Montana – Day 12

It’s repetitive to say we had a beautiful day, but I’ll take repetitive beauty on vacation. Hot, but breezy, which is my kind of perfect.

After workout—and a slice of bacon BW and Kat brought me back from breakfast, it’s that damn puzzle. The puzzle’s absolutely beautiful, but the pieces are somewhat loose which makes being sure the right piece goes in the right place a bit frustrating. Kat’s making considerably more headway than I am.

Even though she and BW drove off to this tiny little town near here, population about 500, where you can rent a teepee, for instance if you need a spot for the night.

I think I got three pieces in the whole time she was gone!

It’s paint night, but since it’s about three miles away, near one of the camps (glamping) sites by the river, they send us a guide car. Pretty drive, rough roads, winding river, pine forests, open fields.

Our tables are already set up right by a bend in the river, down a rocky, sandy beach. It’s glorious. I find another rock for my rock pal Colt. A pretty pale blue stone.

The river gurgles over rocks, pines rise up, then there’s that sky—a little overcast at the moment with a 75% chance of rain.

Danielle sets us up with our wood paint boards, our palettes, our oil paints and walnut oil to thin.


It’s so pretty, so breezy, and a lot of fun.

I like painting the river (note: though the river is brownish green we all end up painting it blue!) I realize too late I should’ve done more sky before swiping in my cartoonish trees, but oh well. Jason’s beside me, BW beside him, Kat on the other side. I decide we’d sit in order of need for stability as it’s a little sandy slope.

Painting encampment/BW

Jason’s colors are bold. I do like my river, but the overall result looks angry. So we have a storm or it’s night, or the artist was pissed off (though I wasn’t.) BW goes pretty bold, too. Then I make a mistake.

I step back to look at mine and glance at Kat’s.

Kat’s vision/BW

Oh man! It’s soft and gorgeous, and very European to me. It’s freaking Cezanne in Montana. Danielle has gone very abstract and colorful and lushly beautiful. Kat’s is a calm, beautiful vision of a river with a tinges of pink at the edges of the sky.

BW/Nora/Jason/Photo by BW

Thunder—and not just from my angry painting. And some rain. We have umbrellas, and paint a bit more. But I really can’t do more damage to mine. Jason and I pass ours off to Danielle.

Kat is contentedly adding fine, fine details with colors I have no idea how she made. Tiny flicks or nudges of the brush for shadows or texture.

The rain passes, and she finesses her vision.

We take pictures, thank Danielle who’s given us such a good time.

Artists and their paintings/BW’s phone

Off we go to wash paint off our hands before dinner.

Painting works up an appetite so we feast in one of the cabanas. The sky is huge and layered with the sun beaming through clouds.

I take a picture of a spirea for Laura , and see some of my favorite heliotrope. What a scent!

It actually gets cool enough by dessert that pregnant Kat wants to go inside. She’s a furnace these days, so that’s plenty cool.

Have my huckleberry dreamsickle inside, in the warm.

Evening gallery:

We decide we have a game of cards in us when we come back. We use the loft as the puzzle, even on its puzzle board, takes up the table downstairs, and why bother.

Another game of hearts. Both Kat and I get hands in the early stages where trying to run is just how it has to be—even though, in both cases, we know one card can screw us.

And it does, both times.

The only successful run of the night is Jason’s—and he wins this match fairly handily.

A good, full, happy day ends.

Workout bright and early as it’s Spa Day for our party. We all have eleven o’clock treatments. I’m now still in the bliss from one of the most incredible facials ever. Simone transported me during that lovely, lovely 90 minutes.

Spa village/NR

All but Kat walked up and back—and walking back was the right choice or I’d be asleep!

We’re going to forage for lunch right here.

Tonight’s Long Table night at the resort. That should be another nice—and filling—cap to a good day.




In today’s #randomkatness

Cowboy pillow/Kat

22 thoughts on “Montana – Day 12”

  1. Looks like great fun. Enjoy your vacation. Send some rain our way.

  2. You have the best vacations, thank you for sharing…beautiful.

  3. Actually the town of Ovando has 60 or so inhabitants, not 500. That’s according to the sign as you enter the village.

  4. I don’t know how you squeeze in so much in one day. The river paintings were wonderful. It’s so interesting how different they are. I think you’re very brave to paint.

    Thank you for sharing so much of your vacation.

  5. Shades of Van Gogh again Nora…love it! Thank you for posting your vacay.

  6. Apparently I was off by a zero on the population of Ovando. It’s approximately SIXTY!

    1. Hope you have time for hot springs. Check out Quinn’s if you have time. Fabulous restaurant there too.

  7. Always love when you post about your vacations.. I feel like I’m there too. Thank you and your lovely family for sharing a little bit of your lives with us. No wonder we all feel like we know you…we’re just friends who have never met!

  8. Thank you for sharing another wonderful day! The paintings are georgeous! Your vacation is just perfect.

  9. I have tried to paint. I think I angered the paint gods. So, I’ll be a bit envious, but please keep painting!! Beautiful!!

  10. If you had to wash paint off your hands, then you really got into it – I’m always in paint up to my wrists (sometimes elbows). Love all the shades you picked and kudos for the boys getting into it, too! Oil is a hard medium, at least for me – you did great! This year’s blog is the first time I’ve not been able to click on a picture to enlarge it. Could Laura maybe post a larger picture of Ovando’s billboard?

  11. Puzzles, paintings, and pursuing different things for all of you equal a great time!!!

  12. I love Kat’s picture. That girl is talented. And those cowboy pillows are beautiful. I wonder if they are for sale anywhere?

  13. Just love following you. I am reading Montana Sky again and loving it even more than the second time. I feel,also, like I’m there with you all. What a wonderful family!

  14. Love your books and love that you are vacationing in my home state. I haven’t been back in a few years so am really enjoying your photos. Enjoy the rest is your vacation.

  15. I miss the green (for Nora) text.

    Even though the color doesn’t matter when other voices aren’t heard.

    1. WordPress is changing the editing platform. The new one has a green that’s too soft and no impact. I’m waiting for the beta test to end to see what I can do going forward.


      1. Laura, is that why we can’t click on the pictures for a bigger look, anymore?

  16. Loved watching Bob Ross , watching him paint happy clouds and trees that needed a buddy . I have never tried painting . kuddos to all you.

Comments are closed.