Sunday, August 15, 2010


The beginning of July the girls and I headed West. We flew to SLC where we joined up with my parents and two nieces Tori and Mackenzie to go to a family reunion in Montana. We stopped in Idaho Falls to see one of my sisters on the way coming and going so the cousins all got to spend some time together. The family reunion was held in Virginia City, MT. It is a small town SW of Bozeman. It was a mining town in the mid 1800's. Now it is a tourist stop with many fun shops and activities. On our way we stopped in W. Yellowstone. We didn't go all the way around the park but to Old Faithful and back. We only saw one buffalo the whole time. Very unusual.

Grandma and the girls at the community center in W. Yellowstone. this was a decorated buffalo statue the girls thought was cool. It was beautiful and sunny. Dry heat-something we love coming from hot and humid. We had a picnic lunch here at the center.

Old Faithful from a distance-the best way to watch it. We just missed the eruption and so just got to see the aftermath.

The girls and I

The girls at the entrance sign for Virginia city. This was a booming town as gold was mined in the mid 1800's. My father's family had a gold processing mill up the mountain in Alder gulch. It is now on the state historical registry. Our reunion was held mainly in the community gym where we renewed friendships, learned more about our family history and had yummy meals. We have many family members that live in Mt. so they have work parties periodically and go to the mill to do preservation work. The Bureau of Land Management has put a fence around the remains of the mill to protect it from roaming cattle. It's amazing to think that our ancestors hauled equipment up the mountain with teams of oxen to operate this mill. What a great legacy to have. Now it's up to us to keep it going.

The girls and I in front of one of the remaining walls at the mill. As we wandered around we could see where the vault for storing the gold had been. there are still some wood from where Chilean rollers were for processing the gold. There is still areas where you can see where the equipment used to be. It's exciting to have that heritage and see what was done there.

This is three generations. My grandmother who is 95, my father, myself and my girls. Shortly after the reunion my grandmother had a stroke. she is still alive and doing okay, but she has always been so proud of her posterity. She knows when all the grand and great grand kids birthdays are. There are 19 grandkids and 35+- greats.

Our branch of the family tree represented. It's more like a twig with just us, but we had a wonderful time.

All the Christenot cousins that were at the reunion. These are mostly 3rd cousins.

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