Wednesday, August 28, 2013


So after the wheel-almost-falling-off-Sylvia fiasco, you can imagine that we may have some apprehension about heading out for long distances in her, especially in the direction of Butte. We waffled back and forth on whether to attempt an adventure to Seattle in her via Glacier/Waterton and then through Canada to the Pacific Northwest. In the end, just a day before our departure date, we wimped out. We opted instead to take her down to the Absaroka-Beartooths, over the Beartooth Pass, through Yellowstone and squeak back home again just in time to pack up my car to head to Seattle. On our way to Red Lodge it dawned on us that we should spend the first night in East Rosebud Canyon with its gorgeous Yosemite-esque scenery. The area burned about fifteen years ago clearing the trees and opening grand views of the looming cliffs above. We were treated to stunning scenery and loads of ginormous huckleberries as we hiked up to Elk Lake the following day. We spent that night outside of Red Lodge poised below the Beartooth Pass. The next day Sylvia pulled strong through thin air over the 11,000 foot pass as her passengers oohed and ahhed over the high alpine scenery. We settled into our 10,000 foot elevation campsite at Island Lake and then headed out on an oxygen-deprived hike along a chain of high alpine lakes across the Beartooth Plateau. The next day we stopped to check out an old fire lookout and its spectacular views where we jumped at the opportunity to look through a solar telescope. We could see sun spots and watched a solar flare grow over the hour we spent there. Very cool. We then buzzed through Yellowstone and rolled into our driveway with 36 hours left before we needed to hit the road to Seattle.

Click here for photos.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Montana Summer

Did I mention that we live in a beautiful place? And have amazing friends? We have had an incredible summer at home enjoying both. Our summer started with evenings of archery, sword fighting and fencing, balanced a few weeks later with a good old-fashioned barn dance. We spent weekends rock climbing, biking and hiking. We filled each week with friends, farmers market and slack-lining. We camped with friends and canoed. And in preparation for our early-August departure we had early birthday parties for the boys. Isaac decided on a biking/playing capture-the-flag-in-the-woods party. Our biking destination was the rugged Emerald Lake trail so it was a small riding party, only Isaac, Jason and I. Aaron spent the morning with friends who planned to meet us at Palisades Falls for party mayhem! Isaac did an amazing job maneuvering the rocky, steep trail and emerged from the ride tired, but unscathed. We are so proud of him. I on the other hand, had technical difficulties which landed me in a creek four miles from the trailhead with a broken wrist. Fortunately camelbacks double really well as slings and I met three amazing 70+ year-olds who were kind enough to take my bike, give me an ibuprofen 800 and walk out with me. They were absolutely incredible. They are in better physical shape than I have ever been, with hundreds of marathons under their belts as well 100-mile-adventure runs. One had just turned 70 so they were heading out to Glacier to celebrate by hiking 70 miles in 7 days! I cannot thank them enough for their kindness, stories and inspiration. Down at the party, we persuaded the boys to stay behind to play and romp in the woods with their friends while Jason and I went to the ER. The following day we had Take 2 for Isaac's party with water guns, presents and chocolate pot-o-cream. A big thank you to our friends for taking care of our kids and showing up for two birthday parties in two days! Aaron decided on a camping birthday party the following weekend which was action packed with loads of sword-fighting but no major injuries to report. We wrapped up the summer at home with a week of Sweetpea Festival activities before heading out on more adventures. 

Click here for an overwhelming number of photos.