Monday I took a walk to a park just down the road from where Aunty Mo lives. The name of the park is Traveler's Rest. A gentleman was leaning along a fence when I arrived at the visitors center taking pictures of a bull lying in a field nearby. When he saw me, he came over to greet me. It would turn out to be a fascinating crossing of paths.
The man is a volunteer at the park. He told me the park was named by Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition because the team had camped at this spot both on the way to and on the way home from the west coast. He went on to tell me about some fascinating archaeological findings that proved beyond a doubt I was standing on ground once occupied by a historic mission. It suddenly made for a very cool walk. Soon Katie and the boys and cousin Ella showed up, and the man gave us a tour of the park, providing many historical facts along the way. It made for a great start to the day.
Later we all went on our own adventure. Some geocaching at a park up the road. It didn't take us long to find our first treasure.
Cousin Ella explores the contents in our cache.
Two of my favorite explorers lead the way back out of the woods.
After our geocaching adventure, we headed up the road to look at the damage left behind by the last year's fires that kept our cousins and Aunty Mo very anxious for a week or so. The fires roared too close by their homes for comfort. The scars left behind in the mountains around them certainly took away from the beauty we know was once there. But, we also know fires are part of mother nature's way to reinvigorate life in the woods, so we can't wait to return one day to see her handiwork completed.
Scenes like this went on for miles. It's hard to imagine how much it scared our family here.
We wouldn't be deprived of beauty though. Further up the road we stopped at a visitors center on the Idaho - Montana border. Cousin Becky took us on a drive up a secluded road there where we came upon a field of flowers. I was driving in a separate vehicle from Katie, and when I saw the field, I told Aunty Mo we would be there for a while once Katie saw those flowers. I was right.
I've watched her take 10s of thousands of pictures over the years. Other than her kids, nothing brings out her photography passion like flowers.
Easy to understand why in this field
Monday was another fun-filled day for the cousins!
Yesterday we headed to Polson. A small town to the north of here that sits along Flathead Lake. The drive there was another one filled with incredible views. One scene was particularly beautiful when we rounded a corner of the highway and into a sudden appearance of the Mission Mountains. We stopped at a observation point and took it all in.
The Mission Mountains are in the background of our gatorade covered son.
From the observation point, it was on to Polson. There, the kids spent some time almost swimming in Flathead Lake - the water was a little chilly up there. We also took time to visit Kerr Dam, which provided some additional views hard to find anywhere else.
Ian says I'm done with pictures for the day.
The view from the top - another majestic Montana scene.
I continue to be so grateful for the opportunities our family has had on this trip, not the least of which is time spent with family we love and enjoy. Now on to another day.