First Night and Second Day at the Ranch at Rock Creek

The dinner the first night at the Ranch at Rock Creek started with a grilled romaine salad and lovely and smooth chestnut soup with Spanish sherry. I’m not sure I’ve ever tasted chestnuts in any other way than from a street vendor in New York City so it wasThe entree was a ribeye from the Great Northern Cattle Company served with wilted spinach and russet potato fries. These courses were served with wine pairings. I was unbelievably full but felt the need to try the dessert– drinkable dark chocolate served with vanilla shortbread cookies, hazelnuts and whipped cream.


After a good night’s sleep in Cattail Cabin, when we all woke up the next morning everyone agreed to skip breakfast since we were still so full from last night’s dinner! My friend, Zan, did grab us some coffee from the morning coffee service in the bar. She picked it up after taking her dog, Sally, for her morning walk.


The spring morning was very lovely with very pleasant weather. While Montana’s winter can sometimes last late in the year,  Zan did yoga in our cabin (the staff brought her a yoga mat from the gym) and we had a nice relaxing morning reading, working, and enjoying the views.


Jeff from the front office took us on a property tour at noon and showed us some of the different types of guest accommodations. The cabins all have different layouts and setups, and the Ranch at Rock Creek is happy to work with guests if a cabin needs to be re-configured for guests (such as swapping out a king sized bed for two twin beds). I particularly liked Sara Jane’s Cottage, which can house 6 people (with a maxium of 10) and features bunk bed. A family with kids would love this cabin, and Sara Jane’s is the where actress Kate Bosworth’s glam squad stayed when she got married here at the Ranch last year). One of the most unique options is The Loft, which is part of a renovated historic 19th Century barn. The Loft has an exceptionally glamorous bathtub which feels particularly whimsical in a barn.


The Ranch at Rock Creek has two year round under canvas options: Trapper, which is a hybrid of sorts with a walled kitchen and tented bedroom. It’s secluded and the top pick for honeymooners and is decorated with fur pelts and vintage traps. We saw an eagle fly over the creek and quickly grabbed Sally. We’ve all seen too many YouTube videos of birds of prey snacking on dogs! Trapper also has a soaking tub on the deck and it’s located right along the creek. Sweet Grass is another hybrid tent/walled structure along the creek but features two master bedrooms and a killer deck, complete with a cedar soaking tub. Sweet Grass would be perfect for two couples glamping together.


We stopped at the Rod & Gun club to discuss our afternoon plans of shooting sporting clays, and admired the various types of fly fishing rods and lures for sale in the shop.

Having worked up an appetite, we headed to the dining room for lunch. The lunch menu was the same as yesterday, but probably my favorite meal of the day. We tried the Soup and Sandwich (local organic tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich made with Jarlsberg cheese and housemade apple butter) and loved it. My husband ordered the Superfood Burger made with quinoa, brown rice, lentils, tofu and spinach. We all appreciated the healthy salad options at lunch but I’m not going to lie– they serve wildly delicious french fries too.


For our afternoon’s entertainment, Theodore the sporting clays instructor picked us up and took us to the sporting clays range, which was a bit of a drive and located far away from any tented to protect from weather. Theodore was a great instructor and gave us a good safety lecture and then got us suited up in protective eyewear and ear protection. Theodore insisted the key to the game of sporting clays is to relax. I was first up and realized that the proper stance and a relaxed attitude increased the number of clays I hit. Next up was Zan, who had no experience with sporting clays. Theodore’s instruction and tips had her hitting pigeons in no time. While I enjoyed my time at the sporting clays range, I’m not all that comfortable around firearms, and was happy to stop once I felt I had gotten the hang of it. My husband, Jeff, spend the most time shooting. The wind picked up a bit which made it a bit tricky, but overall he did great and shot with 3 different types of rifles. Theodore drove us back to Cattail Cabin where we opened another bottle of the Ranch at Rock Creek Syrah.


After catching up on email and chilling out for a bit, we headed to the bar where there was a very nice hors d’oeuvre spread with bread, hummus, olives and a variety of salumi (including buffalo summer sausage). It was all very tasty and filling… and we considered skipping dinner, but after reading the menu, felt we needed to try it. First up was an organic red leaf lettuce salad with a tangy cabernet vinaigrette, pine nuts, and dry jack crouton. The second course was a George’s Bank Sea Scallop served with avocado mousse, tomatoes, potatoes and a red onion maple and bacon relish. Since I had informed the ranch about my allergy to scallops when I sent in my preferences card, they had prepared a shellfish-free version of this dish with salmon substituted. The entree was a braised bison chuck roast, similar in texture to a pot roast, served with puttanesca sauce, crispy eggplant, marjoram and parmigiano reggiano. I was surprised by how tender the the bison was, but the crispy eggplant chunks were the standout of the meal for me. Dessert was a lemon tar with blueberries and whipped cream.


I’m not sure if I’ll have an appetite by breakfast tomorrow!

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