Big Sky Country
Montana Retreat
The Blacktail Ranch
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Wide Open Places....Sacred Spaces
Native Lands......Wisdom Ways
Big Sky Country

The Blacktail Ranch
July 7 - 14, 2012

with Gayle Lawrence - Journeys of Discovery
"Soul Specialist"- author Janet Conner
Montana is still thought of as nature at it's wildest and most awe inspiring, snow capped mountains in the distance, rolling meadows
filled with wild flowers, blue sky so big you get lost in it. Stand in sacred stillness and feel the sun on your face and listen to the
whispers of the wind. Watch a herd of beautiful horses grazing peacefully. Breath deeply, the air so fresh and pure it fills your senses.

This is Montana - Big Sky Country and The Blacktail Ranch.

On The Blacktail, the land speaks to you.....the river will tell you her stories, the huge Cottonwood trees beckon you to read, write,
meditate or just rest. The horses wait to teach you about courage, power and finding your balance,
the sweat lodge offers purification and cleansing for your Soul,  the Bear Cave takes you back into the womb of Mother Earth.
At night the campfire crackles as stories are shared, usually with laughter, sometimes with tears.

The beat of the drum calls you into a sacred circle where we pass the talking stick and tell our tales as
"Writing Down Your Soul"
author, Janet Conner facilitates this "Soul Quest" journey. You come as a seeker, filled with a longing you really can't define, yet
someplace deep inside your heart, you know you will find your answers here.
You have come to The Blacktail on a "Soul Quest"

"The soul loves to move, to express, to be free and hates domination and desertion.....
Listen to the soul. Love it. Give it back its dance
Hugh Milne, The Heart of Listening

The Blacktail provides the sacred space to dig deep into yourself and explore those dark mysterious places, to move beyond fear
and claim your power, to embrace your own innate wisdom and to find the answers that you seek.
Here you will find things you didn't know existed....perhaps here...... You will find yourself.
The Spirit Elders of this Native land will walk beside you on your journey, they will help guide your way back home.

More About The Blacktail Ranch: Visit the website:

The Blacktail Ranch is an 8,000 acre jewel located at the base of the Continental Divide, where
the Rockies meet the prairie. The ranch borders the National Forest so there are endless hiking and
riding trails. The South Fork of the Dearborn River flows through the center of the ranch, feeding rich
meadows and deep, lush aspen groves. The famous
"A River Runs Through It" Blackfoot River and the
Missouri River are just minutes away. Unspoiled acres of pine and fir roll into broad fields of native grasses
and wildflowers.

The Ranch's location along the Northern Pacific Flyway, offers remarkable bird watching
opportunities from eagles and hawks to warblers and hummingbirds. Larger animals
can be seen traversing the ranch such as elk, deer, moose and black bear.

The Blacktail is also rich in archaeological sites including an extensive cave system
dating back to the Ice Age, a Medicine and Sun Wheel and numerous tipi rings from
the times of the old west. The Ranch museum houses many historical artifacts from the caves.

Prime Blue Ribbon fly-fishing opportunities are endless as well as river rafting adventures.
The herd of gentle hearted horses accommodates all levels of riders and
you can ride as much or as little as you like. Riding lessons are also offered.

Healthy, wholesome family style meals, boasting organically grown vegetables, fresh eggs and
the ranch's own healthy grass-fed beef are served in the main lodge. The kitchen staff can
accommodate personal dietary needs, vegetarian, low fat etc. and fresh baked goods are offered daily.

If you'd like to spend a few extra days and see more of the area, The Blacktail Ranch is only a
half day's drive from Glacier or Yellowstone National Parks. You can also take a "3 day horseback ride" from the ranch to the Continental Divide.

Day 1. July 7, 2012 Saturday.
Fly into Great Falls, MT.United, Delta and Alaska Airlines are usually the best options for lower fares. The Blacktail Ranch shuttle will pick you up at the airport and a 90
minute drive takes you to the ranch. Shuttle pickup and departure transfer is $100.00. We will organize several shuttle pick-up times based on everyone's flight
information. If your flight arrives later than 6pm, you will need to fly into Great Falls on July 6 and spend the night and take the morning shuttle to the ranch. Both the
Heritage Inn (406)761-1900 and The O'Hara Hotel (406)454-2141 offer discounts for Blacktail Ranch programs, and have free shuttles to and from the airport.

