Thursday, August 9, 2012


We're back.  Last night, actually.  This was quite a vacation.

It started a bit badly, and ended a bit off, but the middle part was awesome.

We'd planned to be packed and ready to go by 2:00 on Saturday.  But our City replaced some of our sidewalk early last week and damaged some of our sprinklers in the process, and Jack needed to try to repair all of that before we left.  While he was working on that project, I was moving stuff around in the garage so I could park my car inside.

That's when I found the bug.

This is not the bug I found but it was this kind of bug.  Excuse me, beetle.  It was some kind of long antennaed, flying, hissing beetle.  Nearly four inches long.  And A-ggressive.  It was in the garage, hiding in some coiled up plastic edging and after I finished screaming at the sight of it and frightened Jr with it, he decided to sweep it outside.  This seemed like a reasonable idea except I was pretty sure nobody was going to be willing to stomp on it and I sure didn't want it hanging around my gardens.  So as I pulled my car into the garage, I simply ran over it.  Yeh, I know, sick.  I may have felt my front tire go off the ground a bit.  And for good measure, Jack ran over it with the truck.

This bug/bug-smashing seemed like it might be a bad omen to me.  But I tried to put that out of my mind as we finally left around 3:30.

We drove for an hour and then decided to stop for a good meal at the Maddox.  Let's see.  Saturday afternoon, 4:30, hmmm...and hour and a half later, we pulled out, our bellies full of prime rib and corn on the cob and salad and rolls...and nearly got clobbered by a car we didn't see that was flying up the road.

Clearly, the bug was a bad omen, right?

But we pressed on into the dusk of Idaho.  Where there were about a billion bugs that all smashed into our windshield.  It got darker and darker outside and the windshield was covered with splats big and small.

On we drove, into Montana, and while it might be big sky country, it is also just plain big.  We drove and drove and stopped occasionally for gas.  Around midnight, we stopped in Lima to get gas.  Jack got out and started filling the tank.  Jr and I went inside to use the restrooms.  Jack cleaned and cleaned and cleaned the windshield, and then suggested that Jr might want to drive.  So we all traded up seats and Jr put it in drive and pulled forward.

Which is when we heard the scraping sound.  Thought for sure we had run over something.  But no.  Not that.

Have you seen that Camry commercial where the girl decides to get some gas even though her Camry isn't empty yet and while she's waiting, the guy at the pump pulls out without putting the pump handle back and blows up the gas station?  

That didn't happen to us.

Only the part about pulling away with the pump still attached to the truck.  Luckily, the station had breakaway pumps.  Apparently that happens often there.  It only costs $35 cash to repair it.

The bug was definitely an omen, right?  By now I'm wondering about my gramma's common reminder that deaths and bad stuff comes in threes, so was the bug the first or do we still have one more before we're done with the bad stuff?

That's when Montana seemed really big.  Dark and big and covered with signs warning about animals and animals crossing roads.

We made it to Helena around 1:00 or maybe it was 1:30.  Either way, the bug was the only critter we ran over and we were able to count the bug omen as part of the three bad stuffs.

So that was the crazy start of the trip.  After that, it was awesome.  Glacier is beautiful.  The biggest mountains I've ever seen.  

Lakes and streams and rivers and waterfalls everywhere you look.  

And smiling kids.

I hear there are animals everywhere, and we saw a few animals, but we stayed outside of the park and probably didn't get there earlier enough in the day or stay late enough in the evening to see them.  

These are not the same guy.  But we did see both of them on the same hike.

This guy was not alive when we saw him, but Jr was certain he's related to Gusgus.

We stopped to consult our map right in front of a fruit stand just outside the park and I bought a big bag of fresh cherries that I enjoyed all through the trip.  Cherries are a reminder of my childhood.  So sweet and juicy and perfect.

We saw this adorable little island.

 And flowers?  Oh my, the flowers

And TREES TREES TREES EVERYWHERE--these are all trees, big, tall pines!

We went on a couple of hikes.  One was more of a nature walk on a boardwalk with placards that contained haiku poetry describing the park...and a tree for Jack to hide in

and an amazing waterfall.

The second hike was supposed to be only a mile and a half, but I'm sure it was about six times that far.

But totally worth the view at the end. 

Did I mention the Going to the Sun Road?  Major cliff driving.

And of course, construction.

We rode horses.  I rode Yankee (Doodle stayed behind in the corral) and Jr rode Oscar.  Oscar White.

It was so so so fun.

We went to Canada one night.  

The Canadian border patrol guys were way more friendly than the US guys who sternly told me to "Get BACK in the VEHICLE, MA'AM" when I got out to look for a bathroom.  Harumph.

Jr kayaked.  Across the Canadian border from Alberta, into British Columbia, and across the US border. All on the same lake.

We did not stay here, but didn't I get a great shot of the Prince of Wales' place?


 Did I mention there were happy people on this trip?

It was a great trip.  Until we got home and found the sprinkler had been leaking towards the neighbor's house, nearly flooding his basement.  So he shut off the water to the house.  It was a good idea.  

Just glad we have such great memories of the last few days. 


Amelia said...

This was so great to see the author of this blog in some more of these pictures. She looks fabulous! What a great trip!

Joey said...

Wonderful, wonderful middle. Totally makes up for the beginning and the end.