Archives for posts with tag: northwest adventures

This past week has been a whirlwind of seeing family with whom I really haven’t been able to have a direct connect with since after Ava’s death in 2012. Yes, I have “seen” them but haven’t had “quality” time to spend with them for a myriad of reasons and this visit has been wonderful!

Gosh, I’m so in love with ALL my Chirrens of blood and by adoption! And, now after this trip to Boulder, I have two more! One of whom I met at the Cork Restaurant in Boulder! Hey there, “G”!

2017-10-18 Bldr Cork

The Cork Restaurant in Boulder, CO.

I guess I should start by saying that although Boulder isn’t a city I’d visit if it weren’t for my loved ones living there because it’s just too busy, too residential, too many bicycles EVERYWHERE, it is very clean and perfect for raising children in a safe environment. It’s just not my cup o’ jo. I like dirt and lots of it.

However, I do love those snow capped mountains once you escape suburbia and a  little town not terribly dissimilar from my own called Nederland, Colorado. It’s tucked in the Rocky mountains. Like my town, Nederland has a very small residential population but have several festivals every year which can bring tens of thousands of visitors. I had a hard time visualizing where all those people would go…or even stay, for that matter…and still do!

2017-10-17 Neder-1

Yup. Small town, Nederland, CO

But for the festivals, I could, for a moment, see myself living in this little town because of the wonderful people I met there! Here’s a shout out to Winston, Chris and all the other people we met while we were there. It’s worth a trip there but check out their  it’s festival schedules first!

2017-10-17 Neder-RenWoman

Of course I had to go into the Renaissance Woman store in Nederland, CO. I told the owner all about our Atlanta Little Five Points area and their annual Halloween Parade!

2017-10-17 Neder-Wings

When my sister and I were traveling the turquoise trail, we ran into a similar shop like this so it was only fitting for her eldest daughter and I to go into Wings of Lace Boutique, Nederland, CO and do some shopping! Hey, Chris!

2017-10-17 Neder-Solta-Mark?

Remember what I said about bicycles being EVERYWHERE! Here’s proof! This is Solta Restaurant, Nederland, CO and the young man behind the counter looks like a young man Mark’s twin. Mark was like a son to me and chose to leave us way too soon and has been on my mind a great deal this month.  Both were from Austin and moved to Colorado! I almost fell out! 

After seeing all the mountainous terrain of I-70 West of Boulder, CO to Green River, UT via I-70 from studying Google, I was quite apprehensive if not anxious about driving it. However, my niece’s husband, who is extremely familiar with this highway, talked me down out of the tree with some good info. And I’m so very glad! The trip West was marvelous! My favorite park was driving through the river gorge, but that is always my favorite part of any drive!

See what you think!

2017-10-19 I-70-1

I-70 West – First snow capped view!

2017-10-19 I-70-2

Mountains galore!

2017-10-19 I-70-3

River Gorge driving just shivers me timbers!

2017-10-19 I-70-4

Golden trees everywhere!

2017-10-19 I-70-5

I be comin’ ’round the bend!

2017-10-19 I-70-6

This just doesn’t do it justice but…

Well, this travelin’ woman is just about done in for today so, Happy Trails…until we meet again!

Advertisements

While driving to Glacier National Park, Montana, I kept telling my “daughter,” Jenni, about a great steakhouse I’d visited in that area in 2003. We talked about having a great ribeye steak as we hiked all over the western half of the Park because it was closer to where we were staying and had more areas to hike for the day. The drive to the eastern half was quite a jaunt of 2-3 hours each way so we’d need to plan for a whole day and part of the night to get everything packed in before leaving.

On our last full day, we got up early and hit the road for the eastern part of Glacier where I was sure the restaurant had to be. Everything we planned got dumped (boat ride on that water? NO WAY!) but what we got was even better! I’d found St. Mary’s Lake and the hike I’d loved so much before with waterfalls (can’t get better than that) AND “THE” steakhouse! It was right there all along!

I’ve been pondering on my trip and that steakhouse these last weeks and I gotta say, if you ever find yourself even near there, go for it! It’s called Cattle Baron’s Supper Club at the turnoff to go into the upper region of the Park.

However, instead boring you with more details, I figured I’d share the pictures from that night of the insides of this gloriously decorated place and our experience. Dang! I wanna go back now!

2017-6-21 MTeGCattle

Cattle Barons Supper Club

2017-6-21 MTeGCattle4

OMGosh! What a Ribeye! How are we going to eat all of it?

