After our Canadian adventure we came home to the UNBEARABLE heat, had one day to unpack, do laundry and repack before leaving on another adventure, this time with my family.
My mom's extended family has a reunion at Bear Lake every other year. My dad came up with the idea of driving through Missoula (to fish, of course), Yellowstone AND the Tetons on our way to Utah.
Although, none of these things are technically on the way to Utah, and we ended up scratching the Teton portion of our trip, we still had a great time. It was tons of driving for the kids (all day every day for several days) but they did great! It was the pregnant lady's bladder that caused the most problems...
but anyway, here's what we did.
-Triple D (Diner's, Drive-ins and Dives) stop in Spokane
-Running away from Uncle Nick at rest stops before he could lasso everybody
- Paul's Pancake Parlour
- Cowboy essential shopping
By the time we left Missoula, we were clearly cowboys and cowgirls ready for a wrangle.
Which was great because our first night in Yellowstone we went to the Wild West Yellowstone Rodeo.
The kids LOVED their hats and bandanas that Grandma and Grandpa bought them at some redneck store. Each child even got to pick out a special prize of a toy horse. Ev and Cole went the traditional route and chose a Pinto and Black Stallion, respectively. Ally miraculously found a unicorn, which she unconventionally called, "Uni."
We showed up to the rodeo a little early, so the kids were able to run around and watch the horses. The rodeo arena was pretty small, so we had great seats!
Our wild west gang.
Rough 'n' Tough Cole
Just a couple of cowgirls.
Ev the cowgirl and her fave mode of transportation, Bessie the Cow.
This guy - was the bomb. Can't remember his name, or his official title (Rodeo Officiant? Redneck in charge? Grand Poobah?) but he was hilarious/weird.
Naturally, he and my dad made quick friends and ironically, Brent volunteered my dad for any crowd including spectacles not knowing that they indeed had crowd including spectacles at the rodeo.
Darc ate, slept and drove in her hat all week. If that's not hard core rodeo material, I don't know what is.
The rodeo was fun and the kids loved every minute. The best part was when they invited all the kids to do a calf scramble, which is when they tie a ribbon around a calf's ear and the kids chase the calf and try to grab the ribbon.
Cole and Ally ran their hardest, but there were lots of older kids who reached the calf first.
Every kid who participated got a silver dollar.
Cole and Ally showing off their silver dollars like the real calf scramblers they are.
The thing that really stole the show was the crowd including spectacle of...
a dance contest.
I didn't even know they had those at rodeos, but the Wild West Yellowstone rodeo is not your average venue. Luckily Brent had pre-volunteered my dad, so he was promptly called out of the audience, despite looking like a total NorthWester in his Chacos and Northface.
I won't spoil the outcome, but I will say that the winner of the contest won $5 off at a local bar in town for a prize, so the competition was fierce.
More on our Yellowstone adventure to come.