HAZY, LAZY DAYS OF SUMMER

We begin the month of August with lots of summer activities! A day at Flathead Lake with great friend Lara Aldridge, her parents, Jim and Cheri, and her children, Lauryn, Ben and Kylie. This was a reunion of sorts with the three gals from the clinic, Nurse Paula and receptionists, Joanette and Lara! We had a great lunch of sandwiches, chips and drinks and good conversation, catching up a year’s worth of news! Then Captain Kyle Lawson piloted us gals around Flathead Lake! The day was way too short, but the at the end we were joined by our Granddaughter Bailey and her boyfriend, Keegan! The day came to an end but Bailey and Keegan spent another whole day with us. The had fun playing on the trampoline with Paula’s Grands, Audrey and Kason. Not your first pick in summertime activities, but Coach got two new tires. See the picture of Coach jacked up and ready for the Les Schwab guy to put ’em on!

FLATHEAD LAKE and BAILEY AND KEEGAN, NEW FRONT TIRES

On to riding the Hiawatha! Not the train, but the biking trail that follows the former route of the Hiawatha. It was quite a little drive, about an hour and half, but that too was fun, we were traveling with Jim and Paula Stobie, what’s not to be fun. The four of us can laugh it up! We exited the interstate at the Taft exit near Lookout Pass. Wound our way through the mountains to the trailhead of the Hiawatha! Donning our helmets and jackets we headed out. Stunning! What amazing views on a wonderfully maintained trail and…… No, smoke! The State of Montana had quite a summer filled with smoke from nearby fires in California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho. But today, for us, there was no smoke, just blue, clear skies, and train trestles.

We picked up grandson James to spend some time with us before we headed to Whidbey Island, and we spent a wonderful couple of hours at the Miracle of America Museum in Polson, Montana. A must see if you are in the area. It can keep you entertained for hours! Just a few of our pictures:

Another Miracle of America Museum photo:

James finally took a photo of US and our new motorhome!!! (Joking)

Last summer we spent a great couple of weeks with three of our grandsons and we were excited about carrying on that new tradition! Grandson James confirmed at our annual Lake Mary Ronan weekend that he was looking forward to going with us again, this time all the way to Whidbey Island to spend quality time with Gracen and Lincoln, and to celebrate Joanette’s brother David’s 78th Birthday! We began the journey from Hot Springs in our new (Used) Chevy Trailblazer, a much more comfortable ride than in Toad! Just as we crested the Cascade Mountains at about Snoqualmie Pass we received the news… COVID! Gracen and Lincoln’s parents had been stricken!

So, with that being the case, the three disappointed travellers, delivered a birthday package for Tina and two Dixon Melons for the Joiner Family! We visited through the window of the car and did not remember to take any pictures! It was sad, James wasn’t going to get to play with his cousins, he had to hang with us two old fuddy duddies!

We had a great time visiting with Joanette’s brother David, his two sons, David Lynn and Jesse and Jesse’s beautiful wife and two beautiful daughters! A small birthday celebration with David Lynn’s fantastic band, Recollections, food (lots) cake and ice cream! Following here are the culminating photos of what we believe were James’ best memory of the trip — Fort Casey State Park and Admiralty Head Lighthouse! On another note, Fort Casey is where Joanette’s Dad was stationed in WWII and near Coupeville, where he met her mom, Bonnie Alexander!

Pictures of our Montana kid enjoying the beaches and water of Whidbey Island!

Last but not least of the pictures of our trip to Whidbey Island, a picture of Joanette’s childhood home, the rafts of Penn Cove Mussels, and James in the Flintstone mobile in Oak Harbor that Joanette’s dad built back in the late 60’s and an EA6-B at NAS Whidbey Island!

Trip number three to the Bison Range in 2021 was with Kristin and Steve who came up from Hamilton to soak, visit, eat and tour with us. After living in Montana for the better part of two decades we finally got Kristin to the Bison Range! An afternoon and evening enjoyed by us all!

We were supposed to do another bike ride this summer with John and Bill, but covid reared its ugly head and sidelined John for the summer. So, Keith and I took it upon ourselves to ‘do the Olympian’ ourselves. We drove both vehicles to St. Regis, parked the Trailblazer, drove the bikes to the Hiawatha trailhead, and rode ourselves 33 miles back to St. Regis. This was not as enjoyable as we had hoped, the road surface was not nicely maintained and bike ready as the Hiawatha. We finished it! (Had to, both vehicles were at either end of the 33 miles!). It was a beautiful day, the scenery was great, and we stopped in Haugen for a chocolate malt!

The month of August ended with the Sanders County Fair. We met Paula, Randi, Audrey and Kason at the fair the evening we finished with the 33 miles bike ride. We were famished, enjoyed a Hope for Harlee Foundation burger, saw all the animals and headed home to bed.

On Saturday we went back to the fair to watch the steer showing and meet up with lots of kids from Hot Springs, their parents and grandparents. Good times!

Well, it was hard, and we were shooting for the end of August, we drug our feet, but finally departed Hot Springs in early September, knowing that we wouldn’t return until spring!

Next installment, the Dog Days of Summer, and perhaps we’ll get caught up!

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