Montana – Day 9

An early start today a we’re leaving to visit the Garrett ghost town at nine. That means Sunday huckleberry pancakes for breakfast at the ranch before we head out.

Warmer weather and blue skies set the tone for our Saturday. Kayla and Jason have a good, solid riding lesson—time to practice working with a horse, getting to know a mount. Kayla’s equine partner is a bit stubborn, but she convinces him she’s the boss. Jason draws a sweetheart, a people pleasure who enjoys a good petting.

Girl in lavender boots meets her mount. Photo by j a-b

Kayla hasn’t been up on a horse for a long time, and the last time we were here, Jason had a fall, so this sets them up for our trail ride this week.

Ready to ride. photo by j a-b

Kat sets up Darts on the Switch, and Griffin laughs as if it’s the funniest thing ever invented.

I’m happy to get a little work in, then wander outside. There’s a big bush blooming with what looks like pink honeysuckle. Gotta get a picture, so next time I’ll take my phone out with me—and some scissors to snag some blooms.

Kat makes scratch biscuits in the toaster oven! Absolutely delish! She’s now honor-bound to do so again.

#randomkatness in the kitchen. Photo by Nora

Kayla and Kat have a date with the canopy tour so it’s off to get them geared up. And the horses are in the paddock! Oh, so pretty. One wanders over as I go to the fence, but it turns out he doesn’t want me to pet him. He wants to nibble on my jacket.

I decline.

I don’t think so!!! Photo by BW

A big bay’s more accommodating and gives me the sweet eye as I rub between his ears. Still my favorites are the gorgeous buckskins, both lounging on the ground. Several of the horses stretch out for Saturday afternoon naps.

Off to the ropes course, and into the harnesses.

I will always decline this activity, but the girls are more than game. There’s a little guy—maybe 10–with another group who also heads to the challenge course. His mom calls him out, points to the intermediate, so it’s just K&K for the challenge.

It’s up there, really up there. Swinging blocks of wood to balance on, wires to balance on like tightrope walkers, navigating from one rope to the next, a chance to play Spider-Man on a rope net. Kayla nearly loses it on one of the wires, but regains and continues. The stirrup section—seriously, hanging stirrups—nearly does Kat in, but she beats it.

Kat’s turn. Photo by Nora

Initially, Griffin’s concerned—or making concerned noises—when he watches his mom dangle and navigate way up there. But he’d like to try it, too. Daddy finds a way to make this happen—safely ground level.

Mom? Really? photo by j a-b
On the ropes with Dad. Photo by Kat.

Kayla wants to do the long drop finale. Climb up a tall, tall pole to the highest platform where the spotter hooks your harness to the drop line. Sit on the edge of the platform, then . . . Take the leap of faith. A quick drop, then a steady descent to the padded platform below.


Both adventurers report burning legs and core. I bet!

Back home to clean up for dinner.

We note mama bird’s off the nest, so BW goes out to grab a picture—and yes, two babies—one who mistook BW for Mom and eagerly opens up for food. One egg left to hatch.

Feed me. Photo by BW.

A pretty damn perfect evening for outdoor dining, and three of our party go for the amazing smoked Gouda grilled sandwich with smoked tomato bisque. Mmmm. Before we eat Griffin takes his mom off for a walk/run. Of course, the water-loving boy finds a puddle to splash through.

And with the colorful gravel, Kat makes a Pride flag to commemorate the month. She’ll attempt the newer, more inclusive flag next time.

Only Kat would have the patience to create this. Comment by Laura, photo by Kat

We eat under gorgeous and sunny skies before Griffin takes me and Kayla off for a walk.

He thinks he has patsies. There’s an open gate to the next field, and jabbering, prancing casually, he aims for it. Kayla, says: Dude! and beats him to it. Undeterred, he jabbers and strolls on. He wasn’t going for the gate! Just wanted to stroll that way, bang on a pole, jump on the grass. Before he veers toward the gate again. Again, Kayla beats him.

