Chic ft. Nile Rodgers at the Sydney Opera House

 

These are the good times!!! Have a great weekend!

(set starts at 13:00)

Istanbul on the French Broad

Togar kilim bag

The most-loved objects come with a backstory, don’t you agree?

Here are a few of mine:

A small journal of handmade paper, a gift from my beloved writing mentor, a legendary editor who handed me the truly opulent notebook with the straightforward directive to “Write it all down.”

Or perhaps my well worn leather sandals, my go to shoes for more than a decade, which have seen me through everything from polo weekends in Florida to roadside tea breaks high in the Himalayas of Pakistan.

Not to mention a truly splendid 20 carat citrine I won in a lucky draw one Valentines Day at the Hotel Commonwealth in Boston. Magical!

If you’re in pursuit of your own stardust this autumn, perhaps you should duck in to Togar Rugs on Long Shoals Road in Asheville. There, tucked amid one of the premiere collections of Turkish rugs in the United States, much loved by interior designers, is a limited collection of repurposed kilim leather satchels, perfect for adventurers of all stripes. Each is handmade in Turkey and one-of-a-kind.

As always, what happens next is up to you.

 

pictured above:

Kilim travel bag

Togar Rugs

562 Long Shoals Road, Arden, NC

828 687 1968

www.togarrugs.com

 

Tea and Sympathy

The chest at Dobra Tea in Black Mountain, North Carolina

One of the challenges of being a native of a small (albeit chic) tourist town is the all-too-typical contrast between businesses for tourists and those for locals. Let’s face it: when you’re in a tourist restaurant, they know they might never see you again and, unless you’re in New York or St. Tropez or another place with a lot of return credibility, it’s quite possible that your service will be lackluster and the items on offer will be nothing short of predictable.

This, as you might imagine, is not our thing.

After all, life is short. Every experience should count.

Alas, western North Carolina is filled with restaurants whose owners feel it is perfectly acceptable to buy pastries at Sam’s Club and call them gourmet, that hardly seems like something for which someone should pay.

Which is why we were delighted to wander, one rainy day, into Dobra Tea in Black Mountain, North Carolina. It’s a quiet place. They have hundreds of tea and make chai masala that rivals that which we have had in Asia. And, by far, the best tea pastries this side of London. They even serve the much-lauded Kashmiri chai, though we have not yet had the privilege of that particular experience to compare it to the real thing.

Their brown butter raspberry tea cake ($3.25), organic and vegan, made by Dobra Tea in-house baker Ben Harvey was a unctuous and delicious as any we’ve had in London.

In fact, this place is so wonderful, we almost want to keep it as a local secret. Then again, what are friends for? It’s a short drive along Highway 9 from the Tryon International Equestrian Center to Black Mountain and, on a rainy day, what is more perfect than tea.

Go over there and drink like a local. Let’s keep this between us….

The chest at Dobra Tea in Black Mountain, North Carolina

The chest at Dobra Tea in Black Mountain, North Carolina

Dobra Tea
120 Broadway
Black Mountain, North Carolina 28711
828 357 8530

Wine: In the House of Romance

San Francisco — The December 8 Fine and Rare Wines auction at Bonhams in San Francisco, simulcast in New York and Los Angeles, brought a successful result of $1.35 million. The top lot of the auction was an assortment case of 1985 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, which sold for $41,650, at the high-end of its $35,000-$42,000 pre-sale estimate.

The leading lot and many other strong sales of the auction came from the impressive cellar of a Southern California collector, which featured rare Burgundies and Bordeaux from notable 20th century vintages. Highlights from this collection included a case of 1982 Château Lafite Rothschild, sold for $35,700, exceeding its estimate of $25,000-35,000; seven bottles of 1959 Comte de Vogüé Musigny, Cuvee Vieilles Vignes, sold for $16,660; two separate 12-bottle lots of 1979 Château Pétrus, sold for $13,090 each; and two separate 12-bottle lots of 1982 Château Mouton Rothschild, sold for $11,900 and $11,305, respectively.

Also of note in the sale were highlights from the Collection of the late Margie and Robert E. Petersen. Mr. Petersen was the founder of the Petersen Publishing Company. Highlights from the collection included a rare magnum of 1996 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, sold for $4,760 (est. $4,500-$5,500) and five bottles of 1994 Harlan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1994, sold for $4,046 (est. $3,200-4,200).

