Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Montana!

Well, it's done! We survived our first trip with the new trailer, traveling about 2000 miles and visiting 5 states in the process! This is a quick summary from some pictures on my phone, mainly so friends and family can get a feel for the trip. Enjoy!


Oh man, I'm going to get into trouble for this. Autumn doesn't even know about this picture...and yes, I shouldn't be fiddling with my phone while driving...on the freeway...while towing a travel trailer. But it was so hard to resist!


Certainly the most iconic sight that we visited. Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park! We camped near the west entrance to the park for a couple of nights, visiting the park and it's wildlife and natural wonders the second day.


Bubbling paint pots. You can hardly see the bubbles in this picture, but it looks like boiling hot cocoa.


We saw elk and bison while in the park, which was fun for the kids! In West Yellowstone, they have a wolf and grizzly discovery center, which is like a small zoo. The cool thing is that the animals there are unable to survive in the wild, so they are used for education. While we were there, a delightful young girl from Virginia adopted Teagan and Trinity and they all played together for the duration of the visit to the center! Marinda was very excited to see other kids, since she had spent five days with only her mother and aunt for company!


Interesting fact is that we should fear cheeseburgers and fries WAY more than we fear bears. 1 bear death for every 1,000,000 heart attacks. I'll bet the "poop your pants when you encounter one" effect is likely a closer ratio.


No idea, but they were cute.


Then it was off to Bozeman, Montana for a couple of days! The kids made friends quickly again and hours were spent playing with new friends. The place we stayed was terrific, although it wasn't much to look at. The host was awesome, even hosting a Fourth of July ice cream social; 10 gallons of ice cream and ALL the fixings!


And there was a tire swing


Yep, same tire swing. Different kid though, in case you were wondering.


While in Bozeman, we visited the Museum of the Rockies. It has a great planetarium show, highly recommended!


I have a feeling we're being followed...ha! The dinosaur exhibit was AWESOME!


On the way out of town we stopped at a park and once again, the kids made friends. This little girls was three and her name was Teagan! How fun!


We had a long drive from Bozeman to Polson, which was on Flathead Lake. We stopped in Missoula for a bike ride and some other fun!


First solo carousel ride! Missoula has a great carousel that was opened in 1995, very traditional, very fun! We topped the visit off with ice cream from Big Dipper...delicious!


There was a stop along Flathead Lake at Annie and Ed's, who are family of friends of ours. Weird that I don't have any pictures. But we had an AWESOME time with them and visited them twice. The kids wrangled two boats rides out of it too!

Then it was on to Glacier National Park! It was gorgeous, as promised. The crowds were very manageable, and the drive was nice.


This is Heaven's Peak, where we saw an avalanche off the top of the mountain. It looked like about 25% of a huge snow field slid off the top and over a cliff. It's not often you see that!


Trin getting a free trip around the paddock. Kids under 7 weren't allowed to go on rides, but they could do this!


The kampground we stayed at had paddle boats...


...and a bounce house!


We visited the Whitefish Mountain Resort and took the lift to the top. They have a great summer program here, with mountain bike trails, a ropes course, ziplines and an alpine slide!


Once we hit the top, the kids just wanted to play in the snow. Crazy!


The alpine slide. Fun for all!


One the most important things we did in Whitefish: eat frozen yogurt! That's pretty nice with it's in the 90's.


After Whitefish, we hit Coeur D'Alene and camped outside of town. After setting up camp we went into town and cooled off in the lake. Nice!


Then had yummy pizza in the park!


Then it was off to Spokane where Autumn had a lunch date with a good friend. Before lunch though, we managed to bike around a bit and see some sights. Spokane is always good for interesting sights...


While Autumn when to lunch, the kids and I had a picnic at a great park. There was plenty of shade to sit under and a splash pad!


Cooling off is key when it's this hot!


Our last stop before home was visiting our friends up in Colville, Washington. They relocated last year, leaving a pretty big hole in our lives. It was great to reconnect and spend a few days together. The kids loved every minute!


Trin loves babies! Little hope isn't as little as I remember though!


And Emerson is downright growed-up!


If it's hot, the boat is a great way to enjoy the sunshine!


Bike rides are good too, but they require more water breaks


Seems like trouble to me!


I guess I taught him well?


The fun part is that we brought Ava home with us for a week! Trinity has been SO excited, and now she gets to play with Ava again!


Reunited!

So that's a short summary of our trip, hope you enjoyed it!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Snow!

I'll likely make this short and sweet because it is late and I want to sleep. We had our first decent snowfall in town last week and we too advantage! No we didn't get up to the mountain like so many others, but we did have a few steep runs of our own! 

 
 
A little shoveling and we have launch ramp!
 
 
I decided a while back to see if we could use the play structure during the winter. So I swept off the roof and floors, then packed a little on the ramp (that is usually used for climbing) and dug the toboggan out of the garage.
 
 
Turns out it worked!
 
 
I think it's a hit!
 
 
Even the reserved one had fun!
 
 
Teagan had a great time digging and scooping snow. Usually he isn't a fan of the cold, but he's been digging it recently! Get it? "Digging" it? Ah, what do you know about funny?
 
 
This afternoon, with balmy temperatures about freezing, it was time...
 
 
Our first family snowman!
 
 
It was sort of a family effort...
 
 
But you can see who did most of the heavy lifting! Go Autumn!
 
 
Finishing touches...
 
 
The artists and their masterpiece!
 
 
Then there was more sledding! 
 
Awesome stuff! Now get out there!
 
P.S. Here's a video:
 
video