Day 2. July 8, Sunday.....Today is all about horses! "No Horse Experience is Necessary!"
After breakfast we'll meet in the Hogan for our retreat orientation and get to know one another. Then we'll meet some very
gentle hearted horses and explore the powerful lessons that horses can teach us about ourself. We'll be working on the ground with
the horses as Gayle facilitates, "Basic Horse Introduction 101"and then "Horses as Friends and Spiritual Teachers". Gayle's life has
been about horses from childhood pony's up through a professional career owning race-horses and a large show-horse training facility
in Minnesota.Through the years horse's nurtured Gayle through some very painful and difficult life transitions, they were best friends
and therapists. With horses, you have to be completely honest and develop a bond of trust, we'll explore how to connect and
communicate with our patient horse teachers on an energetic level.

After lunch the fun and adventure begins as we head off on a group trail ride with our new horse companions.
There's nothing quite like seeing the wild and rugged beauty of Montana from the back of a horse! Don't worry if you don't know a
fetlock from a forelock, you won't be alone! I've christened my dear friend, Janet Conner,
"The Horse Virgin"! Janet has never been near
a horse, touched one or much less ridden one but she's eager for this experience! The Soul craves adventure and new experience, this is
how we grow, gain more confidence in ourself and move through our insecurity....horses are wise and loving teachers for us.

Day 3. July 9, Monday
After a hearty Blacktail Ranch breakfast we'll stretch our legs on a guided hike with ranch owner, Sandra Renner and learn more about the history of the Blacktail land.
There is great bird-watching opportunities and who knows what other creatures may cross our path! Later we'll meet in the Hogan for some facilitated group discussion
time with Janet as she begins teaching us about working with the energy and elements of the Native American Medicine Wheel. Afternoon is free to go horseback riding,
take a swim in the river, fishing, hiking, exploring thousands of acres of wilderness, bird watching, enjoy the hot tub and sauna or just relax on the front porch and breathe
pure mountain air! Group time before dinner to prepare for our River Adventure tomorrow.....what will the River teach us? What stories will she share?
Option for evening yoga class in the Hogan with Kim (resident yoga teacher) if enough are interested.

Day 4. July 10, Tuesday - Recommended reading: "Time is a River" by Mary Alice Monroe.
Today is about what we can learn from the river and we begin by having a group "fly-fishing" clinic on one of
Montana's Prime Blue Ribbon rivers! This will be a really fun adventure for our "Soul-Quest", but about so much more than
just fishing". The River has much to teach us as well as the fly-fishing rod. The rod is about "flexibility" and the
importance of "following through" and ultimately, becoming "one" with our focus and intent. Plan on lots of laughter,
mostly from our fly-fishing guides as they watch us! In the afternoon, after a delicious picnic lunch on the river, we'll
enjoy an easy rafting trip to enjoy the beautiful scenery and see what else the river might reveal. Evening session with Janet in the Hogan.

Day 5. July 11, Wednesday - Facilitated Native American Sweat Lodge
Morning group discussion to prepare for the afternoon sweat lodge ceremony. The sweat lodge comes from the
Native American culture and it is a purification sacred ceremony. The sweat lodge ritual cleanses and purifies on all levels,
physical, spiritual, emotional and mental. The lodge is a place of safety, giving, sharing, receiving, releasing, cleansing and
healing. Done with ceremony and ritual, it becomes a place where we connect more deeply with ourselves, each other and
our Earth Mother. Our sweat lodge will be facilitated in the Native American tradition.

Day 6. July 12, Thursday
This morning is free for you to do as you wish and take advantage of all the The Blacktail has to offer it's guests. For those who would like more time with the horses,
Gayle will be available for one-on-one sessions for ground work or will be happy to accompany you on a trail ride. A group yoga class can be scheduled if enough are
interested. Janet will facilitate a group discussion time in the Hogan after lunch to prepare for our time in the Bear Cave the next morning. We'll talk about Bear as a
messenger guide and what Bear Medicine teaches. Tonight we'll laugh and share stories around the campfire, maybe even roast some marshmallows!

Day 7. July 13, Friday - The Cave
This morning our group will visit the Blacktail Cave. It's an easy 2 mile hike for those who want to walk or one of the
ranch hands will take us there in the truck. We'll venture below the earth's surface, into the void of the
womb of Mother Earth. We'll call on the Spirit of Bear to help us find the answers that lay hidden in the void.
You can opt for a picnic lunch on the creek bank outside the cave or return to the lodge for lunch. Our last
afternoon at The Blacktail is free for optional activities, that final hike, swim or horseback ride. This evening
after dinner we'll close our Soul-quest retreat sacred circle with a fire ceremony.

