Drive to Great Falls, Montana

Ethan "Junior Ranger"

Day 4: Ethan received his first Junior Park Ranger badge today. He didn’t know what to expect when we handed in his packet to the ranger. But upon receiving the badge, he proudly displays it on a shirt or jacket…whatever his outer garment is. We’re proud of our little guy.

We packed up camp and were on the road by 10am today. We took Route 2 along the southern border of the park to get to the east of the Rockies. Again, the drive is beautiful and allowed us our first glimpse of a black bear cub walking around a meadow. We did the tourist thing and stopped the car to look at it. No car accident or harm to the bear ensued as a result of our stopping.

The views from the east side of the Rockies are much different than the west side. The trees are sparse and the hills are low and rolling. As you continue east and look back to the mountain range, you can view the entire northern Rockies into Canada. Again, we recommend Highway 2 and Interstate 15 for spectacular views.

We arrived in Great Falls around 1pm and were able to check in early to our hotel. Honestly, there is no reason for us to visit Great Falls. We stopped here because we wanted to break up a 7 hour drive to Billings that we’ll continue tomorrow. We thought this would be a good location and our only requirement was a hotel with a pool and a two-bed room. The Best Western provided that for us. After settling in the kids took a swim and then hung out in the room to relax and recoup from our busy past few days. Ethan enjoyed lying up against a plush set of pillows and watching cartoons. He was annoyed though that they had commercials. We only watch DVDs at our house so, just like when he listens to the radio, he gets annoyed with commercials.

Swinging Autumn

We enjoyed tasty pizza for dinner at MacKenzie Pizza along the Missouri River and then hit up a local park for the kids. The weather went from hot and sunny this afternoon to cool, windy, lightening and thunder by 7pm. We spent about 20 minutes at the park before the high winds forced us to return to the hotel. The kids got baths and were put to bed.

I’ve spent the last hour updating our websites. On the road I can only update the website when I have an internet connection, which is at our hotels. Though I post photos on Facebook a few times a day with my Blackberry, Facebook gives the soundbites. Our website provides the story of our trip.

Tomorrow we’re off to Billings.