Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Florida connections

Florida seems like a long way from Montana, but Sunshine Staters are all around.

Dale Osteen, wrangler, told us he’d taken out several Florida groups this very week. On our Big Bus tour, we met a couple, Dennis and Susan Troseth, who live half the year in the Keys.

First night in Whitefish, we were graciously entertained by Jeff and Bridget Wirth of the local Sotheby's office, former Miamians we met through South Floridians Steve and Carole Smith, who have a house here. Jeff is working with Paul Milhous of Boca Raton on the Kootenai Lodge project near Bigfork here; also working on the project is the only other person I know in the area, Carol Beck-Edgar. Small world.

In the gift shop of the Glacier Park Lodge at East Glacier, we met Debbie Olson of Plantation. This is her second summer working in the lodge shop; her husband is driving a Red Bus tour. “It’s terrific,’’ she said.

And while stopped at a sporting goods shop, a couple approached. “You from Florida?’’ the husband asked, checking out the license plates. “Yup. Miami,’’ I said. “I'm so sorry. We’re from Tampa.’’

No escape.


Anonymous said...

From FJ&DJ - Miami, Fl. (2nd comment)
As I mentioned in our 1st comment, we were in Glacier last month. We drove the Going To The Sun Road ourselves - and bought a badge to prove it! It was all a thrill of a lifetime. Among our favorites was McDonald Creek... like being in heaven. We also went for a trail ride on the Lake McDonald side of the pass with Muleshoe outfitters. As you said, while riding, you chat. Our trail boss was Jo, a 53 year old outdoorswoman with a great personality. We've been daydreaming about the trip since we got back.... trying to figure out a way to go again but spend a week at each park while saving money at the same time - there has to be a way.

Sarah Eaton said...

Hello Jane,

I'm finally back on line after a week with the owners of the house I'm staying in. It sounds like you're having a grand time in Glacier National Park. Although it's hard to pick a favorite national park, Glacier is definitely in my top ten.

As you leave the park, I hope you can drive through Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. I've heard that it's an incredibly beautiful place, both the town and the surrounding lakes. I had hoped to get there this summer, but so far, I haven't had a chance.

There are so many amazing places to visit in Washington, and it's a shame that your schedule won't allow more than one stop. I was lucky enough to spend a week in Washington in June, and covered only a tiny section of the state. In the event that you might decide to return to Washington, I thought I'd mention a few personal favorites.

Hells Canyon, which is reached from either Clarkston, Washington, or Lewiston, Idaho, is an amazing landscape. I took a jet boat ride through the canyon, and it remains one of my most memorable experiences.

Southcentral Washington is becoming well known as a wine producing area. Although I didn't visit any wineries there, I have tasted some of the local wines.

If you've never been to Mt. Rainier, it is certainly a must-see, and I'm glad it's included in the poll. Depending how the vote goes, it would be great if you could also squeeze in Lake Chelan , one of the other options. The lake is a pretty well-kept secret, but I had always wanted to visit. In June, I took a seaplane from Chelan to Stehekin at the end of the lake and spent the night there. The return trip was by boat. If you don't have a lot of time, this is one option, and the perspective of the lake from the air is beautiful.

I left Lake Chelan and wound my way through the Methow Valley to Winthrop and then continued east through North Cascades National Park. Route 20, the North Caascades Highway, is a beautiful scenic drive, and there was still a tremendous amount of snow next to the road in June.

Enjoy your last few days on the road. It will end all too soon.

Jane said...

Thanks to both of you for your comments and tips!

International Jenn said...


Next time you are in Whitefish, be sure to stop by for a visit.

The original Miami-Montana connection,
Doug Betters

(messaged relayed through IJ)