Last week on Tuesday morning my dad picked me up and we headed North to Conrad Montana where my dear Aunt Betty Jean lives. Actually, Conrad is only about 70 miles from Canada so it was a really really long drive. Once we got past Brigham City the traffic cleared out and we had fantastic sailing all the way. I remember when Utah roads used to be that empty!
The weather was perfect for driving and drive it I did. Dad sat back and navigated - a real difficult job since we followed I-15 all the way north! The trip was 640 miles long from my house to Betty's house- with lunch and potty breaks we made it in a little over 9 hours.
Utah and Idaho are miles and miles of cactus and dessert but then as you go over the Montana border you run into lots of canyons and mountains and then you get to the green fields full of newly baled hay and yellow fields full of wheat that was ready for harvest. It is a huge and beautiful state. Even when we got into the flatter areas of the state towards the end of our trip is was still soooo beautiful. I can see how everyone dreams of buying a ranch in Montana!! At least in the summer. I would imagine the winter drives the softies back out really fast.
When we got to my Aunt Betty's she was dying of the heat...it had gotten all the way up to 90 degrees and she had fans out all over the house. The rest of our visit the temps hovered right at 80 degrees and was soooo comfortable. Blue skies, light light breeze and 80 degrees. Perfect.
While we were there we got to visit with Betty (who is grandma Wanda's only sister) and my aunt Shirley (who married moms brother Jim) and cousins Mark and Carrie and Brad and Angela at various times. What neat people.
Betty is my mom's only sister. Mama was 11 years older than her. Mom had two brothers, John who was five years older than mom and Jimmy who was five years younger than mom. It had to have been an interesting home growing up with the personalities of these siblings. Uncle John and Aunt Betty, though stubborn, were mild mannered, quiet and graceful. Mom and Uncle Jim both were characters who never thought before opening their mouths. I think that Mama and Jimmy took after the personality of their mother, Grandma Kate and John and Betty got their dad's soft mannerisms.
Due to the difference in the girls' ages they were not close as children...Betty was eight when mom got married but they became very close as adults even though Betty was way up North in Montana. Mom loved Betty so very much.
Betty kept us pretty busy while we were in Conrad - we drove out to Cutbank to see the huge windfarm going up - they are in the process of building 50 huge windmills out there now with more to come. They were in all stages of development. We got to within about a mile of these and they look like a bunch of sticks in the ground.
But in actuality they were over 240 feet tall - with the propellers about 121 feet in length!! They have placed them on the Montana prairie where the winds are blowing almost constantly - down across Canada and then through this area of Montana. Betty says the wind does blow alot in Conrad but it seems to be alot more protected than Cutbank or Choteau where Shirley lives. They are beautiful to watch - so magnificant and stately. And they are a renewable energy source - the wind can be used over and over again!!This is a picture of the blades laying on the ground before they are raised up into place.
Dad and I had a wonderful time visiting with family and are so thankful to know and love these precious people. I didn't have to drive all the way back - dad took the wheel for a couple of hours!! We got home Friday night so tired but so glad we went. My only regret is that I didn't take more pictures!! DUH!! I need pictures of PEOPLE!! But I always forget to take them!