Yesterday morning, frost coated every outdoor surface like a fine layer of diamond dust. It glinted in the sun, and then slowly melted into wispy mist that floated eerily through the trees. I could imagine Summer in the vapor, inexorably disappearing as Fall gains the upper hand. It was a fitting metaphor, as yesterday we said farewell to the last of our latest round of summer visitors.
Hence, I offer you Chapter Two of the "summer visitor series" (link to Chapter One).
On September 7, just as the dinner bell rang, six of my family arrived on our doorstep - my mother, my oldest sister, my oldest brother and his wife, and my youngest brother and his wife. For all but the latter, this would be the first time they would step foot into our completed dream home. Talk about excitement and anticipation!
Left: Book about successful baking at high altitude - for Spousal Unit!
Middle: Cross-stitch for my gallery wall
Right: Utah wines - yum!
Note that the Boddington's beer and Kendall Jackson wine are MIA
because they were already imbibed!
|Captain Doug's boat moored at the beach|
|Pictographs documenting bison kills by the Salish-Kootenai Indians|
You could have this house and its island for $15 million … it's for sale!
(and this is a steal - it was built for $98 million)
Captain Doug motored his boat (a perfect fit for the 8 of us) while sharing interesting history (and probably a few tall tales). There is no dock on the island, but Captain Doug had perfected off-loading passengers with a portable ladder. After a brief orientation to the layout of the island, we headed out on the trail while Captain Doug went off on his own. We had seen very limited wildlife (squirrels don't count) when we encountered Captain Doug. Part of our group decided to work their way back to the beach, while my oldest brother and I went with Doug in search of the horses. I am pleased to report that we found the band of 5 mares, and the other group came across the bighorn sheep and some turkeys. A win-win for all!
|Upper right: horses are hidden in this grove of trees …|
Sunday brought Mass at our local church followed by breakfast/lunch at Sykes Diner. Fortunately, our next stop - Conrad Mansion - provided an opportunity to stroll the grounds and stave off food-induced napping! The Mansion, sited in Kalispell, is a beautifully preserved example of luxurious living and period architecture in the Northwest.
In 1868, at the age of 18, Charles E. Conrad left his boyhood home in Virginia and traveled to Fort Benton, Montana Territory. There he built a trading and freighting empire on the Missouri River that lasted more than 20 years. In his lifetime, Mr. Conrad lived through the Civil War and the settling of the West, and he left an indelible mark on the history of Montana.
The building itself remains unchanged since Spokane architect Kirtland Cutter designed and built the 23-room-home in 1895 for Mr. Conrad, founder of Kalispell. Ahead of their time, the owner and architect built in electricity, steam heat, running water and a hand-driven elevator. Although you can't take interior pictures, the 90-minute tour of the house gives you a thorough look at the furnishings, most of which are original to the home. Ownership and occupation of this stunning Norman style mansion remained in the Conrad family until 1975, when it was given to the City of Kalispell, which ultimately turned over the active management of the site to the non-profit Conrad Mansion Museum organization.
And what could be a better way to wrap the weekend but an inaugural fire in the fire pit, accompanied by s'mores? (The night sky was pitch black, and my brothers helped us spot satellites tracking across the heavens, low enough to reflect the last of the sun's rays.)
The little village of Bigfork, nestled in an elbow of the Swan River, is a perfect spot for a walk along the Wild Mile. A picturesque section of the river with rapid upon rapid, it is host to the Bigfork Whitewater Festival each spring. Monday meant few people on the trail, and we enjoyed a picnic lunch before exploring the quaint shops. The best part was the huckleberry ice cream, with whole berries exploding in my mouth. When we arrived home, my Mom harvested the first of our Goodland apples; this tree was planted in her honor earlier this year (see post). We all tried a piece or two, and the consensus on the flavor is the tartness of a Granny Smith, softened by tones of Golden Delicious. Fleshy without being mushy. We also agreed that the rest of the apples would benefit from a little more time on the tree, and a hard frost. So watch this space for more apples!
And all too soon, departure day arrived for everyone except my oldest brother and his wife. We shared the breakfast table and then it was hugs all 'round before we headed to the day's hike while the others went on their way. Glacier Lake had been recommended by a friend, and she was on the money! Radiant fall colors. Pools formed by Glacier Creek. Only 1.6 miles to the lake, with minimal elevation gain. A lake cradled by mountains, unique on the west side with massive rock slabs slanting down to the water's edge. What more could you ask?
(And we had to stop at Moose's in Kalispell for pizza and beverages!)