A vertical collection of Shafer “Hillside Select” Cabernet Sauvignon, comprised of a six-bottle case of each vintage from 1997 to 2007 (66 bottles total, est. $14,000-$19,000), also sold well in the sale, bringing $16,660.
Rounding out the auction were such highlights as a six-bottle lot of 1989 Château Pétrus, sold for $17,850 (est. $14,000-19,000) and a six-bottle lot of 1982 Château Lafite Rothschild, sold for $15,470 (est. $12,000-17,000).

Chocolate Museums

chocolate

From the Mayans to M&Ms, these museums celebrate chocolate in all its forms

1. Bruges, Belgium: CHOCOSTORY

 

Belgium is THE home of luxury chocolates (think Godiva and a thousand other stores that will make you rue the day you ever heard of Dr. Atkins). Chocoholics with a more organized bent might want to flirt with the exotic Chocolate fairy and check out Choco-Story, The Chocolate Museum. Tucked away on a side street in Bruges, Belgium, the museum is home to elaborate chocolate lore, chocolate tastings, all delivered with a general celebratory tone that makes much of the good life.
Address
Choco-Story
Wijnzakstraat 2 (Sint-Jansplein)
8000 Bruges
Tel + Fax: 050/61.22.37
2. California Academy of Sciences:

CHOCOLATE: THE EXHIBITION

If you’ve just GOT to know how chocolate makes it from mountain to table, then by all means head to Chocolate, The Exhibition, a travelling exhibit organized by Chicago’s Field Museum and slated for the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco June 11th – August 27th.

Begin in the rainforest, where you’ll meet a colony of 80,000 live Leaf Cutter ants, and explore the unique cacao tree whose seeds started it all. A beautiful tree with delicate flowers, cacao is found only within 20° latitude (about 1,380 miles) of the equator. Usually about 12-25 feet tall, it grows naturally in the rainforest understory, in the shade of larger canopy trees. It is pollinated by tiny flies called midges, which thrive in the decaying leaf litter of the rainforest floor and tend to stay close to the ground, so its flowers grow directly on the trunk and lower branches. After these flowers are pollinated, pineapple-sized cacao pods grow in their place. Each pod holds about 30-50 cacao seeds – enough to make about seven milk chocolate bars or two dark chocolate bars.

Next, visit the ancient Maya civilization and discover what chocolate meant nearly 1,500 years ago. Examine ceramic vessels that were used by Maya kings as chocolate cups, learn about the spicy drink that filled them, and see how archaeological evidence helped scientists trace the roots of chocolate back to the early Maya. Travel north and forward in time to meet the Aztecs, who acquired cacao through extensive trade networks and used the precious seeds as a form of currency. Explore an interactive Aztec marketplace, and learn the purchasing power of a handful of seeds.

Finally, follow chocolate’s introduction into the upper class of European society and its transformation into a mass-produced world commodity. Find out what happened when chocolate first met sugar, trace the ups and downs of chocolate in the world market, and learn about the sustainable cacao-growing practices that can help protect the world’s rainforests. If all that sets your mouth to watering, visit the Academy Store, where you can find a wide selection of delectable chocolate treats, or plan your visit for a Friday or Saturday afternoon – chocolate product tastings and demonstrations will take place every Friday and Saturday from June 11 – August 27.

3. Barcelona: Museu de la Xocolata

Arguably the most delectable museum in Spain. If you can halt the inevitable excessive salivation for a few moments, the multilingual signs spew gobs of information about the history, production, and ingestion of this sensual treat. But perhaps more interesting are the exquisite chocolate sculptures, particularly the edible versions of La Sagrada Família and the Arc de Triomf. Still not satisfied? Do some hands-on training at the small cafe and indulge in a workshop on cake baking, the history of chocolate, or chocolate tasting.

 

 

Wines to Bank On

wine


You may wish you had bought into the Microsoft IPO way back in ’86, but did you ever consider a case of Petrus ’61? The red, US$400 per case of 12 in 1962, now commands some serious green — upwards of US $50,000 for the same amount.

Vino can be a strong addition to your portfolio.

Robert Bohr, the wine director at Cru Restaurant in New York City, constantly works the auctions to keep his 3,500-deep wine list up to snuff. Here are his bets on which wines to stock now for many happy returns.

$620 per case DOMAINE WILLIAM FEVRE CHABLIS GRAND CRU BOUGROS 2002

“The market for collectible white wine is dominated by burgundies such as this one. In particular, Chablis has exploded in price over the past few years. The relatively low initial cost and the fact that 2002 was the region’s best vintage in a decade make this an obvious long-term investment pick.”

