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!

2 Comments

  • Reply jessica February 26, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Amazing, as always! Thank you for sharing. One of these days, I am going to stowaway on one of your adventures!

    • Reply Stacey Leigh Barnes April 11, 2018 at 1:00 am

      Thank you, Jessica! Excited for your journeys to come…
      explore, restore and just be. xoxo

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