Last weekend we went for an excellent adventure with our friends the Christensens.  We combined a night of camping with a full day on the Gallatin River.

I don't mean to rub it in... but the summer up here really has been glorious.  We are getting to do all of the things we dreamed about doing.  The weather has been phenomenal and the long days make for absolutely spectacular weekends/sunsets.

We headed down towards Yellowstone and camped in Gallatin National forest.  Free camping right by the Taylor Fork River.  Spectacular.

Here are some pictures and light commentary.

Scott and Ashley enjoying the scenery.  The river was flowing a little quick so we had to be on alert with the little ones running around, but the setting was just so perfect.  Once you settle on the fact that car camping is the only way you'll be camping for the next foreseeable future, there are just so many great places that you can go.

Here's another view of the campground as we got set up with the Christensens.  We miss our friends in LA dearly and nothing can replace them, but we've also been blessed with great friends here in Bozeman.
Ashley and our skipper, Scott - ponder the best way to attack the Gallatin River the next morning.

George - sometimes has issues with other kids his age.  Frenemies is the best way to describe it. Not with Abram.  George loves Abram... he thinks he is hilarious.  Here is a picture that Celia took of the two little guys yucking it up.

In addition to the the busy river next to our campsite, there was also a very calm streamlet right next to us as well.  The kiddos loved playing in it. I think some people might be reticent to take their kids camping.  If you give up on the notion of getting an "awesome" night's sleep, camping with kids can be a lot of fun.  We have been camping with George since he was about 5 months old.

Here we are all gathering around... singing a few lines of "Michael rode the boat ashore."

The Christensen's treated us to some home made, deep dish, brick-oven, coleman-warmed personal pan pizzas.  We made flapjacks for breakfast topped off with Ashley's delicious buttermilk syrup.  Camping in style!
Celia & Scott are great camping companions.  Family camping can be so fun if you go with people who totally know what they are doing... not that we are imbeciles, but after a few anecdotes about grizzly bears Ashley was definitely considering moving the tent a little closer to their tent.

We scoured for wood to burn, and Ashley was amazed at my camouflage techniques.  Can you spot me?

A lovely fire was topped with smores in the Rocky Mountains.

Family picture.  Pulsiphers, 2011.  Still waiting on a winning name for baby #2.   From some angles Ashley is deceptively pregnant.

Picture of our campsite in the morning.  Much to our relief, there were no grizzly sitings.  I tend to be a worrier about these kinds of things, but if you follow all of the rules (keeping a clean camp, storing all smelly things inside the car) you really are doing about as much as you can. Scott brought a can of bear spray, but after a few stories about its misuse I wasn't sure which I was more alarmed by, the potential for a bear encounter or the likelihood that the bear spray would end up being used on myself, somehow.

The Pulsipher family all together on their first rafting expedition.  We had previously braved the Madison river on inner tubes, but this time we were on the Gallatin river in an actual, sea-worthy vessel.  Scott is a very skilled raftsman and I tried to do my best to impress the group with my mastery of nautical terms via Whale Wars.

George enjoyed rafting so much, that he wore himself right out.  Towards the end of the trip we had another Montana highlight, our first moose sighting.  It was so cool.

I was very proud of Ashley pulling all of this adventure off while 8 months pregnant.  We may have discovered another secret to car-camping.  The inflatable mattress.  It makes a significant difference in your comfort level. I used to... scoff at the notion.  But really, if you aren't "light backpacking" and hiking/biking into your campsite, you might as well go all out.  Portable satellite dishes, inflatable swimming pools, coco lattes, foot spas, and every other comfort you can squeeze into your car - all fair game I say ; ).


Chad said...

They even have a kid named Abram? I'm going to start calling them the Neilsons. We have been replaced.

Looks pretty!

ashley said...

The Nelsons will never be replaced-- ever!! We miss you guys like crazy and it makes me so sad that I haven't even met River yet. I can't wait for September. Did we decide where we are staying?

david said...

chad, you will never ever be replaced.

too much history and fun together, we love you guys. if you aren't careful you're going to get a 100 picture tribute.

kimber said...

It's OK. We knew it would happen. They are the Neilsens for sure. Bring on the tribute - I dare you. Ha ha. Just kidding.

Dawn D. Lion said...

It would be funnier if you said: "We miss our friends in LA dearly and nothing can replace them, but we've pretty much replaced them with The Christensens."
I kid! You guys luck out in the friend dept, its so important with the lack of family close by.

Serena Cherry said...

Camping at 8 months pregnant deserves a huge award. That is just amazing. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

That is the most beautiful campsite I have seen. I love that little George is growing up surrounded by beautiful nature. It has a strong impact on who he will be as a person. A good one. Mom