A Montanan Meandering - My Family Travels

My sisters married Viking brothers. No, no, not like the kind who wear horns; but that is my affectionate name for my very large, and hairy, Norwegian brother-in-laws from Montana. They are great fellows, and I love having the both of them be a part of my family. There is, however, only one problem; they live one thousand miles away. When my sisters married these brothers, our whole close-knit family was aware of this problem, but the weddings were pulled off without a glitch, and the new couples happily departed to their new homes.

Now, fast-forward around eight-and-a-half months, and both my sisters are expecting! Since we are a close-knit family, they also wanted us to be there to see the newborns in person! Then came the discussion of how to travel… Should we go by plane in order to save time? Or should we travel by car in order to save money? Money-saving ultimately prevailed, we would undertake the 16-hour trip driving!

And so we drove, starting from Sacramento in California, passing over the high Sierra’s, which at this late point in Summer had no remaining snow, and through the stretching, boring deserts of Nevada. At this point, about four hours in, the universal uncomfortable shifting in the car notified my father in the drivers seat that it was time to stop for lunch, and to get up and walk around! After a short, yet fulfilling, lunch, we were back on the road.

And so we drove further, through the extensive plains of southern Idaho until we finally stopped in Twin Falls, to spend a uneventful night in a Best Western hotel.

After breakfast, we threw together everything that had somehow become scattered across the hotel room in the course of only twelve hours. Somehow all of us were herded back into the car, and we set out on the remaining leg of the trip, lasting only a few hours more.

Leaving the main highway, we bounced up and down on the windy, dusty, dirt-road that led to the house of our sisters in-laws, and finally we arrived! Departing the car, three large dogs ran up to us, wagging tails, and attempting to lick our hands, they knew we must be friends. When we entered the house, many hugs were given, many tales were swapped, and many smiles were had.

Then began the waiting period, as we hoped and prayed to soon have the girls give birth. In the meanwhile, my younger brothers and I would fill in time taking the bicycles from the nearby barn, and traversing the three miles on backroads to the nearest grocery store, from where we would purchase cold drinks and watch cows in the nearby fields. Skipping rocks in the river, and playing with the dogs made for good time-passers as well.

What really stood out was an intensive hike that we undertook in the mountains of Montana, where we found an older log cabin in the woods. Without touching anything, or entering the structure, we carefully walked around it, peering in through the glassless windows. It was amazing seeing this piece of history in an unexpected area.

Ultimately, the purpose for which we came was fulfilled, at least partly. One of my beloved sisters went into labor early in the month of September, and delivered my little niece. It was several days later that my other sister delivered my nephew. Holding them in my arms, and gazing into their little faces, I realized that this trip was perhaps the best I ever embarked on.


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