My sister-in-law is a superb quilter, and so our trip to Whitefish the next day had to include a stop in Whitefish Quilts and Gifts. She was delighted to find some fat quarters with a huckleberry motif. And the huckleberry theme continued that evening as Spousal Unit and my SIL crafted a White Chocolate Huckleberry Cheesecake. Supreme willpower was required to wait for a taste until the following morning, but boy, was it worth it and perfectly paired with coffee!!! By far the best cheesecake ever -- smooth, out-of-this-world flavor!
On our final day together, we shared two of our favorites with our guests - Kootenai Falls/Swinging Bridge and Ross Creek Cedars (see previous post). In between, searching for a quiet picnic spot, we stumbled across the Dorr Skeels Campground.
Only a bald eagle, flying along the western shore before perching in a pine, disturbed the absolute peace of the beach we chose for lunch.
And now the house is quiet. The sunrise will be here tomorrow, and so will the aspens, quickly transforming with each day of frost. But now we are the only witnesses - at least until our next guests arrive - in 12 days!
...Wowzer! Who knew that Horses, Homes and Huckleberries could be so beautiful. Frost comes early in your neck of the woods. 'Pie in the Sky' was a favorite BBC show on public Television. OK, $15 mi is a steal is it? Right about now I'm on beauty overload and then the sunset comes. Thanks a bunch for stopping by, I hope to see you again.ReplyDelete
frost! And we're sweating to 95 degrees just south of you! I've never had a huckleberry so I need to try that and those apples.ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness, frost already! Jack Frost doesn't wait around in your neck of the woods, does he. I hope that means that he has disappeared down here. You certainly give your visitors the best holidays. How wonderful to spend all those precious moments with your family in that awesome scenery. You should become a tour guide. =) I can imagine the beautify of the night sky as you sat in front of that fire....heaven!ReplyDelete
Wow what amazing photos. Just beautiful.ReplyDelete
You certainly get frost early there.
Wow! You captured it all in an amazing blog. Love you bunches!ReplyDelete
No wonder you have so many guests. It's a gorgeous area where you are. I'm having slight bouts of depression because I miss being surrounded by the beauty of the natural word. Have to really hunt here for tiny spots but even those are littered with garbage because of no litter laws and a lack of respect for the environment. We get humidity when t he season starts to change. High today will be 114 F. :/ Enjoy your Sunday.ReplyDelete
Such beautiful nature that surrounds you! I'd love that house on the island...ReplyDelete
The house on the island seems like a bargain! If only I had millions. Interesting and varied options for exploring the natural world in your neck of the woods. I can see why you’ve had so many guests and more coming. Sometimes in life there’s never a dull moment or time to count the squirrels. :)ReplyDelete
Hello, you are a wonderful tour guide for your friends and family. I enjoyed the photos if the Wild Horse Island and Glacier Lake. The cheesecake sounds delicious. I love the scenic views, waterfall and the lovely sunset. The horses are beautiful too. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Sunday, enjoy your day and new ahead. PS, thanks also for the visit and comment on my blogReplyDelete
Memories to last a lifetime!!! You live in such a magical place, and I know your guests enjoyed every minute! Wow! Stunning photos of the wonderful area, and I loved seeing the Conrad Mansion! Exciting, interesting post!ReplyDelete
Frost already, wow? That cool autumn nip has been showing itself here, too, in the early morning and evenings. You and Spousal Unit are wonderful hosts. I love the adventures you took your guests on. And your photos, wonderful!ReplyDelete
No frost here yet... You share such great early autumn photos & happy moments - I enjoyed a lot. Great houses over there :) Happy MM.ReplyDelete
These photos are amazing! You live in a glorious place for certain. It's difficult to relate to frost already as we in TX are still quite warm. Happy Mosaic Monday.ReplyDelete
Your home and environment is so beautiful and full of nature's wonder. Love all your stories and photosReplyDelete
OMG you have a very beautiful house, and the surroundings are lovely too. But the areas you went touring with your family are so awesome and we here were so envious just by looking at your photos. How so awesome, everything wonderfulReplyDelete
I just posted a Colorado autumnal post as our state is almost in full aspen gold in many areas! I plan to take many road trips to enjoy it all!ReplyDelete
How wonderful to have had more family visiting and spending a lovely and adventurous time there. I have the same high altitude cookbook and it has been helpful! What is your elevation, Angie? We live in a valley but are at 6,200 feet. That white chocolate huckleberry cheesecake looks out of this world!
Do you know if I was ever invited to stay I don't think I'd ever leave! How exciting to finally share your dream house and surrounds with your family. Did they book back in for a return visit, you will be extremely popular I can see!ReplyDelete
What a place to visit, absolutely stunning.ReplyDelete
How I enjoyed being a virtual visitor to you home again this week, you are the best hosts and tour guides, no wonder you have so many visitors beating a path to your beautiful door. Too many amazing things to comment about but the Boddys made me smile (bet Spousal Unit grabbed that), the house on the island at a bargain price and the cheesecake, I don't think I could have waited until morning before tasting it.ReplyDelete
This was a super special treat for the MM crowd this week.
