Start a winter tradition that gets you outside

Living in a super cold and snowy place can give you some serious cabin fever during the winter months. Making an effort to get outside can be challenging, but there is plenty you can do to break that ‘fever.’

Of course many people ski or snowboard, which is a great way to get outside, but for those that don’t do either I have another option.

My boyfriend and his friends started a curling tournament last winter that has grown into an annual tradition. We’re outside for hours taking in the cold while still getting to socialize. The curling tournament has turned into about a 20 person event and as long as you have a patch of ice you really can set up anywhere.

We do our tournament at Holter Lake. The boys clear off a patch of ice and spray paint the target or ‘house.’ For the ‘stones’ they freeze colored water in milk jugs. The brooms we use are just from Home Depot. 🙂

The tournament is not difficult to set up and the rules of curling are pretty easy to understand. So, there you go any easy way to get all your friends together and get outside this winter.

In addition to the curling we have a fire going to keep those not playing warm. We are always prepared with plenty of beverages to also keep us warm. That part is of course optional! 😉

In addition to getting outside it’s a great way to always have a weekend with friends, especially ones that don’t live by you. That’s exactly what we use this weekend for and it works great.

Starting a tradition means that everyone knows your event will happen every year and they can plan for it. We all have crazy schedules and it can be hard to connect with people. Especially when it is freezing otuside and roads are bad.

We all love a good tradition (FACT!) and that’s why the annual Holter Lake Curling Tournament has turned into a success! So, what are you waiting for ?! Start planning your winter tradition today!

xx

Keep wandering,

Morgan

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Packing for your Fall YNP trip

Fall in Yellowstone National Park is amazing. There is so much wildlife to be seen! The Fall colors and the snow on top of the mountains. It is literally perfect ! ❤

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But this time of year means the weather can change in a flash and being prepared is always key.

So, what do I pack for my overnight stay at the Park?

Clothes:

Starting with shoes I will pack 3 pairs. I know this seems excessive, but I wear a comfortable, yet stylish pair of shoes. Ones that I will want to wear out to dinner in Gardiner.  😉  I pack hiking boots, obviously, and my Chacos. The Boiling River is an awesome place to stop and soak in the hot springs. Having sandals with you will come in handy for this! Also for your feet grab enough pairs of socks. I always have 2 pairs of hiking socks with me.

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Pack leggings and jeans. If I am doing activities in the Park leggings are great, but again if you don’t want to wear hiking clothes all weekend having jeans will be nice.

LAYERS! I will wear a t-shirt and then have a flannel over that and pack a Patagonia fleece. Different elevations throughout the Park can be colder, but you may get warm while hiking. You will be happy when you can put on a jacket or remove a flannel. I also always pack a rain coat! Seriously, the weather in the Park is so unpredictable. I have been there in July and it has snowed!

I like to grab a beanie and a ball cap for my head. Ball caps are great for hikes, especially if you like to keep the sun off your face. The beanie is for warmth in the event you do get caught in that late Summer snow storm!  😉

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Cooler:

We invested in a Yeti Cooler pretty much for our Yellowstone trips. We never know how long we will be hiking or fishing so, having provisions is important. Any cooler will do the trick though.

I grab a bunch of Clif Bars before heading out. If you are hiking around you will be happy to have some of those guys. I will also pack hummus and pitas, veggies, fruit, and chips.

There have been many times where we have gotten off the trail and just hung out watching some bison while snacking. World’s best dining view! 🙂

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Packing multiple water bottles is a must! There are plenty of fountains around the Park, but you never know how far away you will be from one. So, having 3 or 4 with you is always a good back up.

Some of the other miscellaneous items you will want to have in the car are portable chargers, bear spray, chap stick, and a back pack.

The more prepared you are the more enjoyable Yellowstone is!

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Happy wandering,

Morgan 

Finally, Fall!

It was a fantastic Summer, but as Fall officially hit on Saturday evening my inner basic white girl is rejoicing!!

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PC: Starbucks

As the PSL’s begin to flow I wanted to take the time to go over some of my favorite Fall things and ways that everyone can get out and enjoy the season in this gorgeous state!

First the essential wardrobe needs for the season…flannels, chunky knit sweaters, and ankle boots.

Since the weather is completely unpredictable this time of year layering is essential. My favorite flannels that I have been rocking are actually from Target!

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PC: Target

I’m a fan of buffalo plaid and over sized. This allows for that trendy around the waist look that we have seen so much lately.

My favorite sweater that I have been wearing is from Sora & Co.  Go check out their website because they have so many adorable pieces that will be certain to satisfy your chunky knit needs.

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PC: Sora & Co.

And I’m headed back to Target for my favorite ankle boots. These combat style boots are the most comfortable and are great with just about anything. I’ve worn them with jeans, leggings, and skirts.

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PC: Target

Besides the cute outfits, there are so many great things to do during the season.

First go catch the Grizzlies or the Bobcats play a home game. Missoula and Bozeman are such awesome towns that have even better fans. The University of Montana’s homecoming is Oct. 6th and Montana State’s is Oct. 13th. These would be great games to attend no matter who you are cheering for. (Go Griz!)

