A Weekend Away – PHILIPSBURG, MONTANA

A weekend in Philipsburg, MT

The weekend getaway I more than needed. Coming to inspiration has been so difficult since my youngest sister passed. I’ve been lost with words, nothing working, always finding a reason to say no.

My fiancé surprised me with a weekend away. We went over to Philipsburg, MT and spent some time among the tourists. Yes, we, all the way from Bozeman, were clearly identified as tourists in our own state. It was rainy, cold, and not a terrible amount to do for us ‘yuppies’; it was absolutely perfect to just get out of town for a few.

The drive was gorgeous. No lie. Deep valleys and tall hills, surrounded by rivers and forests the entire way. Thankfully, the rain held off for the majority or our trip. We made a couple of stops along the way; looking for ping pong balls and and shot glasses. While packing and grocery shopping, E and I had multiple opportunities to get these key ingredients to a rare (very, very rare) weekend of drinking, but we forgot nonetheless.

So the hunt began, the gas station in Whitehall was dinner, but no ping pong balls! Next stop, the Walgreens in Butte. Walgreens has everything, right? Nope! Could not even come up with a bag of marshmallows to make do, E had beyond given up on the shot glasses. Our make do alternative became sugar free candy.

Finally, we pulled up at the cutest little AirBnB. This was the first time we had gone this route, and now, I’m not sure we’ll ever stay in a hotel again! If you’re contemplating this on your next trip, pull the trigger. You’ll be grateful you did. We didn’t have to worry about rain that would have caused a disappointing weekend had we chosen to tent it.

Anyways, our little one room cabin was just the right combination of rustic and accommodating. I would never describe us as city folk or high maintenance, but I will admit that I do enjoy modern technology. I do at the very least need a plug-in. Yes, I will admit to being so shallow. This place was simply perfect. A tiny kitchenette, with a 3/4 size stove and fridge; a few cabinets for dishes; and a sink. The living area was a couch next to the stove and a mounted TV. All that’s left is the bedroom and bathroom, which were tucked on the far end of the cabin. A full sized bed worked well in the space, next to the surprisingly spacious bathroom. The bathroom was the perfect size for just the two of us, a shower stall, linen closet, toilet, and sink were effective and efficiently placed making it feel quite big in the small space.

We were able to be warm and dry all weekend. A bummer that we couldn’t take the boats out on Georgetown Lake, but a weekend out of town was all the doctor ordered. The drive around the lake was absolutely stunning. We enjoyed driving the coast and admiring all the houses, even if Georgetown Estates really was just a bus camper. We talked in dreams and hopes, looking at the houses and envisioning our lives in each and every one of them.

After our drive, we went to look for a grocery store, to get another of everything E forgot. And he forgot some pretty crucial items (last time I trust him to pack without supervision). And the yuppies we are, looked on my phone to find said grocery store. No hits. Is there not a grocery store way out here? There has to be. Walking into the gas station, we embraced full tourist and asked for actual directions. Looking at us like there was a third head between us, the gal graciously told us to go just around the corner. Deciding a few ingredients could be spared, we found charcoal (how can you grill on a weekend out with no charcoal?), eggs, and kebabs. We could at least make it through dinner and have breakfast in the morning.

We were still in town and our stomachs were grumbling uncontrollably. It was past time to grab some lunch. We went to this little corner pub and were reminded that we were the outsiders here. The table next to us, with belt buckles and cowboys hats, were grumbling about the ‘damn tourists coming into town.’ Maybe the grumbling wasn’t about us, but the bike race. We quietly ate our burgers and continued down the street.

Stopped in a few of the little shops, and were disappointed that the candy store, Philipsburg’s main attraction, was closed on Saturdays! In hindsight, we found something better. There was this adorable little ice cream shop. Splurged and overloaded on carbs, but they made their ice cream in house. It was not an option to pass up ice cream that reminded me of so many holidays that Great-Grandpa Chuck used to make.

Being able to come back to our little cabin, warm up, and enjoy one another’s company was the perfect afternoon. We made dinner together and talked for hours. Together, everything else is truly an option. Getting out of routine really helps us to reconnect and just talk like old times. I hope I may always cherish the late nights away from home.

For such a weekend, we went big for dinner. By big, I mean salmon. Salmon, asparagus, and steak kebabs slathered in chipotle butter. You can find the recipe here (someday maybe, who knows, this may always be a dead end and you will always wonder how to make amazing salmon).

That’s what this weekend was meant to be. The weather never has to be perfect. E and I simply have to be together. We will always strive to find the best in any situation. It was cold, things were forgotten, but together and perfect.

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