We left our Flathead Lake abode for a while to join our friends, The Behrendt's, at their friends' (The Olsens) river house in Plains for the long weekend. There were a number of families coming so we opted for pitching our tent in the backyard as to not contribute to over-crowding. Besides, by this point, we were gettting accustomed to our little home away from home (well, I guess technically, it WAS home at that point!). We had never met the Olsens. Kurt Behrendt moved to Montana to work with Shawn who is a builder in Bozeman. We had the time of our lives that weekend and met friends for life. Those Olsens are a wonderful family. Their river house is on the beautiful Clark Fork River. I love fresh water and it was such fun to swim with no salt. The water was also really cold. We were amazed, because here it was Fourth of July weekend and the water was empty. We saw 2 other boats all weekend long and we were out there all day, every day. Both Colleen and Shawn Olsen are avid water skiers, so they have water toys galore. We cliff jumped, sea-dood (is that a word?), water skied, tubed, skimmer boarded, cliff jumped, swam, fished, etc. Josiah and Elisha learned to water ski and Elisha and Isaiah both did the skimmer board too. Brad hadn't skied in 20 years, but picked it right back up. One day, we all took their Malibu and the Boston Whaler and decided to boat into Thompson Falls for ice cream (an hour's ride). First we stopped to picnic and play at a sand beach on the way. In Thompson Falls, we docked the boats on the edge of the river and walked across town for gas and ice cream. We looked like a pretty funny crew all walking through town in our river stuff. Shawn led the way. We figured that we were going to a Baskin Robbins-type place - you know, an ice cream place. When we get to the gas station and he says this is it, we howled....and walked to the chest freezer and got drum sticks. HA! Thompson Falls is a little bitty hole-in-the-wall town (beautiful, and one of our favorite places in Montana, but the streets roll up at 8:30).
This was our first time living somewhere in which fireworkds were legal - woo hoo!! We were afraid that we would really miss out on the big city fireworks in San Diego - we really did have a great show every year. We had resigned ourselves to being in Montana and just knowing that the trade off of being here was worth the lack of fireworks show.....little did we know that we were spending the weekend wtih a bunch of pyros!! We bought a bunch of fireworks, but Kurt and Shawn were out of control. They bought boxes and boxes - no truckloads - of them. They even went to Wyoming and bought some contraband!! We had over an hour long fireworks show and these things were HUGE. We even about set the deck on fire when a "ladybug", after sky-rocketing into the air, plunged toward the house and about hit Jeannie in the head!! It was the best fireworks we had ever seen - these Montanans do things in style! :) Brad, Kurt, and Shawn were hilarious. We had so many, that they were setting them off in big sets at the end. And we set off entire packs of black cat firecrackers all at once. Up until last year, we always had a 4th of July party at our house. Last year, we went to Torrey Pines State Beach with the Curles family and we were missing them. We had such a great time in Plains that it made missing them easier. It was hard leaving, because we so enjoyed the place and the friends. We are hoping to make it an annual event in Plains.