Saturday, October 5, 2013

Blogging from Beautiful Bozeman

Des found some space in the Wind Tunnels
Hi all; I have a Montana beer in my hand and a post-season baseball game on the tv; time to reconnect with you all.  (this is Sarah, btw; I realize my first line there might have thrown you off). So much to say; oh, and I have the time! Northwestern and OSU are starting up the Homecoming showdown..go Cats!  I love that the link bleeds purple!

We've been circling Yellowstone, first in Moran, Wyoming, then Ennis, Montana, now here in Bozeman, trying to wait out Congress and the cold weather.  We're heading to Cody, Wyoming for a couple of days tomorrow, to see the Buffalo Bill Museum and hopefully wait out the Congressional cat fight.  In the meantime I'll explain these photos....

 Here's our family selfie with our adopted dog for the day, the Peeples Waugh's dog, Django.  We have been on a dog tour this year, which has been one of our favorite parts.  Ah, beautiful sun.  Please come back to play!
Enjoying the local brew in Jackson, WY on our brew tour!

 Gar found us a ranch still open in Moran, Wyoming, right between the Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone.  I would link these parks to show you the beautiful vistas, but they're all shut down.  I think this pic, while it was from before the shut down, explains how we feel about being shut out of Yellowstone.  I felt even sorrier for the Chinese couple at the ranch, who I'm sure had everything planned out with a jam-packed itinerary.  There were a lot of tourists taking pics of the Grand Teton and Yellowstone signs...and turning around!  How sad.
Junior Rangering at the Grand Teton Visitor Center (pre-shutdown)

You like our Tetons?

Des doing what he does best...chatting up the rangers. How I miss you, rangers.

 Hey!  Back in Logan...can't figure out how to move it back into chronological order, so here you go.  See the temple in the background?  I had flashbacks to the mosque in my Peace Corps village Kerr Cherno, The Gambia.

This one's for you, Auntie Erica.

And for you, Gramma Janet and Grandpa Steve

And...we're back to the Grand Tetons.  Love these colors!  How about them quaking aspens?  They look like golden pompoms shaking in the wind!
The boy endures the hail for the shot of the Tetons!  And the clouds part for him!

Des is made Junior Ranger again!  Hear the battle cry!

Here we are on October 1st, driving back down to Jackson, shut out of Yellowstone.  Did I mention I'm also taking two MentorCoach classes?  I spent most of the drive on the phone listening to my hero, Dr. Barb Fredrickson, talk about coaching from and with love.  There are worse things to look at while listening to your hero talk about things that move you.  Like the Grinch, my heart grew two sizes that day, even with the shutdown.
How do you know you're in the wild west?  Lots of fiberglass buffalo...

A pic of the precious spuds, Josie!  

Gary missed the state he improvised 

I love my ginger squad, more than life itself.  And yet, I yearn for a glass partition in my little car.  And that is why the best investment, so far, has been  We are currently loving Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman.  Emmett said that Neil Gaiman is "his kind of author."  This book is not for little boys, it's for young adults.  But luckily the references we don't want them to get, they don't get.

Don't get any ideas Des....
 After getting shut out of Yellowstone, we drove around the park to the West side, and stayed with Gary's buddy from Vietnam, Sam Korsmoe and his soccer stud son, Coulter, in Ennis, Montana.  If any of you want to fly fish or run a really cool marathon, come here!  Sam is also doing some really, really cool stuff, you should all check out, fund, send kids to.

Sam advised us to go to Virginia City, where we learned about vigilante justice.
Montana has the toughest women in the US!!

Instead of going to school, we decided to go to the graveyard up top of Virginia City.  I will get back to you about what our learning intentions were.
Look out Mia and Aidan...
They like their metalwork around here!

Emmett has set a goal this year to improve his parkour skills.  What's better than a park with gigantic tractor tires!  His skills are dope!  (I'm trying to earn street cred, a la Terry Gross)
Not to be outdone by his younger bro...

What do you think of that shot, David Gran?

Mom can play too

We pulled into Bozeman, Montana on Thursday in a snowstorm; this is when Gary's character strength of prudence serves us all.  He drove carefully--whiteknuckled, yes--through a very snowy, slippery pass, and did it beautifully.  Hope you can see the temp in the background in this shot...we're not in Shanghai for October break anymore!
Des and the dino face off...

Big Mike in the snow

It's October 3rd, by the way...

One of the highlights of our trip are the planned and unplanned get togethers with old friends.  Thank you Facebook and LinkedIn!  Here we are with Wayne Mortimer, our favorite Aussie in Bozeman (and in Portland, when he lived there).  How many years ago did we mentor with you, Wayne?  Pretty sure that precluded marriage, and kids.  Great, great fun.  And Montana Ale Works do you have any job openings?  We're ready to move here, Bozeman.  We know, we're not the only ones.

Back to the coolest museum, the Museum of the Rockies.  Did you know that Yellowstone is a supervolcano?  Did you know that T Rex lose teeth throughout their lives, as they start eating different foods?   Did you know that the homesteading condom was meant to be reusable, and was called the Merry Widow?  I didn't!

The Bozeman Library was totally awesome.  We had a great hour or two there, got some ideas, then went and bought some great literature at the Country Bookshelf, Bozeman's version of Powell's. I realize I'm a linking fool, but why not?  Look it up! It's interesting and fun stuff!  I picked up a book that I now can't put down.  I'm trying to read local, just like I'm eating local.  Boise State's Brady Udall's The Lonely Polygamist is already a fabulous page turner, and I am confident both my Shanghai and Portland book clubs would love it!  I am consuming this book faster than I can choke down the next bison pot sticker.  Read it!
Back to the NU-OSU homecoming game...we're up 20-13 at half!  Cats upset, c'mon!  It happens to be the Montana State Bobcats homecoming game this weekend in Bozeman as well, and as we sat at the Naked Noodle, enjoying our various noodle medleys, the MSU marching band converged in the street.  We got a free show!  Why do college marching band always have such dorky, punny names?  The NUMB band took a lot of crapola, from what I recall... and MSU motto was "we've got the vim...we're going to win!"  The vim?  Who says that?  (They were pretty great, though.  I was feeling the vim).

We've got some great stuff from today's Bridger Raptor Fest, but the game is back on and I'm blogged out.  Please write your congressperson and explain to them how much a family you know would like to visit your national monuments.  Desi has so many questions for the rangers!  Let us at em! We're pretty good at entertaining ourselves, and there's some learning happening, we think. If you have ideas of how to entertain ourselves in lieu of national parks and monuments, please send your ideas.  We're also entertaining suggestions of our school name and mascot...want to hear the front runners?