Montana and Arizona Adventure July 25 thru August 4th, 2015

After talking to Bill Knapp, a friend who lives in California, we decided to meet in Montana for a visit to our mutual friends, Sarah and Tom Foster.  Since I have a cousin who lives at Ennis, MT. I planned to spend two nights with him before hooking up with the Fosters and Knapps.  And, not wanting to have such a long time expire before seeing Savanna in Tucson, I tacked on a flight plus 5 nights in Tucson.

July 25: I got up around 4:00 this morning for shuttle pick up at 5:00. The flight out of Cedar Rapids was on time as well as the one out of Minneapolis so arrived in Bozeman a little after 10:00 a.m. local time. Picked up my rental car from Hertz and made my way to Ennis. Because of road construction, I was glad I brought my GPS with me. Arrived at Chuck’s shortly before noon; I was hungry so we went to lunch at a sports bar called Bynee’s. In the afternoon, we drove up to Madison River Valley which was the sight of an earthquake back in 1959; read the history of the quake at the Visitors Center and took pictures.  1959 Quake explains in more detail what happened.

An area of the quake

An area of the quake

Lake formed by the quake

Lake formed by the quake

Aunt Helen and Chuck

Aunt Helen and Chuck

Back in Ennis we went to Madison Foods where I picked up some wine and salad for our evening meal on Sunday. Stopped at the home where Aunt Helen lives but did not stay very long; I don’t think she knew me. Walked down to the Longbranch Saloon where I met some of Chuck’s friends with drinks and dinner. Was very tired from the long day so returned to Chuck’s and went to bed by 10:00.

July 26: We had coffee at the picnic tables outside of Chuck’s apartment. It was a beautiful, sunny day. I took a walk through the downtown area and on a trail provided by the Lions club that runs alongside the Madison River which flows on the east side of Ennis. We went to the Pharmacy for breakfast and, afterwards, I went through the local shops.

Sun rising downtown Ennis

Sun rising downtown Ennis

Madison River flowing

Madison River flowing

Pond in Lions Park

Pond in Lions Park

In the afternoon we drove around Ennis Lake, a place where we swarm as kids. Midway around we drove down to the power plant where Chuck had worked many years and my dad used to fish in the river flowing past. After completing the loop, we drove west out of Ennis going through Virginia City and arriving at our destination of Robber’s Roost. Robber’s Roost never served as a hideout for robbers but it did serve as an inn and stage station along the busy road between Bannack and Virginia City. It was the place where Bill Fairweather, credited as the discoverer of the vast Alder Gulch gold deposits, died in 1875.

Robber's Roost

Robber’s Roost

Returned to Ennis; we tried to see Chuck’s two daughters but no one was home at either place. Had some wine at the picnic tables; Chuck grilled steak for our evening meal. Organized things in my suitcase for departure in the morning and got in bed around 10:30.

July 27: Upon waking up, I poured myself a cup of coffee and took it outside; it was cloudy with drizzles of rain. After coffee and muffin, I gathered my things and prepared for departure. Drove to the Fosters outside of Bozeman where I settled into my room before we departed to the airport. Dropped off the rental car and went into the terminal for a brief wait before Bill and Barb’s arrival. After collecting their luggage, we drove back to Fosters for a lunch of chicken salad and fruit. While it rained outside, we talked the afternoon away with planning for the next couple days adventures and remembering old times. Took a walk around the neighborhood. Then we sat down for Tom’s fantastic BBQ ribs! Evening was spent with much conversation and laughter. Got to bed around 10:30.

Friends and laughter; can't get much better

Friends and laughter; can’t get much better

July 28: I got a cup of coffee and updated my notes in the bedroom. Got dressed and took a nice, long walk with the temperatures in the upper 40’s. Once everyone was up and ready for the day, we went to the Coffee Pot for breakfast. I had an excellent tasting quiche with fruit. After breakfast, we went to a couple antique stores where, at one, I purchased a lawn ornament for one of my flower beds. We had lunch at Bacchus in the Baxtel Hotel; had a great tasting bowl of soup.

Waiting for our food

Waiting for our food

Onward to the Museum of the Rockies for a showing in the planetarium, chocolate and dinosaur exhibits, and gift shop where I purchased an item for Savanna.

In front of museum

In front of museum

Huge box of candy in the chocolate exhibit

Huge box of candy in the chocolate exhibit

One of many dinosaur skeletal remains

One of many dinosaur skeletal remains

We drove to downtown Bozeman where we had librations at Bozeman Brewing Company tasting room; good beer, great conversation, and good merchandise. We had dinner at Mackensey River; had pizza and salad along with glass of wine. After dinner, we returned back to Fosters where we took a walk around the block as the sun was setting.

Night coming

Night coming

Glow of the sunset

Glow of the sunset

Not quite a full moon

Not quite a full moon

Went up to bed early where I sent a couple emails and read for awhile. Lights out around 10:30 or so.

July 29: We had breakfast at the Fosters and then headed to Gallatin National Forest where we hiked up to Palisades Fall; beautiful park with great views. There was a fella who came up the trail pushing a stroller with his little girl. We offered to take some pictures of them and send the pictures to him via email. He was really happy about the idea and said his wife would appreciate it. After walking back down the trail, we stopped at some areas for photo ops.

Hiking we will go

Hiking we will go

Palisades Falls

Palisades Falls

Happy to reach the falls

Happy to reach the falls

Forest scene; notice the snow

Forest scene; notice the snow

Beautiful view

Beautiful view

Onward to lunch @ Stacey’s at Gallatin Gateway. Back to Fosters where we walked over to see Marcia, a neighbor. She had delicious cookies and tea mixed with lemonade. After a wonderful visit, us girls went shopping downtown while the guys went to distilleries. Met back at Fosters for leftovers. While the Knapps and Tom took a walk, Sarah and I had a good visit. Earlier in the evening, I organized my stuff for departure tomorrow and printed out my boarding pass.

Dusty helping pack

Dusty helping pack

It seems like this visit to Montana has gone quickly. Up to bed around 10:30.

July 30: After breakfast at the Fosters, all of us went for a walk around the neighborhood. While in Tucson, I will be seeing Carol and Jim Davis; he asked for some pictures of the Knapps and Fosters which I took in the backyard with my iPad.

Final day picture

Final day picture

It was then time to depart to the airport. Everyone rode to the airport; after saying our good byes, I got checked in and went through their gift shop while waiting for my departure. The flight to Salt Lake City and from there to Tucson was uneventful and I arrived around 3:45. No problem picking up the rental car or checking into the room. Got to Greta’s and Steev’s around 5:00; they had ordered pizza so we ate and then it was time for them to depart for preschool orientation while Savanna and I stayed at home.

Sweet Savanna

Sweet Savanna

We had a good time playing with a puzzle, swinging, looking at a lizard, putting together the puzzle, swinging, counting stars, putting together the puzzle, swinging, counting stars…very, very active and I enjoyed every minute of it! When the kids got back, I said my goodnight and headed back to the motel. Tired tonight so lights out around 10:00.

July 31: I had the morning into the afternoon on my own so went walking, had breakfast, and did some shopping. Found four new tops for myself at Kohl’s for $6/each…what a deal! Went to the Container Store and located small containers for Greta to use when packing Savanna’s lunch for preschool which begins Monday. Picked up Steev outside his work building for lunch at La Cocina; very good food and great beer. Took Steev back to work and went inside to see his and Greta’s offices. Returned back to the motel and dropped off my purchases. Traveled to Greta’s; it was the last day for Patty, who has been Savanna’s nanny the past 8 months, so I got to see her. Savanna got up from her nap and the three of us hung out until Steev came home from work. Received a call from Monica, who watches over my house while I travel, and she said the air conditioner in the house was not working. I gave her to go ahead to call in a local repair place while hoping the cost to repair is not severe. We then journeyed back to the motel where the kids swam…Savanna is a natural in the water.

Montana Moose likes Savanna's new red boots

Montana Moose likes Savanna’s new red boots

Family fun

Family fun

Let me jump!

Let me jump!

They changed clothes and we headed to the restaurant for dinner. After ordering, Savanna started to have a meltdown so we asked for everything to go. However, it was decided Steev and I would stay and eat dinner at the restaurant while Greta took Savanna home. Once we ate, we picked up food for Greta and Savanna. Steev left for home while I went to my room where I had a glass of wine, read, and typed up notes about yesterday’s activity. Lights out around 10:30.

August 1: Had breakfast at the motel before taking a long walk to 4th Avenue shopping area. Steev, Greta, and Savanna went to an open house at the preschool so the morning was available for me to kill on my own. I stopped at Epic Cafe and purchased an Arnold Palmer (iced tea and lemonade) which was a perfect drink for walking. Goodwill was open so stopped into the store to see what they had; it was good to get in air conditioning but, with 50% off everything, there were quite a few people in the store. Went back to my room and cleaning lady came to straighten stuff up. Afterwards, I took a shower and read until Steev called that they were home. Went over and had lunch. After lunch, I cleaned up the dishes while Steev put Savanna down for a nap; Greta was running errands. Spent the afternoon hanging out. Late in the afternoon, a thunderstorm occurred; I’ve never been to Tucson where it rained and this was quite a downpour with lots of thunder and lightening.

Storm's a'coming

Storm’s a’coming

Raindrops

Raindrops

I like Grandma's sandals

I like Grandma’s sandals

Steev's hops

Steev’s hops

Greta fixed a meal of pasta and salad for our dinner which was delicious. We had considered going to the Desert Museum in the evening but decided it was too late for Savanna so we took a walk around the neighborhood instead. With the rain, the temperature had dropped to a pleasant one and we saw a rainbow in the distance.

Walking we will go

Walking we will go

A rainbow

A rainbow

After the walk, I went back to my room where I had a glass of wine and read until time for bed.

August 2: First, breakfast at the motel and then I headed out for my daily walk. Got close to Epic Cafe when Steev called saying Savanna was up and ready for the day. Returned to the car and drove to Steev’s. We loaded Savanna and her stroller along with car seat into my car (Greta was on a 7-mile run with her friends) and headed to one of the local Farmer’s Market. Purchased a couple items for gifts back home and listened to a man play the banjo which was good. Left the Farmer’s Market, made a stop at Trader’s Joe, and went back to Steev’s. Greta was home and we had a visit until Savanna decided she wanted a nap so Greta laid down with her. Steev came in from doing a project outside and, since it was 1:00, I decided to head to 4th Avenue where I wanted to explore a couple shops. Made another gift purchase and stopped at Epic Cafe for lunch; their service was terrible…took them 25 minutes to box up 1/2 tuna sandwich along with cold soup. Got back to the room, ate, and read until Steev called saying they had decided to eat before swimming in the motel pool. So Greta picked me up and we went to Columbus Spa for pedicures; first time I had my toe nails polished in years, let alone the color blue with a white flower on each big toe!

Pretty blue toes

Pretty blue toes

We then picked up Steev and Savanna; drove to La Indita for a Mexican dinner. After dinner, it was decided it was too late for Savanna to swim so they dropped me off at my motel on their way home. Spent the rest of the evening reading with lights out around 9:45.

August 3: Got up and had coffee in my room before heading over to the kids where I saw Savanna off to her first day of preschool. Greta had made her delicious scones so I HAD to have two while drinking a cup of Steev’s excellent coffee. Took pictures of Savanna as she got on Greta’s bike and the three of them headed off to school.

I'm ready for school

I’m ready for school

Ready to ride

Ready to ride

Heading for first day of preschool

Heading for first day of preschool

Returned to the motel and organized my stuff for tomorrow’s early departure.  Went to Total Wine where I found a bottle of wine packaged in the color I’ve been looking for.  Stopped at Insty-Print to have Tom’s Calendar of Important Dates copied and sent to Allan and Steev. Then  drove to The Book Stop where I purchased two books to replace the one I had been attempting to read but could not get interested in. Got back to the room and packed my suitcase with everything except those last minute items that will go into my backpack. Time to head for Carol and Jim Davis for lunch; I took a bottle of wine as a thank you for them having me into their home. Spent a very pleasant three hours visiting with them.

Carol and Jim Davis

Carol and Jim Davis

Went to my room and waited for Greta to call; her and Savanna picked me up and we did some errands. We had an early evening meal and then the kids came over to swim in the pool. Another fun time!

Let's splash around

Time to splash around

Let's try the hot tub

Let’s try the hot tub

But the evening progressed quickly and it was time for them to head home while I got prepared for an early morning flight of 6:15.

August 4: Rose very early, loaded the car, checked out, and headed to the airport; Hertz personnel started work at 4:30 a.m. so there was no problem checking in the car. Checked in and got through security with no problem. This last part of my trip was first class on Delta so flew to Atlanta and then into Cedar Rapids. There were no problems with any of the flights…but the first class service from Atlanta to Cedar Rapids was disappointing with indifferent flight attendants. Landed in Cedar Rapids and was greeted by Joe and Mary Robinson. We went to Texas Roadhouse for an early dinner and then to Target so I could pick up some groceries. Homeward bound where I was greeted by Beauty and Cutie.

Another delightful trip but, as usual, it was good to be home!

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