Thursday, July 09, 2015

Big Sky, Montana and the American Prairie Reserve

Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick

Traditionally when the kids leave for camp, Gal and I do not go back to our empty home - too sad! The only thing to cure our ills is ADVENTURE! Thanks to our good friends Rob and Karen, adventure was provided in spades! We joined them on another epic jounery out west to Big Sky, Montana...the "Land of the Shining Mountains" and "The Last Best Place". What I love so much about Montana is that it's ranked 48th in population density of the 50 United States - in other words, there is lots of SPACE! It is THE place to disconnect and reconnect with nature. We kicked off our trip with fresh-air mountain hikes through Ousel Falls Trail where I captured more striking black and white infrared photographs.


Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick

Later that day we went to the shooting range to blast skeet out of the sky. Wow, what a thrill! I actually nailed quite a few targets more than I thought - likely thanks to years shooting through the lens. Later that night we joined up with our friends for dinner and exotic drinks before stargazing at the full moon and Jupiter/Venus cuddling up in the sky (seriously, did anyone see that combo in the sky last Friday night???)

Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick

The next morning we boarded a plane for Malta, Montana to take a journey into the deepest reaches of North America...the American Prairie Reserve. Imagine, a grassland reserve of THREE-MILLION acres – a wildlife spectacle that rivals the Serengeti and an AWE-INSPIRING place for you and your children to explore. Imagine helping to build a national treasure. That's what we did out on the wide open plains. The team on the American Prairie Reserve have an ambitious plan to provide a sanctuary of epic proportions. Their mission is to create and manage a prairie-based wildlife reserve that, when combined with public lands already devoted to wildlife, will protect a unique natural habitat, provide lasting economic benefits and improve public access to and enjoyment of the prairie landscape.

At the heart of our trip was Kestral Camp. Our stay at the award-winning American Prairie Reserve’s Kestrel Camp was our opportunity to connect with something larger than our self. We learned firsthand the sense of discovery that Lewis & Clark encountered during their expedition across these unchartered lands centuries ago (prairie dog towns, undulating bison herds, and hundreds of thousands of acres of tranquility included). We discovered the transformative power of the natural world from wildlife guides, naturalists, scientists and gourmet chefs who treated us to the finest food and drink you can imagine. Learn more and donate to this wonderful cause here: https://www.americanprairie.org/donate/

Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick

The Scandia Lutheran Church from 1916 along the Montana prairie south of Malta, Montana - taken on our way to Kestral Camp.
The Scandia Lutheran Church from 1916 along the Montana prairie south of Malta, Montana photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
The Scandia Lutheran Church from 1916 along the Montana prairie south of Malta, Montana photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick

Prairie Union School - in the middle of nowhere.
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick

The arrival to Kestral Camp - an oasis in a sea of prairie land.
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick

Cocktails overlooking the Lewis & Clark expidition trails.
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick

Our journey back was filled with a parade of wild animals, hawks and the fastest moving animals on earth. Take a close look at the hawk, its got a snake in its claws.

Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick

Back home in Big Sky, we had a big finish finale of a dinner prepared by our amazing chef friend Ranga. BEWARE: This food will make you drool. We had a fun little photoshoot for our krewe and ended the week with laughs, smiles and another hearty round of appreciation for Karen and Rob's hospitality in Big Sky, Montana!

Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick
Big Sky Montana and the American Prairie Reserve photographs by top New York Photographer Michael Jurick

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