Northwest Passage: Big Sky

Typically we don’t have a deadline when we hit the road in the morning, but Saturday we had to be in front of  a TV at 4:24 MT.

Saturday was Derby Day.

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As we sped across Wyoming and Southern Montana, we discussed horses, jockeys, and colors.

Jenny’s pick: Wicked Strong(8-1)       Drew’s Pick: Wildcat Red (18-1).

We rolled into Billings just in time to see the parade of horses, sing “My Old Kentucky Home,” and watch the horses leave the gate.

Jenny was closer

Jenny was a little closer with her pick.

It was important for us, even on the road, to carry on this tradition.

After a long day of travel, we weren’t really in the mood for socializing.  But when Jenna, Brian, and Mary got home, we immediately hit it off.  Jenna made Jenny and I a pot of peppermint tea.  Jenny held baby Mary while Jenna baked a cake.  Brian regaled us with stories of wildlife in Yellowstone Park.   They are a great couple that share our values: faith, community, sustainability,outdoor adventuring, and hospitality. Our time there was exactly what we needed!

We spent most of the night talking in the kitchen

We spent most of the night talking and laughing around the kitchen island

We loved the turn of the century architectural features

We loved the cozy living room.

A great breakfast of French Press Coffee, Greek Yogurt, and Homemade Granola.  Jenna even sent us with some dried pears for the road!

A great breakfast of French Press Coffee, Greek Yogurt, and Homemade Granola. Jenna even sent us with some dried pears for the road!

The ride from Billings to Kalispell was arguably the most beautiful scenery of the entire trip

The "Crazy" Mountains

The “Crazy” Mountains

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Stunning Views of Flathead Lake

Flathead Lake

But the reason for the trip was to see Parker:

The bustling town of Big Fork

The bustling town of Big Fork

Cousins!

Cousins!

When Parker moved out here after graduation last year to be a news reporter for ABC/FOX Montana, none of us probably thought we’d head to Big Sky country anytime soon (no offense Parker, but let’s be honest).  Our road trip was the perfect excuse to get up there and visit!  We met his roommates, had dinner at a delicious italian restaurant, and then visited him at his work the next day.  It was such a joy to laugh and spend time with this guy, thanks for the hospitality Parker!

Because they say pictures are worth a thousand words, I will let them tell the rest of the story:

Hiking in Flathead National Forest

Hiking in Flathead National Forest

More lake views

More lake views

Post-hike breakfast burrito in Kalispell.

Post-hike breakfast burrito in Kalispell.

Big Sky Country? Rupp's not impressed

Big Sky Country? Rupp’s not impressed

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