Saturday, June 29, 2013

About Our Last Week in Polson (June 23 - 29)

Dear Family and Friends,

This was our last full week in Polson, Montana and we had so much fun with our granddaughter, Abby. The week flew by as we packed it with lots of activities. The pics below show some of the fun things we did in this beautiful part of the country.

Lots of Monopoly games!

Swimming at Polson RV Resort

Going out for shakes!

Playing with Bear

On Sunday, we drove to Glacier National Park (about an hour and a half from Polson) to ride horses on a trail ride in the park. It was great to have had this experience with Abby. We arrived for a safety talk with wrangler, Danielle. She talked to us about the way to handle our mountain horse. Roger and I have had experience on horses, but Abby had not been on a trail ride. Our ride lasted an hour and took us through some beautiful scenery in the park. We were not allowed to take pictures while on the horses so the pictures below show us before the ride.

 Abby poses with Waylon, her horse for the ride.

 Abby is ready to get on Waylon.

 Our wrangler for the ride, Surae is pictured on the left after she helped Abby mount Waylon. Notice Abby's helmet.

The three of us are ready to go. Roger is on Ace and I am on Buck.

Waylon has a mask around his mouth to prevent him from grabbing a snack along the route.

After finishing the ride (with smiles all around) we headed back to Polson. On the way back, in Hungry Horse, we stopped for dinner and Huckleberry Pie. Yum!

We had a rainy day on Monday, so Abby and I decided to go to the Museum of America in Polson. It is touted as the "Smithsonian of the West." The museum has lots of everything both inside and outside. We had a great time discovering an older America.

Checking in at the front desk

Colonial America

Abby loved the player piano

Soda Fountain

Huey Helicopter

School room

On Friday night, the three of us went to the Polson Rodeo. This rodeo is a sanctioned event for the National Rodeo Association and had all of the contests that you would see in a large town rodeo. They began with Mutton Busting, which is a contest for 4 - 7 year olds that do not weigh more than 60 pounds. Abby decided to pass on this event. The children wear a helmet and chest protection. It was fun to watch.

On Saturday afternoon, Abby, Roger and I went white water rafting on the lower Flathead River. Our guide Paul took us down about eight miles, encountering several class 3 rapids along the way.

 Boarding the bus to take us to our river launch. Notice the rafts on the back of the bus.

 Paul and Abby

 Roger, Abby and I pose with Paul before we start.

 Abby jumps into the river for a quick dip.

Paul takes a break while Abby rows.

What an incredible week we had with our granddaughter, Abby. She made it very special for us. Thank you for checking in with us. We leave for Coeur d'Alene on Monday.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

About That Hiawatha Trail (June 16 - 22)

Dear Family and Friends,

This is our third of four weeks in Polson, Montana.

On Monday, we were able to fulfill a bucket list dream of cycling on the Hiawatha Trail that runs fifteen miles from Montana into Idaho. Rails to Trails is an initiative in our country to make bicycle/walking paths out of former train routes throughout the United States. I first rode on one in the nineties when visiting my brother in Park City, Utah. Though trains have ceased to run on these tracks, communities throughout the country have converted them into paths that are ideal for mountain bikes. Most of the trails are unsuitable for road bikes because they have skinny tires and would flat (the tires) on the terrain. Mountain bikes with their nobbie, wide tires, can easily traverse the dirt and gravel paths.

Our day began by dropping off Bear at his favorite doggy day care and then driving 120 miles to exit 5, off of I - 90. We followed signs to the east portal of the beginning of the Hiawatha Trail. After checking in with the trail marshal, we began our fifteen mile ride to the  west portal or end of the Hiawatha Trail for bicycles. This 15 mile trail included 5 tunnels and 6 trestle bridge crossings. The first tunnel was 1.7 miles long and was an adventure in itself. Bicycle lights are required for the Hiawatha Trail and we learned quickly about that necessity in the first tunnel. What a spectacular time we had viewing incredible scenery and learning a lot about the train that once ran on the Hiawatha Trail.

Route of the Hiawatha (East Portal Parking Lot)

Roger and I before we started cycling on the trail.

The entrance to the St. Paul Pass Tunnel (this tunnel is 1.7 miles long) 
Bike lights are required because there is no lighting in the tunnel. 

Trestle Crossing

This trestle curves

Roger taking a break in the middle of a trestle. The scenery is spectacular.

