As seen on Explore Whitefish!
June is heavenly here in Whitefish, Montana with all the birds nesting and singing their territorial symphony, the snow melting off the mountains, the rivers in full rush, the days warm, and the nights still cool. I’ve lived here for 25 years, and I know this season for the embarrassment of riches that it is! June also begins my summer Haven Writing Retreat season, so my idea of a perfect day is to ground myself in Montana’s splendor, as I prepare to welcome the 20 brave seekers who come from around the globe to be inspired, write, and find their voice through the written word, whether or not they consider themselves writers. Many of them stay and enjoy the area, including, of course, Glacier National Park and Flathead Lake, using Whitefish as their home away from home. I’ve seen Montana, and Haven, change their lives over and over again, and I love sharing the container for my muse with them! But first…a personal retreat day in paradise. Where to begin…
- An early morning ride on my old Morgan with my horse guru, Bobbi Hall of Stillwater Horse Whispers Ranch (who leads the Equine Assisted Learning at my Haven Writing Retreats), to meet our dear friend, Ky, from Great Northern Powder Guides, in the woods. Ride to Murray Lake on The Whitefish Trail, catch up as busy kindred sisters must, and listen for nesting loons. Maybe a morning dip in the lake while the horses graze.
- Go home, unsaddle, grab the kids, and forage for morels near riverbeds and in forest fire burns. (Exact location…up over Never Tell ‘Em Ridge… Same with huckleberries in August…)
- Be captivated by the little magenta heads of the Calypso orchids (Fairy Slippers) popping up through the woodland forest bottom while we picnic.
- Pick arnica blossoms to make into salve for aches and bruises from a hearty Montana lifestyle! (Combine with local Montana beeswax from Third Street Market, and give as gifts all year!)
- Drive home past the golden fields of canola in bloom.
- Hop in a kayak on Whitefish Lake and paddle, or if I want wind in my hair, rent a ski boat or pontoon boat at the marina at the Lodge at Whitefish Lake. Celebrate the fact that The Whitefish Trail is now almost a full loop around the lake—a dream that came true! Nice job, Whitefish Legacy Partners! (Click here to help close the loop!)
- Stop by the Farmer’s Market and see the spirit of the town in full bloom, with fabulous food trucks, like INDAH Sushi (restaurant opening in Whitefish soon!!! One of the owners, Stacey, is a Haven Writing Retreat alum!) Listen to live local musicians, and pick up veggies and herbs from local farms, like Purple Frog Gardens, and Terrapin Farms. Pick up some Morning Buns from the Finn Biscuit! Wander through all the great vending booths. Remember why I love this town and its people so much.
- Stop by Tupelo Grill for a craft cocktail (the Sazerac and Now or Never are my favs), and their sinful bacon-wrapped chevre dates.
- Be overwhelmed by all of the amazing restaurant choices there are in Whitefish, realize I’m filthy from the day’s activities, and instead…
- Go home to grill Montana steaks and (hopefully) sautéed morels for dinner on the patio with old friends and family. Sip on Domaine Tempier rose, inspired by years of reading my favorite, and longtime Montanan, writer, Jim Harrison. (I hope there’s DT wherever you are, Jim!)
- Relax at dusk and listen to the birds singing their nighttime Taps, with members of the Flathead Audubon society on my screened porch, telling me who’s who in this magnificent symphony.
- End the day journaling about this incredible place on earth in preparation to welcome the next group of brave seekers who are giving themselves the gift of a Haven Writing Retreat at the beautiful Walking Lightly Ranch!
- Drift off to sleep, watching an endless sky of meteor showers from my bedroom window.
- Dream of tomorrow: a hike in Glacier National Park, ending at the Northern Lights Saloon up in Polebridge for dinner and chats with fellow wanderers, proud to call myself a Montanan!
Montana= Heaven’s Haven on Earth. Enjoy!
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Now booking our September and October Haven Writing Retreats in Whitefish, Montana:
June 7-11 (FULL)
June 21-25 (1 spot left)