Notes From Peter Pettegrew’s Montana Trip

Peter writes:

My wife’s parents live in a small, lakeside town called Bigfork in Northwest Montana during the summer months. Bigfork is a beautiful place, situated between several rugged mountain ranges and at the convergence of the Swan River and Flathead Lake, the longest lake in the Western United States. Jack Hannah has an incredible home on a rock out-cropping overlooking the lake and author Robert Ludlum‘s home is at the end of the street that my in-laws live on, overlooking Flathead River. We spent time on both rivers and Flathead Lake, taking in the sweeping views as you paddle, sail or float your way along. A short drive away is Glacier National Park, where I had the chance to do some sketching and photographing on the snow-capped mountain top near the summit, where the summer air is clean and crisp – a far cry from Florida’s summer humidity.

Peter PettegrewRobert Ludlum

Another great way to get around was by trail bikes, where we were able to cross into town by way of the logging roads cut across the mountain ridge. We found galleries filled with exceptional landscape paintings including stone lithos by noted Montana artist Russell Chatham, an influence on my choice of subject matter since the mid 1980’s. Another surprise of the trip was participating in a sailboat regatta on Placid Lake with a mixed group of boating fanatics – a race that produced several strong gales and flipped a few of the participants into the drink. On the final day, we hiked into an area known for it’s wild huckleberries and came across a motherlode of the sweet tasting goodies. As it turned out, the late winter had been ideal for producing such an unusual bounty and we were just lucky to be in the right place at the right time. I think that could be said of the whole trip in general – Montana’s such a beautiful place, you can hardly go wrong.

Peter Pettegrew MontanaSailboat RegattaWild Berries Montana

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