Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hungry Horse

Since losing part of our summer to my working, I've been determined to fill up as much of our remaining summer days with everything that is fun and enjoyable about summer vacation. Last week we decided to go camping for a couple days before heading to Erik's folks to meet up with his sisters & spouse & child. We'd tossed the idea of Glacier around, even though Erik wasn't too hip on it. We planned to leave Friday morning, but when I went to bed Wednesday night I had it in my mind that if we wanted to get a spot at a campsite in Glacier for the weekend that we'd better head up to his folks on Thursday and leave from there early on Friday. I wasn't sure if Erik would get off work early enough on Thursday for that to work, but when I got up Thursday I tried to bust out the remainder of the laundry and house cleaning to gear us toward that end, just in case. He came home around eleven or so and then I told him my thoughts. He was surprised that I'd be so spontaneous, but agreed with me, so we packed up all we could and headed out the door.

On our way up Erik's folks, he called a friend, Boone, to ask advice about camping around Hungry Horse. We'd heard it was good camping and he was determined not to pay $23/night to camp in Glacier w/ the crowds. (I love Glacier but he could take it or leave it, we hadn't been there for years and so I was really pushing to go there. But I figured I could compromise and camp near it and then hold out for a fall camp trip there after most of the crowds have gone.) Turns out that Boone and his family were actually headed up to Hungry Horse themselves to meet up with more of his family and he invited us to join them. We hemmed and hawed a bit, but decided it would be fun for our kids to have other kids to play with and that it would be cool to hang out with Boone and his wife, Shelly.

We met them in Polson after quickly grabbing some groceries and water and followed them up to Hungry Horse. After 34 miles on a dirt road down the East side of the reservoir, we made it to a campsite where his folks and kids were already set up. It was dark by the time we got there, so couldn't see much of the campsite, although we did catch sight of a black bear cub running down the road in the headlights! We got the camper set up, which is pretty easy, even in the dark and went to bed.
The morning dawned beautiful and we saw that we were literally camped on the edge of the water and it was beautiful. Hungry Horse Reservoir is longer than Flathead lake, but its really skinny so it doesn't look that big on the map, but it was soo cool. The water was shallow enough for kids to play for several yards and clean and clear. There were tadpoles for the kids to chase and catch and lots of space to splash. We spent pretty much two days just playing in the water. More of Boone's family showed up and so there ended up being like 18 people and 7 or so dogs, it was hilarious at times. (Erik says he really doesn't want a dog after that). We got lots of sun--Erik says I'm tanner than he's ever seen me but I say I'm pinker than he's ever seen! lol. Erik did go fishing one day and I went huckleberry picking with Shelly and Boone's mother one morning, which was fun too. (I was able to pick enough to bring to Karen to make pancakes one day and coffeecake the next--Yum!) All in all it was way more fun than I'm sure Glacier would've been and I'm grateful they invited us to join them.

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