Sunday, July 17, 2011

Montana Continued

Where was I?

Oh yeah, here:

So the cabin pretty much totally ruled and we spent five days basking in the warm sunshine, swimming in the lake, reading, snacking on pounds of pistachios, splashing, sampling Big Sky Brewery beers, working up the nerve to jump off the dock (Jack finally did it!), trying to convince Lulu that deer poop is not dog food, canoeing, fishing, and just relaxing in general.

I rifled through the cabin's bookshelf and came upon a copy of The Glass Castle which I then read (devoured, actually) in less than 24 hours. I highly recommend this book. It's been entered into my top 5, and it took a lot of willpower for me not to steal it. But you should totally go out and buy it and then pass it on to somebody else. It's that kind of book.

Our time at the cabin was not without its share of difficult moments. Like me setting off the car alarm at 12:30 am, or Sawyer falling headfirst down a flight of stairs and giving himself a black eye and YET ANOTHER scar on his forehead. Just call him Harry Potter. Also, I took Lulu on her first run and let's just say there is some work to be done in that department. Like learning how to walk on the leash first, for example. As I mentioned before, I came within inches of being run over by two deer who hadn't seen me leaning over to scoop up the dog and came sprinting around the cabin at full speed. Yikes.

But really, for the most part, our time at the cabin was exactly what we needed it to be. I felt refreshed and relaxed. I have this weird thing where when I am on vacation I secretly count down the days until I go home. I don't know why, but I've always done this. I guess I am just a homebody by nature, but on this trip I never even thought about going home. We were too busy living in the moment and savoring each day. The boys actually played together, making boats out of pine cones, throwing rocks into the lake, and exploring in and around the cabin. Changing up the scenery did wonders for their relationship.

Sawyer did almost tip the canoe a few times. Brent really wanted to catch a fish in front of the kids and so we all four piled into the canoe at sunset one evening and set off in search of the fish. Jack is all about fishing and seems to have the patience that is required for fly fishing. Sawyer does not. His fidgeting and thrashing around nearly tipped us all into the water and certainly seemed to scare away any potential fish, but suddenly the line went taut and then our little fishy friend made a brief appearance on the canoe before he was set free and sent back into the lake.

Brent and Jack did some more fishing off the dock. No takers.

This is the only picture that we got of the cabin's inside. I find it fitting.

We usually avoid dining out with our children at all costs, but to be in Montana and not check out the local breweries would have been just plain stupid. So we spent plenty of our vacation time teaching the kids to be brewery connoisseurs by letting them sample root beers and each french fries and I entered every brewery armed with coloring books and lego sets. This system worked well and we managed to see almost all of the breweries on Brent's list.

Jack's first time drinking root beer. He was not too sure about it.

Christmas card photo?
But really the cabin was where it was all at. Jack wants to move there.

And the cabin is where we saw THE BEAR! We had spent the afternoon swimming and some thick, grey clouds were starting to roll in. We had heard that a wind storm was predicted for that evening and we watched as the water grew choppy and felt the air become heavy and humid. I had Sawyer out in the inner tube and we saw something swimming out in the water. I felt a little spooked and so we paddled back over to the dock and Brent grabbed his binoculars.
"It's a duck," he laughed as Sawyer and I toweled off.

The sky got darker and the wind began to pick up. As we started to head back to the cabin steps, I saw something else swimming out in the lake.

"Where are the binoculars? That is not a duck!"

It was, in fact, a bear bobbing his way across the lake, swimming at a surprising quick pace and completely oblivious to the fact that we were all freaking the eff out "A freaking bear! It's a freaking bear!" Jack kept yelling as he and Sawyer fought over the second pair of binoculars. I talked Brent out of canoeing out for a closer look and ran inside to get the camera.

Zoom in. Or don't, and just trust me that this is "a freaking bear" as Jack would say, swimming in Flathead Lake. We stood on the dock totally agog over this bear and watched as it emerged on the other side of the cove, shook its fur dry like a dog would do, and began to amble along the hillside behind another cabin. What amazed me was how graceful the bear was, especially for being so cuddly looking. They really do look like gigantic cartoons. And to watch that bear strolling along and a leisurely pace and see just how much ground he covered in such a short time made me realize that being chased by a bear would be a brief and terrifying experience.

And that was our encounter with the bear. Were you expecting more? Like bear spray? I'll tell you all about the bear spray next time.

Because we are dumb tourists we decided to walk down the road to the bridge to check out the wind storm. After we were nearly blown into the lake, Brent wisely advised me to GET THE KIDS OFF THAT DAMN BRIDGE ALREADY!

Up next: the truth about bear spray, the fastest carousel in the world, Brent's new fishing buddy Brandon, and the anticlimactic return to rainy Oregon. Oh, and all that other stuff I've been foreshadowing, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment