Monday, July 12, 2010

A is for Adventure

The Skov Family Vacation was truly an adventure. The Tuesday following the previous post was Packing Day and ended up being Departure Day as well. The boys were eager to hit the road once the truck was packed for our Montana Family Rendezvous in my sister's hometown, Choteau(Wiki-link), approximately 1200 miles from our home. We did what we've been doing since Joren was an infant; drove straight through the night to our destination. It's much easier now that there are four drivers, although I seem to sleep less comfortably at this age when it's not my turn to drive.

We had a fantastic time visiting my sister and her family: Wendy, her husband Mike, and their son Calvin. We were joined by my mother's little brother, Eric, and his wife, Deb, and their adult children Rachel and Adam, plus Adam's fiance, Jen. My dad made an appearance, too, which was totally cool.

We spent the weekend of the Fourth of July in Choteau(community blog link) for a variety of events. My personal highlights included the Keg Hockey Tournament (Adam, Arthur and Joren, dubbed "The Foreigners," won one round in five at the fire hose and managed to drench me in the process), the parade (in which a cow boy was literally riding a HUGE steer saddled up like a horse), the Wild Cow Milking Contest at the Rodeo, and amazing fireworks displays (private and public).

In keeping with the theme of this blog, I must admit that the Backyard highlight of the trip was the morning the hail storm that passed through as I was walking the dog. These pictures show the four inches of hail that accumulated between our tent and the sandbox, and the defoliating effect on Wendy's garden. It was spectacular and caused Nessie and me to take cover against a garage in an alley for almost five minutes!

We made our way from Choteau to Glacier National Park on Monday to celebrate Mike's birthday and stayed at East Glacier Lodge the first night with Gramps before we made camp at Fish Creek Campground on the west side of the park. On Monday we had a private Red Bus Tour in the cold, misty, rain. My dad, the semi-professional photographer took this shot at Logan Pass after riding up Going-to-the-Sun Road only 10 days after the pass was plowed clear for traffic.

After an amazing time with family in Montana we headed home (yes, driving straight through) and arrived back in our own backyard on Friday around noon. Marisol (Arthur's delightful girlfriend) and her sister Xillian created a wonderfully colorful and creative chalk mural on our driveway to welcome us home. Marisol kept all the gardens watered and animals healthy while we were gone. She has raised the bar for the Skovmen when I am away from home for work!

We reconnected with most of our friends upon our return over the weekend.  These remaining backyard shots portray Mike's latest project in creating a new yard game in preparation for Barb's family reunion. He and Dale put the finishing touches on the Ladder Golf Game.

Please note two items of personal interest:
  1. some golf balls (two orange ones) have an interior that makes drilling and threading particularly difficult and
  2. I scored the first Trifecta Toss in the Flinn's Backyard.
Thanks be to God for safe travel, family, and friends!

P.S. Latest news from Captain-Lumberjack-Steve and Princess Kathy: "Old Boat Syndrome strikes again" stated Steve's text message this morning. I understand they broke down near Trempeleau on the Mississippi. Stay tuned! More soon . . . . .

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