Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Even artists need a vacation.

We just spent a week in Montana. Both Bill and I are originally from Montana and have family living there. Our daughter from Miami took her family to a sorority reunion in Bozeman, so we planned a mini-family reunion in Bigfork the following week. It's easy to forget how beautiful the mountains, rivers, lakes and areas inbetween really are,

We visited with Bill's 89 year old mother, Marge, and her 92 year old sister, Dorothy O'Flynn. They live together in Kalispell during the summer months. Our nephew Kyle was also there, taking a breather from his nationwide trip with an Airstream. Steph, Jacques, Elliott, Amelia and Samone, and Erika rounded out our family. Bill's sister, Sandy Walker and her husband Larry, decided they should join everyone. The group managed to leave lots of empty wine bottles around!

Bigfork, Montana is one place you never have to say "What can I do?" It's full of great outdoor activities. We went swimming at the family cabin on Flathead Lake. Kayakking on the Swan River and Flathead Lake. Hiking, or just walking, along old haunts in Ferndale MT, celebrating Sandy's 70th birthday (she's the big sister). It was a very relaxing and refreshing week.

But I forgot--our most important function all week was enjoying our grandchildren. Elliott (almost four) kept his grandpa entertained, But Samone and Amelia (age 7 months) kept us all with smiles on. The girls are just learning to crawl, they smile at everything, and their grandpa and grandma took turns hugging them a lot.

Our trip home took us first to Stevensville MT where we visited with my brother Ron and Judy. They live in the Bitteroot Valley, a very beautiful place. Then we set out for Oregon over Lolo Pass (Lewis and Clark travled through here.) We picked the hottest day of the century--in Orofino Idaho the bank sigh said "117".
Our car thermometer said 115. I said "That's hot!" At Lewistown ID we went south to Joseph OR. Or rather I should say we went south, then we went north, then we went east, then we went south, then we went . . . Get the picture? It was upgrade, down grade, switchback after switchback. But more beautiful sights, The area around Joseph has been on our "Places to See" list for a long time. we saw Enterprise, stayed overnight in Wallawa, saw where Chief Joseph was buried, went to Hell's Canyon (Snake River was w...a...y... down there). Then it was time to jump onto I-80 and I-5 and head for home. It was loverly!

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