Montana: Our First Family Trip to the Big Sky State

It was just a typical weekday morning…

That’s when I sprang the question. You may not know, but travel and me are oh-so-happy together. My hubby? Let’s just say he’s…not. So I have to get creative. One thing he loves is fly fishing, and a place he’s never been is Montana. So after breakfast one morning, I just said it… “What about a trip to Montana?” Literally three days later we were on our way — with one-way tickets to Missoula!

The Last Minute Plan

We decided to focus on Western Montana. Fish a few famous rivers. See Glacier National Park. Maybe even Yellowstone? One thing is for sure: One way tickets take much of the time-pressure stress off a trip. You don’t feel like you’re “wasting time” as you figure things out, and if you wanna hit a spot again, guess what? You can.

The cabin we stayed, right on the edge of Rock Creek.

Philipsburg, MT

We started our time near a quaint town an hour and a half south of Missoula — Philipsburg. We really feel like we were stepping back in time. No chain restaurants. Nothing really at all except a single street, western feeling town.

There’s a blue ribbon trout stream in the area with cabin rentals (way far out of the tiny town) so that’s where we spent a few days. It was magical. Our cabin was literally a stone toss from the creek (more like a river) and within minutes of getting on the water, Kyler caught a beautiful brown and cutthroat trout. Let’s just say… Kyler was in Heaven. We all were.

A gorgeous Montana Cutthroat from Rock Creek.

What We Liked About Rock Creek…

The area was more lush than some other areas of Montana by the end of a summer. Tall, gorgeous pine trees were everywhere. Later in the season, Rock Creek is much lower than in the spring (snow melt / runoff), which made it a haven of fun for our big five-year-old who loves to explore while Daddy fishes. Another plus is that this area of Montana doesn’t typically see any Grizzly Bears! Up north, you can’t even go to a river or on a hike without taking bear spray.

Beautiful fields, trees, mountains and creeks made this a wonderful place to visit.

Glacier National Park

After a few fun days at Rock Creek, we drove up to do some glamping just outside of the Glacier National Park. We’d never done glamping, and the Under Canvas setup looked amazing, from their website.

When we pulled into the glamping site, we were shocked to realize it was a stone’s throw from the highway. So instead of birds and nature, we heard the constant sound of cars whipping by. Honestly, that was a pretty big let-down. But we focused on the cool tent experience (which was truly so much fun!) and had a great time anyway. It was very well-done — just the location was a shocker.

Ennis, MT

Next on our newly-formed bucket list was — fishing the Madison River. So we drove to the quaint riverside town of Ennis, and loved the experience! Ennis exists solely because many fly fisherman come to fish The Madison. It’s crazy to think about. But seriously, the town has almost more fly shops than restaurants.

We ate good food, watched wild deer roam through the town, fished on the Madison river, and saw more mounted game and guns than you’ll find anywhere else in the United States! It was free, open, and a literal breath of fresh air from typical 2020 madness.

We Want to Go Back

All in all, the trip was so much fun, relaxing, filled with nature. We all wanna go back. I personally caught my first cutthroat trout, all on my own, with my very own fly rod! Kyler knew how to hook me up with the best of the best. New reel and all. We also saw old cabins, antelope, bison tracks, and some of the most beautiful streams and rivers probably on the planet.

I’d Like a Water. Light on the Chromium 6 Please.

A Huge Victory, Right?

Yes and no. Erin definitely scored an incredible victory, and halted the poisoning of an entire town. But the very sad news is that Chromium 6 is still present in tap water, and not just in California… it’s just about EVERYWHERE. Around 240 million Americans are affected.

The really bad news? Chromium 6 is just the beginning…

Many other pathogens and environmental pollutants have made their way into our water supplies. This includes not just public utilities but wells, bore holes and even springs.

The Chromium 6 Map will show if the water in your home town is affected by this toxic chemical.

The Safe Drinking Water Act

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) was originally passed by Congress in 1974 to protect public health by regulating the nation’s public drinking water supply. … standards for drinking water to protect against both naturally-occurring and man-made contaminants that may be found in drinking water.