$850 per case GRAN CLOS de J.M. FUENTES PRIORAT 2001

“In general, Spanish wine is undervalued because it is not looked upon as one of the classics. But I think that will change. And when it does, the value of the Priorate region’s consistently beautiful wines, like this one, will increase dramatically, especially 2001’s exceptional vintage.”

$1,600 per case SAINT-JULIEN CHATEAU DUCRU BEAUCAILLOU 1996

“In 1855, the four best Bourdeaux vineyards were given the ranking ‘first growth.’ But over the years, some ‘second growth’ wineries — the next distinction — have reached the same level of excellence. So called ‘super seconds’ like Ducru, particularly the fantastic 1996 vintage, have huge potential.”

$2,400 per case DOMAINE G. ROUMIER GRAND CRU BONNES-MARES 2002

“This outstanding burgundy is a sure thing. If you can find it through a distributor at this price, you’re almost guaranteed to see its value rise $1,000 within a short period. The demands is that frenzied. If you miss the opportunity, it’ll still be worth paying more for a case at auction — it will appreciate rapidly.”

$3,700 per case CONTERNO BAROLO RISERVA MONFORTINO 1997

“Conterno is unquestionably the greatest producer of traditional Barolo, which is one of the world’s best wines to begin with. Despite its high price, the extraordinary quality of this Italian gem will keep pushing the value skyward. This investment will climb slowly but surely over the long haul.”

 

Polo Babe of the Month

We launch our Polo Babe of the Month column with a beautiful, familiar face, supermodel Jodie Kidd, who has charmed everyone from polo players to highway patrolmen with her stunning good looks, her sense of humor, and her unrelenting will to succeed. In fact, if they were recasting Charlie’s Angels, Jodie would be at the top of the list, having fended off a real burglar at the family’s estate in Barbados, driving Maseratis, playing polo, golfing at St. Andrews and looking fantastic in the process. She’s our ideal of what a polo babe should be!!

Jodie Kidd’s Factfile

Personal Life
Jodie was born in 1978 in Guilford, Surrey: “I was the longest baby in the hospital when I was in born!” She is the youngest child of three siblings; older sister Jemma is a make-up artist and brother Jack is a polo star. Her dad is Johnny Kidd the international show jumper and champion polo-player turned millionaire businessman and grandson of press baron Lord Beaverbrook. Her mum is Wendy, elder sister of Vicki Hodge, notorious for kissing and telling on Prince Andrew!

Did You Know?

Even though Jodie is used to wearing designer threads down the catwalk she prefers the high street. “You can spend £500 on one Gucci bag or you can go to Topshop and Miss Selfridge and buy loads of clothes – I know which I’d rather do. And these days the high street shops make such amazing replicas of all the catwalk stuff.”

Jodie has recently been made a Red Cross ambassador. “I’m working with the Red Cross for the simple reason that I’ve been offered an opportunity to help. This is my way of giving something back and saying thank you for having been given such an amazing life, amazing job, amazing family and amazing boyfriend.”

Cool Credentials

Jodie’s idol is her late grandmother who wrote books and got a helicopter license at the age of 64.

She has size 10 feet.

Jodie featured in the Fun Lovin’ Criminals video ‘Bump’.

Jodis is on record as saying: “There is obviously a fake side to the (fashion) industry and in London you get swept up in it. I need to get back to the countryside, cook a big shepherd’s pie, muck my horses out, go for a walk.

The Pride of Patiala

General Chanda Singh on "Miss Haigh" in LondonGeneral Chanda Singh, the famous polo player, made a mark internationally but little is known about him in his own town. 

By Jangveer Singh

IT is easy to miss Fateh House if one is not careful. Situated on the Upper Mall, Patiala, a theatre and a row of shops sandwich the entrance to the house of late Brigadier Fateh Singh.

The reason for visiting the house is to find out more about General Chanda Singh, one of the best polo players of the world. A man who was a friend of kings, be it Maharaja Rajindra Singh of Patiala or King Alphonso of Spain, is little known in his hometown. The star of polo in Patiala eclipsed in the 1920s itself along with the eclipse of Chanda Singh. Others, including his son Fateh Singh Dhillon continued to play the game, but polo vanished soon after Independence from the city.

Neither are the General’s great-grandchildren play polo or are associated with the current exercise by the Punjab government to revive the tradition of polo in the city. “We are not even invited to the games”, says Avtar Singh Dhillon. For the Dhillon family, it is difficult to forget their heritage.”We live with it”, says Avtar Singh even as he gets up to get photo albums associated with his family, not content with the virtual art gallery on the Sport which is on display in his drawing room.

