After a long but beautiful drive from Montana, we arrived at my brother’s just east of the Cascade Mountain. As we packed up wet when leaving Glacier, we opened up our GO to dry off. Some of the family watched, witnessing how the coolest camper ever blossoms! We put up the awning also, to keep our bins out of the hot sun. But it is amazing how quickly the tent dries!
It is lovely and relaxing to hang out at my brother’s and sister-in-law’s idyllic home in the foothills of the mountains, right under Mt Bonaparte. Of course, it was fantastic to have a hot shower at hand!!
On the 4th of July, we headed out to the Chesaw Rodeo! It is a tiny town, with a real small-town rodeo. We’d never even heard of wild cow milking! They let loose a number of range beef cows (NOT milk cows) and teams had to rope one, get some milk, and present it to the judges. Let me tell you, these cows were not happy and did not make it easy!! Amazingly, several teams actually completed the task. There was also a wild horse race – they released wild (unbroken) horses which teams had to rope/catch, get a saddle on it, and ride it. Didn’t surprise us that no one completed this impossible task!
On the 5th, we hiked with my brother’s family on the Virginia Lily trail, through some old-growth forest with views of the Okanogan Highlands. It was shocking to hear and see cattle amongst the trees in some areas of this open range national forest.
My other two siblings and their spouses arrived later that day, in time for dinner. This week was living in gourmet heaven, with food directly from their garden, meals created by each sibling and incredible home-made baked goods by my sister-in-law.
Saturday was our keystone event, hiking Mt Bonaparte as a memorial tribute to our parents. It was a beautiful and challenging hike, with fantastic views from the ranger fire tower at the summit.
The next day we relaxed with a tour of their land, rousing games of croquet, topped off with homemade pizzas, expertly prepared in their outdoor oven (built by my brother).
On July 9th, we packed up, including my sister and brother-in-law, and headed for Banff National Park in Canada. Due to their additional gear, we traveled with the GO in transport mode – with plenty of room to spare.