However, only 91 contaminates are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act. And according to the New York Times, over 60,000 chemicals are used in America today. What a drag… Want some better news? I’ve discovered a way to have healthier drinking water! Purchase a Berkey Water Filter.

A picture of the Big Berkey water filter.

Berkey Water Filters

You can go to any grocery store or Target and purchase some type of water filtration device. But these devices are not made equal. Berkey leads the way in water filtration, and guess what? Not only do they remove contaminants like arsenic, chlorine, but you guessed it… Chromium 6 too!

We clearly taste the difference in water from the tap that’s gone through our Berkey. We can even smell the chlorine while adding tap water to the top to be filtered. After filtration, the smell is gone.

How Berkey Filters Work

Berkey filters are made up of two canisters. The top canister hold tap water waiting to be filtered. Gravity brings the water through two sets of filters (black filters in the top, white in the bottom) and the filters are capable of filtering thousands of gallons of water.

What’s the advantage of a Larger Berkey?

A large Berkey not only stores more gallons of filtered water, but it can filter faster. The reason? It has space for additional filters. The more filter sets you have installed, the faster the gravitational filtration can happen.

Our Berkey filter on an issue to move roller stand.

Make the Investment in Your Health

Go purchase a Berkey. You’ll NEVER regret it. We keep ours on a handy roller stand in the kitchen, which makes moving it to the sink for a refill as easy as pie.

And if you use Young Living Essential Oils, using a few drops of Lemon Vitality Essential Oil in your bath (disperse in a half cup Epsom salts first) or a drop in your water glass will do wonders for your body. Absolute WONDERS.

I have a whole load of benefits I could share with you. And I know hundreds of families (thousands) who are experiencing better health and reaching their wellness goals with essential oils! Contact me to learn more.

Cheers to a NEW and Healthier YOU!

Magic of Age Six

The joy of age six! Isn’t it magical?

I post the whimsical mostly, and love sharing that part of life… But life is life, and hers / ours is like anyone’s — not always rosy. Some may think an occasional post of whimsy or bliss means she has an entirely whimsical life. What’s posted occasionally never defines life’s entirety. Like you, we have our tough moments. Every. single. person. has. experienced. pain. and. trauma.

For those who prefer “real” over “bliss”…She too, like many children with a NICU background (and plenty of other backgrounds), has experienced pain, trauma, loss, grief. Her first four months of life: pricks, IVs, and eye tests – more intrusion than many will ever experience. And a surgery at around 2 pounds. And that’s just the physical stuff.

This was the hugest leaf pile ever! I can’t remember when I became too old to enjoy leaf piles, but I’m hopeful for her it lasts a few more years!

I won’t get the personal emotional stuff but you can imagine, since she had to be left behind at the hospital every night during that time. (Nurses were amazing. But her mama couldn’t be there.)

We’ve worked very intentionally for emotional connection, assurance, and will continue. But sure, it’s easier to post leaf pile happiness.

Lately she has asked lots of questions about her time in the NICU. I wanted to savor this photo because she’s rubbing her Duckie’s “rub” — her fave spot on her special friend lol.

Let’s continue to learn with each other, work to be intentional, conscientious with our words. Less hate, assumptions, and sarcasm. Let’s unconditionally love, look people in the eyes, ask if they feel loved & valued.So not perfect over here. But I do want to help create magical childhood memories. Simple ones. Healthy ones. I had some of those and treasure them. I want her to have fewer traumatic ones than I did.

I can’t control all life brings. But some things, I can sure work on. Me. My mouth. My growth. My intentions. What I intake will become output. And that output is what forms her… So ultimately what I put in, is what will come out – in her too.

I see Journey Rose as a complete person, a whole person. Not a mini me. Not here for me. She has her own calling and purpose. I want to validate her feelings and perspective, teach her to think, seek truth, be kind, be strong, have boundaries, and love the God who gave her life.

I’m truly forever humbled to learn with and from her.

The sweet girl was thrilled to find a heart rock in the creek. That smile sure is precious. She sure has our hearts!

Sandi Boudreau