After riding down a 2 %, downhill path for 15 miles, we reached the end of the trail at the West Portal (located in Idaho). At this point we could have taken the shuttle back, but no, we wanted to ride the 15 miles back to the East Portal.

This is a picture of the 1.7 mile tunnel from the other end.

Roger has just come out of the tunnel.

Bikes are loaded and ready to drive the 120 miles back to Polson.

Riding the Hiawatha was not the most outstanding event that happened to us this week. On Wednesday morning we drove to Missoula, to pick up our granddaughter Abby at the airport. Abby flew with her mother, Suzanne, to Denver and then by herself to Missoula. Roger and I were able to meet her at the gate. We feel so lucky to have Abby for a little over two weeks.

Abby's plane waiting for the skywalk.

Here comes Abby!

I don't know who is happiest to see Abby, Bear, Roger or me!

Massage from Grandad after a long day for Abby.

Lights out and guess who is joining Abby?

 The next morning, it is a belly rub for Bear!

 Bear, Roger and Abby working on a new toy.

 Friday morning, it is breakfast in bed.
It was a rainy day so we drove up to Kalispell to see "Monsters University.

 Shopping in Kalispell

 Waiting for the movie to start.

On Saturday morning (with the sun shining), Abby decided to try out the pool. The pool is heated to 80 degrees, but the outside air temperature is only in the mid-fifties. 
 Not too cold for this Texas!

Skyla and Abby playing in the pool.

We look forward to another week in Polson with Abby. Thank you for checking in with us this week.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

About That Polson II (June 9 - 15)

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello from Polson, Montana! This has been our second week in this gorgeous area of the country. One of the best things about RVing is meeting people and renewing friendships. Last week you saw pics of Skyla (Polson RV owners' daughter) with her double doodle (Molly) playing with Bear. On Saturday we drove to Kalispell (an hour north of Polson), to watch her participate in a horse show. Skyla owns Sprite, a seventeen year old pony, whom she rode in the Jumper and Hunter classes. This riding event lasted all day and was held at one of two world class horse show grounds in the nation.

 Skyla with Sprite before the Jumper event.

Skyla and Sprite doing a canter.

 Hooray, Skyla and Sprite won a ribbon for Jumper Class.
Proud mom, Carlissa, is on the right.

 Skyla is now riding in the Hunter event.

Skyla and Sprite had several hurdles to jump.

Another ribbon for Hunter Class.

More ribbons for doing such a great job in the Hunter class.

On Sunday morning, we went mountain biking with pros: Wayne and Kim. They live in the Polson area and agreed to take us for a true mountain bike ride in the Jette area. After meeting us at 9, we followed Wayne and Kim to an Indian reservation area that overlooked Flathead Lake. We started our ride and 3 1/2 hours later finished. The mountain wildflowers were lovely. We had plenty of practice climbing, riding on single and double trails, and downhill work. Keeping both feet clipped in and avoiding rocks gave me lots of challenges. Wayne and Kim were wonderful teachers. 

An interesting sidebar is that Wayne invented the gravity seat post that goes up and down on the mountain bike with a press of a button. His company is located in Polson.  Roger has a variation of it on his bike. I have to move my seat manually. It is important to change seat positions as you ride down hill on a mountain bike because it makes it much easier.

Double Trail

We finally made it to the top. Kim is in front of me.
Yes, it is really that beautiful.


"That which goes up, must come down."  Roger walking the bike down Bloody D (the nickname for a short, steep, narrow path). It was a short walk and then we were back on the bikes for the rest of the ride.

My turn down Bloody D

 More beautiful views at another stop.

We are still smiling, but oh, are we tired. We went straight to lunch!

We do love those new mountain bikes as we can go places that are off of the cement roads. Another plus is the lack of any kind of vehicular traffic which is always a concern with road bikes.

We said goodbye to new friends from Oklahoma (huge Sooner fans), Brenda and Dale. We also said goodbye to new friends from Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Clay, Alissa and Jan) this week. Clay, an avid cyclist, rode with us several times.

Wednesday found us in Missoula picking up our new glasses, new tires for the Terrain and running other errands. What a busy day!

We look forward to our granddaughter, Abby, flying in to stay with us for several weeks on Wednesday, so be prepared for lots of pictures. Thank you for checking in with us. We appreciate your interest in our travels.