Girls Gone West

GroupFlagA Fun Stuff report – by Suzanne Hill FitchAt the 50th Reunion, when Geri Conaway Burnett politely said Y’all come see me, it probably never dawned on her that 9 of us would take her up on it. But, on Saturday August 28, after 2 years of planning, Winona Jones Dutton, Judy Reiler Cochran, Hallie Schilling Shoemake, Gayle McCaslin Gilbert, Joan Litherland Ford, Kathleen McFarland Williams, Syble Horn, Elayne Stewart and I boarded a plane for parts west.

After a brief stop in Denver where we shared a phone call with classmate Nancy Parr Clement, we landed in Spokane, Wa., picked up our cars and a stock of liquid refreshments and headed for Geri’s cabin on the banks of the Bitterroot River outside of Darby, Mt.  Stopping for lunch and a quick tour of the beautiful little town of Couer d’ Alene, Idaho, we arrived at Geri’s in time for presents, hot supper and cold Margaritas. The next day was spent getting to know the cabin, a trip to Painted Rock Reservoir, to town for shopping, scouting for moose and relaxing by the river.

Monday it was off to Glacier National Park for some magnificent sight seeing. We made a stop at Flathead Lake to pick up some famous Flathead cherries and to do some shopping.  Tuesday was a day long trip on the famous ‘Red Jammer’ busses to the Highway to the Sun, crossing the mountains at Logan’s Pass and back down again.  We were especially blessed on the ride to have as our driver, Evelyn, an expert on and true lover of  Glacier National Park who made our trip that much more interesting and enjoyable. Wednesday, it was off to Canada where we spent the day cruising Waterton Lake to Goat Head Haunt Island, touring the beautiful old Prince of Wales Hotel, where the male employees all wear kilts and shopping in the quaint little town of Waterton. We drove on over to Cameron Lake where Winona, Syble, Kathleen and Geri decided to try the paddle boats. The boats were returned much sooner than the hour they paid for.



Thursday found us at East Glacier for a cruise on Swiftcurrent Lake, a short hike (huffing and puffing) across Josephine Island to catch another boat.  On this leg of the cruise, we were able to spot several bears and mountain goats.  To rest up from all our activity, we grabbed a short snooze on the veranda of Many Glacier Hotel.

Returning to our Glacier home base, we were able to surprise Geri with a birthday party at the Two Sisters from Montana Caf� in Babb. The dinner, shared by all the cafe customers, was topped off with a lemon chiffon birthday cake with huckleberry filling.  A special guest at the party was a former neighbor of Geri’s from Ron’s Army days when they were stationed in Germany.


Friday, we headed back to the cabin, stopping to tour The Great Northern Glacier Park Lodge and another stop at Flathead Lake because Gayle & Joan didn’t finish their shopping on the first trip and found that there were still funds remaining on their husband’s credit cards that must be eliminated immediately.

Our cabin time was spent relaxing, playing cards, snoozing in the hammock, sitting by the river, searching for the elusive moose again, and doing the same silly things we used to do at slumber parties when we were in high school.



Unfortunately, Monday afternoon rolled around and it was time for us to say goodbye.  After many hugs and tears we departed the cabin and returned to Spokane for our early morning return flight home on Tuesday.

What a wonderful time we had. The scenery was breath taking, the people we met were wonderful and so very friendly, the food unbelievable, the friendship priceless and the fun indescribable. Our trips would not be complete with out a Wal-Mart stop and we managed to find one in Missoula, Mt. and thereby were able to aid the local economy. Missing for the first time on our trips was our customary police involvement. No accidents, incidents or speeding tickets! Yippee!!!!!!

Our destination for 2010 has not been determined as yet but will keep you posted. Anyone want to invite us to visit?



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