Covid Craziness? Well, I for one, can attest to a few peeps possessing certified crazy comportment, not naming names, but when the EU announces U.S. travelers are unwelcome with a list of ambiguous requirements, granted requirements that didn’t really change much – communication avenues moved to full tilt.
If you are unwilling to mosey across the pond, I have a splendid suggestion, escape the congestion, the suburban stress, and head to the countryside. By countryside, I mean Big Sky, Montana countryside. Our favorite adult Dude Ranch, Triple Creek Ranch offers a plethora of wilderness skills, combined with fine dining and wine tasting.
Are you in need a refresher course on Frontier Skills? How does Hatchet Throwing sound as the ultimate stress reliever? It’s the latest rage – unleash your inner-lumberjack and satisfy the primal urge to throw sharp objects! State of the art hatchets and big sky with plenty of elbow room deliver an unanticipated thrill! Pack my bags, I’m ready to gallop Buckaroos!
Triple Creek Ranch is an award-winning Montana luxury ranch resort hidden away in the heart of the breathtaking Bitterroot Mountain Range of the Montana Rockies, in Darby Montana. The Bitterroot Valley was the ancestral home of the Salish tribe of the Flathead nation. The Ranch caters to families with children16 and older, but most of the clientele is adults. Cowboy chic décor abounds, the architecture provides the first hint, charming log cabins and cottages dotted amid the towering fragrant Ponderosa Pines. The air is fresh, the skies robin egg blue, all this punctuated by the gurgling creek running through the property; my comfortable cabin was enhanced by the sound of the rushing creek, guaranteeing deep sleep. The owners are serious Western fine art collectors and generously share their collection in each accommodation and in all the public spaces, truly an enhanced perk.
A long list of additional classes has been added to their already well stocked experiences. The Ranch is now offering new music, craft, fly-tying and other workshops that take the “summer camp for adults” concept to a whole new level. The wellness program includes daily yoga, meditation, and mindful forest walks, and they have also increased the number of guided activities. An amazing number of activities that seem clearly focused on restorative health. Part of the charm of the Ranch is the joy of doing nothing at all. Read for pure pleasure, relax in a hot tub or nap on a hammock in the shade of the whispering pines.
They recently opened an Escape Room! Working with a company to design a serious mystery and a series of puzzles based on the history of the Bitterroot Valley and West Fork Road, which began life as a stagecoach route back in the late 1800s. Using maps, ciphers, and various interactive clues, puzzle your way through stagecoach schedules, the Discovery Corps’ journey through the valley with Lewis & Clark, apple varieties grown on historic Bitterroot orchards, and other mysteries sure to please history buffs and puzzle solvers alike. Ideal for a group of 4-6 guests, this inclusive experience takes about an hour and a half to solve. Need a little extra help? A helper is available via radio to offer helpful clues as needed.
New winter options include an outdoor observatory – a newly built observatory dome houses the big Celestron telescope for the ultimate in star gazing. There’s no denying that the activities that Triple Creek and Montana offer can entertain and keep you occupied for days on end, but the fun doesn’t stop when the sun sets. It’s one of the better locations for gazing at the milky black night sky as well! The northern location and the brilliantly clear air provide sparkling star gazing. You might be able to spot rare wonders like the Northern Lights and the Milky Way.
Of course, the most popular activities remain horseback riding and fly fishing. Craig and Barbara Barrett have been on ranch for most of the summer, Sunday afternoon cocktails at their home for Triple Creek guests is a highlight for any guest! Friendly and engaging, they enjoy sharing their love of their Montana home with the guests. You may remember that Craig was the former Intel CEO and chairman for many decades.
Dining Executive Chef Jacob Leatherman has been crafting exquisite dining experiences at Triple Creek Ranch for over fifteen years, introducing a new dinner menu each evening. His finely tuned and adventurous palate informs a diverse menu showcasing distinctive flavors and imaginative presentation.
The Chef’s Table offers the opportunity to explore and savor a variety of tastes created from locally grown produce, fresh seafood, and high-quality game meats. Combined with fine wines from Triple Creek Ranch’s wine cellar, a state-of-the-art showroom and a Wine Spectator, “Best of, Award of Excellence” winner for 10 consecutive years (following several initial years as an “Award of Excellence” winner.).
The cabins are mostly clustered near the main building, which consists of the spacious dining room, activities center, swimming pool and gym. There are 4 homes off property within a mile or so and a few have river front access. The furniture is very comfortable, cowboy chic, western in style and accented by the amazing, curated art collection. Oversize bathrooms with massive steam showers melt away any aches and pains from horseback riding or mountain hiking. Reserved as an all-exclusive experience, all meals and activities are included in your stay. Triple Creek Ranch is a member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux group of luxury properties.
Each cabin is equipped with a stocked kitchen, deck, and a golf cart for getting around the property. However, if you indulge in the delicious gourmet dining, I heartily recommend parking the golf cart and hiking up the paved road to the main lodge! Staff is always around and can cart you home if you prefer. My cabin had a huge deck with lounge chairs and a hot tub under the stars.
Experience a trail ride with the local Rawhide Outfitters, leisurely horse rides traverse along a picturesque trail that was traveled by Lewis & Clark. With amazing views and wildlife, you will get a sense of what it must have been like for Lewis & Clark during their historic crossing. Reaching the summit, observe a panoramic view of the Continental Divide where a delicious picnic lunch is served. Authentic experiences… Triple Creek Ranch is authentic in every manner. Owned, designed and managed by people who clearly cherish the land and love sharing their vast enthusiasm for nature and its bounty.
Year round activities are available, interesting and appealing to a broad range of tastes. From wine and food tastings, helicopter tours to Glacier and Yellowstone, to long photography weekends, horsemanship clinics, wildlife safaris on adjacent Ranch properties. A herd of buffalo encircled our ranch vehicle, babies nursed while large bulls tussled for herd dominance.When I was offered a ranch safari, I wasn’t sure what to expect – it ended up being a lovely Ranch excursion with plenty of wildlife viewing and a full scope understanding of the owners interest in ranching and preserving nature from development. Yearly weekend events Music, Food and Art weekends. Look to end of October for Wine event with Kistler and Spottswoode Vineyards. If you are a Stave puzzle addict, plan for next April for the much anticipated puzzle master weekend!
Do I sound like I need more time at Triple Creek? Yes, is the immediate answer. And especially with the newly added Frontier Skills! You may have seen photos online of my archery skills, refined in Bhutan, where archery is the national sport. Hatchet Throwing will certainly relive my cabin fever tension!