Monday, August 30, 2010

"The Research Trip" (AKA Brownie Reunion)

This year for Brownie reunion, Mom wanted to go to Island Park in Eastern Idaho to do some "research" for next year's Mackley Reunion. I liked her idea of research: scenic byways, Yellowstone, a float trip, and a melodrama.

The first day Tricia and I drove up with Mom and Dad. We got to take a pretty scenic byway with some really beautiful country. Eastern Idaho looks MUCH different from Southern Idaho. I would say the Eastern part looks similar to Northern California with it's mountains, evergreen trees, and lots of lakes and rivers. We stopped at a pretty waterfall called Mesa Falls. Those were my first pictures of the weekend. And in case your wondering, after I edited it down on my camera, I was only down to 210 pictures for the weekend :). We met up with Trevor and Erica at the cabin. They had driven up the night before and stayed at a hotel in Idaho Falls before driving to the cabin in the morning. Alex told us that they 'lived' at a hotel with a pool that was IN the building! Pretty exciting stuff :). On our first day we also went over to Big Springs. It's spring water that comes up from an underground aquifer that feeds the Snake River and Henry's Fork. They had a pretty bridge that you could feed fish. Oh! that's a funny story! That morning when we got in the car, I was sitting up front and Dad puts an old Dairy Queen cup in the cup holder and tells me not to drink because they're worms from the garden, and Tricia got the gags. During the drive Dad and I kept reminding each other not to drink because of the worms :). Funny! Poor Tricia. Also next to Big Springs is a really cool museum at Johnny Sack's Cabin. Johnny Sack moved ther in 1929 and it took him 3 years to build the cabin and it is gorgeous! It's seriously cool when you walk around looking at all the beautiful woodworking that he essentially did with hand tools. Plus, he was a real character I guess. He was only 4'11" and he said he never married because a woman would just put rugs on his floors and draperies over the picture windows :).

The next day we drove into Yellowstone. Trevor wasn't feeling well, so I rode with Erica and the kids, and Tricia rode with Mom and Dad through Yellowstone. We found buffalo right away. Erica was so excited she was jumping up and down and giggling :). When we stopped for a picnic lunch, it was near a beautiful meadow and stream and, oh yeah, a herd of elk. We stopped to see some geysers and mud pots, visited Old Faithful, and drove through the north part of the park and saw some BEAUTIFUL country all hilly and green and streams and elk and mountainy and craggy and just GORGEOUS! I know for Mackley reunion we're not going to go to Yellowstone, but a lot of the families have talked about going before or after. I hope they do because Yellowstone is a one of a kind place (half the world's geysers are in Yellowstone!), but if they do I have one piece of advice. No caravanning, and if they must they'd better take walkies because it is infuriating to get separated and trying to find each other. Although, one of my favorite moments was when we were looking for Mom and Dad's car. We turned at a cross roads and there in the middle of the road was a buffalo. This guy was huge with some branches in his horns, and he just kind of lumpered across the road and stopped to take a drink of rain water in a pot hole. Then he looked up at the cars like, eh, then ignored them and kept on walking. Erica's Tribute has a sunroof, so we opened that up and stood up and got some great pictures as he walked past us :). That night Chris drove up after work and Lisa's family joined us after Shane had gotten off work. They'd both had pretty yucky weeks, so they couldn't join us earlier. Chris, Tricia, and I had the bunk room and were just settling down when Lisa and Josh came in to say hi. I don't even remember how it started, but Lisa started quoting a movie and it just cracked Tricia up. So then Lisa, acted it out and Tricia laughed harder. Then, Dad comes in and says, "You girls stop giggling and go to sleep." Which, of course, made us laugh harder. sigh. Some things never change :).

On Saturday, Dad took us on a float trip on Henry's Fork. When Mom and Dad came up for their anniversary trip to Island Park in June for "research" for the Research Trip (AKA Brownie Reunion), Dad thought it looked fun, so he paid for all of us to go. Isn't that nice?! We needed two boats: an eight- man rubber raft and a two-man hard shelled fishing boat for all twelve of us. Did you do the math? :) The river was beautiful but there were a few spots that the it was only 6 inches deep so Shane and Erica and Josh and Lisa had to sometimes get out and pull us through until it got deep enough. We got to see some wild life and mom rowed around in Trevor and Chris's boat like the Queen of Sheba. After the float trip, we went back to the cabin and crashed. Rowing (or dragging rafts/ boats) and sunshine make you tired! For dinner we went to Max's Inn Playhouse for dinner theater. I had the prime rib and baked potato. Poor Alex took one bite of potato and SCOWLED at Chris, "Why didn't you tell me it was hot!" Chris and Erica were stumped for a second and then realized that she'd put horseradish and not butter on the potato. I bet it was hot! But it sure went well with Chris's prime rib! The play was a melodrama of Robin Hood. Even Ian got into the action Booing any time Prince John came on stage. I think that a couple times he even started the heckling :). My favorite character was Deep Frier Tuck. He spoke with a lisp and had the most hilarious expressions.

It was a great trip and I thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with some of my favorite people in the whole world!

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