Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Family and Fun in Montana

vJuly 21:
We arrived at Dad and Mom's at about supper time. Jenny was there doing laundry so we got to see her. We spent the night with Dad and Mom. 
July 22: 
Jenny came in and we all met at the Coffee Pot and had breakfast with Dad and Mom there. 
Then we dug around in antique stores in Bozeman,
Bryan waiting on Jenny and I...
 ate lunch at the Roost, dropped her car off at the airport for Ken when he came in the next day and then headed down the canyon to their cabin. Bryan had never been there so I was excited for him to get to see it.
It is just so perfectly cabin.

We walked up the hill behind the cabin and saw where the water collected for the cabin.

We saw a weird shelter type structure that Jen said has been there since before they got the cabin. We decided it was a Sasquatch winter home.
Bryan showing a brand that they put on their post. He had made the brand for them.
We enjoyed a beautiful evening by the fire.
July 23:
It was a cold day and every day they were turning off the power to the cabin from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. so we went up to Big Sky, ate a leisurely breakfast, watched the pouring rain and drove around looking at stuff up there. Ken was due in later that day so we just hung around Big Sky and then went down to meet him for lunch at a cool old bar. Jay, Raye and Ed had arrived in town. That evening, Bruce, Betha, Trent, Sydney, Camden and Jay met us in Big Sky for a concert in the park. Whiskey Gentry was the group and they were really good. It was a fun relaxed setting. Cold and rainy but fun.
Bryan and Ken
Bryan and myself, Jay, Bruce and Betha, Ken and Jen
Betha, Trent, Jay, me, Bryan, Ken, Maxwell (dog), Sydney, Camden, Bruce
We saw the most complete rainbow I think I have ever seen. Pictures never do these things justice.

Jenny, me and Bruce
Jen, Bruce and Jay
Then back to the cabin. Jen and I had found some sweet pjs at a store in Big Sky so we modeled them...mine say "Yeti for bed".
We played games and stayed warm.
July 24:
We woke up to a completely different day. Sun and warmth. And the electricity didn't get turned off for the construction so we had a big cabin breakfast and then went to someplace, (i didn't pay attention and I wouldn't tell you if I knew...) I will call it "Duck Tree Falls", to hike and pick huckleberries. It was so much fun. 

We came up toward the top and there was a huge tree broken across the path and Jen noticed that one of the roots looked like a duck head. So the guys tried to break it off. No success.

On up the trail we went. Found a place to rest and then headed back down.
Back to the cabin. Wash and pack away the huckleberry gold.
Then off to town to meet up with the rest of the family for supper at a pizza place. Jen and Ken had a supper with one of his clients so they just hung out until they had to go to that.
Bruce, Ed, Raye, me, Mom, Dad, Jay and Bryan. It was great to see everyone. I don't think we have seen Ed for 21 or 22 years. Too long. Good food and fun converstaion. 
Driving back to the cabin at sunset.
July 25:
Our 34th wedding anniversary and also the day that we all planned a big family party for Mom and Dad to celebrate their 60th.
Ken and Bryan went fishing and Jenny and I went to the grocery store to get a plain cake I had ordered so I could decorate it for the party. We picked up other groceries that we needed and headed over to Mom and Dad's. 
We fixed food, visited, everyone gathered for the evening.
Jay, Bruce, me, Jen, Raye, Dad and Mom. Eric was the missing sibling but they had just moved to Redding, CA so he couldn't come.
They are such a sweet couple. I am honored to have them as parents.

Dad and Mom and their cake. 
It was a fun evening of reconnecting with family and celebrating. 
July 26: 
Bryan and Ken went fishing again so Jenny and I decided to hike back up and get that duck head root that she saw.
When we got part way up there was a newly fallen tree across the path.
Hummm, very Sasquatch like...
Then we went on up the trail and heard knocking sounds...again very Sasquatch like...
We got to the huge fallen tree and cut the duck root off.
Jen had to hang on with one arm and saw with the other. 
Then we hiked straight up the side of the mountain to another fallen tree. I cut off a root from another tree that was cool.
It was quite the steep hill.
Once we had our roots and stuff packed into our backpacks we headed back down the trail. When we had just passed the tree across the trail we smelled a dead animal dead animals...very Sasquatch like...
Maxwell was dying to get in the river so we walked to where we had better access. He went rock diving. 
I have never seen a dog who will put his whole head underwater. 
It was such a beautiful evening and Ken's son and his family came out for a bit then we made doughboys around the fire. I had forgotten how delicious they are.
Perfect end to a beautiful day.
The next day, July 27, dawned cloudy, rainy and cold! We had planned to go to West Yellowstone and then drive down into the park but it just got colder and was pouring rain so we just walked around West Yellowstone and then drove over to see Quake Lake. We had never heard that story and it was very fascinating to hear and see all of that. 
We got out of the weather at a little coffee/dessert/antique shop. It was getting colder as the day went on. We stopped in Big Sky to get a few groceries and this is what we saw by the store.
Yes, July 27th and snow...did I mention it was cold? My bare feet in Birkenstocks weren't exactly warm. 
We went back to the cabin, Ken started a fire in the wood stove and we played games and stayed warm.
July 28:
This is what my phone told me about the temperature that day.
and this is what the cabin thermometer said
So yes my nose was cold when I woke up.
Ken's mom and Buck were coming up that day and so were his son and his family so Jen and I did some cleaning around the cabin. Bryan and Ken went outside and created some Swedish Candles for us to do around the fire that night. I ran in to the store really quick to pick up some stuff for supper and lunch. 

On my way back from town I just had to pull over and take this picture of the Spanish Peaks. There hadn't been snow on them before and then there was lots.
We had a fun evening around the fire. Ate some good food and lit the Swedish Candles. We also did some branding on some wood. Jen branded the parts of the Candles.
Maxwell and I hiked down to see some moose bones down below the cabin. He found me a trail down and back. Quite the dog.

After Helen and Buck left she called and said they had seen two rams fighting beside the road so we got in the Jeep and went to see if we could find them. There were about 6 or 7 rams right down by the road. It was fun to see.

July 29:
Time to start thinking about going home. We left the cabin and went in to stay at Mom and Dad's for the night. We had thought we would go to Mt. Rushmore but when we learned it was the weekend of Sturgis starting we made other plans. I hear 1.4 million people were there. So glad we didn't go that way. 
July 30:
We decided to head down toward Livingston and go through Yellowstone from the North Entrance. It was beautiful, we saw no wildlife except I saw on deer and some wild construction workers. When we got to Old Faithful the crowds were so huge we both got a bit claustriphobic and couldn't wait to drive out of the park. I am glad we went through though.

I said "Oh pretty lake" and snapped a picture thinking I was between the markers. Nope I got pretty lake and a perfect shot of a safety marker for the construction. #vacationphotofail
We hiked to the Artist's Paint Pots along with a million other people.

Stopped at some falls.

Got to Old Faithful at about lunchtime so we ate there then wandered over to watch the geyser.

As you can see, so did a lot of other people.
Worth it though. We got back in the car and headed toward Jackson, WY.
It was a spectactular drive through the Tetons. Got one of the last hotel rooms in Jackson and wandered around the town. Very cool town. We really enjoyed it.

Saw Abe and had to get our pictures with him.
These arches are solid and made entirely of Elk antlers. There is an elk preserve there and the Boy Scouts are allowed to gather the sheds and sell them to fund raise. There is an arch like this on each corner of the park.
July 31:
Driving across Wyoming and Nebraska. We finally gave up in North Platte, NE and stopped for the night. 
August 1: 
Home before noon. So nice to have gone and so nice to be home!