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The snow and darkness may have obscured the natural beauty of the mountains surrounding Painted Rocks Reservoir, but the night sky was colorfully illuminated as New Year’s Day arrived and 2014 was ushered in.

Miles to the south of the scenic lake, relatives and friends gathered at the Hawkes family cabin and airstrip on the holiday eve to celebrate the end of the year and ring in the new.  Parents, children and dogs were equally impressed as a firework show the 4th of July would be proud of played out.  It continued like a well-practiced orchestra until the final shower of sparks was extinguished thirty minutes later on the snow and ice covered pond.

Spirits shot as high as the explosions overhead, not fueled from bottles or cans, but sparked from within.  The sounds and reports generated from the beauty above echoed from side to side of the narrowing West Fork valley, greatly amplifying the experience.  Freedom rang from the tops of the tallest frosted trees in the Bitterroot and tried to dance with the stars in the heavens.

The Hawkes gather often at their incredible asset located in the safety and seclusion of the Rocky Mountains.  It is a premier property, not entirely because of its geographic location and uniqueness, but because it’s where memories are created. Images are burned in the hearts and minds of a new generation.  The horse drawn sleigh rides from a bye gone era may be past, but the journey into a winter wonderland is not.  The magic of Montana is not a trick; you come for a visit, but stay for a lifetime.

2014 arrives, not with a blast of wishful and written promises to be broken, but with great expectations of progress, of explosive potential unleashed like the charges overhead, not to flame out, but increase in intensity.  This year will be what we make it.

Happy New Years from The Iten Company!

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