travel // the journey to northwestern montana

Let me introduce you to a little place that absolutely changed my life.

John Steinbeck spilled out his love for Montana in the pages of his novel, ‘Travels with Charley’ and I can’t help but completely agree. This place does something so wonderful to the soul.

For other states, I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection, but with Montana, it is love, and it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it.

I’m almost positive it was the best trip I have taken in my life so far and I’m a little scared that I won’t quite be able to give it the credit it’s due, but I’m sure going to try.

Montana is a place most people don’t think much of.  Hardly anyone thinks there’s anything there besides ranches and farmland and livestock. And while, yes, that is most of Eastern Montana, Western Montana brags better mountain views than (in my opinion) Colorado.  I’m confident Glacier National Park is the most underrated park in the country.  Everyone gushes over Yosemite and Yellowstone (which I haven’t been to yet, but I’m sure they are more than worth it), but Glacier if so often forgotten. Here’s my expert advice: DON’T FORGET IT. The journey to Glacier is well worth it.

Here’s the road that got me there:

The trip started in Chicago, where I met up with 2 of the best and most adventurous people I know.  I mean these girls just get life the way I do and it’s so peaceful to be in their presence.

Now, some may say the 1,600 mile journey driving to Montana is quite a boring one, but I beg to differ.  You see, we drove straight through. All 27 hours, not stopping to sleep, just taking short nap breaks in the back seat of “Jarty” our trusty Jeep companion.

We saw America, and not the America that many people want to see, but isn’t that all the more the true America if there ever was a such a thing. The interstate only lasted us so long, and most of the drive in the state of Montana was on  U.S. HWY 2, fluttering in and out of small towns in Eastern Montana.

We saw the most brilliant sunrise.

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We saw the most ridiculous dinosaur statues in the middle of nowhere.

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We ate ‘just good food’. (read: the only place we could find open in Havre, MT at 6:30 am)

And saw the end of a rainbow.

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The 1,600 miles were filled with what most roadtrips are: music and conversation and delirious moments. There’s just something about riding the roads of America with companions, those roads forever join you together.  It’s even better when the end of those roads leads you to this beauty:

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We finally ended the first chapter of our journey in Lakeside, MT where 2 dear friends, The Rathke’s make their home. We had the privilege of staying in this humble little town on Flathead Lake (which is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi), which became more of a home than I expected in the short 7 days I spent there. Love can’t be explained.

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And so the journey to the adventure ends.  Stay tuned for more from Montana.

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