WHAT MORE DO YOU WEED?
Some celebrities arc notorious lor building cabins with scant consideration for the landscape or the local traditions, I his is especially true in Montana, where Hollywood heroes are known to buy up ranches and build nuiltimillion-dollar vacation homes.
Not so in the case of Jack Hanna and his wife, Suzi. The world-renowned wildlife expert and television personality is best known as host of the show jack Hannas into the Wild, as well as for many guest spots on Good Morning America and other talk shows. But Hanna doesn’t consider himself a celebrity, despite what others might say. “I don’t like the word. he says. I don’t like the word ‘star, either. I don’t like any of those words. I hat’s not me.” (If you must call him something, he prefers “Animal Ambassador”; Jack and Suzi devote much of the year to traveling the globe on behalf of wildlife conservation.)
Hanna could easily have gone the same mega-lodge route as others when he decided to buy property outside Big Fork, Montana. But that just wouldn’t be his style.
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‘Oh gosh, whats he going to do? ’ he says. “Well, I tell you what. I have a little form up there it’s a farm, nor a ranch on lorry acres.” Born and raised on a farm in Tennessee, Hanna tends chickens, cows, and goats on his Montana spread. But only in the summer. “Because we re not there year-round, we rent the animals,’ he says. “The grandkids love it. They pet the cows and play with rhe goats. Did you know you can rent eight chickens for fifty dollars for the summer?”
The property also has, Hanna continues, “some trails and a few small cabins for my family.” Jack and Sim have three children and several grandchildren, all of whom enjoy gathering here whenever possible. And when he says small, he’s not kidding. Coming in at just 700 square feet, the F.lk Cabin is truly petite. But really, argues Hanna, what more do you need? “When we were building it, we really didn’t know what we were doing. But I figured, hey, its a cabin four walls, one room downstairs, a loft upstairs, put a kitchen in, and that’s it.”
“THERE’S NO BETTER PLACE IN THE WORLD TO GO HIKING THAN GLACIER NATIONAL PARK.”
A claw-foot bathtub highlights the historic feel of the cabin.
You don’t need to be a professional zookeeper like Jack Hanna to keep a petting zoo at your retreat. From coast to coast, barnyard animals are available to rent in most parts of Cabin Country. Just think: fresh eggs for breakfast, a goat to mow the lawn while you go fishing. And the best part is, like the grandkids, you can hold ’em and then give them back!
With an efficient kitchen, utilitarian furnishings, and a tiny footprint, simplicity rules the day at this cabin.