More Montana 2016

The rest of the week was jam packed. Did I mention that the Dehaven’s came to visit? They always bring the fun. And Jeff shared his pictures too!

 

We rodeo’d in Livingston…

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We creeked…

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Which lead to a lot of this….

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Do you see the fish right in front of Baylor?!

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And after taking a year off from our last Yellowstone Park visit, we again braved the winding roads with all 7 of us. This trip went far better and we even made it all the way to Old Faithful without murdering each other and only one person vomiting. Success!

Stephanie studying the warnings carefully…

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The amazing Grand Prismaticsimg_4923

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I’m so bummed – the colors of the pools are amazing – but it was barely 32 degrees and so the steam made it hard to see.img_4962img_4987

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A tourist died earlier this year jumping into one of these pools. It’s so hot, by the next morning, they could only find a few bones….img_5086

We also got to see the Beehive Geyser. It’s less predictable than Old Faithful, erupts for a shorter period of time but is as intense. Plus you can get a lot closer!

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And the Old Faithful Lodge was fantastic. At 112 years old, it’s seen some amazing history. Also I’m sure it’s haunted.

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And it wouldn’t be Montana without visiting the Long’s for some horseback riding lessons. The girl’s favorite, Duke, was donated to a school to be a therapy horse. They get reports once in awhile about how happy he is to be ridden every day! Thankfully the ladies were happy to give Heidi a try – and they now have a new favorite.

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Auggie is still not sure he’s a fan

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Auggie with the safety checkimg_9918

And we drove kids and a dog around in a gater. While taking selfies. This looks safe, right?

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Fish Points

Our lovely friends, the D family, joined us for the first few days of Montana time. And just like last year, it was awesome! They are make your own fun kind of people, which are the perfect friends to vacation with.

We decided to do a parent fishing day and left poor Noni with all three animals for the whole day. She looked like she’d aged 10 years when we picked them up…but she swore they were angels. I think they may have threatened her…

Leading up to the big fishing day, we decided to make it a men v women contest. Details were discussed, handicaps given out in the form of “fish points” and wagers made. The end result was that trout were worth 3 points, white fish 1 point and the losers had to feed, bathe and put the kids to bed.

After a quick refresher and lesson, Stephanie and I were off with Red Beard, our guide. It was a cloudy and chilly day on the Yellowstone River, perfect for fishing.

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With in a few minutes, she had the first fish. A rainbow trout! 3 points on the board. IMG_8566

We listened and watched for activity from the men’s boat, trying to judge how they were doing. We were informed later that they didn’t “squeal” every time they caught a fish. Lame.

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After a few trout, we became reallly good at catching white fish and decided we would rack up points one little fish at a time.

IMG_8569At the end of day, about 6.5 hours of fishing total, the ladies were the winners with 53 points! Which is a lot of freaking whities!

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Big Sky July

In a moment of stressing about packing lists, I realized how far we’ve come and how much we’ve done in a short time to make a dream of ours come true.

Let me back up to last summer. After a long flight and drive to the ranch, Peter and  were sitting in rocking chairs on the deck waiting for Auggie to doze off. It was after 10pm and the sun was almost down. It was cool and quiet and…perfect. We started seriously thinking about how we could make a transition that would allow us to spend more time in Montana. After a lot of conversations, we came up with a plan.

In just under a year, Peter has passed the Montana bar, been admitted and we have booked a rental house for all of July. We can both work from here and he’s working on a Montana client list – ensuring lots of summers in Big Sky country to come – and I’m sure a few “client meetings” during hunting season too…

The logistics of getting here were a little daunting. We settled on having Peter drive the 18ish hours with Mac and all our crap stuff while I flew with the kids. I’ll save you the details…but there was a barf bag involved in my part of the trip. But we made it all in one piece! The house we rented sight unseen has turned out to be great (with a few additional baby proofing measures post Auggie’s minor tumble down the stairs. Hearing Baylor scream “Auggie fell down the stairs!!” was as close as I’d like to come to knowing what a heart attack feels like).

 

We’re unpacked, settling in and awaiting the arrival of our friends/house guests! And this morning, we’re waking up to this:

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Fish That

PW and were able to escape the banshees for the better part of a day and do some fly fishing on the Yellowstone River. The river is really spectacular and we were lucky that it was a great day for fishing. Our guide was none other than Matthew. Yes, the same Matthew that Matthew the deer is named after. He is as good a hunting guide as he is a fishing guide. His home is the wild Montana country so he is an expert at all things outdoors. Not to mention a good friend and very funny.

We started off slowly – the weather turned cold and we waited out a rainstorm for about an hour. The wait paid off as the fish were suddenly very hungry. Matthew said it’s because they know after the rain that the river is going to mud up from the run off so they eat a lot in anticipation of not being able to see their food for a few days. I didn’t care what the reason was, I was just happy that we were actually catching something! We caught so many that we stopped counting – it made the day really fun.

One of Matthew’s signature phrases is “yup, good, fish that”. He would tell me where to cast and then judging where the nymph fell, he would tell me to leave it (“fish that”) or to recast. The beauty of being in a row boat with Matthew at the ores is that he could maneuver the boat to make my cast work – and me feel like I knew what I was doing. I actually didn’t realize that was happening until PW pointed out after. Which is why Matthew gets paid the big bucks.

Point of Rocks

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First fish of the day – and yes, it was cold enough for a hood!

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Did you know that trout talk?? I did not. That fish was squeaking all over the place and freaked me right out.
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Manly fishermen only hold their fish with ONE hand!308

This picture cracks me up. Matthew had on his trademark serious face (and was probably sick of my pictures and or bad fishing skills) and PW is heaven. 316