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Taking the Kids: When it rains on your planned adventure

By Eileen Ogintz, Tribune Content Agency on

Rain or shine? I’ve been stuck in a hurricane in Orlando, a tropical storm in Hawaii, blizzards in Colorado, and then came our Montana foray at the deluxe “glamping” Resort at Paws Up, on a 37,000-acre ranch near the Blackfoot River and just 35 miles from the Missoula International Airport, though many guests weren’t flying this summer.

For the uninitiated, glamping means experiencing the outdoors without the work or challenges (except maybe weather!) that camping typically requires. We had a sizeable platform tent that was more like a mini well-appointed house overlooking the river with a four-poster bed, ceiling fan and stove — even heated bathroom floors, robes and fluffy towels in a bathroom complete with a stone-tiled hot shower and double sinks. There was room service, a camp butler, who catered to our needs, and a chef to prepare our meals. Our Pinnacle Camp, one of six, sat on a bluff overlooking the confluence of the Blackfoot River and Elk Creek and offered a welcome stone fireplace. (Other tent camps even had three-bedroom tents!)

Glamping. Like RVing, has been especially popular this summer as families who have been stuck at home for months want to enjoy the outdoors but without the work of camping — or this pandemic summer, sharing a bathroom or shower. And when it rains, we discovered, we were much more comfortable than in a traditional tent.

San Francisco mom and businesswoman Suha Jhaveri, meanwhile, just wanted to have some fun with her 11-year-old son after a stressful spring juggling work, cooking and her son’s remote schooling.

So the duo left dad at home and embarked on a road trip from San Francisco to a place where her biggest decisions would be what to do and what to eat.

“It was a digital detox too,” Jhaveri said, though there is Wi-Fi at Paws Up. Some nights they had tent room service, listened to an audio book (no TVs in the tent) and worked on a 1,000-piece crossword puzzle.


“I wasn’t bored,” said Millen, who went fly-fishing, biking, go karting and played paintball. Even with so many activities, he said, “it’s been very relaxing.”

“This is a fabulous experience,” said Rebecca Jennings, here from Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband and two daughters, as well as family friends. “There are so many things here that they couldn’t normally do at home,” she said. The weather didn’t stop them.

“Horseback riding was a little cold but still fun in the rain,” said Sydney Jennings, 10.

“I liked the ropes course, but it was a little more slippery in the rain,” added her older sister Parker, 14.


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