Bruks take on the Bitterroot
I never had the chance to recap our end of summer getaway to the Bitterroot region in Southwest Montana. It was a quick 4-day trip to regroup and come together before school got started. I debated whether posting about a trip that happened months ago, whether it was still relevant or not, but at the end of the day this blog is a diary of sorts for me (that I share with you) and I want this trip to be documented 😉
Montana is a huge, beautiful, state that can be explored for years. To give you an idea, it’s the size of Germany with about a million people. So, when we have only a few days to get away from Bozeman, we pick a spot, hop in the car (ok, not quite a hop, it takes a lot to leave the house with a family, when you must bring food along) and enjoy what that spot has to offer.
We never really spent too much time in the Bitterroot Valley before, and it was glorious. We rented a little house on a farm with chickens, goats, and beautiful grounds. Staying on the farm was honestly the highlight of the trip. The kids milked the goats every morning, collected eggs, watched the beehives, and just ran around outside. It was built-in wholesome entertainment.
As a side note, Chaim and I observed that because we don’t do any screens, they were so motivated to be outside and play. I know for a fact that if we allowed watching that’s what they would want to do and constantly ask for, we would have to push them out the door. I am so grateful we made that choice for our family almost a year ago. Anyway, this is in no way a suggestion, I’m very aware our family is unique in its needs, and it was nice to see the results of doing something extremely difficult. (And is still difficult by the way).
We drove up on Sunday, were there for three days (with another mini trip in the middle) and drove home on Thursday.
Sunday – It’s about a 4-hour drive from Bozeman. We got to the farm, settled in, explored the property. I brought with a bunch of playdough and art activities; it was the best thing. Every morning and evening we would sit outside coloring, painting, or playing with the playdough and enjoyed the gorgeous views.
Monday – We went to Lake Como in Darby, Montana. It’s a beautiful lake with gorgeous views. The lake was cold, so we didn’t spend too much time in the water. we had a cute picnic and then we checked out the little town of Darby, which is where they film “Yellowstone”, just a fun fact.
It was also Chana Laya’s 5th birthday, so we had the cutest family celebration. I was surprisingly organized enough to bring a cake and presents with us. Yup, I did that!
Tuesday – Here is where our little trip within a trip comes in. My sister Chana Wolf lives in Kalispel, Montana and it’s about a 3-hour drive from the farmhouse we were staying at (about a 5-hour drive sans snow from Bozeman). Her son has the same birthday as Chana Laya and it was his 3rd birthday, which is significant in our tradition, as we cut a boy’s hair for the first time on their 3rd birthday (if you want to know more about that you can read about it here… ). Anyway, having family within driving distance is a big deal and we really try not to miss these special milestones. So, we made the 6-hour round-trip drive to partake in the family Simcha. It was a lot of driving especially for such a short trip and remember no screens :). Yet, it was so worth every minute. Oh, we did have the best gas station stop where I got the most amazing blankets, such a good find.
We spent a few hours with the Wolf’s and my visiting parents, and it was a wonderful party. on the way we went speedboating on Flathead Lake and it was so much fun!!!! The drive back was stunning with a spectacular sunset. My husband and I even managed to get into an argument, I mean can you have a family trip without one….
Wednesday – We decided to float the Clark Fork River. By the time you drive up to Alberton, get outfitted with lifejackets, take the bus over to the river and it’s about a 4-hour float, it’s a full day trip and then you still have to head back to the farm. When we told the kids the plan for the day, Menny freaked out and had a total meltdown, “that’s so stupid, I’m not going, you’re the worst parents ever”. He even threw a couple things at us for good measure. And of course, once we got there and started the float, he was so happy, it even turned out to be his favorite part of the trip. It was awesome. We had a wonderful guide, obviously spectacular views, and a lot of fun family time. It did get a little long at the end but what could you do? You got to finish the float. It was dinner time by the time we got off the river, so we stopped and had a picnic dinner at a park in Frenchtown, Montana.
Thursday – Time to go home, it felt short, but it was a great adventure and only 4 hours from home.
Unpacking from a road trip is the actual worst but it’s worth it 😉
We decided that once a year we hope to explore another great part of our wonderful state.
Till next time,