Tuesday, June 10, 2014

More Adventures in the Cowboy State

This last trip to Wyoming was a perfect mix of relaxation and visitation, at least for me, I'm not as sure about for Uncle Matt :-)  There were lazy mornings playing cards with grandma:
 Followed by adventures.  On Tuesday we headed out to pay our respects to my mother's side of the family buried in the cemetery in Riverton.  We followed this trip by visiting my great-grandfather's old homestead.  The original house has been replaced, but the original barn still stood (barely)
 As did the old chicken coop:
 We had both car seats in the back of grandma's car, and I clearly take for granted how "good" my kids are in our car  because in the back of a sedan where they can touch, they are not nearly as pleasant to travel with!   Our last stop before lunch was to check out the old one room schoolhouse where grandma went to second and third grades:
 The next day we decided the kids needed to run out some energy so we took the kids and cousin Joel up to Sinks Canyon to explore.  We started with a picnic near the kids playground, and a big thanks to cousin Joel for some of these pictures:
 However, what was much cooler than the playground was the series of secret rooms and tunnels hidden in the brush:

 Uncle Matt crawled through once, but later decided it was time to take the literal high road :-)
 Of course we headed up to check out the Sinks themselves, but considering the water levels it was hard to tell any water was "disappearing" as the overflow channel was incredibly full.
 The kids had a great time in the nature center checking out the birds through binoculars and all the additional taxidermy.  We then headed to feed the fish at the rise but for whatever reason, they were not interested in either the "official" fish food or the loaf of bread another family was using.  We instead decided to head out to the swinging bridge for a nature hike.
 Hard to believe this was Matthew's first hike:
And now he's bouldering and rock climbing with the best of them!
 Matthew climbed to the top of this one all by himself, but Catherine got a bit of a boost from Uncle Matt:

 The whole mile long hike the winds would pick up and it would spit rain an we'd rush the kids along and I'd mental plot how we'd get everyone to the car quickly.  Matthew also stepped on a Garter snake which provided some excitement near the end.  Eventually, Catherine was nearly asleep and Uncle Matt picked her up.  She ended up falling asleep for the last little bit.
There was more hanging out at grandma's house.  Catherine LOVES this bear of grandma's so we took some pictures.

 And of course, it's a multi-generational tradition that when Uncles are in town a trip to Thermopolis is required!  There was plenty of slide time:

 Some silliness:
 And even more slides!
In Matthew's estimation, he went down the slide "twenty hundred and nine" times.  In fact, this is the first time we've been there that the kiddos were old enough they were having so much fun we had to drag them out of the pool.  After 4 hours of swimming and no naps, we stopped by the Safari Club for dinner to check out the animal mounts The kiddos loved it, though its still no A&W unfortunately.  Then we got back to Riverton a little before 9p.  The kiddos had wills of steel though and didn't sleep in the car because as we passed the Spring Fair on our way to swim, Uncle Matt had promised rides and cotton candy.  Sure enough, at 9pm plus we kept our promise and took two deliriously tired toddlers to the fair!  First up was Catherine's only ride, the carousel:

 I missed my focal point on this pic, but you can get a feel for her general mood during the ride.  Even though she scowled and clung to me for dear life the whole time, she will gladly tell you about how much fun it was :-)
 Matthew then tackled the big obstacle course and slide all by himself:
 Cotton candy was consumed:
 And then Matthew's first big ride on the Ferris Wheel:
 He was uncertain when it began but ended up loving it!
 Catherine teetered between the brink of silliness and exhaustion the whole time we waited!
 The next day it was some more relaxing with some classic cartoons with Uncle Matt:
And then it was the big event of the Majdic Pig Roast!  Jerry and Brenda put on another fantastic event with a delicious pig!
 Uncle Matt was put to good use and/or Uncle Matt strategically placed himself nearest the pig for first dibs on the skin :-)

 We had to drag the kiddos in to eat.  They are always excited to see each other!

 Just one of many "kids" tables.  I'm sure Matthew was contemplating what dessert to ask for next!
 We didn't catch everyone for a group shot but we did end up with a few good ones:
 Silly, dirty cousins:

 Unfortunately, the next day we parted ways as Uncle Matt headed back across the country and we had to head back to Montana.
 And because I don't think I've gotten a picture of the two of us since my wedding, a pic with my brother:

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