Alas, good times don’t last forever and our vacation time was winding down. However, we had one last hurrah lined up. The Dunhams do an annual three day camping trip with friends at what they call “Hobo Point”. Since it overlapped with the end of our vacation, we got to tag along.
It was ironic in a way. If we hadn’t traveled to Montana, we most likely would have been taking our camping trip down to Buggs Island the same weekend (we call it Fun Fest).
There were similarities: both trips involve camping with a lakefront view, a Sea Ray boat to enjoy the water, and a dog or two.
But I have to say, the Montanans really know how to do camping right.
The property we stayed on wasn’t much to look at at first glance. But then campers, trucks and boats started to show up. Brooms were brought out and campsites were swept. Carpeting was laid out, tables appeared and before long, it was a most impressive set-up with just about all the comforts of home.
We enjoyed group meals — and we were a big group!
Everyone took turns helping to cook and clean.
We brought our sleeping bags from home and borrowed everything else we might need (like a tent and pillows). I worried about it getting too cold at night, but everyone slept fine.
My kids enjoyed roasting hot dogs over the fire …
… making and eating s’mores …
And just hanging out
on with their cousins.
The campsite was fun, of course, but the lake was the real attraction.
It was beautiful, and apparently the fishing was good.
But the inflatables were even more fun. My kids loved …
The Giant tubes!
And floating islands!
And just chilling on the boat.
These kids really live the life of Riley.
A short ways across the lake was a really cool rope swing into the water. It was a big hit with the kids.
Even I took a turn! (And no, I’m not posting the photo — I looked much cooler in my mind’s eye).
Cousin Josiah wins the cool points for his stylish jump.
Uncle Brad’s style was also distinctive.
Heading back across the lake, we were quite a sight.
If you look closely, you’ll see we have 10 tubers, 2 kayakers drafting in the back, and one Montana surfer hitching a ride up front.
It was, as you can imagine, a super fun time. We had to leave the party a day early, but before heading out, we got a group picture with everyone.
There were 6 families represented by 33 people, if I have my math right. The Montanans are a plentiful bunch!
Sadly, we had to say goodbye. We were due to fly home on Tuesday, leaving out of Spokane, which was 4+ hours away. So we traveled west on Monday, stopping in Sandpoint, Idaho to spend the night and visit with old friends. We knew the Ms when they lived back east near us and were delighted to meet their newly expanded family (they just adopted 3! kids from Ethiopia — you can read all about it on Kimberly’s blog). Alas! I forgot to take a picture. 🙁
Finally, Tuesday morning, we were up early and out the door. We got to Spokane in good time and had a good experience flying back, despite it involving 2 flights, and a 3+ hour layover (plus a delay) in Denver. The kids traveled like champs, and kudos to Frontier Airlines for a good experience on both ends.
We arrived at National just after 11pm at night, and were greeted by Grandad … and a wave of humidity. It’s been a bit of culture shock, adjusting back to the D.C. pace of life, but we are thankful for the great memories we took home with us and hope we can get back to Montana soon.
We love you, cousins! Now come visit us here! 🙂