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Day 1

The first signs of fall in Montana are noticed in the nose. It always comes as a smell, a cool-crisp something that drifts down from Canada as the days become noticeably shorter. Depending on who you are, this can cause panic or euphoria. Either way, when the leaves are fading, just on the edge of orange, and you see your breath as you’re getting the morning paper, remember: It’s not fall YET. It’s still summer. You can still wear shorts. And there’s still fun events going on.

To kick off your September, think Northwest. Think lakes. Think huckleberries and wine and the right balance of temperatures and daylight. What I mean is get thee to the Crown Guitar Workshop and Festival, hosted in beautiful Big Fork, on the calm shores of Flathead Lake. The festival is a week long celebration of, well, guitar stuff. Everyday, there’s workshops where guitarists from beginner to expert can learn, hone their skills, and collaborate with other musicians. And if you aren’t a stringed prodigy, don’t worry, because the stage will be graced nightly with world-renown artists who will get you up and dancing.

And if you’re more of a brass section person, more of the bagpipe and tap dancing sort, just go for the scenery. Big Fork is incredible, filled with art galleries, delicious restaurants, bars, and marinas. It’s nestled between the Northeastern shore of Flathead Lake and the Mission Mountains. And it’s not even a little bit boring.

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