Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Beartooth Hwy take II, Day 5 {Sabbatical in Montana}

The day after our foray into Red Lodge, on Saturday July 22, 2017 we decided to tackle Beartooth Pass one more time and maybe do a hike or two. We had driven the scenic road two days earlier when we went to Yellowstone but had missed both of the things I had specifically wanted to see - the overlook we stopped at in 2009 (below) and the wall of snow two friends had posted about.

I couldn't figure out what overlook we had stopped at in 2009 until I pulled up the blog with it's pictures and Terry said he knew exactly where that was. I guess my descriptive powers are pretty poor...and yet I author this blog. That probably doesn't bode well. Ha! 

Rock Creek Vista Point was actually very early in on the drive, not even at the top of the mountain yet. It surprised me, but then again, in 2009 we had been in the back of Terry's parent's Rialta and couldn't even see where we were going. We were pretty clueless. 

Once I saw those railings I knew we were at the right place.

Made it! They're looking east-ish back down the valley where our cabin was. 

On the west side of the point were the majority of the chipmunks. Just like in Zion, they were kind of aggressively friendly so it was obvious that they were used to being fed.

Looking west and down at the bottom you can see the highway bend and beginning to climb.

Looking down.

Some kids next to us were feeding the chipmunks with a big pack of sunflower seeds. Look at those cheeks!!

Since there were no signs and the chipmunks were already being fed, we let the kids go for it with some borrowed seeds. This was perhaps the highlight of their trip. Eye roll.

Samuel was super psyched that he got to pet one!

Look at those happy faces. :)

Ok, it's time to remake some pictures! Here is our little family in 2009. I was pregnant with Samuel so Evie was two and Noah was 5. 

Boom baby! 2017. Noah is 12, Evie is 9, Samuel is 6, and Ezra if 4. 

Thought I'd throw in one of just the kids.

The moment I was done, they turned around and sought more chipmunks.

I really wanted to remake this photo of five year old Noah so Terry went the extra mile searched the entire Overlook for the exact stone configuration. That was his perfectionism kicking in. But he could not find it!

We did the best we could. My how he's grown! But oh wait, I just realized that he IS literally standing right next to the same rocks! Wow! We thought we couldn't find it, and just stopped and took the picture, but there it is. So random.

So cute how little Evie was!

Lining them up for the remake...

Ha! She's grown just a little. Ha ha ha!

So stinking cute! And Terry has no grays and no facial hair. Such a baby face!


Evie in my mirror on the way back up the mountain. 

More blurred wildflowers with snowy mountains.

That shelf of snow is where we were headed next to take in the view and play in some July snow. This is where people train for skiing in the early summer - you can barely see the ski lift on the left side of the snow. 

Snow is great fun when it's not cold out!

Samuel trying not to slip.

Beautiful view right?!

Everyone threw snow at each other. Noah's face cracks me up.

We had Noah take some photos of just the two of us. It was so blindingly bright for our old eyes.

This was the exact place we stopped in 2009! I didn't remember that so it was a bonus surprise when I looked back at those pictures. Notice my pregnant belly and the leash, attached to which was young Snap dog, only a year old.

Same place, only more snow! 

Looking north.

We got back in the van and drove up a bit further but stopped again to play in another huge sheet of snow. You can just see Ezra's snowball a couple feet in front of Terry.

Noah was coming for me...

He got me!

Daddy was a good sport and got pretty wet from everyone targeting him. Can you see the snow flying off his back?

Here you can definitely see the snowball exploding. Ha ha.

Noah kept throwing snowballs at me and it was okay...until he hit the camera...

Yeah he hit the lens like a bullseye! This was actually the last photo I took at that location. The rest of the time I spent drying off and cleaning the lens. Grrr! It's not been the same since.

Rewind to before Noah hit the camera. All four kids with a beautiful view!

Samuel missing Daddy. The snowball is in front of Terry's right arm.

Cute little Samuel. Oh yeah, and you can see his little Sheriff badge over his heart - it was his Yellowstone souvenir. 

The next thing I wanted to find was the huge wall of snow that Suzie and the Brue crew had posted about in the last few weeks. Two days before we had missed it, which was crazy since it was just enormous. But just around the corner from where we had been I could easily see in the distance where the snow wall had to be, at the bottom of that arrow. 

See? Isn't is massive?! 
L-R: Brue crew, Suzie's sister-in-law, and Suzie. 

And here is our own collage :D, though poor quality cell pictures.

There was more parking at that corner than perhaps had been there before so we were able to stay for quite a while. Initially we just jumped out and took this photo.


"Wait wait, lets touch it now." After all, we had driven a long way for this and had built it up a lot.

Doesn't Ezra look like he's chewing that stick? Ha!

I traded places with Terry and took their pictures for a while.

I backed way up to take in the full scene. You can see why the snow gets so deep with that cliff like switchback.

This view was directly behind me. Beautiful!

Terry added his name to the wall.

Oh yeah.

He went to the end of the wall and climbed up above too!

Then everyone got busy writing stuff.

"E. K. B"

"Hello From the Dark Side" 

Noah is still obsessed with his parody of Adele's song.

And also "Star Wars."

Terry helped Ezra.

"EZRA" I think all Samuel did was stab the snow over and over with that big stick. 

Across the road Evie made a "JESUS" with a smiley and a cross. Awww.

"MONTANA" and his stick.

Headed over the other side of the pass again.

Driving past Beartooth Lake.

Just past it was Beartooth Falls, which initially Terry wanted to hike. After looking at it we were both like, No way. It was treacherous.

The full view.

We turned around and drove back down the pass to a small lake just a couple miles from our cabin, Greenough Lake.

Just starting out. Initially it was quite nice walking through the trees. When we came to the lake it was a bit of a let down...

Rock Creek was next to us.

The lake was pretty but quite small! 

It took us all of five minutes or less to walk around it. I thought the hike would've had more to it. This is on the opposite bank. 

Headed back on the other side.

Pretty views but very busy since it was a Saturday.

Two days earlier on our way to Yellowstone, we had discovered a shorter and less rocky and bumpy way into and out of the cabin neighborhood.

Once back at the cabin I made black bean tacos, a big favorite of ours. It's a blurry photo because Noah's snowball to the lens knocked things out of whack. It's time for a new lens!

It was still pretty early in the day so we walked down to Rock Creek again.

 This was the first time the kids had stepped in the edge of the river and it made me quite nervous since a kayaker had died in this river a week or so before. But it was very shallow and protected there so they were pretty safe. It was Terry's call. I wouldn't have let them!

They were in the river because they were making rock cairns out there. Terry was quite into it and posted them to Instagram, something he rarely does.

Their tallest cairn was like ten rocks high but it had been knocked over not long before this. That's why Noah is all upset.

Across the creek and looking back at the two bridges.

Pretty little daisies next to the smaller creek and bridge.

Heading back to the road.

Pretty fading sun light.

Our customary nightly fire pit.

Samuel and Ezra, and then Evie, started going nuts with this little game where they'd let their stick catch fire and then put it out in the ashes and talk lots of nonsense about their smoking stick. They were "fire masters" or "smoke masters," depending on what was coming off the stick. Ha! Ezra is a smoke master here.

Blowing on the smoke with those cute little cheeks. So cute!! And that was the end of our fifth day at the Montana cabin!

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