Day 8. July 14, Saturday - Bid Farewell to The Blacktail
Please do not book your return flight out of Great Falls any earlier than 8am. We'll arrange several  different shuttle runs to the airport depending on everyone's departure
times. This "Soul-Quest" week at The Blacktail will bring you back home cleansed on all levels with more confidence, personal power and clarity about your Soul's life
purpose. Join Gayle and Janet for an extraordinary retreat of personal discovery, fun, laughter and new adventures under the Big Sky Country in Montana!

Retreat Costs Include:
7 nights accomodations at Blacktail Ranch
Breakfast, lunch, dinner daily / snacks
full use of all Blacktail Ranch amenities

"all activities outlined in the program"
group horseback ride
fly-fishing clinic
river raft trip
morning guided hike
facilitated Native American sweat lodge
Blacktail cave excursion
private fire ceremony last night

Retreat program facilitated by:
Janet Conner and Gayle Lawrence

Not Included:
shuttle transfers airport to ranch - $100.00
additional horseback riding - $50 per hour
group yoga classes - $15 PP / 4 minimum
massage and body work - $70.00 per hour

Retreat space will be limited
Reserve Your Space Now!
$700.00 deposit

Print Registration Form Here:

Print Trip Flyer itinerary and costs

Contact Gayle Lawrence
Journeys of Discovery Travel
Email Gayle:
Or Call: 727-785-5563

    Janet Conner graduated with a degree in Education of the Deaf and human resources from Northwestern University. Her
    first career was in special education. In 1982, she created the first video journalist recruitment program at CNN. After
    she and her husband moved to Florida, she ran a division of an international search firm. In 1997 Janet's life turned
    upside down with the failure of her marriage and other personal tragedy. She began an intense process of daily writing
    in her journal to help heal a broken heart. From this, the process of "deep soul writing" was born which led to Janet's
    book, "Writing Down Your Soul": How to Activate and Listen to the Extraordinary Voice Within. Janet travels nationally
    speaking and facilitating workshops on Writing Down Your Soul. When she is not traveling, Janet is busy working on her
    2nd book, "The Lotus and the Lily"    Visit Janets Website:
                 "Soul-Quest" Retreat Costs  
    types of accommodations and prices:
              based on a minimum of 10 participants

    MAIN LODGE: shared room / 2 people / shared bathrooms on each floor,
    spacious lounge with fireplace, satellite TV, Hot tub and sauna
Main Lodge shared room cost: $2,075.00 PP
Main Lodge single room cost: $2, 425/00 PP

(4 available first come first serve basis)
Full bath, Jacuzzi tubs, Private deck, coffee maker
and microwave

Private cabin 1 person cost: $2,600.00 PP
2 people in private cabin cost: $2,425.00 PP

on the Dearborn River that runs through the ranch.
Queen bed in bedroom & pullout sofa in the
main room. coffee maker, refrigerator, microwave.
Full bath with shower.

River cabin as a single / 1 person cost: $2,600.00 PP
River cabin sharing 2 people cost: $2,425.00 PP

    TIPEE: 2 available
accommodates 1 person / $1,830.00 PP
single bed / oil lanterns
bathroom facilities in Main Lodge
Music: "Spirit Flutes"
Photo courtesy of:
Heart and Sohl Photography
"Soul-Quest" Retreat Program Overview:
    Dental Hygienist, I began my own Journey of Discovery. Feeling that life is a palette of possibilities has led to my evolution
    into becoming a business owner-entreprenuer. An ongoing student of personal and spiritual growth, my love of travel has
    taken me to natural world with wildlife speaks deeply to my heart and soul.

    The average "tourist vacation" of earlier years always left me with a deep longing for something more, a need left un-
    fulfilled. So following my heart I established "Journeys of Discovery" in 1998 while still living in Ohio. Gayle relocated to
    Florida in 2002 and began working with Carlson Maritime Travel in Tarpon Springs, Florida. A full-service travel agency with
    3 branch offices and over 30 years experience in world-wide custom designed travel.
    My purpose and heart-centered desire is to open doors for other's who are on a path of personal growth and spiritual
    awareness. Who long to travel and explore the world while discovering deeper aspects of themselves. To satisfy their
    own inner longing, heal their spirit, live their dreams and in the process create new and lasting friendships with other
    creative, dynamic like-minded, kindred spirits!