Montana

May 20, 2015

Destination Wedding Photographer

THE ROUTE

(featured stops highlighted in bold):

Duluth > Billings > Bozeman > Yellowstone > Seattle > Olympic National Park > Portland > Hood River > Boise > Salt Lake City > Boulder > Fort Collins > Twin Cities > Duluth

For the second year running, April was our travel month (so that officially makes it a tradition, right?). Because of our work, my husband & I both have downtime in April, so it’s a no-brainer. Last year, we spent the month exploring Thailand. This year, with our new furry family member in tow, we chose a less steamy, more local option: Three weeks road-tripping from Duluth to the west coast and back again!

For the record, we aren’t glamorous travelers. We prefer basic, full-of-character digs over shiny, five-star amenities any day. So instead of staying in sleek hotels, we book cool places on Airbnb (infinitely cooler than hotel chains, and often way less expensive). We hoped to camp in the warmer destinations, so we brought our tent & sleeping bags. However, despite 60+ degree temps in many places, we only found one campground on our whole route that was open in April!

If you want to catch us on the road, head to a brewery or hiking trail, and you’ll increase your odds. In total, we visited 24 breweries in 21 days, without actually trying (I’m not sure if this is embarrassing or awesome, but I’m gonna go with “awesome”). Our roof box became a passport for brewery stickers. It’s a spectacle to behold.

Today, I’m sharing snippets of Montana. After passing through Billings for a night, we headed to Bozeman for the day. Later on, we ventured about 30 miles to Pray, MT where our rental cabin was situated, which we promptly fell in love with. You’ll see why!

MONTANA

Base Camp: An incredible Airbnb cabin in Pray, MT, with day trips to Bozeman & Yellowstone.

Dates Visited: April 3-7, 2015

Getting There: Subaru Outback, Duluth > Montana via I-94

Weather: Mix of clouds and sun, with the occasional snow squall.

Favorite Adventure: A day in North Yellowstone, making merry with buffalo & antelope. We wrapped up the day with a dip in the Boiling River, which we fondly dubbed “Adventure Spa,” for its aggressive blend of scalding water & glacial runoff.

Also, sipping Yellowstone Coffee on the porch with panoramic mountain views, then sinking into the cabin’s couch with a good Bill Bryson book.

Essential Items to Pack: Hiking boots, a swimsuit for the Boiling River

Best Eats: Farm-fresh eggs from our hosts on Easter morning, delivered to our porch in a grass-filled basket. Also, the handcrafted pizza from Bridger Brewing.

Number of Breweries Visited: 3

Favorite Beer: Lee Metcalf Pale Ale (Bridger Brewing)

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Stay tuned for the Pacific Northwest chapter, coming soon!

 

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