I got a call from an old friend, Luxury Dossier travel editor Beverley Hogg, who was my partner-in-crime back in the 90s when we both worked as senior travel editors for separate national magazines. Beverley, short and petite and blonde in a Vegas showgirl kind of way, infused with Texas charm, is the perfect friend to have on hand when one is speeding through the Montana wilderness in the back of a Chevy Suburban. I knew we’d be friends when, upon our arrival at the airport in Missoula, Montana, the PR rep hurried us into an SUV, Beverley cocked an eyebrow, took one look around and said, “Donna, what’s in that cooler next to you? Any whiskey?” And thus an adventurous friendship was born.
Beverley and I have roared around in Jeeps with ice-climbing experts, dangled from the edges of rock ledges, ridden through the wilderness on ranch geldings, enjoyed bottles of wine in the Arizona desert, wined and dined everywhere from the Orient Express to the Palace of Versailles. It was all interesting, all fun, all challenging and still collapses us in laughter when we think back over some of the people and places we’ve seen. (“Remember that river guide,” I ventured in our last conversation, goading her a bit, to which Beverley gamely cackled, “Which ONE, Donna?! There were so many!” ).
Over the next few months Beverley’s going to hit the adventure trail for us at Luxury Dossier. I know she’ll find some amazing things. I only wish I had the time to join her.
Once, Beverley and I smoked cigars and ate bison steaks with John Foust, the premium river guide who was the senior technical assistant to Brad Pitt in the making of A River Runs Through It. Mr. Foust is a book in and of himself, a man who has tied flies in Japanese stadiums for millions of fly fishing aficionados, has worked as a wilderness guide for everyone from the likes of us to the CEO of Sony Entertainment. He made the mechanical trout that Pitt caught during A River, making sure that the mechanical fish perfectly replicated the movements of the real thing.
“Come back sometime,” he said, overlooking the magnificently serene Bitterroot Valley. “I’ll show you the real Montana.” It was an offer I have often wished we were able to accept.
I wish you’d been there, watching the Cuban cigar smoke curl into the dark Montana night, as we sat on the deck of one of the most exclusive and expensive ranch lodges in the world, the ranch horses munching serenely in the pasture nearby.
Foust left me with one piece of sage advice. He said that the gallery of onlookers during the making of Pitt’s film were critical of his inability to consistently pull premium trout from the Bitterroot River, hence the need for the mechanical fish. “That’s nothing,” Foust remarked. “The river don’t care who you are…”
Life is full of adventure. We hope you grab it with all the gusto of a polo player, with all the enthusiasm of life at a gallop.
Happy Travels, Beverley!