It was so good that there are no words, but I will find them anyway. This trip was my dad's idea and he booked a ranch that he and mom had first gone to before I was born, a looooong time ago. I had been here once with my Dad and sister for a family reunion on my dad's side when I was seventeen. My mom has talked about Montana all my life, so we asked Dad if she could come along. My brother came too and my little sister and sister, her husband and my nephew & nieces.
The first night we were there we went out on a "wild life" tour when our hosts took us on a long drive to try to spot animals at dusk. The other highlight was my mom getting up on a horse...no small feat since her knee has never improved from her surgery last summer and pretty much will not bend...but nothing stops my mom.
Speaking of horses, Mac was uncannily natural on them. He hopped right on and rode around like it was no big deal.
I was uncannily natural at taking photos. I will spare you images of how I was on a horse...it was very, very far from natural for me.
Instead I obsessed over nature. Trees, wide open vistas, empty roads, wild flowers and the sky filled with stars late at night.
P.S. There were 1.2 million grasshoppers hiding in here and when we drove back down the hill, in an open vehicle, they all came flying up at our face.
Sean and I took a day to go on a long drive from where we were staying, just outside Helena. We headed towards Great Falls to just wander and stop to see a Lewis and Clark museum (and we stopped at the world's smallest river where we took this photo). Sean, the history major, taught me about all Lewis and Clark details I ignored in school and by the time I got there I was really into it.
But before we got to Great Falls, we stopped a few times to look out on the side of the road. One of those times was to teeter around as I waded into a crystal clear creek running down from the mountains we drove through. The water was so crisp and clear. I carefully selected a handful of these stones to bring home with us.
Of course, Sean was a natural on both a horse and taking photos. His specialty were panoramic ones. Especially love the one he took at dawn as he was about to go for a run on the ranch.
I told Sean we are buying a house and spending our summers in Montana. It's so peaceful. You cannot help but take a deep breath and slow down. You can drive and drive without a stop light or sometimes even a person in sight. Granted, it would be the slimmest of chances that we would ever actually end up with a house there, but the lifestyle really needs to come home with us...especially at the beginning of a school year. We need to be outside, take a deep breath and slow down way more than we have for the last several years. And, house or not, we really will need to go back to Montana...