It’s funny how getting that perfect photo shot doesn’t seem quite as important as getting back to safety. Even if it means you push your Mother out of the way.
Some of you may be asking what in the world was Sherrie doing in Montana in the first place. I had three very logical and valid reasons. One: a travel blog conference. Two: the exact place our daughter Alyssa has always wanted to go (she threaten to move here a few times). Three: over-due new Mother-Daughter trip with Mom. All this combined brought us to the Big Sky State for some new and exciting travel.
Our little 3 woman traveling alone expedition started in Glacier Park. So I am going a little out of order in writing about our experiences in Montana.
Once all the plans were in place for Glacier Park, it was time to get going on the plans for Gardiner, Montana. Located right outside the North Yellowstone entrance. This little town is the main gateway for visitors to the National Park. Feeling like something different needed to be on the itinerary, Montana camping? Umm…tried camping before, didn’t turn out so good. For us, a little touch of luxury accommodations was a necessity. Unless, of course there is a rental luxury RV involved and is easy to drive that would have also worked.
For the one’s who know me, right about now you are thinking, Sherrie Camping or Glamping, no way! Well, to be honest, I am right there with you. As some say, to be a well rounded travel blogger one must try all different characteristics of travel. It’s kind of part of the job. What better place to have an “out of your comfort zone” experience in the United States than in Montana!
With help from Google, the perfect place popped up. The Dreamcatcher Tipi Hotel. The web site was intriguing. What better way to experience the old west than pretend you are living in a tipi as did the Indians from this region. Based on their website, this was really doable. Now to get everyone else on board. Alyssa was no problem at all to convince, and surprisingly either was my Mom. In fact, my Mom was all gung-ho to do it, even after explaining that it might be pretty cold. Decision was made, 2 nights were set to spend in a Tipi.
Its Time to Go Glamping
Located a few miles outside of Gardiner, following the Yellowstone River, there is a turn on to a gravel road. Maiden Basin Road, be careful, it is easy to pass up. We did more than once. From here the climb up in the car was a short distance to the parking lot. The tipi grounds are surrounded by mountains on its flat plateau of land. Giving it the out on the plains feeling. We could still clearly hear the water rapids from the river located across the highway.
Unlocking a bright turquoise iron gate is the entrance to a magical land of Tipi’s. Two tents are set up that remind me of something in a Indiana Jones movie, with folded back canvas doors. Peaking in the first tent is a food and beverage set up. This must be where to help yourself to breakfast each morning . Entering the second tent, there is a display of all things Montana. Dreamcatchers, t-shirts, hand made flutes, incense, cowboy hats and more. A perfect shopping opportunity. My Mother actually bought a worn-looking black cowboy hat. This was only her 36th one she tried on this trip as Alyssa and I sighed a sound of relief.
Here in this tent is also where the check in occurs. Liam, friendly and polite, assisted us with the process. We read and studied the rules of the glamping grounds. The main one to follow is no eating or even bringing food, whatsoever, into the Tipi’s. You must also place all garbage in the designated trash cans before 10:00 pm, staff will then remove the trash. There is a very important reason for this rule. BEARS.
Noted, one less bag to carry in, all road trip snacks stay in the car. For a moment, the videos on facebook flashed before me. You know the ones with the bears breaking into cars and not leaving until the cars totaled. A good time to review rental insurance.
To Our Glamorous Tipi
There is Plenty of Nature while Glamping
On the ground was something large, dark in color and moving!!! Moaning sounds. I basically jumped back, told my Mom to get inside the tipi quick. So this is where there is that “there are two sides of every story”.
This article was more about the experience we had one of our nights. But I wanted to write a little bit more on the whole experience. We loved it! Should I do it again, yes, but with my husband so I feel a little more protected. Our hosts were wonderful and so helpful. The location was perfect being so close to Yellowstone Park entrance. I do want to point out, even though we were scared that first night, we were not in any real danger, at least thats what I kept telling myself the next night. Other guests did gather around the fire the next night and seemed to be enjoying themselves. We would have joined, but all of us were exhausted from our 9 hour tour of Yellowstone Park. We managed to sleep soundly, and probably snored louder than a bear.