montana | 4th of July

// The travelogue of my trip to Montana is largely photographic... And the photos are numerous \\

The 4th of July is big in Montana. 


And even though the state had pretty much banned all fireworks due to that pesky fear of rampant flame tearing across wide open spaces (not that I don't have a firefighter on speed dial or anything), the little town of Laurel would not be stopped.

Nothing comes between those folks and their patriotic duty!

But first, there was some serious baby-lovin' that needed to happen before the sky lit up...

Papa John & Little John

John's brother Josh and his boy Graesyn

Give it some time... Your head will grow into it

"Dan?" (Graesyn's favorite word/possible imaginary friend/we have no idea)

Family portrait

Mama snuggling with her babies, Jack & Colbie

Oh, but I missed these puppy eyes

View from the Perrigo Farm

"I'll take you for a ride on my big green tractor"

Before long though, it was time to dive into the festivities.

The high school provides the stomping grounds for all firework aficionados (and for those of us who were bad American's this time last year and were flying to England thereby missing all firework spectaculars)... 

Glow sticks a-blazin'

Big Mo was running the show and did not disappoint! 

Josh & Lauryn

"boom booms!"

John's buddy Vince's dad Big Mo is the guy to call when it comes to celebrations (which meant that by association, we got VIP seating only a few hundred feet away from the launch - BOOM). Not only does he own the local ice cream joint Mo's Cones, but he also owns some obscene-thousand original vinyl records (playing right into my oldies-loving soul) that he lugs around to every town event, wedding, whathaveyou to spin tunes the way they were meant to be spun!

Oh... And he runs the fireworks.

So he's pretty much the man. 

The only hiccup this year?

Apparently the $10,000 switch board deal they invested in to automatically set off the display timed to music decided to hold its breath and have a hissy fit just before the show was set to begin.

When word came over the walkie-talkie that the board was fried Mo thought they were joking. They had to be! 

But nope...

It was toast.

But fear not!

The Laurel Fire Department flew into action and saved the 4th of July!

In full gear, the men and women of the LFD set off every single one of those fireworks.

To music.

In perfect time.

And from what I heard afterwards, it was the best show to date.

Proving that firefighters are my heroes.


Love this girl!

Lauryn may or may not have been hiding behind her husband from the falling firework debris while he decided "my wife is eighty, and afraid of loud noises."

Big Mo's famous record collection (part of it anyway)

Once the last bit of debris and light fell from the sky and the crowds wiped the last patriotic tears from their eyes, the Laurel boys got the chance to toast another successful reunion and see what kind of rabble-rousing they could get up to before the night was through.

John, Matt & Vince - Laurel's hometown heroes (accompanied by John's beard)

They kinda like each other.
Vince & John running some old plays from high school, pretending they're not too old for that

John & Big Mo himself

There are two things that I can say with certainty after this most thrilling experience:

1) I think I more than made up for missing fireworks last 4th of July and,

2) I think I need to make this an annual trip


More photos to come from my week in Big Sky Country...

And by that, I mean more pictures of Jack.

And mountains.

And bison.

I know. You can't wait. 


  1. Fourth picture down= my favorite. The family photo on the hammock (oh how I'd kill for a hammock with that view!) is the runner-up. Looks like you had fuuuuunnnnn!!!

  2. Looks like you had an epic fourth! Your fireworks make up for the ones that we missed out due to weather.

  3. Looks like so much fun! Love these photos.

  4. These are perfection (and you owe me an email about the details!)