Saturday, July 31

Nevada City

On the third day of the Zimmerman Reunion we traveled a few more miles down the road to Virginia City, one of the best preserved gold mining towns.  Next to that is Nevada City, a town of historic buildings, some original, some moved there from across Montana.  It was a step into the past.

Most of the buildings we could go in but some we had to just look through the windows.
Dave and Karen and great-neice Ramona.
This guy was trying to sell us a chamber pot at the General Store.
Connie in her element- the fabric shop!
Learning about tanning hides.
Chris at the barber shop that says C Hoffman on the window,
kinda kool since her maiden name is Hoffman!
The Fire Station.
This lady showing us how to weave,
at one house a lady served us stew she was cooking on her wood stove
and another lady let us taste Elk meat she was cooking.

Kayla in the school house.
The teacher's desk.
Leane relaxing on the porch.
This was my favorite!
It was beautifully decorated inside.
The Saloon. 
I guess this has been used a few times in filming some western movies.
The saloon proprieter teaching my boys the finer points of gambling.
Steve at the Post Office.  He's a postmaster in Idaho.
A Norwegian double-decker outhouse- how cool is that?
 Had a great lunch at the Star Bakery and Restaurant.
 Diane, Sam, Karen and Dave.
 Jordan, Kayla, Greg, and Linda.
 Here's what I had- a grilled chicken salad and a strawberry smoothie- YUM!
It was an interesting, fun time,
and then we headed back to the camp for some relaxing
and swimming to cool off.

Friday, July 30

In the Belly of the Mountain

Sister Diane planned a couple day trips during our Zimmerman Reunion, the first was to explore the Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park, aprox. 20 miles SW of the interstate at Three Forks.  

A bit of history (per google):
It is one of the largest cave complexes in the NW with fantastical "speleothems" or cave formations – stalagmites and stalactites, dripstone columns, flowstone ribbons and helictites.  The entrance to this stunning cave sits about 1,400 feet above the Jefferson River, which the famed leaders (Lewis and Clark) of the "Corps of Discovery" paddled in 1805, unaware of the nearby wonder. Native Americans knew of the cave, but non-natives didn't discover it until 1882. In 1892, two hunters rediscovered it, returning six years later to explore.  A local miner, Dan Morrison, developed the caverns for the public around 1900, building 2,000 wooden stairs inside (since replaced with concrete by the CCC), and named it "Limespur Cave." Shortly thereafter, however, the railroad laid claim to the land only to pass it to the U.S. government in 1908, whereupon President Theodore Roosevelt declared it the nation's 15th national monument and named it after the explorers. In 1937, the land was transferred to Montana's State Park System to become Montana’s first state park.
It was a long, hot, steep hike up the mountain to get to the entrance, about a half mile.

Great views though.
At the entrance resting and listening to our guide.
We're goin' in! 
We couldn't take any photos for the first few caverns
lest we disturb all the bats and their babies. 
We did disturb one, however,
who had some fun with us.  You should have seen Bill.
Well, it was amazing.
Lots of stooping, bending, and navigating...
 Some tight spaces, one place were we had to slide down on our butts
and then waddle like a duck to get through.
The temperature in the cave is a constant 50 degrees.
Lots of going down...
Lots of going up....
I don't remember the lights being colored,
it is the cave that had lots of variation.  Wow!
We were in there two hours, and hiked two miles through the caves. 
We had to be careful of the cave rats that liked to nip at our shoes. 
We learned to kick them away.  Just kidding!  There were no rats.
Just bats.
These are only a few of our photos but you get the idea.
Here we are in the tunnel to the exit and saying goodbye to our guide.
 Back on the outside of the mountain!
It was awesome and you should definitely put this on your list of places to see! 
  Best field trip ever for all ages- our tour group had a 6-7 month old baby
strapped onto her daddy and my Dad who is 88.

Thursday, July 29

The lame vacation that turned out to be not so lame after all.

Westward Ho!
R.J. is ready to go! 
Little does he know he's only going a few miles down the road to stay. 
Poor doggie, he would have LOVED it. 
Thank you B, H, E and G.G. for taking good care of him for us!

It was just a few hours down the road and I had to nip it in the bud.
I said, "Listen, not to burst your bubble or anything but this vacation is not about you.
I have been looking forward to this for two years and I am planning on having a great time.
So I don't want to hear one more word of complaining. You got me??"
I think they got me.  :-)

First stop, Moorhead, to have lunch at M, J, E and D's, Bill's sister and family. 
Thanks for the yummy tacos Julie!

Next stop, Bismarck, to say hi to Bill's aunt and uncle,
cousin and kids, and his folks who just happened to be visting them at the same time!

Third stop, Glendive, MT, for the night at a Super 8 and let me tell you it was a dive!

Fourth stop, Pompey's Pillar, near Billings,
named after Sacajawea's son whose nickname was Pompy,
where you can see William Clark's signature carved into a big rock.
Right above my head is Clark's signature which has been encased behind bullet-proof glass.
We look like a happy family don't we?  Of course, this is only day two.
Here's a close up, this is a replica in the visitor's center.
A view from the pillar.
On to Three Forks, just west of Bozeman,
to a campground and our home for three days.  Cozy.
And then the best part~ seeing all the Zimmerman's!  Woot woot! 
And there's lots of them. 
Dad on the left and then in order of age-
I'm ahead of Linda becuz I am 11 minutes older don'tcha know!
We miss Mom, though :(
How many Norwegians does it take to unhook a trailer?
Here's the whole group...
well, minus the dozen or more nieces and nephews that couldn't be there.
Be serious now.
It was a great time of re-connecting, eating, laughing,
reminiscing, eating some more, swimming, and some very fun activities.
The campground had a swimming pool to cool off in-
(and ice cream in the lodge)
Here's Bill doing the cannon ball---nice form, honey.
We celebrated Dad's birthday. 
Leanne decorated the shirt for him that says Lookin' great at 88!
Party On Dude!!
To be continued.....