We have been busy spending time with family, so I have not taken the time to update the blog until now. We spent a star spangled Wyoming night sleeping in the car on the side of the road on our way out to Helena. I had my sleeping bag and would have slept quite well but Brenton had locked his bag in the trunk, which was weighed down with bikes, and said that he was hot and didn't need more than the thin liner that he had with him. He tossed and turned and kept me awake until I finally asked him what was the matter and he admitted that he was freezing cold. The only option was for me to share my bag, and so I climbed into the passenger seat with him and we slept in an awkward heap until the restless Northern sun woke us a little too early and we hit the road.
We decided to drive through Yellowstone and utilize our annual National Parks pass that is good for another month or so. We headed for Jackson Hole and were there for breakfast, where we ate scrumptious breakfast burritos from a restaurant called DOG. We bummed around the tourist shops for a little while and then headed on through the comfortably familiar scenery of the Tetons and Yellowstone. The drive was cathartic and uneventful, with an occasional buffalo or deer in the distance.
We arrived in Helena at Brenton's aunt and uncle's house in time to head to the local micro-brewery for dinner. Gary and Jill and their two kids, Levi and Sidney, greeted us warmly with hugs and beers and set us up with a comfy room to sleep in, as well as insisting on buying our dinner.
The next day Levi, 15 years old and documenting driving hours with his learner's permit, drove us around town to complete our long list of errands. Sidney, an 8th grader, sat in the back with the dogs and me and proclaimed "Bannanna!" every time that she spotted a yellow car.
Gary got off work early with the intention of getting the boat ready to go trout fishing, in the hopes that we could grill the dinner that we caught. By then, the big sky of Montana was blackening with storm clouds. This barely phased our crew and we decided to brave it.
The drive to Canyon Ferry Reservoir is stunning but the weather continued to worsen. It started to sprinkle as we launched the boat, but Gary reassured Sid, "Don't worry, Punkin, we're headed to the sunny south," his optimism shining in the face of the dull gray storm front.
I got to go trolling for the first time, which is when you cast a fishing line with a sinking lure out and drag it slowly behind the boat. We had lots of bites but didn't pull anything in, and the weather worsened still. We splashed through cold waves and I was glad to have my rain coat, especially with the fickle winds that blow off the mountains, creating warm strokes one moment and icy blows the next.
We left the lake empty handed and decided to go to a small town near buy for a burger. The food was delicious and we all shoved it down gluttonously, only to nearly loose it again when we decided to race up the side of a nearby hill that was really more like the soft foothill of a mountain.