Monday, July 25, 2011

it takes the shape of a place out west

I've obviously been having way too much fun here since I haven't posted in a while.  My sincere apologies.  This is what I've been up to:

Last week, my parents came for a visit to the great state of Montana.  They met me at the ranch, and I gave them a little tour of our humble abode.  Then I showed them beautiful downtown Philipsburg.  We took a trip into The Sweet Palace, P-burg's famous candy store, to get some yummy malted milk balls.
This picture is from an earlier trip to the Sweet Palace, but it gives you the idea of its magnificence.
Then we drove to Gardiner, stopping in Bozeman for dinner.
Our view of the moon on the drive.
The next day, we drove into Yellowstone and hiked along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
First wildlife sighting of the day, and it was a black bear!

I forget what these guys are called...they're deer-like.

One of about 100 bison we saw.

One of the waterfalls on Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

The larger waterfall (300 feet tall)

Dan and Jenny awkwardly framing the waterfall.

We met this man.  Then we realized his hat said Garst on it.  Apparently that's a company that has something to do with corn.

Artists' Paintpots
The next day, we woke up early to get a good hike in before we needed to leave to go back to Philipsburg.  We did a loop around a lake that passed by a petrified tree and lots of wildlife, including a buffalo just a few yards from the trail.  At one point, I was ahead of my parents and suddenly started running back up the trail toward my mom.  She thought I had seen a bear.  Not quite.  It was some sort of bird; it looked like a smaller, all grey turkey.  I guess I scared it because it started hissing and charging at me.  I was terrified.  My dad was more concerned about getting a picture of it and was disappointed that I had scared it away.  Then we saw a doe and her baby, and I was a little scared of them, too, due to the bird incident.  You never know what an intimidated mama might do!
There's the baby.

After our hike, we grabbed a burrito in Gardiner (Henry had recommended it the last time I was in Gardiner, but they were closed, so I was excited to finally experience Mexican food in Montana) and hit the road back to Philipsburg.  We met some of my friends from the ranch (MK, Lisa, Katie, and Dan) in town at Doe Brother's for dinner.  Then, Mom and Dad stayed in P-burg for the night at the lovely Broadway Hotel before their trip to Glacier National Park while my friends and I drove to Flathead Lake for the weekend.  

Lisa's cousins have a cabin at the lake that was just perfect for our weekend getaway.  We were actually there for the Flathead Cherry Festival, but ironically, there were no cherries.  We went to the festival anyway and walked around, but I would have really enjoyed a piece of cherry cobbler or something.  I really wanted to get a henna tattoo or buy a wolf shirt, but I held myself back.  The rest of our time at the lake included a lot of lounging on the dock and floating in rafts.
This is the life.

Miranda and her family were also at the lake, so we hung out with them, too.  We rode around in their jet skis, wake boarded, and I even tubed off the back of a jet ski.  Miranda's family had us over for dinner on Saturday night, which was so fun!  I made my mom's signature summer dessert (blueberry and peach crisp), and it was a hit.  

I spent my five days off in a row very well and am not even regretting it now as I am in the midst of a nine day work week.  

Post title: "Wide Open Spaces," by the Dixie Chicks

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