  This experience does exist and has a name, it’s called…Glamping!  The first luxury ranch resort to actually create and offer this rustic yet luxurious glamping experience is called The Resort at Paws UPThe Last Best PlaceRiver Camp Pavilion- Paws Up- Onwordjourneys

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Glacier National Park, MT

“Awe-inspiring” and picturesque photos of Glacier National Park have been flowing thru my Instagram feed this year. One mesmerizing photo after another have been coming thru, month after month… I knew my soul journey to Montana needed to happen soon.  Though my husband and I had never been to Montana before, we could hear Montana beckoning us.  We’re both small business owners in the Phoenix valley, during the summer months each of us experience a decline in business, especially with my company.  We’ve turned this “down time” into our opportunity to travel and get out of the AZ heat.  While doing my research on places to explore and stay in Montana, I found an amazing place called Paws Up where you can experience “glamping”, basically lux camping … more on this gem coming up in my next blog post.

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Sedona “hidden gem” inn & beautiful hiking trails

Mimic fireplace

Sedona has a special place in my heart; my soul is immediately connected once I arrive in the majestic Red Rocks.  I have been coming to Sedona for 15 years to offer connection to myself, my hubby and with family and friends.  The energy in Sedona is so special, grounding and uplifting.  I will be sharing lots of places, some of which include beautiful hikes to cozy, modern lodges and hotels, to yummy local restaurants.  For this post, I’d like to share my most recent journey to the healing Red Rocks for a quick but super potent 48 hour soul connecting vacation with my husband and Ellie May, our boxer pup.

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Dunton Journey

Dunton Hot Springs

“We might assume that long before miners first eased their weary bones into Dunton Hot Springs the Ute Indians, roaming their summer hunting grounds, lazed in the restoring waters.”- Dunton Hot Springs

 

Dunton Hot Springs is a small and exclusive resort nestled deep in the San Juan Mountains of the Colorado Rockies. Dunton is a restored ghost town that is beautifully rustic, yet doesn’t fall short on the amenities, from luxurious bed linens to scrumptious fresh meals made with locally sourced produce and meats.  Add to the list the mineral Hot Springs on the property and you are in heaven.

Dunton is soul nurturing place to unwind and disconnect from busy lives. So much to do to embrace nature and have nature embrace you… From  hiking, fly-fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking to enjoying a hot spring mineral soak under the stars. Dunton is perfect for a romantic getaway or family retreat, you will leave feeling refreshed, nurtured and connected.

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