Well, I have been putting off writing this final part of “What I Did On My Summer Vacation.” Maybe because I have been trying to make the summer last as long as possible or something. I am a little bit in denial that we are already in August. It’s been a month now since we went to Montana. If you need a refresher, part one is here and part two is here. This last part is the whole reason we went out there in the first place.
Friday, we spent the day at Lost Lake Ranch. My mom’s cousin (my first cousin, once removed) and her family have been ranching that land since the 60’s, if I remember correctly. They have a crap load of cattle (that is an official ranching term, by the way), and some goats, and horses. Of course I didn’t take any photo’s of the actual ranch part. (Blog fail) But check out the view of the amazing garden out back.
We had a really nice dinner. Steak of course. DELICIOUS!! And some really nice visiting. At some point Happy the cat came to say hello, and I got all freaked out. He is the spitting image of the cat I had for 16 years. Same downy soft fur and cranky face and everything! Only he was about twice as big as my Sammy.
A short drive from the ranch is the actual Lost Lake, which is one of my favorite places on the planet. Mostly because I like to monkey around on the cliffs and climb on the crazy rock formations with my dad, but also because it is insanely beautiful.
It turns out that my Tom’s are the perfect shoes for rock climbing (on these particular rocks anyways). They were super grippy, and I was able to move like a ninja.
And of course, Mom had to have a couple of rocks for her garden back home. That’s the good thing about road trips. You can always manage to cram extra stuff in the car.
And this brings us to Saturday. Our last day in Dad’s hometown, and the day of the big reunion. 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the purchase of the family’s homestead by my great paternal grandfather. (Or do I say “paternal great grandfather??” or “my dad’s dad’s dad??”) It was a big picnic in the park with lots of extended family. A ton of people who I didn’t know. But we had perfect weather and a lovely lunch. There were posters with all the family trees and pictures in the gazebo. This has always been one of my favorites of my dad and his parents and siblings.
Did you know that movie came out 20 years ago??? Holy crap!!
A photographer from the paper took a giant family photo. (I wish I could post it, but it’s copyrighted by the newspaper.) Here’s one I got of our family though. We were the red shirts. My aunt made them with our names all with little individual iron on letters. Our little pod was about a fifth of the entire family.
After the big photo, the relay race was set up again so that EVERYbody could get a chance to experience “A Year in the Life of a Farmer.” I think my cousins should get a medal for coming up with the game. Everyone really enjoyed it.
And of course, the day wouldn’t be complete without a trip to The Freeze for a dip cone.
After the picnic in the park, Momndad and Otherhalf and I made a trip to the cemetery. My sweet grandmother is buried there, along with my grandfather (who died before I was born), and some other family members that sadly I never got a chance to know very well. I like to go up there because there’s a great view of the valley below, and it’s a nice place to take deep breaths and contemplate philosophical things, like how very small we really are in the great big universe.
The next morning we started our 2 day drive back home. That part is pretty much a blur by now. So this concludes our zany-road-trip-family-reunion-adventure. Otherhalf is considering taking a week or two out there next summer to
golf more try a little farming with my cousins. We’ll see if that pans out. For now we are wrapping our heads around the end of summer, and he is getting ready to start a another school year with a new “crop” of kiddos. < See what I did there?? (That joke was for you Dad.) Did you go anywhere fun this summer?