Friday, August 16, 2013

Bears, Boats, Boards and Brits!

A few weeks ago we headed out over to Missoula, MT for a camping trip with some friends.  When we planned the trip we were both discussing the relative merits of campgrounds in South Dakota and Jellystone came up.  When we discovered there was one in Missoula, fate said we should go!  Plus, Jellystone had plenty of kid "stuff" so we adults could hang out.  On the way we met up at the carousel in Missoula.  Matthew didn't love it any more than last time we did it (and really, the thing is fast!).  Here are the kids before it started:
 And during the ride:
However, because his buddy was on a horse ahead of him, Matthew was quite disappointed that we couldn't go back so he could ride a horse.  We headed to our campground which was appropriately festooned with Yogi the bear and Boo Boo.  Luckily, we had let the kids watch Yogi Bear earlier in the week so they could get pumped about it all.  Unluckily, we watched the live action Yogi movie, for which a 13% on the tomatometer seemed awfully generous.  Either way, the kids enjoyed the pool, playground, and "championship" mini-golf:

And were appropriately pumped to see Yogi Bear:
 We took a wagon ride with Yogi around the campground (which was full of retirees with big money rigs, odd considering the "theme") and then enjoyed the ice cream social:
Of course we had huckleberry!
 However, with all these amenities, the kids spent the most time climbing the hill behind our site, even in their PJs:

The whole thing was exhausting as Catherine discovered:
The next day our friends made an awesome camp breakfast for us, and then we had some visitors!
Uncle Ed and Georgina met us in Missoula so they could check out Glacier since we were already, halfway there.   We started day one of our drive by stopping at an overlook and rock climbing:
And then stopped for a picnic lunch and dip in Flathead Lake!  

 Matthew picked out a rainbow of stones for his growing rock collection:
 After that it was time for a quick pit stop for fresh Flathead cherries and then we were off to our campsite.  When we found out Uncle Ed was coming for a visit we were too late for reservations in the park, so we camped in the National Forest just outside.   Though I thought the 8 miles of washboard road into the site might create a mutiny (with the van loaded down with a roofrack, 6 passengers and the trailer there wasn't a lot of spring left in the suspension), we all survived!  Matthew was quick to find a stick:
 And then in the midst of some potty training chaos while rock collecting, we came across this snake on our way back to the site:
After we settled in for a campfire dinner (and s'mores of course!) we played a round of "I Spy Snap":
 And the kiddos got stories by headlamp:
The next day we got up early to take Ed and Georgina exploring on Going-to-the-Sun Road.  The mist over Lake MacDonald was pretty spectacular:
 And there was an obligatory scenic potty break:
We forgot the potty last trip, so this was our first big trip with it.  Though it often made our campsite feel a little bit like a gathering of the Rainbow People, it helped Catherine make some pretty good progress.  Plus who doesn't want a bathroom with a view!  Speaking of views:

 We showed Uncle Ed and Georgina the tunnels:
 Catherine studied up on bear safety for us:
 And then it was time to check out another waterfall and amazing view!
 Us from above:
 Uncle Ed from below:
This visit the flowers in bloom were fireweed instead of forget-me-nots!

Catherine was none to eager to pose for a picture with Daddy:
 Nor would she look at the camera with mommy:
 But both kids were ready to cheese it up on their own:

We headed over the pass and this guy ran across the road on the other side:
Unfortunately once he crossed the road he was buried deep in the brush, but it was pretty cool nonetheless:
We then stopped for a little hike.  First up was St. Mary's Falls:
 With some rock climbing:

 Matthew was pretty psyched to do some creek crossing on his own:

 Though Matthew is getting to be quite the hiker, when we hit a mile, we figured we'd better turn around and skip the second waterfall to reduce the odds of having to carry him back.  Ed and Georgina continued on though:
We hopped back in the car for a few more roadside stops:
 And eventually it was nap time for the kiddos.  They fell asleep outside Many Glacier so I stayed with the kiddos in the car while Ed, James and Georgina took in the sights from Many Glacier Hotel:
 Then we headed back through a pounding rainstorm with a stop at Logan Pass.
 This guy was quite the entertainer:

 When we got back to camp we had dinner while Matthew made a new little friend.  We had invited her and her family over for a campfire but unfortunately the rain picked up again.  Matthew was pretty bummed, but we also had two exhausted kids.  Catherine cracks me up because she rarely sleeps "in" her sleeping bag.  This is her sleeping backward in her bag:
 The next morning, all that evening rain the night before left a chill in the air:
 And some mist above the river:
 Catherine probably needed another hour or two of sleep but eventually we got her pigtails done and overalls snapped so we could leave.
 On our way out of the park we stopped for Huckleberry Milkshakes!  Mas and Pas had recommended them and since James and I missed them last time we knew we had to stop.  They were, in fact, delicious!
And at this point this will have to be Part I.  We've covered Brits and Bears but Boards and Boats will have to be Part II :-)

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