|4th of July, 2008|
Here is the link to my Flickr photo's from Gracie's 100th and then the rest of our vacation. And then the link to our 4th of July celebration on picasa.
At the end of June we traveled to Wyoming for the 3 day celebration of my grandmother's 100th birthday. We also took our family vacation in south west Wyoming.
Here is the summary of our trip:
Day 1-3 Driving, driving, and more driving! We like to take a slower pace driving out since it's the beginning of vacation and we want to take time to be tourists. Stops included, Blue Earth MN, Wall Drug, SD, Buffalo, WY. We hit our final destination of Meeteetse in the late afternoon Friday & got ready for the birthday dinner. We got bussed out to the dinner location. The view was spectacular, and the dinner was really good. Later in the evening we watched the Birthday Fireworks show, went to Cowboy Bar ,and then sat around the camp fire at the Oasis with some of the relatives.
Day 4- Birthday Open House: We did the meet & greet with the birthday girl. We toured the museum and visited the Gracie exhibit. Later in the evening we went and listened to the people performing for open mic night. After it got dark we had to shut the microphone off and then we sat around the campfire and some people continued to play guitar through the night.
Day 5 - We attended a very special church service dedicated to the birthday girl. After church was over, we watched the rebellious young 100 year old get her annual Harley ride. She hopped on the back of her friend's Harley, smiled, and away they went! They had a good ride and everyone cheered them on. Then we had a big BBQ and finished up visiting with family. Near sundown I took my nephew's new wife up Wood River Road for a wild life drive. Later in the evening we joined the birthday girl and other folks at the Cowboy Bar for a night cap.
Day 6 - Our last day in Meeteetse. We visited the whole day with the grandma's. The kids enjoyed playing with their cousin Alice. Later that evening we went to dinner at the Cowboy Bar/Outlaw Cafe for our annual order of BBQ ribs. Yummy, the best ever. Gracie, Helen, Spuddie, and Phil accompanied us. I had to practically wrestle my mother and threaten the waiter just to have dinner be our treat.
Day 7 - We departed the grandma's and headed south of Jackson Hole, Wy. We made a stop at Shoshone for the best ever Malt. I had a chocolate & huckleberry malt and Ken had a mint and chocolate malt. Heaven in a glass! We toured Atlantic City and South Pass City. In South Pass City, Ken ran over a log and we ended up getting our van checked out in the South Pass City garage. We were sure glad to see that 1 out of the "about 7" population was a mechanic. He gave the van a check and informed us no damage was done, we were good to go. So onward to our cabin in the Wind River Mountains.
Day 8 - Toured the Mountain Man Museum in Pinedale, Wy. Toured the dam at Freemont Lake, and went fishing. Ken caught a nice sized lake trout.
Day 9 - We went hiking in the mountains. I ended up out hiking all the guys. The trail was pretty steep and the boys got tired out. Ken ended up having a stomach ache. Hiking back up hill was a bit challenging. We started to get eaten up by mosquitoes and went through plenty of water. So I was a bit glad we didn't make it all the way down the path.
Day 10 - Horseback riding! We had so much fun doing this. This was the first time the kids have been on a horse by themselves. They did really good too. Sam was pretty nervous beforehand, but once he met his horse, he felt better about it. He ended up really loving it. Kevin was a natural. He had so much fun. He even had fun flirting with the blond trail guide. I hadn't been on a horse in over 20 years. It felt good being back on one. Ken did good too. He rode horses a few times as a teenager, and hadn't been on one since.
After the horse ride, we went on the ski lift to the top of the hill. We had a 360 view of the area. It was pretty breath taking. The ski lift operator took his mountain bike up with him and rode down the hill. CRAZY!!! He made it down alive and then went back up for more with the group of people that went up the ski lift after us.
Day 11 - Boo Hoo! Vacation is over. :( We packed up and headed home. We decided to drive straight through home. Ken drove the first 11 hours and I drove the last 8 1/2. We stopped in Hot Springs, SD for a picnic and stretching of the legs. So we walked around the area a little bit.
We made it home safe and sound and weary travelers. Sunday we just spent the day catching up on much needed sleep and unpacking.
It was nice having a 4 day work week, but it was hard to get back into the groove after such a nice long vacation.
For the 4th of July, we went the Air Guard Museum at Fort Snelling. Then we went to the actual fort at Fort Snelling and celebrated our 4th there. It was a good time. In the evening we sat in our cul-de-sac and watched our neighbor set off fireworks he had purchased in WI. It was a pretty good show. Today (July 5) we went back to the Air Guard Museum so that Kevin could sit in the cockpits of the planes since they were closed up the day before. He was in military aircraft heaven. He got to sit in the cockpit of an F4 Phantom, a Hercules, the Mustang, and a Huey. He had a really big smile on his face. He also got to talk to a man who had served in both WW2 and Vietnam. He had piloted 11 different aircraft in his military career. Kevin was quite impressed talking to him and he enjoyed talking to a youngster with so much enthusiasm for the air craft. Sam was bored the whole time, but came along because he's such a good sport.