June 24, 2021 San Diego, California to Bigfork, Montana

Montana Home
View from the rear deck
View from the rear deck of Swan Lake
Kevin and Todd

We departed San Diego on an early morning flight to Seattle, Washington, where we transferred to a flight to our final destination: Kalispell, Montana. This is our first trip out of San Diego since the worldwide Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic hit the world in early 2020. We are celebrating the 60th birthday of our dear friend Kevin McGrew and his close friend Todd Foushee, who is also turning 60.

Once we arrived in Kalispell we were transported to the home of Craig and Shellie Hovda, Kevin’s brother in-law and sister in-law. Their home is located on Swan Lake near the town of Bigfork in Northwest Montana. The lake is over 3,200 acres in size and sits at an elevation of about 3,100 feet, with an average depth of 133 feet.

Their home is beautifully situated among the pine trees with panoramic views overlooking Swan lake. A vast kitchen with a giant island is the heart of the home. Views of the lake abound from nearly every room. The home is modern, yet rustic, with rough sawn wood floors, wood beams, stone countertops, stainless-steel appliances and every modern convenience. A large bar with refrigerator and beer keg provides all the liquid refreshments needed for a relaxing, yet festive vacation.

The afternoon included drinks and conversations on the massive covered deck overlooking the gorgeous lake with friends old and new. The weather was warm, although light rain and a thunderstorm prevented us from taking a tour of the lake by boat.

Craig and Shellie prepared a delicious dinner of pea salad, elk stroganoff and green beans. It was my first-time having elk and it was not all that different from beef stroganoff. It did not have a strong gamey taste as you might expect, was very lean and quite tasty. In celebration of Kevin, Todd and Shellie’s birthdays, Craig had prepared a three-layer carrot cake that was so delicious. Many a person has proposed many an offer in exchange for that recipe.