I just got back from hosting the first Adventure Weekend of the year with 20 wonderful women from all over the map. They brought a warmth and fearlessness with them, since many of them had never even held a gun before, driven an ATV, thrown on waders and gone fly fishing, or sat in the saddle of a horse. Some of them had, but many of them hadn’t, and they mostly came alone to make new friends and dip their toes into the waters of an experience that would expand their horizons, while they made new friends in the process.
There were many moments like this.
And this! She had shot a shotgun for the very first time and hit the clay target. She was hooked.
There were blueberry muffins like these. Full of mostly blueberries. They were heaven. With a crusty top.
In fact Chef John was such a star that he made me carrot juice because he heard I liked juicing at home. I was floored. Then I drank my carrot juice and got an orange mustache.
There were moments like these when I donned my Rambo look and drove through the mountains of Montana up to 7,000 feet elevation and looked at some of the most amazing views I’d ever seen.
And I wore a pink camo do-rag while I did it.
This is a small part of the group gathering together on a cliff. Aren’t we daring?
Here’s another gal on another panoramic view that was called “the end of the world.”
She looked good on an ATV too.
This gal really rocked the look. And she knew everything there was to know about operating an ATV. It was kind of amazing.
And this was a mother-daughter team that was such an inspiration.
We rocked up and down the mountain.
This is my favorite picture from the weekend. She just got off her ATV!
It made me grateful for showers.
We also had a little hands on cooking class. And we whipped up a recipe from my book “Girl Hunter.”
We had the same uniform by default it seemed. We were cool like that.
This is us all together working on the art of making a roux. Also known as “the road to gravy.”
Hi from the kitchen window!
And this was our luncheon dining table. With our monogrammed aprons.
At dinner time, Chef John made this stellar rosemary-maple-rum-slushy thingy that was to die for.
This is what it looked like. Mmm, I want one.
Here we gathered under the bison head before dinner and then…
The menu! Five courses with wine pairing. It was nuts.
First, some bubbly.
Then quail with a marinated portabello and a homemade almond flour cracker with caviar.
Next was frogs legs! With fiddleheads and morels and these magical fried leeks.
There was duck. Which I failed to photograph because I was so overwhelmed with joy and slipping into a food coma.
Then a venison tenderloin paired with an elk chop. And some insane potato puree with mushroom sauce.
And last but certainly not the least bit least was a chokecherry mousse, which grows locally. And there was some chocolate in the bottom. Amen.
We were warm and toasty and content and then some folks sat by the fireplace under the bison head and listened to live guitar tunes.
The next day we did some more riding… sometimes in an ATV with a beverage…
Sometimes on horseback…
It felt very wild west out there.
And some of the ladies got on their first horse and rode off into the sunset. Literally.
That is one of my agents Bethany who came on the trip with me and checked quite a few things off of her bucket list. She was most excited about the fly fishing but she also had a few other things in store for her…
Can you guess what?
So did many of the other ladies.
It was a very, very hard clay course.
But it was fun for photo opps, especially for a NYC apartment!
And then the gals did some bird hunting with very hard working English pointers.
And then there was the relaxing bit that I loved the most… in addition to getting to taste chokecherries off the bush…
Me and some of the gals walked along the river…
In our waders…
With our rods in hand…
And practiced our fly fishing skills in the still of the morning.
Fly fishing is so addictive.
And I can’t forget to mention the sunrises.
And this squirrel and dumpling stew I ate.
And the fireplace.
And the sunrises.
It was all so very unforgettable.
I hope to see you on an ATV with me one of these days, my friends.