The drawing room is definitely a feast for the the eyes of a sports lover. General Chanda Singh and other members of the family, including the latter’s younger brother Thakar Singh and the General’s son Fateh Singh Dhillon find pride of place on the walls and the mantle pieces. “Thakar Singh played together with the General for 18 years and they formed the core of the Patiala Tigers team”, says Avtar adding Thakar Singh had even won the Emperors Cup at the Patiala Coronation Darbar in 1911 in the “Point to Point” race on Black Prince. “He led his nearest rival by two miles,” he adds by way of explaination while talking about the “horse power” of his forefathers.

Chanda Singh, incidentally, was not even born in Patiala. Hailing from Sursinghwala village in Amritsar, Chanda grew up among horses since his family was known for breeding quality horses. His great-grandfather Sardar Bahadur Singh used to finance the Sikh armies of Maharaja Ranjit Singh who had bestowed upon him with the title of “Shah”. This natural affinity with horses induced Chanda to enlist with the 16th Bengal Lancers at Jullundur in 1882, when he was 18. Chanda immediately set about at what he was best at, training ponies for British officers. His affinity with horses made him take to polo and his progress saw him in the regimental team soon as “back”, a position

he was to keep for life. Maharaja Rajindra Singh, who was forming a polo team during this period, saw the potential of the young man and inducted him into the Patiala Tigers. It was then that the heydays of Patiala Tigers started with Jaswant Singh (later Major), Joginder Singh (later Colonel) and Capt Thakar Singh forming its core alongwith Chanda Singh.

The legendary player continued to play till the age of 58 and it was the final match of his career, the Polo Championship of India, played in Delhi in 1920 which led to the downfall of polo in Patiala. The Patiala team which was leading by one goal in the last chukker against Jodhpur, lost by a solitary goal with Rao Raja Hanut Singh scoring twice after some Patiala players received injuries. This game saw the breaking of polo sticks by Patiala players.

Chanda’s exploits saw him virtually conquering the world on the polo field. As a colonel, he was ‘sighted’ by Jean de Madre, a polo enthusiast. The Comte requested the then Maharaja to loan him Chanda Singh for his team. Chanda sailed to Europe in 1909 and the Comte’s team won the Polo Championships of England at Ranelagh and Rochampton.

After these tournaments, Chanda Singh went on to Spain at the request of King Alphonso and played as a member of the King’s team in the Spanish Polo Championship of 1909 held at Madrid. The King’s team won the championship for the first time. King Alphonso also promised him a noble rank if he would bring his family to Madrid but Col Chanda Singh refused saying he was in the service of the Maharaja of Patiala and had come to Europe only due to the latter’s patronage. During this European sojourn, the polo player even went to Paris to win the French Polo Championship at Velliere and later in England where his team defeated the visiting American side to wrest the Westchester Cup.

 

The Vampire Diary

General Information: The Vampire Spires are 15 miles northwest of the Cirque of the Unclimbables, and offer an incredible amount of unexplored climbing on some spectacular walls and spires. The map coordinates are approximatley (62 deg 15″00′ N, 127 deg 55″00′ W). REMOTE!!!
Directions: Getting to the Vamps requires time and money. One way in is to hike from the Nahanni river valley north of the Vamps, although this has been done, it is not recomended, it would require more effort than it’s worth. The best opption is to charter a helicopter (landing a plane on the lake is no longer an option) to fly you in. Warren LaFave’s Kluane Air is the only service with experience flying into the area. Visit Warren’s web site, www.inconnu.com for costs and details.

Quantity of Routes: Lifetime
Camping: Yes
Books and References: Climbing #153, Climbing #187, Climbing #192
Updated By: goodman
Updated On: Jan 1 1970
Recent Visits: 349
Total Visits: 835
Vampire Spires
Location
Name:
Location Near:
Last Updated By:
Directions:
Accuracy
Count:0Latitude:

Northwest Territories, Canada
Stephen VentersLocated about 15 miles north of the Cirque of the Unclimbables in the Northwest Territories’ Logan Mountains which means getting there is expensive and time consuming. You will need to charter a flight to fly you in. Right now, Warren LaFave’s Kluane Airways (www.inconnu.com) is the only company to fly that leg.62.25 Longitude: -127.917
Click here to view map
Climbing
Types of Routes Trad (aid), Mountaineering.
Difficulty of Routes: Only 5 routes exsist – 1 5.9, 3 5.10s, and 1 5.11
Types of Rock: Granite
Amenities
Water Source: Snow and lakes.
Camping: Basecamps can be established at the base of your route, less than a days hike from the drop off lake.
Emergency: You’re a long way from anywhere, so take plenty of first aid gear.
Comments:
Bring a normal aid rack going heavy on the clean gear through offwidth sizes. There is only one route per major feature, so there is alot left to be developed.

