Friday, July 14, 2017

South Dakota Day 1

Ty and Seth spent a lot of time together in the motorhome!
The first day of our epic trip to Mount Rushmore was nothing more than a lot of driving. Not only that, we were split up in separate vehicles. Mom and Seth rode in the motorhome with Laurie, Glen, Tyler, and Jason. Meanwhile, Mark went to an early morning Scout Camp, and Dax and Dad went to Dax’s baseball game (Dax caught 3 pop flies!). At about 11:30 Nate picked us up in the truck and we made the 6 hour drive to Martin’s Cove. We arrived about an hour after the motorhome, and we still had enough day to see the museum.
Ty tried to convince Seth to wear his hat backward. It worked! 
We’d never been to Martin’s Cove before. It is a really cool Pioneer Museum that celebrates the rescue of the Willie-Martin Handcart Company. It was amazing how much stuff there was. There is a rather large museum, a replica of Fort Seminoe, and several other buildings like a blacksmith shop, cabin, and chapel. There are also around 60 missionaries that serve at Martin’s Cove full-time!

The motorhome arrived an hour before the truck, so Mom and Seth wandered around outside for a bit. 
The area around Martin's Cove is beautiful!
Seth and Mom walked toward Devil's Gate.
We had a great time walking through the buildings. The first thing that we did was pull handcarts through the yard. The boys thought this was a ton of fun, especially when they go to ride! The boys and Mom were given a horseshoe nail ring in the blacksmith shop. Then they got a special wooden medallion after they listened to the story in the museum. Mom and Dad had fun finding their relatives (Amos Maycock and Henry Goldsbrough) among the rescuers of the handcart companies. We also found the actual rifle of James Mellor, Dad’s great-great-granduncle, that he used along the trail.
Seth started out pulling a handcart with Dax. 
But soon he was riding! 
Dad found Henry Goldsbrough on the Rescue Company. Mom found Amos Maycock.
Mom also found Ann Humphries in the Martin Handcart Company who was rescued.
Dax was a great handcart puller. 
Apparently pulling a handcart with Jason and Nate is hilarious!
Here we are showing off our square nail rings. 
James Mellor's rifle
For dinner, we had barbecue beef sandwiches that had been stewing in the crockpot all day. Then we drove just a few miles to Independence Rock. We had a great time climbing the rock, finding pioneer names carved into the rock, and spotting rabbits and pronghorn. The boys liked jumping over the cracks in the rock, too.

Independence Rock doesn't look hard to climb...
... but we had to make base camp halfway up!
The views are beautiful on the top of Independence Rock.
Ty and Nate are good sports to tag along with us. It only gets worse! 
We all made it to the top, although it was questionable for Mom for a minute. 
This is the highest point on the rock.
Everyone enjoyed leaping over the cracks. 
Here goes Dax. 
Mark's turn.
Nate didn't want to get left out!
We saw a few little bunnies running around.
Seth wanted his own jumping picture.

When we finally rolled into Casper it was nearly 10 o’clock. We got the beds all laid out, and they are wall to wall! Mom said she’s never slept in a room with seven boys before. Luckily, nobody snored and we all slept pretty well!
Wall to wall boys. 

Appearance on Fox 13

We posed outside the studio. 
Mom has done KSL’s Studio 5 program at least a half dozen times to promote our website. She’s talked about hikes, waterfalls, and many of our other adventures. She’s pretty good on TV, and though she get’s nervous, she does like it. So when Fox13 called and asked her to be on their daily show, she agreed. Fox wanted both Mom and Dad on the show, though, and Dad wasn’t sure that was a good idea!

But we decided that on the day we got back from Bear Lake we’d stop at the Fox Studios and do a live segment. We planned really carefully beforehand. Mom would talk about the website, the animals, and the geothermal features in Yellowstone, and Dad would talk about the hikes and the waterfalls. Meantime, the kids could watch on TV from a small lobby in the next room.

The segment went pretty well even though Dad was confused when he saw the same lady several times and noticed she was in a different dress. Then Mom informed him that twins hosted the show, and they both happened to be pregnant! We don’t get a big bump in viewership on our site from TV programs, but it was really fun to do a show together! And Dad did wonderful! 
Mom loved having Dad as her partner on TV!
The best part was one of the camera crew came and asked us a lot of questions about Yellowstone before we went on live. She was heading to Yellowstone later that summer, and wanted to know everything we knew. It's fun to help people get out and adventure!

