Montana Lavender Farm Plus Elephant Pants, a Yurt, a Riverside Trail, a Lavender Class and Cherries
Visiting a lavender farm has topped my to-do list for many years. I’ve wanted to stand in the middle of a field of lavender completely surrounded by seemingly endless mounds of lavender and drink in lavender’s fragrance, color and beauty.
When my friend, Diana, wanted to get away for a few days, I suggested visiting the Sequim, Washington Lavender Festival. We decided that two days of driving each way wouldn’t do. Fortunately I remembered being told about a Montana lavender farm near Flathead Lake. This much shorter and easier drive from Bozeman would do just fine.
Flathead Lake cherries
As a visit to Flathead Lake this time of year also means Flathead cherries, my husband was all for my going to the Montana lavender farm as long as I would bring back a lug of dark, sweet, juicy, firm Flathead cherries.
We’re on our way
Within the week plans were made. And a few days later the car was packed and we were on our way. Diana had found an upscale yurt for us a half hour away from the lavender farm. We also signed up for a class at the farm for Friday morning.
Garden of One Thousand Buddhas
As a stop along the way, we included a visit to the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas.
“The purpose of the Garden is to bring about positive transformation within those who visit, in response to the negativity that abounds in the world today…. it is hoped that the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas will instill lasting impressions of peacefulness and compassion.” On the same grounds is a center for Tibetan Buddhist studies.
After circumambulating the gardens, we took a little tour of the onsite store. There I saw “elephant pants.” I’ve adored elephant pants ever since the first (and only time) I saw someone wearing them, at least four plus years ago.
And here they were amongst the Tibetan clothing, paintings, sacred items and postcards. A clerk told me the pants are “one size fits almost all.” As there was no place to try on the pants, I believed her, and purchased this pair of teal green elephant pants. Perfecto. I so enjoy wearing these pants. Once back home, even my husband wanted a pair.
A yurt like no other
Getting to our home away from home involved driving along a narrow dirt road through the farm’s wheat fields. We were so excited to see the yurt looking even more beautiful than in the photos.
As we opened the door and walked in we both released an audible gasp of delight.
Absolutely beautiful. Everything from the quality of the light, the ceiling beams leading to the roof’s center, the gleaming kitchen and comfortable furniture.
We put down our bags and explored the kitchen, dining room, two bedrooms and the Jack and Jill bathroom with its tiled shower, porcelain sinks, fluffy towels, windows and washer/dryer. So many beautiful details.
Then we noticed the tremendous views from every window of the wheat fields, nature preserve, Flathead Lake and mountains.
We immediately felt at home. And very grateful that we were able to rent it for the two nights we stayed near Flathead Lake.
Swan River Trail, Bigfork, Montana
The next morning we were out the door early to hike five miles of round trip perfection. We discovered this Swan River Trail on the Trip Advisor Site. It was voted #2 out of 32 things to do in Bigfork, Montana.
This is a level, dirt walking/cycling trail that runs beside the Swan River. No cars in sight, just trees, mountains, water, flowers and beauty all around.
Walking early in the morning on a weekday meant we had most of the trail to ourselves. Being in Montana meant that our fellow walkers, both dogs and people, were friendly and smiling.
At one point on our way back we saw an inviting side trail going down toward the river. Taking it we found a huge rock to sit on overlooking the wildest part of the river. A slight drop in the river created an area of white water turbulence known as the “wild mile.” We easily could have sat there all day. Except that all the swirling water made my head spin, bordering on motion sickness, sigh.
A Montana Lavender Farm
That’s me fulfilling my desire to stand in the middle of a field of lavender at the Purple Mountain Lavender Farm.
Here’s both of us the last morning during the lavender class. We learned how to properly harvest lavender, creating beautiful rounded mounds. When I got home I tried it, only to discover that it is way more difficult than it looks to form that shape.
A lavender wreath
After our tour of the gardens and learning about the more than 25 different varieties at the farm, we sat down to make a lavender wreath. Sitting under umbrella covered tables overlooking Flathead Lake, we each made a lavender wreath. Exactly what I had hoped we would do.
For almost two hours we wound floral wire around stems of fragrant, just picked lavender. Then wired these small bunches of lavender onto a natural grapevine wreath form.
Afterwards, while sipping lavender lemonade, Debbi Davis, enthusiastic Montana lavender farm owner and teacher, taught us about culinary lavender.
Lavender Shortbread coming up next week
Stay tuned. Next week I’ll share with you the recipe I’m working on for gluten-free, honey sweetened Lavender Shortbread. Incredibly edible, tender, crisp and crumbly good. ♥ ♥ ♥