roni sunset
Roni wants you to submit a picture too...

Flathead Lake Lodge is looking for the best photos from 2010.

Please submit your photos to by February 1st to enter.

The winner will receive a whitewater rafting trip for the family and $200 to the Stage Stop Gift Shop!

we also like seeing really old FLL photos too….

This fall, Flathead Lake Lodge received the honor of being one of the main live auction items at the Children’s Cancer Research Foundation’s (CCRF) 30th Anniversary Gala in Minneapolis. With over 1,000 attendees, the evening was truly an event to remember. The two week vacation at Flathead Lake Lodge raised $34,000 for CCRF’s many great causes. It is not every day you get us dude rancher’s cleaned up into a three-piece tux! The Gala night included many highlights, including trips to Dubai and sideline passes to a Monday Night Football game to name a few.

CCRF Banner
The Live Auction Line Up

All in all, the vacation at the Lodge went toe to toe with a week in Dubai, and it looks like the great people of Minneapolis are pretty excited about dusting off their old cowboy boots and hat. By the end  of the night the CCRF raised close to a million dollars to fight childhood cancer. A pretty amazing accomplishment for a great foundation.

Doug Averill and the Hoeft Family
Doug Averill and the Hoeft Family

We are proud to have been a part of it. For more information visit CCRF’s website at:


Happy Holidays! This is the historic one lane bridge into Bigfork all decorated up thanks to the Bigfork Elves!
Happy Holidays! This is the historic one lane bridge into Bigfork all decorated up thanks to the Bigfork Elves!
bob bellmore
Bob the Hermit drawn by Elmer Sprunger

We are sad to say long time neighbor and local legend Bob Bellmore has passed away at the age of 91. Bob was a true old timer who lived in his remote cabin without water or a car. Many of you might remember Bob who was known to show up at the Wednesday night Steak Fry for a left over steak and the chance to share his amazing knowledge of the history of the area.

Bob spent his time raising a few cattle and searching for a buried treasure on the Ranch Property (you might even know a few trails named after Bob). As the story goes according to Bob, way back when a bank was robbed in Ronan. When they caught up to the robbers they were in Woods Bay, at the south end of the Ranch, where they shot one of the robbers. The Robbers fled on horseback and when they found the rest, 4 miles away just east of Bigfork, at the north end of of the Ranch, the Robbers did not have their loot…

So the next time you are up riding up on the mountain, keep an eye out and you might just notice a few hand dug holes here and there. Whether or not Bob found the loot is a mystery, but his character and stories will be remembered by all.

Here is poem written about Bob.

‘The “Old Timer”

In some mysterious place up yonder,
perhaps an old rotting cabin,
perhaps a tent,
lives an old timer…
What type of life has brough this man

frostbitten earlobes,

smoked skin and sour smells

of horseweed…

What have those fiery eyes seen and known,

and who has kissed that grizzled face?

He’s a facination for his simple ways…

He tells of people and of the earth…

He knows of the deer,

the chokecherries,

and the harvest moon,

for he has memories of “Serinatin” his girl

…with old forgotten songs.

But in those eyes beyond the fire

I see the sunset;

the dimness is growing

as his memories are unwoven;

To me, he is real history so true

and when he is done sharing

he will pass on…

By Jenny Peck

The Grande Finale
The Grande Finale

September was a pretty memorable month here at Flathead Lake Lodge. We hosted the first annual Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation Workshop and Festival, to great success.

The festivities took place August 29 – September 5, 2010. There were 48 workshop participants (with 10 receiving scholarships), over 1,000 people attended the public performances and approximately 100 people attended the free community workshops throughout the Flathead Valley. The event was rated a big success on all fronts from workshop participants to guest artists to faculty to concert attendees.

Nightly both workshop participants and the public were treated to amazing concerts featuring the workshops instructors, including Pat Metheny, Alex De Grassi, Scott Tennant, Matt Smith, Doug Smith, Adrew Leonard, Mark Dziuba, Jody Fisher and many more.

The amazing week was culminated by a spectacular public concert over looking Flathead Lake. Mother Nature behaved and graced us with a beautiful evening and sunset as the instructors and artists put on a show for all to remember. Check out these links for more information on this great event and why everyone is already talking about next year! and

The classical class being instructed by Scott Tennant and Anrew Leonard
The classical class being instructed by Scott Tennant and Anrew Leonard
The acoustic class with Alex De Grassi
The acoustic class with Alex De Grassi
The Class of 2010
The Class of 2010
Matt Smith and Mark Dziuba close out the week with a truly rocking performance
Matt Smith and Mark Dziuba close out the week with a truly rocking performance

Fall is a pretty special time to be on horseback in the elk preserve

Riding through the ranch Elk Preserve is always special this time of year. With a few cooler days, and fall on the horizon, the bull elk have started to bugle occasionally. If you have never experienced this sound echoing through the woods while on a ride, it is truly something to remember. Here is one of the preserves big ol’ bulls starting to feel pretty confident in himself.

Were happy to say that Bigfork resident, friend and FLL supporter Jack Hannah and his family are safe and sound after a exciting encounter with a Momma Grizzly and her two cubs. Have no fear, our hiking guides are outfitted with pepper spray…and really heavy hiking boots so there is no question of who is the slowest. Now that is customer service!

Check out the video shot here at Flathead Lake Lodge!

4th of July Parade 2010
4th of July Parade 2010

Even thought it wasn’t the 85 degree 4th of July of the last few years, the Lodge fire trucks still made sure the crowd was cooled off.

Have you been contemplating visiting Flathead Lake Lodge this summer? Well don’t worry, there are just a few openings left and still time. Give us a call (406.837.4391) or email, to inquire about these Last Minute Deals.

There is still could be here this summer!
There is still could be here this summer!

Summer is just kicking off and what better way to enjoy a long weekend than with the family in beautiful Montana!

Echo Lake and the Swan Mountains
Echo Lake and the Swan Mountains

This photo of Echo Lake and the Swan Mountains was taken by Laine Averil last week while flying around the valley with Austin Aviation. The Lodge is excited to offer this new Helicopter Tour activity to guests through out the summer. Austin Aviation is sure to offer guests a truly unique view of the Flathead Valley and the ‘Crown of the Continent’ ecosystem that includes Glacier National Park and the Great Bear, Scape Goat, and Bob Marshall Wildernesses.

Look for Austin at Monday morning ‘Sign Ups’ throughout the summer!

austin aviation
Austin Aviation


Turn and Burn
Turn and Burn

We’re excited to congradulate Averill family member, Quindee on finishing 6th overall in the Big Sky Region of College Rodeo, competing for Montana State University. In just her first semester of College Rodeo, Quindee and her horse Buster finished 6th in the region competing in barrel racing and just missed qualifying for Nationals. Congradulations, and we are looking forward to watching you again in the fall!

ps. when you are at the Lodge this summer, tell her you would like a little barrel racing lesson…