The last few months have taken us random parts of the hemisphere, which I would prefer not to detail for you for wake of time. Everyone is healthy, strong, and learning new things every day.
When I was in Brazil in May, I introduced my kiddos to Arnold, a sea turtle. He's soft, snuggly, and very portable, despite being a water-dwelling reptile. Each day I was gone, Arnold had an adventure with the kiddos, and required special considerations which they were obligated to give. It was a good way to stay connected with them while I was away.
Fast forward a few months, and Arnold insisted on going on vacation with us. It seemed he enjoyed adventure with the kiddos so much, that he just couldn't stay home while the kiddos explored Glacier National Park.
Day 1, however, was very boring for the poor fellow. He didn't realize that "adventure" meant being stuck in the car for 10 hours. He did get some good snuggles and snacks, and even got to watch "Cars" with Jayce and Anya, for which he was very grateful.
We drove straight through from Oregon to Montana, not stopping for much. The kiddos were fantastic, with good attitudes. It was a long, long day, even for Philip and I. We arrived our AirBnB house at almost midnight.
We didn't push it in the morning. We eventually left the house, and took a picnic lunch to a river inside Glacier. It was nice to walk around a little, put our feet into (cold) water, and relax. Arnold was happy to accompany, and was extra excited to see the river and the waterfalls. He didn't understand the danger, or why we held on to him so tightly when we were close to the edge, but he stayed safe. He was glad to be able to sit by himself on a sunny rock and enjoy the shallow part of the river for lunch, though.
Later in the day, Arnold was VERY upset to be left behind in the car during a hike to a waterfall. Jayce and Anya really loved that hike, and told him about it later in the day. Somehow, Jayce and Anya neglected to mention the incline, how mama and daddy were completely out of breath, or how tired we were at the top of it all. However, for a turtle that basically gets carried everywhere he goes, these things probably would not have been a factor. It was a beautiful hike. My favorite part was the colors of the rocks. They were so incredibly vibrant.
|overlook by Many Glacier|
This was much more interesting for Arnold, since he got to hang out with the family all day. We tried to get an early start, but sometimes getting a turtle ready in the morning is as slow as shell. Finally, we found a place to park at Avalanche Lake trailhead. Arnold got baby-sat by a kind person outside the restrooms, so he didn't have to witness the smelly bathrooms that the humans used. It was nice to not take him there. He would not have enjoyed it, and would probably have gotten his shell filthy. The human was exceptionally glad to make his acquaintance, and Arnold got extra pets. In fact, Arnold was a conversation starter all day! I didn't realize he was so social.
At the beginning of the trail, there was a "no pets" sign. This was very disheartening. However, since the sign indicated that dogs were the undesired pet, we decided to make an exception for turtles. Especially soft, fluffy ones.
The hike lasted 4 miles total, in which Jayce and Anya took turns porting Arnold over the trail. He took a few nose-dives, but was promptly dusted off and calmed. The kiddos were incredible troopers. Jayce ran almost the entire way. He is so athletic. Arnold enjoyed the speed, which he is otherwise unable to obtain by himself. Anya snuggled with him during a brief nap time in the grass at the lake. The lake itself was breathtaking, and all 4 (or 5, including Arnold) of us were sorry to leave. More adventures to share tomorrow.