The Vampire Spires in Canada’s Northwest Territory

By Matt Childers
The trip itself was almost as interesting as  the climb. We left Portland on a warm August Sunday evening in a Boing 737 jet and flew to Vancouver, BC. We spent the night in Vancouver, leaving in the morning on an airBC DeHaviland Dash-8 turbo prop. We had a short layover in Terrace, BC, where we transferred to yet a smaller plane (Central Mountain Air, BeachCraft 1900D). From Terrace, we continued on north, making a quick stop in Dease Lake. As we left Dease Lake, the pilot had all of the passengers sit as far forward as possible since the plane was tail heavy because of cargo. (Do you suppose 4 climbers with 120 lbs. of gear each, had anything to do with it?)

Eventually we landed in Watson Lake, Yukon Territories.
Watson Lake is an old W.W.II airlift airport, so it has a HUGE runway in the middle of nowhere. It is also home to the Sign Forest. There is supposedly something like 80,000 signs here, from all over the world. At Watson Lake airport, we were met by ‘Stitch’ who works for Warren LaFave, owner of the plane that was flying us into the Cirque. We also met with another group of climbers from Chicago who were going to attempt the Original Route on Proboscis. Two of the guys had driven all the way from Chicago. Whew!
From Watson Lake, we rode for 150 miles up the Robert Campbell Highway (read, good gravel road) to Finlayson Lake where Warren has a float plane dock. By this time it is getting on toward evening, but Warren did get all 8 of us ferried the 10 minute hop from Finlayson Lake to Inconnu Lodge on McEvoy Lake before it got completely dark.
Inconnu Lodge is an amazing lodge run by Warren and Anita LaFave. It is a hunting and fishing lodge in the heart of the Yukon Territory, Canada. It is truly a beautiful building, and every piece was flown in by Warren on the trusty Truck. I can’t say enough about how well Warren took care of us. He fed us and let us sleep on his floor well above what was was included in the price of the airplane ride. If you get a chance, check out his place.
After spending the night at Inconnu, we took a 80 minute ride in Warren’s DeHaviland Beaver float plane to Glacier Lake at the base of the Cirque valley. By lucky timing, we were able to split the cost of a helicopter ride with the Chicago guys who were going over to Proboscis. A short hop from the lake up into Fairy meadows in the Bell Jet Ranger finished our long, strange trip to the Cirque.
Whew! Well here we are in the Cirque! Our first views of the meadow and surroundings are stunning. Three colors predominate: blue, grey and green. The sky is either blue or grey depending on whether it is raining or not. The granite that towers around us is grey and black. The moss and grass is a deep green. There is virtually no other vegetation. There are no trees, no shrubs and few flowers. The scale is overwhelming. Even the boulders in the meadow are the size of small houses. On all sides of us, the walls rear up for thousands of feet.
We get settled and go out visiting. There are several other parties in the valley. There are 2 gents from England, 2 guys from Alaska, 4 from Colorado, a couple from Canada, 2 guys from Switzerland, and 12 rafters that did the hike up just to see the area. All but the Swiss would would be gone in a few days. On the second day we got lucky and scored the primo site in Fairy Meadows, the big boulder camp. This is important because it rains alot here. And there is a lot of downtime waiting for the rocks to dry.
We became friends with the other long time meadow residents, the Swiss. These guys were incredible climbers, they did the Tower is a single day. And we watched them make a go at several very hard climbs. I had several conversations with these guys about the routes and the weather. They were from the Italian area of Switzerland, and “conversations” might be stretching it, as my French and German is poor and their English was not much better. Mostly we talked with our hands, in the universal climbing-beta language.
The weather was good for the first few days, and we had to hang out as the line for the Tower thinned out. There had been snow in the Cirque in the previous days and nobody had been able to climb. So there was a rush as soon as the sun came out. Just before the last party cleared off, we went up 3 pitches and fixed a line. We came back the next day with only one haul bag, intending to shoot the route and lighten our carry. Hoo boy! Have you ever hauled a 100+ pound pig up a wall? Body haul. my ass.

