montana moments

this is my last glacier post, i promise. i should probably be a-movin on. but i promised i would write some stories (i'm sure this only matters to myself, but that counts) and anyway it turns out there are way too many to enumerate, too many favorites. so i'm throwing out some favorite photos that capture some things i loved from our trip to montana and glacier national park. i could have done three hundred of these but i randomly chose a few.

here we are, the girls, toasting to our very own glacier park trip at the pub in west glacier early on in our trip. the pub was full of river guides and locals and we flounced about meeting everyone and received the compliment that we did not seem like tourists, yay! joey looking (and feeling) like mister james dean, way too cool with his shotta whiskey.

Addie and I in Lake McDonald, the largest lake in Glacier National Park. Out there in all that magnificence, just out there...nothing like it...and i want to be there inside myself at all times in order to maintain some healthy piece/PEACE of wildness.

Of course one of the best things if not THE best thing about family trips is getting to hang out with the three most amazing children you'll ever meet. Jarom, Bella and Orion.

Darin and I hiked with Jarom quite a bit. He likes to get a lift from time to time even though he's almost too big. We peered into hollow logs, made up stories about critters, ran through jungly fields and snapped pictures with his little thrifted 35 mm camera that his mom and dad got him especially for this trip. Oey's favorite thing, of course, is rides. Here he is FLYING! And shrieking with laughter.Bella is super fun because she likes to put on plays and create little imaginary scenes with her dolls and stuffed animals. Darin was her biggest fan. He had to both act in one of her plays and be audience. It happened to be a day he dressed up in cowboy clothes and she was thrilled to have a willing participant. It was the cutest thing.Stuck in Missoula at the very end of our trip, we had to get the van's brakes fixed so hung out quite a bit in this parking lot. It turned out to be one of my favorite memories. Us big girls painted our toenails and Bella wanted her nails painted bright turquoise. Even Orion wanted a nail or two painted, to him it becomes a magic finger he can sprout spiderwebs from, naturally. Here's another shot of the Missoula hang-out, I like it cause we look like a band of gypsies. We actually were asked on occasion if we were a band on tour.Okay, back to the kids....

One of the best things was hiking with Oey on our backpacking trip. Matt and Amy (the parents) had to help the other two kids who actually had to carry their own backpacks. So the rest of the adults got to take turns helping Orion. He did a lot of his own walking and we also carried him on our shoulders. For some reason this is close to heaven.

Crossing the shale pass near the mountaintops, the trail opens up over the treeline and wind comes swooshing down into the canyon. Orion threw out his arms and tossed back his head, blissfully, as he rode Darin's shoulders the last leg of that journey to Otokomi Lake.
This was the kids' first overnight backpacking trip and we were in grizzly country. There is a very specific food preparation area separate from the sleeping area. We all sat on logs in a circle to prepare our little backpacking food dinners. Indian food packets and such never tasted so good. It was a jovial little eating-circle and it was so nice to all be together

The night we got back from our backpacking trip after drying off (it rained most of the hike back) and eating, we all went to the St. Mary visitors' center to see Blackfeet dancers perform and listen to Joe McKay talk about their culture and history. It was mind blowing. Each dance was intricate and unique and the best thing was hearing the special details about each individual dancer and his or her costume. Here we are, the girls, posing with the lovely dancers:

Courtney Gopher, who performed the Lady's fancy Shawl Dance

Julia Scabbyrobe, who did the Jingle Dress Dance (her dress was my favorite)

and Justine Scabbyrobe, who performed the Buckskin traditional dance Another great thing about Montana is the rampant wildflowers. Joey had purchased a Rocky Mountain flora and fauna guidebook and we spent a lot of time trying to identify the wildflowers. My favorites are beargrass and fireweed.

This is Emily and I at Logan Pass at the top of Going-to-the-Sun Road, sun going down, wildflowers brilliant all around us.

Another great thing was getting more time than usual to write in my journal. Sometimes this happened for odd reasons, like here on the trail through Avalanche Gorge when my flip flop broke and Darin had to run back to the van to get my Keens (i know, i know, i should have worn them in the first place). Anyway I had a chance to sit by this incredibly gorgeous smoothed out canyon of turquoise flowing waters and write in my journal. Thanks to Mattie for snapping this photo. I like to go back there in my imagination.

Morning coffee, sometimes we made our own in camp which was not too shabby thanks to Addie. But also we found this cute little espresso joint in St. Mary with the best strong coffee and a little crumbling wooden cabin/jail structure right behind. Montana mornings... Okay another favorite moment: on our hike to Running Eagle falls we spotted this gorgeous momma Moose grazing....followed by her adorable baby:It does the heart and soul a world of good to be close to wildlife.

So we spent Thursday afternoon in the Two Medicine/East Glacier area. The town of East Glacier is on Blackfeet land and has everything you need including cozy eateries and rustic general stores. Here we are a-watching the train come in.We went to the Trailhead Saloon to see Nick off as he'd be leaving on the train in the eve. We met a nice dude named Clem After Buffalo who wanted to be penpals and made us this drawing on a napkin: Besides making new friends we played music on the jukebox, danced and played pool. Here's me and my honey living it up on the dancefloor:
Skipping forward, on our final night together back in Missoula Saturday night we all went out for pizza at the best place on earth: The Bridge.
That was some serious pizza, check it out (handsome Beatty boys as well).


Amy Beatty said…
I'm so glad you made this. I love re-living it over and over again!! Love all your photos. You got a awesome one of the mommy moose. We did so much it is too hard to document it all. All that time together was just pure bliss.
Papa Dan said…
Honeybunch, You writing in your journal---my picture, my picture--I snuck it when you weren't looking. I love your stories for ea. of these incidents. Aren't we fortunate to be able to stay such a close family and appreciate the great outdoors.
"be good to you all" amazing.
your posts are so wonderful. the wanderlust is never satisfied. the pictures and stories = beautiful.

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