The Wilderness Club

Being on a road trip, moving from place to place, playing golf — and writing about everything that happens — is a little crazy. What made it a bit more crazy is the forest fires in the North Western United States were impacting the places we visited in Northern Montana, Eastern B.C. and Western Alberta – including Wi-Fi reception. It’s only after I’ve been back at my home base and talking with my friends and family about our latest adventures that I remember some details that I think you’d like to hear. So here’s the “Six Days on the Road” Road Trip Review!

Even before we left, we were having problems with the Canadian par offer. Somehow, the dots weren’t connected between the flyer in the Calgary Herald and the reservation team in Whitefish. When it seemed to be finally sorted out, we discovered the Front Desk wasn’t aware of the offer, and they wanted to charge us a price much higher than what was promised, when we checked in. It all got resolved, thank goodness, and I will put up a post about what you need to watch out for with offers like that because we were running in circles for a while. And nobody needs that kind of stress.

The blue sky in Alberta that started our road trip

Alberta blue sky

When we left on Sunday morning, we had a clear, Alberta blue, sky.  Have you noticed? There is a different blue to the sky in Saskatchewan than in Alberta or even in Big Sky Country itself, Montana.  This particular morning was also wind-free, so what a great way it was to start a road trip!

The three highways, #8, 22 and 3 that took us to the USA are in excellent condition but #93 from the border to Whitefish, MT is narrow and breaking down on the sides.  Keeping close to the speed limit makes for a bumpy ride!  Close to Whitefish was the start of major reconstruction of the highway.  I must admit those construction workers seem to work really fast and efficiently there.

It was a bit smoky from the fires when we arrived in Whitefish and it was smoky when we played the North and South courses at Whitefish Lake.  We played as a twosome on Monday and a gentleman joined us on Tuesday, who introduced himself as Bob.

Bob was a true gentleman who spends the winters in Houston and the summers in Whitefish.  He was so encouraging to both of us, and commented so positively on our good shots.  I found that to be so helpful in my confidence and I am sure it was his praise of the way I was hitting my driver that I actually hit one of my drives 220 yards.

I can’t stop talking about it…

I was extremely impressed with the overall design of The Wilderness Club.  The Pro Shop wasn’t large, but it was well equipped. The plans are now to turn it into a four-season resort and the Pro Shop will be used to accommodate winter sports equipment in the cold months.  The eating area is more like a coffee,shop than a dining room, which I think is SMART.  There is no need to have a fancy dining room in the wilderness.  All the public really wants is a place to eat when you finish your sporting activities.  An extensive menu is not needed either.  Good food made by a good chef is all we want!

I wrote about how terrific the cottages are and the BEDS were at The Wilderness Club, but there are a couple of other great details I didn’t tell you about.  The shower was excellent too, with a great shower head.  There was a bench inside the shower, which I thought was an added plus, and the white towels were oversized and exceptionally soft cotton.  PERFECT.

Prestige Hotel and Resort - Jessica and me

Prestige Hotel and Resort – Jessica from the Front Desk and me, Maureen O’Shea

It is only 100 kms from Eureka, Montana and The Wilderness Club to Cranbrook, B.C. and we’d booked into the Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort there for the last two nights away from home for this road trip. When we checked in we were gifted with a sleeve of balls and a golf towel each. What a nice surprise for our arrival at our new temporary home!


A sleeve of balls and a golf towel welcomed us when we checked into the Prestige in Cranbrook.

A sleeve of balls and a golf towel welcomed us when we checked into the Prestige in Cranbrook.

The Prestige Hotels & Resorts are a family-owned group of full service hotels in B.C. founded by the hardworking, first generation Canadian, Josef Huber Sr. His story is a very interesting success story and now his son Joe is at the head of the company, keeping it family run.

We were disappointed that there were no lamb shanks on the menu at the Purcell Restaurant at the St. Eugene Mission in Cranbrook, as we went there for supper (and do a little bit of gambling).  It had been two years since I was last there and it looks like their new chef changed the menu as well as the atmosphere: it is high class AND high price now.  But since we saw there were lamb shanks on the menu at the restaurant at the Prestige Hotel, we decided to eat there on Thursday night (both Ruth and I love <3 lamb chops!).  We both enjoyed the shanks and the vegetables were perfect!  Neither of us had seen lamb shanks as big as these before, but they were tasty and tender!

The oldest daughter of my good friend, Bob Fleming, lives in B.C. and she wrote a poem that she posted on Facebook, asking Rain to come and make a visit. I think it’s lovely and I asked if I could re-print it and Jennyi’s given me permission to share it with you.

Dear Rain,
We’ve heard whispers of you dear one,
With smouldering eyes & smokey throats,
We yearn for your arrival dear one,
The earth, her trees, her plant beings, her creatures,
We are all in awe & need of you,
Please Dear 0ne,
Come shower us with your holiness,
Dear one,
We miss you, we cherish you.
We love you.
—–Jennifyre Saje

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