Here is the link to the clip in case you'd like to watch!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Bear Lake Day 4

We played a lot of games on this rainy day!
It is so cold today! Not only is the temperature in the mid 40s, there has been a slowly, steady drizzle of rain all day. We hung around most of the morning not doing much. The kids made paper airplanes out of a kit Stephanie had, and the found an old Milles Bornes game they had fun with.
Grandma also rolled out a huge piece of paper for coloring, which is Seth's favorite thing to do.
Aunt Stephanie always plans fun things for the kids to do!
Mark tried to see how far his plane would go. 
Not sure how well it flew, but it was decorated well!
Finally, after lunch we decided to go for a ride. We drove up toward Afton, which is about an hour away to see the new temple in Star Valley. The canyon is so beautiful as you turn north out of Montpelier. Mark spotted a moose right away. Later we saw several deer, including a tiny baby that was nursing from its mother. We also saw sandhill cranes and great blue herons.
It rained and rained! 
Our boys are good adventurers no matter the weather.  
We saw another moose!  
This sandhill crane was all fluffed up for the rain.
Can you spot the Great Blue Heron? How about when you are driving by at 65? That's what Randy did! 
Here he is flying away from us! 
We spotted this baby deer nursing. 
The mom told the baby to hide, which it did for awhile, and the mom tried to walk away to distract us.
They figured out that we were just going to stay in our car, so the baby came back out. 
The baby was so small!
We made it to the temple and took pictures for our temple books. We were surprised how tiny the Star Valley Temple is! It's base seems very small. We stopped at Red Baron Drive-In for shakes and ice cream, which was really delicious. Then we headed back home.
This temple isn't any bigger than a church. It's tiny.
Ice cream is delicious even in the rain!
On the way, we couldn't resist a six mile drive out to a reservoir called Cottonwood Reservoir, which is a turnoff in the tiny town of Smoot. The road was wet and rocky, and more than a little sketchy in some places. We even came to one place where the rushing river had covered the road, but someone had come along and built a nice dike, so the water had turned back into its course. The drive was more than lovely, though a little nerve-wracking, and there was nobody else on the road. Finally, we made it to the reservoir and took a few pictures. Then we turned around and came back to St. Charles, where our house is.
The river had obviously flooded the road here and someone built up this nice bank to keep it back,
The road was pretty sketchy, but Randy is a great driver.
The area was beautiful, especially the reservoir. We decided we would definitely come back and camp here. 
Mom was in charge of dinner again. She made pasta, meatballs, and garlic bread. She even made a spaghetti squash for Dad. After dinner was a lot of work. One of the crumby things we've been dealing with is a boil order here in St. Charles. On the day we arrived there was a note from the city on the door that said the high water had contaminated the drinking water. We have the cooler with us, so this seems like no big deal, but washing dishes is a nightmare! We have to boil several gallons of water just for washing, more for rinsing, and some for cooking, too. It's been pretty inconvenient. Still, despite the weather and the water, we've had a good time being together.

The last night we sat together to tell stories. This tradition began a few years ago when we started coming to Bear Lake. Everyone tells a story. Grandma usually kicks the night off, and even the smallest kids will share a fun story. We mostly laugh and laugh at all the silly memories that we have from vacations and growing up, and it's so fun to see what the grandkids are going to share. Everyone went to bed happy!
Grandma is a great storyteller. 
I love this picture of my sister laughing at the stories. It's a fun tradition.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Bear Lake Day 3

We love stopping at Tony Grove, but look at all that snow!
Today was really cold! The high temperature was 59 degrees, and it actually snowed in the canyon. We certainly weren't going to the lake, so we decided to take an excursion to Logan. On the way down the canyon we wondered if we could hike Tony Grove, so we took a detour to the lake. We jumped out and took a few pictures, but it was freezing cold and the lake still had ice on it. There was snow all the way around the lake, so there were many reasons we didn't do the hike. On the way back to the highway, though, Mark spotted a moose, so every felt like the morning was a success.
It was freezing at the lake! Cold and windy! 
We laughed at the crazy weather! Well, most of us laughed!
Make spotted this moose from about a million miles away. 
He mostly hung out behind that tree, so we didn't get a super great look. 
It was raining hard in Logan, so we stopped at the Tabernacle. There was a concert going on, and the performers were singing songs from musicals. We know a lot of musicals, but no one sang anything we knew! Still, the boys were good, and we were dry.
We had a nice and dry time in the Logan Tabernacle. 
We crossed the street to the Bluebird Cafe, which has been around since 1914. Grandpa bought lunch and ice cream, which was really good. Then we headed home and Mom made tacos for dinner. Since it was so cold, the kids mostly stayed inside and watched movies. About the only other thing that happened was the slow departure of some of our family. Britt and Eligah left yesterday. Jason and the Pooles left today. And Bob left tonight before bed. There seems to be a lot more room in the house, but we'll miss everybody!
This is most of the gang. Britt and Eligah had already headed home.  
Seth was thrilled that there was a flag in our room at the restaurant. He wanted a picture by it. 
The rolls are huge and delicious at the Bluebird Inn!
This was what the canyon looked like as we drove back to Bear Lake! 

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