Tuesday, November 4, 2014

My Summer Road Trip - guest post by Grant Stilp (8th grade)

by Grant Stilp

Tonight Grant was going through his backpack and gave me a stack of papers to recycle.  I'm so glad I dug through them because I found several gems in the pile.  A geometry assignment that is so far over my head I have no idea what any of it means.  An All About Me form that captures who he is right now as a 13-year-old eighth grade Man Child.  I will treasure that one forever.  And an essay titled My Summer Road Trip.

I should have just asked Grant to write the blog posts about our trip because he summarized fifteen days of jam-packed fun and adventure into three run-on paragraphs that totally captured what we did and how he felt about it.

Here's Grant's take on our family road trip.

My Summer Road Trip
by Grant Stilp (age 13)
Eighth Grade
September 8, 2014

This summer I went on a thrilling road trip around the country with my family.  We embarked on our adventure at around six thirty when my dad got home from work and made the treacherous eight hour drive to Spokane, Washington, arriving at our hotel at one o'clock in the morning.  
on the way to Spokane, Washington
After eating the cheap hotel breakfast and packing our bags back into the car, we set off to make the second leg of our trek to Great Falls, Montana, where we were meeting our cousins to drive to a remote cabin that they have access to.  There was some fighting as well as breathtaking scenery and soon enough we were just outside of Great Falls at a gas station, waiting for our cousins to arrive.  As soon as they got there we did the typical hugs and "I missed you so much" then left for the cabin.  Those three days I spent in the wilderness were some I will never forget.  Floating the frigid Smith River, shooting clay pigeons, breaking an axe, and jumping off a cliff are only some of the things I did there.
only in Montana

After saying our goodbyes and driving down two hours of dusty country roads, we set off yet again.  This time the destination being my grandparents' cabin on Boy Lake near Remer, Minnesota.  After a mind-numbingly boring drive (can you say flat!) across North Dakota we arrived in the amazing state of Minnesota.  
Dance party on the side of the interstate in North Dakota

The cabin was on a beautiful lake connected to hundreds of others via rivers and channels.  We went fishing (I caught my first pike.  YA!!), drove boats, went on a four wheeler adventure that was quite muddy, tubed and water skied, and spent time with our amazing grandparents, cousins, and aunts and uncles.  

I got up on the second try.
(I'm hijacking his post but dang he's cute!)

Our second destination in Minnesota was my aunt and uncles' house in North Saint Paul.  Our parents took us around to places where major events in their life happened such as, where they got engaged, married, where they bought their first house, etc.  
the softball field where my mom and dad met
On our final night in Minnesota we visited my grandparents'' hobby farm where my Dad grew up.  I played arcade games in the basement, chased chickens around the woods, lit off fireworks, shot guns, and listened to my Dad reminisce about all his memories.  Our time in Minnesota was over, but I will not soon forget it.
me with my Dad, Uncle Chad, and Grandpa Mo
I am wearing my Dad's old dress up army helmet.
As we hopped in our car with tears in our eyes once more, we drove away for our second to last destination: Rapid City, South Dakota.  The second ten hour drive across the second Dakota was not so bad as we were used to the driving by this point.
dancing at a scenic viewpoint on the way to Rapid City, South Dakota
When we arrived in Rapid City late at night, it was in the middle of a thunderstorm.  One of my favorite memories from the trip lis going to Safeway at 10 p.m. to get groceries in the middle of a thunderstorm!
One of the storms we drove through
That morning we drove to Mt. Rushmore for an amazing day of sightseeing and taking the backroads home.
Mt. Rushmore
Katie taking a picture of the model of Crazy Horse
At Crazy Horse - there's still a lot of work to be done.
We woke early that morning and left for Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to spend two nights with my Dad's cousin.  After a beautiful drive through the Grand Tetons we met my Dad's cousin and her wonderful family and spent two amazing days with them hiking in the Grand Tetons, swimming at their country club, and going to a party.
My cousin August makes me laugh
hiking in the Grand Teton National Park
On the drive through Wyoming
When I got home I reminisced about all my memories and how I will never forget this trip.

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