1.5 years ago, our family attended a lutefisk supper served by the local lodge of the Sons of Norway, a fraternal organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Scandinavian heritage and culture. On a whim, I signed us up for membership; and the very next summer, we attended our first Norwegian language and culture camp (Camp Trollfjorden) at Lake Metigoshe on the border of ND and MB. Last fall, the lodge recruited Susan, Suzanna, and me to serve as officers. Just a few days ago, we returned from our second summer at Camp Trollfjorden, after which I was asked to serve on its board of directors. And today we drove to Missoula, MT because our lodge elected me as one of its delegates (and Susan as an alternate) to the Sons of Norway convention for District IV (which includes ND, MT, SK, and AB). All this in just 1.5 years!!
We had just enough time the past couple days to unpack from Trollfjorden, do laundry, mow the lawn, and repack for this trip. This morning we stopped at the tourist information center in Beach, ND to pick up a MT state map and stayed longer than we anticipated because the woman staffing the center was friendly and complimented our children and chatted with us for quite a while (fun fact: she was an elementary school teacher of one of my university students) . . . gotta love ND!
We enjoyed the variety of scenery as we drove across MT, including the sprawling Yellowstone River that snaked back and forth on either side of the Interstate and the several mountain passes through which we drove as we got closer to western MT. We encountered heavy rain the second half of the drive, so I kept my eyes on the curving roads as the ladies took in the sights of the tree-covered, snow-capped mountains with the creeks winding down toward the Interstate. We just missed driving through a hail storm near Columbus, MT; but the hail still lay in piles on the highway, making for slippery road conditions when combined with the downpour of rain. However, we made it safely to beautiful Missoula and are settled into our hotel room. Tomorrow the fun begins!