Woman of the West

Summer Road Trip

Anyone who knows a farmer or rancher knows that it is next to impossible to find time to take a summer holiday. 

It always seems that one season rolls over into the next, from calving rolling into spraying/seeding, onto haying, and followed by harvest. It  is a continuous cycle. So, what I have learned from being the girlfriend of a farmer/rancher, is that when you have an opportunity to get away for a few days, you take it.

A last-minute vacation is exactly what we did. We decided on a Friday night to pack up the trailer and leave for a little getaway the following Sunday morning, making the trek to one of our favourite destinations — Montana.

I have been going on holidays to Montana with my family for as long as I can remember. We would go skiing for a week in the winter, and go boating for a week in the summer. It truly is one of my favourite places in the world.

My boyfriend, Marvin, and I loaded our dog, Hank, into the truck with the camper attached and set off for Big Sky Country.

For many people who don’t have an agricultural background, leaving home for a holiday may not carry any impact or stress. However, whenever we hit the highway leaving for vacation, Marvin instantly started to worry about the work that needs to be tended to back at home. He always has an eye on the weather forecast which, unluckily for us, indicated that a major hail storm was about to hit the farm while we were away. 

Upon arriving at the campground in Rexford, Montana, we decided that this would probably be our only time to get away this summer, so we needed to make the most of it. We had the opportunity to do some shopping in Kalispell, swim in Lake Koocanusa, go boating on Sofie Lake, and visit with friends who were also down for a few days. 

During our shopping adventure in Kalispell, we had to check out the local western and ranch supply stores; Murdochs, Boot Barn, and the Western Outdoor Store. They all carried unique apparel, and I was overwhelmed walking into these stores. It took everything in me not to spend my entire paycheque. 

We were also grateful for the fact that we could bring our dog, Hank, into almost every store we went into, except Costco and Target (Marvin waited in the truck with Hank while I shopped). Hank became a local celebrity in Montana.

We both love Montana so much because it captures a sense of the old west, and the residents are all hard-working, honest, and wholesome people, giving us a sense of home.

After the few short days we spent in Montana, it was time to get home. 

Driving home always seems a little bittersweet, reflecting on the fun that was had, however, a sense of ease goes through my body as I get to get back the ranch, feeling recharged and refreshed.

Marvin, Hank, and I are all excited to get back to the Big Sky State soon. 

Story and Photos by Chelsey Becker