Dan and Susan Metzger work together and play together, so it was only natural that they design their vacation home near Big Sky, Montana, to accommodate their lifestyle as well as the executive retreats Dan hosts as a business strategy consultant. Susan, who recruits salespeople in high technology, shares Dan’s passion for outdoor sports such as skiing, fly fishing, hunting, and snowmobiling.

For years Dan had a dream of having a log cabin in Montana near a trout stream and a ski hill. When he and Susan visited a log home trade show in their home town of Minneapolis, they met Rocky Mountain Log Homes sales manager Tommy Briscoe and decided to pursue that dream. “He invited Susan and me to come out to the Bitterroot Valley,” says Dan, “and we took him up on that offer.” While they were in Hamilton, Montana, they visited The Stock Farm, and the clubhouse there gave them all kinds of ideas for their vacation home. Before long they began to work with Pioneer Log Homes, the handcrafted log home division of Rocky Mountain Log Homes, to plan their new home.

“Susan and I had a floorplan we had developed on the back of a napkin,” says Dan, “so in conjunction with Pioneer in-house designer Gary Kuhfuss, we designed the home.” Briscoe recommended Howard Mills, owner of Yellowstone Custom Country Homes in Alder, Montana, and a builder with 40 years of experience in the industry. The couple worked closely with Mills throughout the entire construction process. “We collaborated on everything even down to the furnishings,” says Dan. “Everything we did lock-step together. It was an incredible labor of love.”

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