Keeney Family 2011 Summer Vacation to Montana

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Before the month of June passes into July, I wanted to write about a recent trip our family took to a remote and beautiful part of Montana. Just like anyone who works and takes care of themselves and or their family, it's always nice to step away from your daily routine by traveling to a place in the world that you feel will allow you to take some time to relax and have fun. Even though our family loves living and vacations to places near the ocean, we also like places that are deep into the wilderness. Places where you can step outside your door and be instantly surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature. We had spoken with some friends of our who had been to this cabin in Montana and knew right away that this could be the perfect place for our family. So after making all the proper arrangements we took a flight and then drove to a Yaak, Montana which is small town in the North Western corner of the state. This is our kind of town, which has a small mercantile store which sells the basic essentials; gas, food and beer. We then drove down a long rutted dirt road to a beautiful log cabin made from trees cut from the forest where the house now stands. We arrived at the cabin late in the evening due to the fact that the airlines had lost my luggage, so we had to wait around the airport in hopes that the bag would arrive on a later flight. Of course the bag came in on a flight an hour and half after we left the airport, so the bag now had to be Fed-Exed to us... which became a whole other headache. Fortunately I had worn my hiking shoes on the plane and packed a warm jacket in a duffel bag that arrived safely. I decided to get some inexpensive pants/socks/underwear at Walmart to get me by until my luggage arrived. Sadly that wasn't until a week later. I was determined to not let this set back tarnish our trip and soon realized I was having a great time without my luggage. The morning after we arrived, Dave, the caretaker of the house dropped by and nicely explained everything about the house and the surrounding area. My luggage was ancient history in my mind now...

Above is a cigar box paper negative pinhole photograph of Dave Cripe. Dave is the caretaker of the log cabin we stayed in and was kind enough to show us around the property (which is close to 100 acres) as well as showing us his hand crafted black powder guns that he makes himself.

Above is a cigar box paper negative pinhole photograph of my wife relaxing and reading a book in a rocking chair outside on the grass that surrounds the cabin. You can also see she's enjoying one of our favorite Oregon beers "Full Sail Ale".

Father and son portrait photographed by my daughter of Colin and I posing by the creek.
We all walked to Vinal Lake and had a picnic lunch and walked around exploring the area. It was quite beautiful, but I remember the mosquitos were out in force that day. I spoke with a couple local fisherman and they were catching trout.

Shallow depth of field photograph of beautiful afternoon light shinning through the tree leaves growing near a mountain water creek flowing near the cabin.

Wide angle portrait of my wife exploring the waterfalls near Yaak, Montana

Riding a 4-wheel drive ATV with my daughter through the forest that surrounds the house. Sadly my raincoat was in my checked bag that was still MIA. By the way, for all you ATV lovers, I really enjoyed riding this Suzuki 4-wheeler.

The family gasing up the ATVs at the Mercantile (Merc) in Yaak, Montana

The first day we were in Glacier we took a wonderful hike to Avalance Lake. Abovre is an underexposed MintyCam pinhole photo of my daughter and son standing on the edge of the lake. Of course my tripod(s) were in my luggage that was still trying to find it's way to me. Needless to say, 50 ISO film is a bit slow for getting any decent hand held images, but I wasn't going to let the airlines get the best of me by at least trying a few exposures.

Three days into our stay at the cabin, we took a road trip to Glacier National Park. We drove North toward Eureka and Whitefish and a grizzly bear cub and tons of deer along the road. Staying our first night at Lake McDonald Lodge and then onto the Rising Sun Hotel on the East end of the park. Unfortunately the pass on the going to sun road was still closed from getting heavy snow over the winter. You can see from the photo above how much snow is still on the peaks. 


Up to this point we didn't having pictures of the whole family so we stopped along the trail and asked a hiker passing by if they would snap a portrait of the family just off the Virginia Falls trail in Glacier National Park.

MintyCam pinhole photograph of my son and daughter standing next to a river flowing along the hiking trail that lead to a waterfall in Glacier National Park

On the drive back to the cabin, I saw a bald eagle flying over the road so I pulled over and the bird landed ontop of a tall tree. My daughter rolled the window down and snagged this cool shot with my wife's point and shoot.

One day before we left we took a great 4-wheeler (ATV) trip to a view spot North of town that had a beautiful 360 degree view of the surround forests and mountains.

Black and white infrared self-portrait of me in front of the cabin. 30 second exposure using Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 16-35mm lens with Hoya R-72 infrared filter. Of course my baggage finally arrived and I was able to use my tripod.

While we were there we enjoyed a few outside campfires where we would cook hot dogs for dinner and s'mores for dessert. Of course it doesn't get completely dark until 10:30-11:00, so star gazing is only for the night owls like myself.

A whole family took a hike into the forrest near Vinal lake and my daughter took this pinhole photographic paper negative photograph of me standing next to a waterfall. Sadly this is photo is an example when I do not want a light leak on my photo. Regardless, I still like the fact that it was my daughter who opened and closed the shutter to create this image.




admin - 

Thanks M for your kind words :) - This was one of the best trips I've ever gone on, so it's my pleasure to share. thanks agaiin -Chris

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Anonymous - 

wonderful WONDERFUL series, Chris.
Keeney Family makes (so bright!)

Friday, July 8, 2011