On the Road: Week 3

Freebirds take flight!

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Day 15: O.M.G. We rode in a HELICOPTER!!! The most exciting day EVER!!! And, obviously, a first for us both. It was all over by 7:00 AM. But the memory will last a lifetime. Big thanks to Adele, a girl who loves her job so much she would do it for free, I just love those kinds of people. After our heli-high morning, we left TJ and co. for the good ol’ US of A. Back to the usual harassment as we crossed the border and a token high five. The best part of being home was the navigation on our fancy phones was back in action. That of course didn’t stop us from getting lost in Seattle rush-hour on our way to meet our Sweet Katrina, my yoga buddy from Thailand. She hastened us to the climbing gym where everyone stared in awe of Man’s skills (as always). Then back to her stylish and swanky loft for a delicious home cooked meal. After that? We slept like logs. It turned out we had a very extreme day!

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OK. So we couldn’t sleep AT ALL last night!

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This picture cracks me up. Look how excited Man is!!

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Headset! I’am in a headset!

IMG_3087Yes, we are considering a career in aviation!

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Happy Pilot. Happy Co-pilot.

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And the lovely Vancouver herself.

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Apres flight treat. Downtown Vancouver.

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Man and TJ Reunited 🙂 Ghin cow!

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The helicopter wasn’t enough. More heights!

Day 16: Waking up to a frosty Seattle morning, Katrina played tour guide and we kicked it all off at “Top Pot’s”. Anyone involved in our Thailand Yoga Teacher Training program knows this name well. Imagine 20 women, 3 men, doing yoga 8 hours a day in the tropics with delicious Thai vegetarian meals set out every day…for 21 days…day after day, after day. There is going to be someone who cracks. Early on. And utters the word “Old Fashioned Doughnut”.  Enter Katrina. We would gather around this Goddess of Goodies like moths to a flame and she would go on and on, and on, about her favorite Seattle hotspot: Top Pot. Totally lived up to the hype 🙂 After that it was a caffeinated and short but sweet visit. We had less than 24 hours in Seattle, but somehow we managed to do it all! From the Space Needle  lit up at night, to Pike’s Place Market, the Waterfront, and Man even made it to the world’s first Starbucks!

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I am an apple fritter girl myself.

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Suzanne, Katrina, and the Maple Man.

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We are also considering a career in fish-tossing.

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Pike’s Place!

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We have a running joke: If only we had opened the first Starbucks…

Day 17: A long and hotsy-totsy drive across Washington brought us full circle back to Mom, Dad, and John in Coeur D’ Alene, Idaho. It was so nice to unpack and organize the bug and throw some laundry in the wash. Plus it’s great to be hanging out with the family again. We had to hustle back to Couer D’ Alene to meet up with a guy. A fisherman. Who’d heard about Man through the grapevine and just had to meet him in person. Keefer is WAY into fishing. Fly fishing to be exact. And now he has Man hooked. No pun intended.  The days of up at 4:OO AM, home for lunch and back out again are back. And so is trout, trout, trout.

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This trip has over night become more about fishing than any of us dreamed possible.

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John models Man’s revamped fedora. If this doesn’t show dedication…

Day 18: It’s the fourth of July! And we got into a fender bender 😦 Luckily we were all in Mom’s big truck and everybody was A-OK. In a way it’s a good lesson when you are just starting out as a driver. Just going two miles an hour and running into the back of someone can shake everyone up considerably. The guy behind us was putting his sunglasses on when he thought the light was green, but really it was red. Ugh. Such a drag, more than anything. Another thing smart phones sure come in handy for. My Mom snapped the guys picture when he wasn’t looking in case he decided to skip town on us, which was pretty funny. All is well though and we headed home for a big BBQ and fireworks over the trailer park!

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Happy 4th!

Day 19: Montana – HO! Hasta la vista Idaho. I have to say, you surprised me with your beauty and your potatoes really are the best! Today we took off for Kalispell, Montana and the Flathead Lake region. This is where the folks spent most of last summer and we have been itching’ to get up here to check it out ever since. After a relatively short drive (short drives have become 5 hours or less!) We hit the ground running and went off to explore Glacier National Park. I have wanted to see this park forever. I don’t know why exactly? Maybe I liked the name? Unfortunately…well, if you ever do end up going… I recommend you see Glacier National Park before you see Banff National Park. Vice versa might have been better. After Banff, it was all just rather puny. And where is the glacier anyway?Of course we still had a blast and ate our fill of Huckleberry taffy.

IMG_3199Fond farewell Idaho.

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An upshot of Glacier to increase the grandeur.

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Aww, the original Freebirds 🙂

Day 20: We are off to explore! There are plenty of cute little mountain towns around. They all have a bit of cowboy twang to them. Whitefish is cool. Big Fork is awesome. It’s been one of my favorite spots so far. It reminds us all of little Tahoe City, California. The lake is gorgeous! The town is sweet. We went by this really cool Dude Ranch. And you know, I only took one picture. I guess I am hooked on Huckleberry.

IMG_3216Huckleberry this – Huckleberry that.

Day 21: We are off to South Dakota! Via the rest of Montana of course. We stopped for lunch and a quick peak around Bozeman, MT. This is another town I really dig. It’s got that college-town vibe, with plenty of natural grocers, hippy stores, and friendly locals. But our final destination today is Big Timber. A teeny town a few more hours down the road. On the way I see it. My grizzly bear place! YEARS ago, I went with a friend up to her hometown of Butte, MT. While we were there, her dad took us on a float (you know, like down the river) on our way to the river I saw this billboard “Grizzly Bears Here!” and I did the same thing this time as I did then – Gave everyone a near heart attack as I yelled “Pull Over!!”. Now here is how it usually works with Man and I on a road trip…

Me: “Oh, cool! Look at that! Do you want to pull over?”

Man “No.”

Me: “Really? It looks so fun (nice, amazing, etc.)”

Man: “No. I’m OK.”

as the exit flies by. Then hours later I give him the “I can’t believe you didn’t let me pull over to see that!”. Well I guess I shot him a look that said “I will NEVER forgive you if we don’t pull over to see those bears now!”. It was really one of the highlights of my first Montana trip, this in the middle of nowhere, podunk, bear sanctuary which is run by a guy that looks like Willy Nelson. They are in an enclosure (thank god!) but the way its built it really looks like they are just frolicking on the mountainside. You don’t see the enclosure and I guess they don’t really either. And you can get up close, really close, scary close. It’s all a big thrill!

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And in the end he loves it!

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I LOVE these bears!

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Photo bombed by Lucy!

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EVERYONE loved the bears!

The perfect closing to our third week on the road! Stay tuned for next week’s adventures!

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