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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The crazy flying driving trip to the great Northwest. 5 states. 12 days..

Well, we had a real adventure. Thanks to Teddy Roosevelt, who created 5 National parks. One of which we visited. We started in Spokane, Washington (1). It was only a drive by on our way to Idaho. But it still counts on our list of states we have been to.

A jerky stand in northern Idaho (2). Elk was a winner.

The view from the car.

We stayed at Huckleberry Tent and Breakfast in Clark Fork Idaho. Sort of like Little House on the Prairie, but in the mountains. No electricity, no running water, so yes, outhouse and we had to hand crank the cold water. There was a wood burning stove in the tent. 45 degrees outside. Here we are.

It was really fun, (For one night:) We cooked out on the fire.

Collected eggs at the farm.

Made friends with the goat.

And looked for moose. (But saw no moose)

Mose also made another friend, but unfortunately he will grow up to be stuffed with dressing at Thanksgiving.

Next we drove to Montana (3) and stayed in Glacier National Park at The Village Inn. Very 50's on Lake MacDonald. With a very big sky view.

We saw a few bears.

Went to an amazing Cedar forest.

Did the Red Bus tour.

Unfortunately, The Road to the Sun was not open all the way through Glacier. But was still beautiful and majestic.

We hiked to an amazingly beautiful fishing spot. Although all we caught was the view.

Mathilda bought this coon skin cap (not real fur) in Glacier and she did not take it off until we landed in New Orleans.

At the Great Divide.

Heading out to our next destination. Well, actually, we took Josh to the airport in Kalispell at this point because he had to leave our vacation for 3 days to go to a pitch in New Orleans. :(

The kids and I drove on to Charlo, Montana to The Cheff Ranch. Owned by the Cheff's and their children. Our beautiful cabin on a hill.

We rode horses up the mountain and saw grizzly tracks and a deer or two. MJ in heaven. Mose and I just happy to stay on. There were beautiful fields of wildflowers. Lupin and sunflowers. And a horse-knee deep stream we had to cross. Yikes.

All saddled up.

On the trail.

On the top, looking out over Montana.

Back at the barn. MJ made friends with a no name cat. It's brother had just drowned in the horse water barrel and Mathilda would not let this one out of her sight. I thought she may smuggle it into the backpack.

They got to play in the barn a little.

The dandelions in Montana are the biggest and most prolific I have ever seen. Lots of big blows and bigger wishes.

One day we went to the National Bison Range and got to thank ole Teddy himself. 

Lots of bison there and pronghorn, mule deer, western bluebirds, meadowlarks, elk and a double rainbow.

Looking for something.

After the Ranch we drove to Coeur d'alene, Idaho for the AMIN conference. The reason we planned this trip. 

Mathilda bought this chalkboard shirt and wrote this, which really was not aimed at my husband who had left us here. In a giant resort. But I thought it funny.

We did, however, take a hike in Couer d'alene. (And Josh made up his absence to the kids by playing with them in an indoor water park. Righteous :)

Next, we drove 8 hours to Yellowstone National Park. Which is in Wyoming (4)

What an amazing place. The hot springs, geysers, mountains, waterfalls and geothermal wonders were totally from another planet. My pictures do not do it justice. A must see on your bucket list.

We visited Old Faithful. She did not disappoint. 

 Lots of Bison to see.

And the Giant Prismatic Spring, which is blue and orange and green and wow.

The Mud Pots were really cool. Like a giant caldron of bubbling hot mud. Making funny noises.

On the east side of Yellowstone it snowed and the kids got to run around in it.

I have to say, I hope I will not have another one of these in a very long time.

From Yellowstone we drove to Cody, Wyoming and flew to Denver, Colorado (for those of you counting that is state number 5). In Fort Collins. we caught up with my brother Kyle and sister Dawn with her kids. Lots of our cousins were there and their families. Awesome group.

We had a great time down at the Lake near my Aunt Sue's house.  That's her taking old dog Charlie for a ride.

Nephew David on the sailboat.

MJ and my niece Miriam. Best buds.

Kyle and Mathew having bar be.

Cousin Katie, with Beau, Ed and Jack.

Ed was the game guy.

Shawn, Allison and Jeanne.

David in the Kayak.

Kyle with cousin Maggie and two little boaters.

Summer moons from the house boat cruise.

Hanging with the little ones. Jack and Ella.

Plus Taylor.

An embroidered sign in Sue's home. New words to live by in my house.

Smores by the camp fire. Thanks Sue and Wayne and all the cousins who came.

Dawn and cousin Amy by the fire. We sang camp songs and I loved every minute. Never met a camp song I didn't like. Especially with my sister singing with me.

So, that is it from the summer road trip. Good times for 2000 miles, 5 states  and 4 books on cd. Peter and Max being the favorite. 

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