WOW - what a fantastic stay

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Flag of United States  , Montana
Thursday, August 30, 2012

We heard them coming, as the deep droning sound of the Harley broke the silence around the quiet serene St Mary's RV park in Beautiful Glacier national park, Mark  & Teri  Bittinger our great friends from Bozeman arrived on their rented Harley, looking like a couple of bikies. Little did I realise that as Mike was admiring the Harley that his mind was typically racing at a 100 miles an hour which would lead to yet another adventurous experience down the track ... more about that in a future blog!   We all enjoyed a meal out together, it was so nice to catch up with them again. 

The next morning, we drove up the 'road to the sun' in Glacier National Park.   This narrow road winds up the high mountains, with sharp curves, switchbacks & very deep valleys, we totally marvelled at the amazing views down to the lake.   It was quite busy with many red tourist busses.  When here in May, we couldn't drive this road, as it was closed due to winter snow.

It was at this point I noticed the front tyre on the passenger side had a large bulge in it, (hence the wobbly wheel) but Mike could not get the spare tyre off, the key would not open the lock.  We continued on, hoping we could get back to St Mary's, so took it easy, as we were not keen on having a tyre blow on these roads.  Later, in the heat of the day, we heard a loud bang and the car shook violently, but Mike typically believed that he safely wrestled the car to a standstill  & on checking, the tyre hadn't blown, but a section of 'tread'  had partly peeled off.  Fortunately we were  past the busy narrow section right up the top, but  were still 15 kms from the town,  no phone or computer service.   Mike thought he would try again to get the spare tyre off, so off with the bikes and this time, the lock opened, so he could change the tyre.

On our way to Bozeman we stayed in GREAT FALLS  - once again, Very hot, 38 degrees & our air conditioner in the Suzuki was not working, (Any one who knows Mike would know that he would not be happy without the A/C working!!)  so we drove around with windows down, feeling like we could at least enter into the life of the explorers we read & learnt about at the The Lewis & Clarke information centre!!   We also went to the natural springs, that has been spewing out water from an underground spring since 1800's.  The cool clear water stays the same temperature all year round. 

Next it was on to Pipestone National Park where we met up with Mark & Teri (after getting a bit lost & keeping them waiting for an hour!) We camped (in our RV)  for 5 days & the rest of the Bozeman Meeting came up on Friday night for the weekend. 

Next morning it was time for ATV training. We each had a Polaris 500cc powerful twin cylinder 4WD bike.   We were allowed about 10 minutes riding round the carpark, then  Mark, Teri (with 5year old Quinn, a little boy Teri looks after, on the back of her ATV), Mike & myself were off for an adventurous day.   WELL....... words cannot fully describe the places we rode these bikes during the next 3 days.  The film clip does not do it justice.  We went on some good fast tracks & some extremely scary ones.  Within the first 10 minutes,  I nearly drove mine up a tree, providing amusement for them all & Mike had to rescue me.   We soon got the hang of it, & tried some even rougher trails, up & down steep hills, over huge boulders,  through water.  It was so much fun, but at times I was petrified!  Mark would continually encourage & promise we wouldn't go anywhere TOO scary!!   I quickly learnt not to believe him EVER!!  It was on to steeper trails, scarier than before, having to negotiate our way over or round fallen trees, over larger boulders,  on trails with deep crevasses through them, that if we had turned slightly wrong, we would have rolled!     Mark made sure to lead the way, so by the end of the day, we were absolutely covered in dust, while he looked as fresh as when we started!

There were some hairy scary trails, at times Teri & I refused to ride some sections,  so Mark & Mike would take over.   With  the ATV's on an acute angle, 2 wheels off the ground, they would drive up the difficult parts, while Teri, Quinn & myself clambered up.    One steep trail ended down the bottom of the hill, a dead end, at a little log cabin where 2 brothers lived.  They looked like "Montana's Most Wanted" ... and we all thought that we'd be sliced and diced and harvested for our organs!!! (wow I'm starting to sound like Mike .... hang on a second Mike is writing this part!!!)  They were amazed when they heard that us ladies had ridden on some of these tracks.  They requested a lift up to their car, so I went on  Mikes ATV & they both went up on mine.  Back up the VERY steep track  (I had to sit on the front of the ATV to balance it,  so it wouldn't flip back) SCARY! Our boys would have LOVED this so much.   By the end of the day, every bone in our body ached,  We were IN AGONY but it was well worth it!!!!  A warm shower never felt so nice! 

At night we sat with Mark & Teri & everyone else arrived, we all sat & chatted round the fire.

We were ready the next morning to go back again on the ATV's, ready to find the 'unridable' trail & see if we could master it!   Briana came as well on Saturday, so I went on the back of Mikes.  We found a cave, & Mike practiced his 'director' skills & we made a 'movie'.  SO MUCH FUN & LOTS OF LAUGHS!!  Was it a lovely kiddies movie? ... Oh no ... it was titled "Killer in a Cave"!! Hmmmmm ... but it was fun.

On Sunday morning we all sat round the fire listening to the soft tones as Steve Favor played his guitar & enjoyed a lovely meeting together, where Mike spoke on the principles of the Athlete, it was rather timely seeing we had just experienced the Olympic games.  We relaxed in the afternoon & let some others go on the ATV's.   It was such a nice weekend, and we really enjoyed all their company.

On Monday we returned to Bozeman for a few more days & stayed with Mark, Teri & Briana, once again lots of laughs & some good games of cards.    While the air-conditioning  in the car was being repaired, we went with them & 4 little day care children to the caverns.  We had to crouch in some sections,  (well all the others did), slide down a part, walk up & down stairs, lots of stalactite & stalagmites.  It was so good.  Outside was quite hot, such a contrast to the coolness of the caves.  From here we drove to Virginia City an old western town & enjoyed an ice cream, before our quick trip back to Bozeman.  At night we went to the  farmers market, then out for a nice dinner. 

On Wednesday night we went to Paul & Erin's place for the class, where Mike presented a visual power point talk and afterwards we had a nice supper together it was most enjoyable.

Soon it was time to leave, very sad to say goodbye, but we have ALMOST convinced them to come over to Australia & visit. We'll see! !!!!!!!!!!  

Anyway, I think that's enough from me, Bye for now, thanks for reading the blog, and we LOVE reading your comments ...keep safe and well,  God bless....Miss you all. 


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Mum on

Loved reading blog and seeing photos but too many risks dearsbecause we
want you to come home safe and sound and dont forget God does not put you
in situations that are too much to bear. Still you had a great time and you are all well that is the main thing.

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