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Check out one of the many Fall festivals or Oktoberfest. With the great brewery scene throughout the state there are so many different seasonal brews to try! Plus these events are usually partnered with live music and great food vendors.

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Finally, you knew it was coming… go to Yellowstone! The park in the fall is a happening place for wildlife activity. Particularly for Elk as they begin to rut. The park also takes on stunning colors and the majority of the tourists are gone!

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So, grab your flannel and boots and get outside to enjoy the season!

Before you know it we will be dusting off the skis 😉

#keepwandering

The best ships

“Congrats! You landed your first job and it’s in Great Falls Montana…”

Moving away for your first job can be scary, and it can be even scarier when it’s across the country. Not to mention working in a high stress very low paying job can take a toll on your morale.

However, I am so thankful I took that job in Great Falls because it brought so many great people into my life.

In the world of television news you never know who is going to walk into a newsroom. It’s no secret that it’s an industry full of divas and competitive people who will do anything to get ahead. But then it also has its gems.

My first job gave me a lot of stress, but it also brought me lasting friendships. When work was rough I had these two to help me get through.

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Now 2 years later, we don’t work in the same place, and don’t live in the same cities (or state), but still act like there has been no time away.

It’s pretty awesome being able to pick up a friendship just where you left it even when we are all in different places in life, our careers, and even physically. Being able to reconnect the way I can with these two ladies is something special.

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The best ships truly are friendships.

#keepwandering

 

A day in Paradise (Valley)

If you have ever been to the Paradise Valley you will immediately understand how it got its name.

The stunning Absaroka Mountains sprawl from Livingston to the North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park.

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Highway 89, which will take you right to the park is traveled heavily by tourists in the Summer who have landed at the Bozeman Airport and are embarking on a trip to Yellowstone. But what they may not know is that journey on Highway 89

has so many unique and fun spots to spend the day and get a true taste of Montana.

I have written about Chico Hot Springs before, but seriously STOP THERE! The outdoor hot springs pool is the perfect way to relax, enjoy a beverage, and soak in the mountain air.

You can stay the night at Chico or just stop for a soak after a day of activities at the park. They have towels, locker rooms, and three places to eat. So, you could make a day out of it.

The dining at Chico is great, but if you are looking to get a real sense of small town Montana, drive the 2 miles from Chico to Emigrant where Follow Yer’ Nose BBQ and the Old Saloon bring the outdoor venue to a whole new level.

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Follow Yer’ Nose BBQ was just a smoker and a tent when they first opened. Now you can sit outside on a unique patio and listen to a local band while enjoying some of the best BBQ in the state.

Get the ‘Don’t Mine the Yellowstone’ sandwich for two reasons. One it’s dang good! And two because $1 from every sandwich sold goes to the Yellowstone Gateway Business Coalition***.

*** There is a group that wants to mine for gold near Emigrant just outside Yellowstone. The effects of the mine could completely alter the area including the stunning views. To learn more go to http://dontmineyellowstone.com/ ***

In the same parking lot as Follow Yer’ Nose is the Old Saloon. You can get breakfast, lunch, and dinner here! Go for the food, but stay for the live music.

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The Old Saloon has an old school outdoor stage and this summer have pulled some pretty good musical acts including Turnpike Troubadours (sorry, this concert is sold out)!

There’s plenty of room for dancing and enjoying a cold one. It’s the perfect place for tourists and locals to meet!

Paradise Valley truly is paradise, just ask John Mayer.

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So, on your way to Yellowstone, stop meet the locals and take in the beauty of paradise.

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#keepwandering

Water to Whiskey

It has truly been a summer of firsts. This weekend I ran my first 5K, and I was pretty excited about it if you couldn’t tell from the photo below.

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The 5K was held in Ennis, MT. A great little fishing town located at the base of the breathtaking Madison Mountain range.

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The race started on a bridge over the Madison River (hence the water part). It ended at Willie’s Distillery (the whiskey).

The best part of this 5K is that the distillery, who was a main sponsor also put on a FREE pig roast after! In addition to the delicious pulled pork sandwiches, there was live music, and fun yard games.

For those 21 and up you could get a specialty drink from Willie’s tasting room. In true Montana fashion I tried the chokecherry moscow mule, which was delicious!

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For anyone that likes 5K’s or free food I highly recommend attending this event next year. However, it’s always a great time to visit Ennis, if you enjoy the outdoors!

We camped along the Madison River (also another first for me). This was great because you can walk into town. After Willie’s Distillery check out the Gravel Bar. They have live music every Saturday night, and a full menu if you’re hungry!

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Be sure to stop in a fly shop or two to learn about the world class fly fishing in the area. If you are a fisherman or fisherwoman or have any interest whatsoever, trying it out on the Madison River would be an awesome experience.

If hiking is more your speed than I would say the Sphinx is the most famous hike in that area. There is still quite a bit of snow on the mountains right now, but if you’re planning a trip between July and September that would be perfect (that may also be your best bet for fishing this year)!

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If you live in or are visiting Montana take some time to visit the small towns! They are truly the Treasure State’s hidden treasures ( I know that was super cheesy)!

#keepwandering