Monday, August 3: Braeten Turns 1 Year Old

Yesterday was Braeten’s first birthday. She asked to go to the beach but first we had to take Charlene to the airport. Mary Ann’s cousin arrived July 25 for a one week visit. We picked her up at Jackson Hole Airport about 9:00 Saturday night. It was Braeten’s first visit to an airport. The week before she experienced her first visit to a motel when we visited Bozeman for the weekend. That was right after I picked up my first boat passengers of the season. Wow! It’s been a busy 3 weeks!

On Friday, July 17th I was working with the dock hands because the front desk was fully staffed with non-boat captains. You can never have too many dock hands. But around 2:15 we were suddenly in crisis mode. One of the managers appeared on the bulkhead looking for Richard and me. Our back country shuttle had been enroute to pick up several campers and had become disabled with no steering. Richard, my co-captain was to take one of the fishing boats and go assist the shuttle and, if necessary, tow her to the mechanics dock. I was to take the fully functional but not yet cleared for trips tour boat and pick up the now-stranded (though they didn’t know it) campers. The tricky part was we didn’t know if the water depth at the pickup location would support the tour boat which drafts about 4 feet. Two dock hands would accompany me.

We were about halfway to the pickup location when Richard radioed from the fishing boat that the shuttle was able to maneuver to the mechanics dock under her own power and wouldn’t need a tow. He was well ahead of us so he set course for the pick up location, arriving there about a minute before we did. He scoped out the depth and showed me an acceptable course to the dock. The dampers were surprised to see tour boat and wanted to know why they were being picked up by “the Queen Mary.” Our adventure was over about 45 minutes later as we returned to our home dock.

The next morning we got up early and headed for Bozeman where we planned to spend two nights. The local Holiday Inn has a special rate for park employees AND they accept dogs with no additional fee. Susan and Richard planned to meet us. We took care of the truck tire which had become impaled with a roofing nail (courtesy of the NPS roofer working on the trailer a few sites from ours), took care of some errands and took Braeten to an awesome dog park. The park was unlike any we’ve found in Florida. It was several acres in size, unfenced, had a stream running through it, and had big hills with tall grass. Braeten had a blast and actually got TIRED! 

With Susan and Richard we hiked a trail in Gallatin National Forest and visited the Museum of the Rockies (which is over rated for anyone who is wondering). It was an awesome weekend and we headed home Monday morning after a visit to Costco.

Saturday the 25th Charlene’s flight was due to arrive at 8:30. Like fools we believed the schedule and had planned to leave the trailer around 2 to have time for some sight seeing on the way. But Mary Ann was hampered by perpetually slow internet and took longer than expected to finish her book keeping.  We finally left for Jackson around 5:00 and pulled into the airport at 8:30. Once inside we learned the flight was 30 minutes late, giving Braeten lots of time to check out the strange environment and put on her “cute” routine for everyone that approached her. We were back home around midnight. 

We had a nice visit with Char, did some touring and shared some laughs. During her visit we learned the wiring diagram review for the tour boat had finally passed and the coast guard inspection is scheduled for the 5th and 6th of August. The annual marina pizza party was cancelled this week because of a problem with the ovens. What a season!

Braeten stayed home yesterday when we took Charlene to the airport but when we returned we took her to her favorite place in the park: the beach! We sang happy birthday on the way and, of course, she joined in.

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