The last day of July I headed to Kalispell, Montana to join my daughter, her boyfriend and his parents for a vacation. I was super excited and looked forward to using my new full frame camera.
My flight was delayed resulting in my missing my connecting flight in Denver so I spent the night there and completed my journey to Kalispell the next morning.
After unpacking, we hiked the Avalanche Trail the afternoon I arrived.
The next day, Tuesday, we hiked Piegan Pass.
Surprisingly after 2 days of hiking only my feet were sore.
Wednesday it was 60 degrees and raining so we changed plans and toured the Conrad Mansion Museum. Charles E. Conrad and his brother William established a shipping and freighting empire in Fort Benton, Montana Territory that eventually became the most important transportation center in Montana. When Charles moved to Kalispell he had an impressive 13,000 square foot home built.
Thursday we drove around Flathead Lake admiring all the beauty. Then I headed back home.
We’re starting to organize our garage and create a space for Keith to work on various projects. Keith had created enough space so we borrowed my Dad’s flatbed trailer and moved from our lake place to our home the huge worktable that my Dad built earlier. The next day when I returned the trailer to my Dad, he and Camellia gave me a guided tour around town, which included seeing some elk.
On my way home I stopped by the IOOF Noble Cemetery and noticed others bringing flowers this Memorial Day. I enjoyed the warmth of the sun on my back and pondered the symbolism of my shadow on Mom’s headstone along with all the new growth of grass. Standing there I felt both sadness in her absence and strength of her love as I affirmed the epitaph that my brother and I wrote about Mom.
Simple, natural beauty surrounded us at the private pond where my Dad, step mother and our families spent the afternoon together.
As the afternoon was ending this eastern meadowlark (I think it is) sang to us.
We signed up to use Tripcast, which “lets you share your travel photos with the people who want to see everything, not just the highlights.” We’ve really enjoyed using it and highly recommend it. For the purpose of this blog I’ll just post a few photos from our trip.
We flew to Seattle where we rented an RV for 2 weeks. We headed toward Pasco, Washington to meet up with some friends.
Next we ventured on toward Spokane and stayed at Coeur D’Alene Lake, which was quite lovely.
The next day we drove to Missoula, Montana and I got to spend time with Carol, who was a good friend when we were in Junior High in 1973 & 74. The last time we saw one another we think was about 1985. She and her husband graciously entertained us and we had a wonderful time.
We had intentions of touring around Glacier National Park but most everything of interest was already closed so we headed on to Yellowstone where we spent two days then visited Cody, Wyoming and another day at Yellowstone. I have a ton of photos that are scenic as well as of wildlife.
After Yellowstone we headed for the Grand Tetons.
Saturday morning we headed for Salt Lake City, Utah.
Monday we returned the RV in Salt Lake City and flew back home. It was a grand trip with friends, fun, food and freedom from work.
Perhaps you heard that Lake Texoma got a lot of rain this year. A couple of weeks ago we drove around to see how the water level was at several of the ramps, marinas and beaches. You’ll need to make a new path to get to the docks, I’d say.
It’s taken until late July for us to get typical hot summer temperatures. I’m sure this bunny is enjoying the shade and the cooler dirt in our backyard. I’ve never seen a bunny that seemed this relaxed.
Our vacation finally arrived! We flew to Kalispell, Montana and enjoyed several days with our daughter, her boyfriend and his parents. In addition to wonderful company, the scenery and activities were memorable and fun. The hospitality we received was amazing and unforgettable.
We went horseback riding, whitewater rafting, sat around a campfire at night and, of course, ate huckleberry pie and jam. The sun rises about 5:45 am and sets after 9:30 pm and there was enough light in the evening to still see until 10;30 or so. Montana is a perfect place to visit during the summer so that you enjoy its perfect temperatures and beauty.
In my brother-in-law’s backyard we watched the wildlife last night. This squirrel was so cute, at least at a distance.
A few highlights from this Thanksgiving week:
- My family was together on Thanksgiving Day and this was the first time since 1995 that my father was with us.
- Everyone made or brought something making it a wonderful meal that was devoured in minutes.
- My mother-in-law and father-in-law celebrated their one-year anniversary on the first of December.
- Friday after Thanksgiving Keith and I borrowed his step-father’s motor coach and took a vacation to Broken Bow.
We left for our vacation early Friday morning and had an uneventful drive. We found a nice spot where we sat up the motor coach and since we still had a couple of hours of daylight we visited Girls Gone Wine, a nearby winery, and sampled a few wines.
Saturday we drove all around the area and stopped at many places to admire the scenery and wander around taking pictures.
Sunday I watched some ducks swimming in the lake and we enjoyed feeding the squirrels at our campsite.
By mid-morning we headed to Arkansas where we played in the dirt at the Crater of Diamonds. We got some tips from a woman who found a 28 point white diamond just the day before but we didn’t find anything. Instead, we left plenty for others to find.
Monday we packed up and got an early start home. Along the way the outer back tire on the driver’s side blew out and Keith limped it 25 or so miles to a nearby town and thankfully they had a tire in stock to replace it. With nearly a 4 hour pitstop to take care of the tire we made it home safe and sound by dark.
Within a few minutes after Keith left the house he returned to let me know of a photo opp in our neighborhood. I’m not particularly fond of birds and know very little about them so I had to do a bit of researching to determine what this one might be. Based on that information, I think this is a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk who was probably making lazy circles in the sky before he stood in this pile of feathers.