Cave paintings, cliff art and the like give us an important and fascinating insight into the past. I wonder if a few thousand years from now future scholars will view graffiti the same way! I doubt humans will still exist, actually, but it’s an interesting point to ponder.ReplyDelete
i am quite surprised that jack frost has already made an appearance, he would be thrilled to read the words you used to describe him!!ReplyDelete
i clicked on and enlarged the image of your home, it is just so lovely and inviting, no wonder you have so much company. the cheesecake was a standout for me as were the beautiful horses and the fire pit. i enjoy making smores, eating them gives me a belly ache!!
i can't tell if that is a sunrise or sunset, it matters not, it is beautiful!!!
Hello from Greece and typing on my phone. Not good. I'm loving all of the landscape you show Angie and it all sounds amazing from your descriptions. Now if only I could try some of that huckleberry cheesecake everything would be perfect.ReplyDelete
What a delight it must be to share your dream home with loved ones! And, you and your spousal unit are great tour guides! Beautiful images and I agree with Tom Horses, Homes and Huckleberries and the best!ReplyDelete
How exciting for you and your family to share your beautiful house and surrounding areas ~ beautiful series of photos! ^_^ReplyDelete
Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores
Your family must have been thrilled to see the sights and your beautiful house. Stunning photos of a lovely month. Enjoy the week!ReplyDelete
A wonderful landscape... and you are a perfect host.ReplyDelete
I enjoyed this post for Mosaic Monday - wish you a very good week.
Hi Angie great post,lots of wonderful pics ,what a lovely country you live in xxReplyDelete
It has been ages since I have been to Montana. These photos are gorgeous and are a beautiful love letter to all that you have seen.ReplyDelete
Great landscape shot . Keep commenting on my blog because I love your comments.ReplyDelete
Your home, your Montana environment, the glorious nature are all so spectacular, Angie. I've never been to Montana and I have to say, what I see here takes my breath away. I would have loved to enjoyed that picnic with you -- what a setting!ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for visiting Marmelade Gypsy. You left such a nice comment it made me smile!
Love your house and what a beautiful part of the world you live in!! I enjoyed all your days out. When i saw the Pie in the Sky, it made me think of the UK tv programme of the same name 😆😆 that cheesecake looks amazing.ReplyDelete
What a great tour guide you are (along with your husband). I'm sure your guests were thrilled with all the sights and experiences they had. Frost already! Wow, autumn/winter is coming fast. The cheesecake looks so yummy - I love huckleberries and haven't had any for a number of years.
Enjoy the break between visitors!
So much beauty! No frosts here yet, although they can happen this time of year at our elevation (7,100 feet); it's been almost 80 instead, more like mid-summer!ReplyDelete
This post is so full of beauty and joy -- what a fabulous visit. Your family must all have been thrilled with your home and surroundings and the tour of so many interesting things! I like 'your' mansion in Kalispell better than the one we saw in Eureka, both because the architecture makes better sense for its surroundings and because it is available for public tours -- a much better way to preserve history. Your fall color mosaics are wonderfully arranged and such beautiful colors. And the food!! That cheesecake sounds divine and that it was your hubby and sister-in-law together who made it really made me smile. My sister and b-i-l visited us last week and he and I cook together. Loved this tour of your beautiful 'backyard' ... it is a fabulous part of the country.ReplyDelete
Such fun and wonderful photos! I do like that $15 house!ReplyDelete
What an amazing adventure. I had a hankering for a boat trip, and you took us on one! Hiking, not so much. Your photos are superb.ReplyDelete
My little daycations are so mild!!!!
I can only say: Your world is magnificent! Thanks for sharing. :)ReplyDelete
Gorgeous scenes! Love the horses.ReplyDelete
OMG...what an amazing place.ReplyDelete
Wonderful trip and an excellent report.
thank you for sharing
Your visitors really experience some great adventures when they visit you and awesome scenery and good food...I should book soon before winter sets in.. .. MichelleReplyDelete
We just got coffee at a Moose themed coffee shop. They sold a Moose boost. Coffee with espresso! Beautiful scenes all.ReplyDelete
There is not a single thing that I don't thoroughly enjoy with your post, so many beautiful scenes and places that you all are visiting, and we have been and it's just wonderful. One day we will venture out again I would hope anyway. In the meantime I love stopping by when I can to enjoy your shares~ReplyDelete
I love how you seek out and find and enjoy everything our lovely state has to offer. And when you post pictures, I see so many places I have visited also. It is like a trip down memory lane! :) Enjoy your Fall! KitReplyDelete
Wonderful photo series!ReplyDelete