Fine, fine, I really just wanted to hang on the fence, balance on my tummy, jump some more. One more casual wander toward the gate. Denied. So the fence will have to do. I’ll just jabber and balance, and hang. Then, slowly, stealthily try to swing my leg over the lowest rung.

Nana swings the leg back, twice, before he tries to wiggle UNDER the rung. Now he’s insulted as Nana hauls him back. The field’s right THERE. It’s everything I want and can’t have.

What’s Nana talking about? I just want to sit down! Photo by j a-b

The battle is brief before Daddy comes and hauls him back to the table.

Huckleberry ice cream! I can’t do it justice tonight, but still a couple tastes are heaven.

Home to hang out, to do the Daddy Dance, BW and Kayla start to watch a movie, but the girl’s worn out. Bedtime comes early.

I’m up early to a pink sunrise and the low wall of mist. Into the 80s today, and I say: YAY!!

May squeeze in a short work out—or not—before morning adventures.


Bonus Griffin content.

13 thoughts on “Montana – Day 9”

  1. Wow! Kat and Kayla are brave! I could never do even the Intermediate! Maybe Griffin’s rope walk is my speed.
    Glad you’re all enjoying the vacation. My mother and daughter used to go horse riding when we were on vacation. I just paid for it and waved them off. Maybe next month when our family goes to Cancun, my daughter and granddaughter will ride together. My son-in-law would never try to lift himself info a saddle!
    Keep posting.

  2. Love Montana and glad to see you and your family are enjoying it, also. Enjoy your daily journal.

  3. Such brave ladies! Totally amazes me how Griffin is amused playing with things laying around….he’s such an awesome little guy! Sure he keeps all of you on your toes 😜😜

    Hope you continue to have warm and beautiful days😎😎

  4. Griffin is bound to make it over the fence before you leave! He is such a funny little guy. Looks like all of you are finding things to do to have fun. Enjoy the time together.

  5. WOW! Kayla and Kay are two brave ladies! Not sure if I would try it??? Griffin is just too cute!!
    Can’t wait to see what adventures you all get into tomorrow! What a fabulous vacation! You’re missing all the rain that we are getting in MD!
    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Those are some brave girls in your family. You’d never catch me doing that. and is there nothing Kat can’t do- making biscuits frim scratch? I notice Nora did not get on a horse- i know heights is an issue. The last time i was on one, i was going downhill on a rocky path, & the horse’s hooves slipped a little, w/me on his back. That was the last time for me.
    That Griffin is just adorable-the trip wouldn’t be as exciting w/o him.

  7. That looks scary and fun at the same time. Go Kat and Kayla brave ladies.
    Griffin is way too cute. They have so much energy at that age.

    It’s in the 90s here in Texas with a feels like temp of 102.
    The place where I’m staying has no ac. I’m happy Starbucks is open on the inside now. I am fully vaccinated too.

  8. Kudos to K&K for doing the endurance lap. While I’m not afraid of heights, I have great respect for gravity. I’d be too worried about that to enjoy it. The horse ride would be more my style. Griffin knows how to hold onto a goal, his parents are in for a wild ride, raising him. Your description, Nora, of his attempts for freedom, are so funny. Thanks for the baby bird update! Our heat is really settling in for the next couple of weeks. I think Summer has arrived here and it’s on its way north.

  9. As I absolutely can not do heights, I admire those who can face that sort of challenge. I would love to do the trail ride. Thanks again for sharing your time and family with us.

  10. I can see why Nora declines the Ropes. I’m not sure my knees would cooperate. But it did look like fun. The horses are beautiful. Should be a good trail ride. Griffin seems to be really trying to work out how to get into that field! Looking forward to reading about the next try. I liked Kat’s Pride Flag; very creative. Thank you a for sharing another day of your vacation.

  11. Billings resident here. Have you guys checked out Philipsburg? It’s west of anaconda and south of Missoula.

    You can mine your own raw sapphires there. That’s one of our favorite activities.

    From a rock hounding family

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