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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Monday, August 24th, 2015 (Whitefish, Montana) – We had a great night’s sleep and were up early and down to breakfast at Logan’s in the Grouse Mountain Lodge resort complex.  Before getting there, though, we stopped at the frontdesk to get our $25 food voucher that came with the package. It was a good thing we did that, too! Breakfast for two blew that right out of the pocket!

Whitefish Lake Golf Course

The Whitefish Lake Golf Course – 10th hole, North course.

Our tee time at the Whitefish Lake Golf Club was at 8:44 a.m. on their South course but once we got there, we asked if we could play the North course instead.

They said “Sure!”

We were on the tee in no time. My opinion is that it’s course with a good design, but the fairways needed to be rolled or levelled as there was more up-and-downs than an elevator!

I played okay although it seems like my clubs are playing shorter. Could it be age? Is it me or is it the clubs?  I shot 44 on the back nine (we played it first) and 43 on the front. The North course measured 5640 yards.

All in all, Ruth and I had a good time, with little waiting.

After the golf, we stopped at the clubhouse for lunch which was served to us by Kim. I asked her if I could take a picture of her for my blog and she was super excited about doing that! We had Fish’N Chips and Roasted Turkey Quesadillas and lunch was tasty!

Both of us had talked about getting our hair cut in Whitefish on the way down, and wouldn’t you know it, we found Reecia’s Salon and Spa, an Aveda salon who had back-to-back slots for us – and Wi-Fi too! Not only that, but Reecia’s, owned by Reecia Maxwell, has won Whitefish’s Best Salon for both 2013 and 2014 and I believe the accolades!

I know you’ll be disappointed that you don’t have any pictures of our new hair-do’s – I Facetimed with Colleen from Reecia’s and she saw both of us post-cut and thinks that our cuts are SUPER CUTE – but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s post to see the new Us’s… That’s because I’m going back for a colour as soon as we’re finished our round of golf. I’m trying to convince Ruth to get a colour too, but she thinks no one would recognize her if she did!

Jade at the Buffalo Cafe

Our delightful, georgous waitress Jade

We went to Kalispell for a little shopping and then drove back to Whitefish as we were getting hungry and it was time for supper. We deided on the Buffalo Cafe and Nightly Grill where Jade took really good care of us for the evening.

Wild salmon salad

Wild salmon salad for Ruth

You can tell we had a great time by the pictures and the food was great too. Ruth had the Wild Salmon Salad and I had Mac’n Cheese with Smokies – and we shared a servingof Huckleberry Pie a la mode for desert! Our supper was, as you can see by the pics, beautifully presented and tasty!

Mac 'n Cheese with Smokies

Mac ‘n Cheese with Smokies for Maureen. mm good

Desert! Huckleberry Pie

Huckleberry Pie a la mode

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Road trip begins

The road trip begins

It was a beautiful morning in Calgary for the start of our trip. We set off just after 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, heading west on Highway #8.

The last time that Ruth was in Fernie, B.C. was about 40 years ago and I thought it would be nice for us to take that route to get us from Calgary to Whitefish. I have been down that way many times and have used pretty much all the different routes available to get there, and I like this one the best.

Frank Slide

The Frank Slide

And this route didn’t disappoint! The views of the mountains were spectacular and we saw wildlife too: a moose, a fawn searching for her mom — and at least one hawk.

En route, we stopped in Blairmore, Alberta for a coffee at the Crowsnest Pass Golf & Country Club.  The great weather was reflected by the number of cars in the parking lot; there was a group of six having breakfast in the restaurant. After a quick stop there, we were back in the car, and back on the road again.

On The Road Again

As we neared the border crossing at Roosville, Montana, we could see smoke in the sky as there are, as you probably know, dozens of forest fires burning in the mountains. After the border, we drove past the turnoff to The Wilderness Club (where we’ll be staying and playing golf at on Tuesday) and we started searching for the On the Fly Cafe which I’d found a great write-up about on the Internet and thought we should make a scheduled stop.


Trina Kelly’s On the Fly Cafe

The thing is, our GPS couldn’t find it. I searched for it, but couldn’t find it. So we made a rest stop just off the highway to have a bite to eat – a small picnic that consisted of a sandwich and some water that we had packed. As soon as we started driving again, wouldn’t you know it, perhaps just 100 yards further down the road was the cafe! So we stopped the car, and in we went!

We talked to the owner, Trina Kelly, and had an ice cream cone each. We’re going to make a stop here on our way back to Canada on Wednesday.

Ruth with her daughter at the Bulldog Saloon

Ruth with her daughter Anna at the Bulldog Saloon

Ruth’s daughter, Anna, and Anna’s family are have also been down at Whitefish and we met up with them. Ruth, Anna and her family went for a boat ride and while they were doing that, I went and checked into Grouse Mountain Lodge and discovered they have no Wi-Fi – it has been down for TWO days. But I was able to prove to them the rate we’d been promised — which was different from what they were trying to charge us. As you may recall, we’re in Whitefish because of a flyer we found in the paper last week with a stay and play offer at par for the Canadian dollar. The deal gave us a room at the Grouse Mountain Lodge and a round of golf at our choice of 5 different golf courses for the rate of $175 Canadian per person. I’ll update you on this as soon as it’s resolved.

I’ve found a WiFi connection and I am sitting on the deck at the Harbour Mountain Condos writing this at 5:15 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

I went back to Harbor Mountain, the resort where Anna and family were staying and sat down by the lake for an hour.  Then Anna, Ruth and I headed downtown to Central Avenue to the Bulldog Saloon for a burger and a Rum and Coke.  We had to pay for the burgers in American dollars, but the drinks were all in Canadian!!!  The burgers cost $8 each and we got three drinks for $9.  Crazy.  The bar was full of patrons but we didn’t make any new friends. There’s always tomorrow!

We have a few new golf courses to meet this week, I’m looking forward to it, it should be fun.

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