Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Boards, Boats, Bear Songs and Brits Part II

When last I shared our little adventure we were just leaving Glacier after indulging in huckleberry milkshakes.  Bozeman to Glacier is not exactly a short drive, and while there are some gorgeous ways to do it, it is still a lot of time in the car and not exactly as gorgeous as the drives IN Glacier.   Which reminds me, I forgot to share this video which I should preface with two things 1) We had just passed a ranger who was very actively making noise to "scare" bears which piqued Matthew's interest and 2) Matthew puts anything and everything in song form (just ask Papa who had to listen to Matthew's song about our worm compost) and 3) his first version of this song was even, umm, better, but I didn't have the camera out :(
So, on the way home we extended our vacation with a bit of dawdling.  First up, we stopped at Swan Lake (which was where we had camped on our first trip) for a swim.   I remembered they had some reasonably priced paddle boats and thought Matthew might find it fun.  We rented a boat and took turns hauling the kids around:
 Catherine patiently waiting for her turn:
 So there were cup holders in the boat (God Bless America!) and Matthew was super jazzed about taking his juice out on the boat one turn.

 It was a gorgeous day, though Swan Lake has nothing on Flathead lake in terms of overall beauty and clarity.  After a million potty breaks, we made our way down to Butte, where we stopped for a very late dinner.  Friends had recommended Silver-Bow Pizza which is a mediocre pizza restaurant with a game room and carousel, which definitely brought back memories of about half the birthday parties I attended in upper middle school.  It was the perfect stop for the kids to run around after a long day in the car.  Matthew was a bit nervous but rode the horse by himself like a champ.  It helps immensely that this carousel goes at about 1/3 of the speed of the previous one!
Catherine was also relaxed enough to even give a wave!
 The kids played some games:
 And then more kids played games:
With all our dawdling we didn't get back until Midnight (and the kids definitely didn't fall asleep in the car!)   Once we got back, sadly James had to head to work but Matthew and Catherine still had some time to show Uncle Ed and Georgina around.  He really wanted to take them to the library, which we followed up with a picnic at the fish pond:
 Catherine has figured out how to actually throw the food in the water and is super jazzed about it!
 The next day we decided to head up to the local reservoir and test out paddleboarding.  I've wanted to try for a while but our schedule just hasn't allowed it.  Uncle Ed was the first to have success standing up:
 He and Georgina on a long paddle:
By the end of the day, we had all ended up standing up on the paddleboard, with minimal falls.  I wasn't as confident about my standing skills though, so most of the time I ended up kneeling or sitting with Matthew who eventually worked up the courage to stand:

And once we hit that point he was all over the paddleboard, crawling in front and behind:

Matthew was pretty jazzed to head out on the paddleboard while Uncle Ed stood:
 For a while I didn't think we'd get Catherine on the boat.  She was pretty content to hang out on the shore:


 But once I told her she could sit in my lap she was pretty excited:
 And showing off her new butterfly shirt from Uncle Ed and Georgina!
It is always fun to have them here but sadly the next day they headed out. Meanwhile, after a lazy breakfast Saturday I got it in my head we should go camp out for a night and catch the meteor shower.  We loaded up the kids and dogs and headed to a great local state park with wide open skies, a great bike path and some geocaching we thought we'd try.  Unfortunately I forgot there was a big music festival in the area and we were turned away :(  Because I'm stubborn we headed up to Hyalite to find a spot (this is generally impossible on Saturdays because of its popularity but again, I'm stubborn :)  Sure enough we found an undeveloped site for some boondocking, but when I went to take the trailer off, we couldn't get the camper off the van.  Womp. Womp.  Long story short I jacked up the trailer tongue and it spent the week with a welder.  It's back, and better than ever but that meant no camping for the weekend.  It turned out okay though since the whole week was cloudy and I wouldn't have seen the Perseids anyway.  Though I was disappointed, I think the dogs were the most depressed about the cancelled trip. By the time we figured out that we couldn't camp for the night it was 8 o'clock so we stopped in to try out the new Qdoba.  The kiddos were being extra cute:

Though a root beer still didn't squelch their questions about when we get to go camping again.  Luckily for the kids and dogs we have a few more trips planned very soon and we tackled some fun local day trips in lieu of an overnight.

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