The day I heard my Uncle Jerry moved from San Diego, CA to Great Falls, MT, I was a bit disappointed. Visiting him in San Diego was a blast! Then My dad then told me we were going to take a vacation to Montana to see him. However, first we were going to stay in a condo in Bozeman, MT. As my Uncle Rick would say, “The ‘everybody’ was there.” My cousin, Ryan, Uncle Rick, Aunt Janeane, Uncle Jerry, Aunt Mary, Marilee, and Steve were all there. The first couple nights at the condo were mellow; we were all pretty tired. One of the days we spent driving through Yellowstone National Park. The park was simply beautiful and breath taking. We enjoyed seeing the waterfalls, wildlife, and rivers. For a while, we sat and just watched the river. The thing I remember most was the buffalo that was five feet from the road. I didn’t think they were that big!
The next day we had reservations with “Pig’s Fly” rafting company to go rafting down the Yellowstone River for 18 miles. This was an experience I will never forget; none of us will. We had “the everybody” in our raft. It’s amazing how well we all get along and how all of our senses of humor are the same. My cousin Ryan even said that the other rafts looked bored. We made the whole trip fun. We had “pirate fights” with the other rafts with a water gun. The absolute best part was the “Revenge” rapid. We were told that there was a chance we would flip over; the rapid was over six feet tall! Of course, all of us wanted to go for it; so we did! And, as Whyatt, the other rafting guide, said we “nailed it!” There were three major waves and we hit every single one of them. None of us fell out. After rafting we went next door for dinner. The adults even had a beer with the guides! We all knew it was an amazing rafting experience when the guides were telling us that it was the best trip they had been on.
The day after rafting, we drove 3 hours to Great Falls to my Uncle Jerry’s house. There we would spend my birthday and the fourth of July. Both were epic successes. Especially fourth of July. We had more than $700 worth of fireworks. The best were the rockets that shot up 500 feet, at least, and then crackled down. As my little sister said, “It was the best fourth of July ever!”
My vacation to Montana was unforgettable. What I learned from this trip: it is the simple things in life that make people happy. Even the slightest things made me smile during this trip; including hand feeding a squirrel! Sure there were times not all of us got along, but in the end, we’re family and nothing can ever change that. I now appreciate every minute I get to spend with the people I love the most. This trip, I will simply never forget. I will take the memories to the grave.
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