A White Christmas in Whitefish Montana

About a month ago, the winds of adventure blew us to the beautiful Montana Flathead Valley where we are overwintering as house and cat sitters (for Ryan’s mom- she’s in Hawaii! …another story).  The Big Boy (our camper home) lives in the driveway and days are spent enjoying life’s flow.

Ryan has taken a job as a lift attendant at the nearby Whitefish Mountain resort and Christmas day was his first official day.

It was a dark and long drive through the valley.  We arrived just before sunup to drop him off and while kids everywhere delighted in opening their gifts, I was delighting in nature’s glory.  As garlands sparkled in twinkle lights so did the fresh snow glisten and glow as the morning arrived.

It’s a seven mile winding descent that affords amazing vistas down on the village of Whitefish and across the Flathead Valley.  To be above the cloud like mists tucked among the farms and checkerboard downtown with its little dots of light gives the sense of a magical enchantment, as though a toy train’s village had been brought to life.  Deer stroll about with a calm as still as the carpeted snow.  The woods are dotted with alpine style chalets picture perfect with their white trim and traditional Christmas decking.

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Ryan all decked out in his official Whitefish mountain jacket, vest and beanie. Day one of actual duty at the lifts landed on Christmas Day! The mountain was rocking with lots of fresh snow and a fresh stream of excited skiers. He enjoyed it.

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Whitefish Montana Amtrak train station

My first white Christmas in decades could not have been more beautiful. PUW_6696PUW_6704PUW_6707PUW_6713PUW_6714PUW_6716PUW_6724PUW_6726PUW_6728

Cruisin’ in Montana and exploring a little in Whitefish

We spent a couple of weeks in Montana, end of June and early July visiting family and reorganizing some.

This day was exceptionally glorious and called for pulling Ryan’s old ’68 Ford Galaxy 500 Convertible out of storage and taking it for a Flathead Valley spin.  We rolled from Kalispell to Whitefish where we walked around a bit.  A spendy tourist town, the community art project got the biggest part of my attention.  A beautiful ongoing glass public art installation with contributions from kids and adults alike, may it serve to inspire others.

The golden fields I was told, by someone who sounded like they knew, are canola.

Hope you enjoy 🙂

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Along the way from Kalispell MT to Lincoln City OR

Stopped to snap some shots a few times as we made our way, in early July, from Kalispell MT (where Ryan’s Mom currently lives and commutes from to her Glacier Ntl Pk Ranger job) to our summer work gig at the Lincoln City KOA on the central coast of Oregon.

We stopped in the dusty little town of Lind WA to stretch our legs and wandered into Slim’s.  Had a couple beers and visited with the locals.

The next day we took a slow easy drive along the Columbia River Gorge.  Quite breathtaking and unusual.

Hope you enjoy.

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Major Americana! The most popular 4th of July parade in the Flathead Valley. Big Fork Montana 2014

Picturesque Big Fork Montana has a population of about 4,200 and is located along the Flathead River. This state stands out across the nation as fierce defenders of freedom and the 4th of July here is a really really big deal! (plus with the endless winters, summer events are very popular)

This year’s independence celebration enjoyed clear blue skies and radiant sunshine making is considerably warmer than these north westerners are used to adding yet even more frivolity.

All roads leading to town were deep in traffic and the star spangled crowds poured in to line up along the quaint downtown streets. The mood jubilant. Stars and strips and flags as far as the eye could see.

Parking as close as possible still left us a pretty lengthy walk into town. As we crossed the river on a one lane, one car at a time bridge, the parade route came clear and we settled in for a wonderful small town America masterpiece.

We may have our differences but we’re all Americans and we LOVE our FREEDOM!

Thank you Bigfork! It was an honor.

Hope you enjoy these pictures half as much as I enjoyed taking them.