It was one of those trips that I think my family will never forget. It was filled with memories of generations of before for future generations to come. I know for one that McK was a changed boy this trip. He went from a drug store cowboy to a real rip roaring Cowboy....(in his mind of course).
Day 1 - June 30th, 2011
To begin our trip, we flew up to Great Falls Montana. I've been to Montana before...It was 14 years ago, before Mark and I were married and we were on our way up to his Grandpa Reeders Funeral. Mark decided to take his turn at driving, so he took over at the wheel. I remember it being late and I didn't feel well I dozed off to sleep. I woke up sometime later to the sound of words that shouldn't be named, bright green reflective signs that listed "Billings" as the upcoming town, and the harsh realization that we had been going the wrong direction for the last 5 hours. I was a bit shocked that my dream guy was directionally challenged. His brothers quickly took over and needless to say he still hasn't lived that one down. Even the Reeder family still joke about it.
Back on track....
We explored Great Falls a bit since we arrived 8 hours before anyone else.
We found a great store call "Big R" so we could buy some cowboy hats for the reunion rodeo. It was such a great place. It was like a Home Depot, Intermountain Farmers, Big 5, and Boot Barn all rolled into one package. I've never seen anything like it. Shot guns and Rifles were out on shelves where you could pick them up and handle them. Not behind counters like everywhere else I've been. It was really refreshing to see a state with more freedoms. We loved that store! We then retreated to a hotel for the night , which the boys thought was pretty cool. It reminded me of an Embassy Suites gone 2.5 star. We weren't complaining a bit but our neighbors in the room next door did. I guess the Thatcher crowd is a little noisy, which I like to blame on Mark but I guess I was raised close to a barn myself.
We set out early Friday to make our drive to Canada. It is estimated 2 hour drive from Great Falls to Cardston. However, it took us nearly 5 hours to get there. Why? Humm....well let's just say that we didn't want to hurt any gas station's feeling by doing a drive by......oh and I guess we were traveling with a lot of lil' ones with small bladders. ;) We arrived at a cabin that we had rented in Mountain Home. It was perfect for a large group like the Thatchers. It had 8 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms and a large family and dining area.
There was the large Reeder reunion that night that we went to. It was a lot of extended family and I felt like I didn't know most of them there, but it was so beautiful there and we got to see the home that Grandma (Smith) Reeder was raised in. The boys had no problem making themselves feel comfortable with the grass so tall and everywhere, they couldn't help but play in it.