Thursday morning we dropped Aspen off. He was a little anxious because all the new smells, so he wouldn't give us kisses or wag his tail, but we knew he would be okay. Around 10 we headed on the northbound 15 to Missoula Montana. We passed through Idaho, but we were most excited to get into Montana because it was a new state for Nate. Around 5 we met up with my cousins Wes and Brent ** and drove up to Rock Creek, which is Wes' favorite fishing place. The spot was absolutely gorgeous and Nate finally taught me how to fly fish. Nate stayed in a smaller hole near me so that he could teach me how to cast and help me with the many times I got tangled. I caught 4 fish and Nate caught 7, which was a successful evening for both of us. Never mind that only one of the fish I caught was bigger than 6 inches.
|Our first stop in Montana, waiting for Wes to take us fishing.|
|My first fish caught fly fishing.|
|My third fish, a little bigger than the others.|
|The fish at Rock Creek were beautiful!|
|Happy to have caught another fish.|
**Wes and Brent are cousins with each other, but are actually only 3rd cousins with me. However Wes' mom Cindy was really good friends with my dad growing up, and she and her husband Gil were nice enough to accommodate us by letting us stay in their guest bedroom.
Friday we were going to go to Glacier, but the weather was predicted to be 45 degrees with possible rain and snow showers. No thank you. So instead the two of us headed down to the Bitterroot River for fishing. Right away Nate caught 2 fish, but then he stopped catching anything, and I didn't catch anything. We didn't want to sit by the river all day waiting for the evening when fishing might be hot again so we headed to lunch at a local pub. After lunch we drove up to Bear Creek and walked around the beautiful creek and went on a quick hike. However I wasn't very prepared for hiking and was only wearing flip flops, so we didn't go too far. After, we went back to the river and still had a little more time so we decided to try to build rock towers (like you always see at the beach - at least in CA). Nate was actually pretty good at it, and I finally got mine to stand, but when I added one more rock mine fell over. We tried fishing again when it finally got a little darker, but we were not very lucky and we each missed 5 or 6 bites. Fortunately or unfortunately the fish weren't biting on anything else, so we at least felt good about that once we stopped getting any more bites - I guess they just weren't hungry.
|Beetle infested tree bark.|
|The biggest fish Nate caught ;)|
|Our hike up Bear Creek. Me and my walking stick.|
|Old Man's Beard|
|A random alpaca farm|
|The beauty that is Montana.|
|Rocks at Bitterroot.|
|Nate's pile of rocks.|
|I fished too!|
|I can NOT get him to keep a straight face for pictures.|
|On our way home we spotted a friendly turkey.|
|And a baby dear/deer.|
Saturday morning we went with Cindy, Wes and Brent to the Missoula Farmer's Market. The farmer's market was much bigger than I've seen, and there was so much fresh fruit and vegetables, I just wanted to eat it all. I bought a pair of peacock earrings (because Aspen destroyed the pair I had) but there were so many other wonderful things available to buy. After that Nate and I drove about an hour to a beautiful and hidden reservoir called Mission Reservoir. After a couple of hours we headed back to Missoula to meet the Larsons, as they were kind enough to invite us to join in on an institute activity. A delicious meal of pulled beef and pork sandwiches, followed by a minor league game played by the Missoula Osprey. The Osprey won the game, and we had a fun evening filled with yelling "peanuts" and cat calling some of the opposing players.
|Vegetable stand at the farmer's market.|
|Nate, Wes and Brent.|
|Lots of people!|
|Cindy said "I figure because winter is so long in Montana I deserve to have flowers on my table whenever I want". I like that idea.|
|Apparently these tree stumps are usually above the water. But there were some that were 4 feet under. I guess Montana has as much excess water as Utah this year.|
|Lounging, while I rowed the boat.|
|It was absolutely gorgeous there.|
|See what I put up with?|
|The water was so clear. can you see the guppies?|
Since we were unable to go to Glacier National Park on Friday we decided we would go on Sunday. Although the drive to the park entrance was about 2 and a half hours, and the drive to anywhere good in the park was another two hours (longer than usual because of construction and a few silly people who decided it was okay to park their cars and watch a few goats on the side of the road, regardless of the hundreds of cars behind them). Finally we passed the mountain goats and got to drive a regular speed on the road, but by that time we were starving. We drove to one of the 2 restaurants in the park and stopped for dinner. Nate had a disappointing emu burger, and I had a tasty tortellini. We followed our meals with some red velvet cake and three amazing scoops of blackberry ice cream. We decided upon a hike close to the restaurant that led to a small lake where we hoped to fish, but about 1/2 mile up the trail we were told by some hikers coming back that there was a grizzly bear blocking the pathway about 1 mile in. Although we really wanted to keep walking and see the bear, we decided it probably wasn't the smartest idea and with the help of a friendly old woman we decided upon another trail that hiked to two waterfalls and a view of the lake. We were quite happy with our hike, and enjoyed the breathtaking views of the turquoise St Mary Lake and the surrounding mountains and trees. On the way back we were stopped by a deer in the middle of the trail, happily eating some plant, but after watching it for about 10 minutes we decided to walk and see if it would move away from the path (because it was nearing 7 and we didn't want to get back to Missoula too late). After visiting GNP we decided we definitely need more time there next time we go. There were way too many people, everywhere, and we would love to be able to find the more remote areas so we could enjoy the natural beauty in peace.
|While stuck in traffic (as mentioned) a mountain goat decided to hop from the side of the mountain on to the road, right next to our car. Luckily there were no cars coming the other way.|
|And a baby mountain goat climbing the rocks.|
|These are the mountain goats that caused us to sit in an hour of traffic.|
|St. Mary's lake.|
|Our hiking trail.|
|Waterfall number one.|
|I loved the color of the water.|
|And it was so clear too. I want to live on the island in the middle of this river.|
|Water fall number 2.|
|Drinking out of our wonderful purifying water bottle. Straight from the stream, yum.|
|The deer in the path.|
|He wasn't very afraid of us.|
Monday morning we headed home around 9. We were a little anxious the whole drive home because we had to pick Aspen up by 6:00 otherwise we wouldn't be able to see him till the next morning, and we both wanted to see him badly! With a quick stop in Pocatello for gas and lunch at Wendy's we hurried on our way and finally made it to Provo to pick up Aspen around 5:15. We were so happy to see him and he was happy to see us too. But he was actually really tired because of all the playing with the other dogs. The owners of the place told us that Aspen was really well behaved while he was there and enjoyed playing with the other dogs. And although we wish we never had to leave him, we were happy to know that this was a place we could leave our beloved pup.
Anyway, we loved our trip to Montana. We wish we could have had 2 weeks there instead of only 5 days. A week in Glacier and a week fishing in Missoula. But I guess we'll just have to get rich so we can buy a summer home near flathead lake, and enjoy fishing boating, hiking and eating delicious cherries.