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Howdy from Montana

Howdy from The Ranch at Rock Creek

Greetings from me and Little Joe at The Ranch at Rock Creek.

To quote myself, (this site is ZachEverson.com and I’m Zach Everson, so it’s ok): “I’ve long argued to anyone who will listen (so probably no one), that no states in the country are as underappreciated for their natural beauty as Montana and Idaho.”

I’m in Montana for the next nine days, delighting in just how accurate that statement is.

For the next two nights I’m at The Ranch at Rock Creek, a luxury vacation ranch in Montana (for more on The Ranch, read this article I wrote about it for UpTake). After that it’s six nights in Big Sky at the Big Sky Resort’s Huntley Lodge.

Day one at The Ranch at Rock Creek has been amazing. As much fun as my wife and I are having—gourmet lunch, horseback riding, child care—our 18-month-old daughter seems to be having more fun—an abundance of Cheerios, ponies to watch, a fun person to play with instead of Mom and Dad.

Interested in joining the rodeo in real time? Mosey on over to the social media accounts:

Thanks to the Ranch at Rock Creek and Christina McGoldrick and Meredith Strodel at Victoria King Public Relations for arranging my stay there. And thanks to my wife for letting me tag along with her to her conference in Big Sky.

Photo: Margaret Everson

My latest gig: Travel blogging for CheapOair

CheapOair logoIn April I began contributing to CheapOair’s travel blog. With traffic ranked in the top 200 websites in the United States by Quantcast, more than 300,000 travel consumers a day visit CheapOAir. Its home page alone gets more than 3 million page views a month.

My first three articles were

You can follow along with all of my travel posts on CheapOair here.

April also marked my last month contributing to UpTake. Since November 2009, I’d written 48 articles for its lodging blog. Thanks to my editor, Nancy Brown, and everyone else at UpTake. Best wishes for continued success.

UpTake’s readers like me, they really really like me (Pulitizer committee take note)

Four of UpTake’s lodging blog’s most popular articles right now are mine:

  1. Ritz-Carlton, Washington D.C. proves more child friendly than my house
  2. Room 817 at the Marriott Newark International Airport Hotel is a good place for s-e-x
  3. Find affordable Louisville accommodations for the Kentucky Derby
  4. Not mine
  5. Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan offers spacious suites, fine dining, unique view of Gerald Ford

Page views, of course, are a crucial consideration in Pulitzer voting—so thanks for reading!

2010 travel highlights: Beijing, the Big Island of Hawaii, and a new travel buddy

A trip to San Diego in June marked my daughter's first dip in the Pacific Ocean.

A trip to San Diego in June marked my daughter's first dip in the Pacific Ocean.

Just over a week into 2010, I became a dad. During the year I realized though that any concerns I had about parenthood—and my new editor-in-chief gig at Louisville.com, which I also started in January—impacting my travel were unfounded.

Here are my travel highlights for 2010 (and while my daughter didn’t go on all of these trips with me, she did make it to 14 states and Washington, DC in her first year):

  • In February I visited the Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach and wrote about its teen club for Air Canada’s in-flight magazine, enRoute, and one of my rare visits to a spa for UpTake.
  • A road trip to Milwaukee and Chicago in March marked my daughter’s first trip out of Kentucky; I talked about the experience on a podcast for UpTake and mentioned our Chicago hotel room’s wonderful view in enRoute.
  • As much as I enjoy traveling, it’s nice when a big event comes to me. In May it was the Kentucky Derby, which I wrote about for BlackBook and oversaw Louisville.com’s best week of traffic ever (November’s Breeders’ Cup did well too).
  • While family was the focus of my June visits to San Diego (brother’s wedding) and Kamiah, ID (to see my grandmother), I wrote about San Diego restaurant Jsix’s chef’s kitchen experience for BlackBook.
  • In June I made it back to New York City for TBEX, a travel bloggers conference, and finally got to meet in person a lot of folks I’d only known on the tubes. They were terribly disappointing exceeded high expectations.
  • Coming from a small family (no aunts or uncles), my wife’s family’s annual reunion just outside of Morgantown, WV is a can’t miss—I’m serious.
  • In Columbus, Ohio for my brother-in-law’s wedding, I stayed in a hotel where James Thurber use to live.
  • In August I flew to the The Big Island of Hawaii on assignment for enRoute to take a fine art photography class with Photo Safari Hawaii.
  • Later that month Las Vegas was the destination for another enRoute assignment, this time to take a poker lesson from two-time World Series of Poker champ Mark Seif.
  • I wrote about looking out over Gerald Ford’s grave site from my hotel room in Grand Rapids, Mich. for UpTake and visiting the art fair with the world’s largest prize (if not the best art) for Gridskipper.
  • On Columbus Day weekend we trekked to Watoga State Park in West Virginia for another of my wife’s family reunions (it’s a big clan).
  • At Thanksgiving I returned to my hometown of Reading, Mass. for the first time in 17 months, the longest I’d ever gone without a visit; I reviewed the accommodations at my parents’ house for UpTake (executive summary: meh).
  • For the second year in a row, I visited China with the Ritz-Carlton (this time it was Beijing); I won’t complain if trips to China with that hotelier become an annual tradition. Culinary highlights already have been posted on Gridskipper.
  • It was fantastic to get back to Washington, DC and see our friends. I wrote our stay at the Ritz-Carlton, Washington DC about for UpTake.
  • For the third time in four years, both my wife’s family and mine gathered in the neutral playing location of Deep Creek Lake Maryland for Christmas.