A word about body hauling. It consists of connecting yourself to the other end of a rope that goes from this big, stupid weight up thru a pulley, and then walking off down the wall. This will drag the haulbag up the wall. When you get about 6 or 8 feet down, you lock off the load and Jumar back up. Repeat this 50 or so times with a liberal amount of cursing. It truly is as scary as it sounds, and I have no pictures from this little adventure, dammit.

At pitch five, we had had enough. It had taken us all day to go the 5 easy pitches. In defeat, we retreated back to camp.
After a rest day we attacked anew. We hiked up the night before and slept at the base to get a good early start. This time we brought 2 haulbags. One for each pair of 2 climbers. This worked a whole damn lot better. The climbing was mostly uneventful, and I managed to get pictures. The upper chimney was dank and a little creepy cuz the pro was not the best. But eventually all four of us were standing on the bivi ledge at about 1000 feet up. This is a nice, large ledge about 10 feet wide by 30 long. It even had grass and flowers. How plush!
Our luck turned bad that night, as it began to rain. By the morning, the walls were soaked. We were cold, wet, tired and in low spirits. Wussies that we are :-) we decided to bail. Now came the fun part. Clip a 50 lb bag to your waist belt, throw the end of the rope down the wall, and step off into 1000 feet of air. If this don’t suck yer nuts up into your throat, I don’t know what would. Oh, and did I mention that it was snowing?
Knowing we were beaten, we spent the rest of the week climbing on the short (less than 100′) stuff in the area and doing day hikes up into the cirques. When the time came, we humped our loads down the talus slope that passes for a trail. Down to the lake where Warren would pick us up for the flight out. OK, I didn’t make it this time, but I will be back.

Over the summer [July 21 - August 16, 2000] Matt Childers and Chris Van Leuven of Boone, NC spent a month climbing in the remote Logan Mountains in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The climb was financed with grants from the American Alpine Club and Polartec. After climbing the classic Lotus Flower Tower in a day (23 pitches 5.10) Matt and Chris ran headlong into the worst storm of the season on the summit. After recovering from this epic, they flew to a nearby area to climb a new route on a feature dubbed the Minataur, where they threw themselves at epic #2.

Rocky Mountain High

The Bar at the Triple Creek Ranch, Darby, MontanaBy Donna L.M. Khan

If you’re one of those people who is hopeless in-touch, cell phone glued to one ear while your second cell phone rings and your secretary buzzes you , the idea of really getting away from it all seems like a fine idea.

And though you could take your wife and kids to a place where there are other wives and kids, isn’t that really just more of the same? Why get away only to see the same people from whom you are trying to get away in the first place?

If this is your idea this summer, we’d like to suggest the exotic and beautiful Triple Creek Ranch in the remote Bitterroot Valley of western Montana.

Approximately four hours from the airport in Missoula, Montana, the Triple Creek Ranch is everything you hoped a guest ranch would be, minus the cheesy Bonanza references and the forced comraderie that generally plagues the guest ranch experience.

This ranch is all about luxury and rest, all of which you can have in spades.

Zipping through the beautiful Bitterroot Valley in the back of a Chevy Suburban, we enjoyed the decidedly upscale version of ranch life from the get-go. Our driver presented us with a well stocked cooler and snacks for the trip, with our sole objective being nothing more strenuous than looking out the window. (Gratefully, this graceful driver spared us the hideous “where are you people from” conversation that some drivers make their stock and trade).

The resort is an all inclusive, adult only luxury resort with a retinue of well appointed log and cedar cabins as accommodation and a beautiful main lodge. Our cabin, SugarPlum, featured a beautiful view of the horse pasture (our favorite view!) and a wonderfully serene Jacuzzi tub with all the amenities.

The staff at Triple Creek prides themselves on service and they know how to deliver. Mention that you enjoy the granola at breakfast and a bag of granola along with the recipe will appear in your room by noon. They know how to pamper their guests without giving you that creepy, forced Hotel California experience.

The trail riding here is something and I would gladly give up a trip to many a luxury resort for a few more days riding my favorite Ranch gelding, Teddy, through the Bitterroot Wilderness.

Though the food at the rest is delicious but rather pedestrian, the views are spectacular. Ditch the cell phones and head to the woodland hot tub to unwind.

Why make all that money if you can’t enjoy it?

Triple Creek Ranch
5551 West Fork Road
Darby, Montana 59829
Phone: 406/821-4600
Fax: 406/821-4666
Rates are all inclusive, from $510 per couple, per night.