2017-6-21 MTeGCattle2

Huckleberry pie? Well, we split it. It’s the delicacy of the area!

2017-6-21 MTeGCattle3

Uhhhh…we both did!

2017-6-21 MT SteakHse5

2017-6-21 MT SteakHse7

Not sure if you can see the the “story board” above the tables of the Blackfeet tribe and their pictographs of before and after white people came to their lands, but it’s so beautifully done with varying “western” motif colors for each period. I thought I’d caught those but, even though it appears I didn’t, I’ll have them imbedded in my brain forever.

I LOVE the West! I always felt I was born in the wrong state. And I was. I was born in a state of confusion about the state in which I was born. I’m no longer tied to one state. I can roam all the western ones I want and still love my cabin home. I know I said this year’s trip would be the last. I think I’m slowly taking that back!

HAPPY TALES & TRAILS…UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN!

Not only have I been totally confused about the day of the week this whole trip but where I am because, like today, I could have been in eastern Idaho, western Montana or northern Oklahoma from the looks of things! And, although I was in northern Montana for awhile, it was with Glacier National Park mountain range in my rear view mirror, in my heart and with the impact from Mother Nature’s mystical power which pushed me off the cliff toward my solo voyage across Canada with Alberta as the reminder of places I’d just been.

2017-6-23 Calb1

Farmland in northern Montana looks a great deal like eastern Idaho!

The cliff, you say? Well, God teaches us to pray believing with the faith of a child and, to do that, it means you “believe” in the power of prayer. I do. Every time I’ve jumped off that proverbial cliff to start my own business or homeschool a recalcitrant child while trying to make money with that business or travel alone across the backroads of US and Canada, I’m doing just that…claiming God as my parachute. Some say I’m brave. Some say I’m crazy. I say I have faith.

I must say that I had a moment or two before Jenni left to go home where I wasn’t sure about that parachute opening, but yesterday’s visit to West Glacier’s t Western Red Cedar grove, that nature walk restored my soul and gave me confidence for this healing journey to continue. So many amazing non-coincidences have been integral parts of it. Miracles of sun rainbows, finding new Chirrens, meeting babies born to some of those Chirrens whose parents weren’t sure if their precious one would ever be born, meeting so many kindred souls and reconnecting with Mother Earth in a way I haven’t been able to do since Ava died. Yep. That parachute is open and God keeps showing me how big it is!

2017-6-23 Calb2

Long, roads with nothing but fields of cows and crops.

2017-6-23 Calb3

That’s the storm I’m running away from.

Now, for those of you who have followed my posts thus far, you, too, might be confused about where I was today. Tom (my GPS) even took me down a very long and lonely dirt road, but our 150,000 mile relationship and my parachute kept the devil of doubt out of my soul and helped me embrace the wonders of the dirt road headed toward the border and away from the upcoming storm, above.

2017-6-23 Calb4

Dirt road, Tom? Really?

2017-6-23 Calb5

Wish this picture showed how bright these yellow blooms were. There were hundreds of acres of them!

2017-6-23 Calb6

See that tiny white dot to the right in the grass? That’s a farm. The first one I’ve seen in many miles!

Tomorrow? Twelve hour drive through Saskatchewan (supposed to be a real sleeper) and across Manitoba to Winnipeg.

HAPPY TAILS, TALES OR TRAILS…YOUR PICK!

We finally made it here today and it’s been a dream come true for us both but only one of us knew how outstanding the whole park and surrounding areas are. The great news is that now both of us know! Even though the “Going-to-the-Sun” Road isn’t open yet (probably not until July but they really don’t know when because of snow), we drove up about fourteen miles along the West side of Glacier.

But before we even get to Glacier National Park, we drive from Kalispell, Montana because it’s one of the prettiest drives anywhere and especially with such a magnificent destination awaiting our arrival!

2017-6-20 MTg1

Driving from Kalispell to Glacier National West Gate seeing these mountains is life changing!

2017-6-20 MTg2

Yeah!

2017-6-20 MTg3

Truly majestic!

Jenni was a happy young woman when we got to the Park entrance! She looks so cute in this chair!

2017-6-20 MTg4

Inside the Park, we drove up to Lake McDonald Lodge built in early 1900’s.

2017-6-20 MTg5

Lake McDonald Lodge (front)

2017-6-20 MTg6

Lake McDonald Lodge Great Room at entrance

2017-6-20 MTg7

Lake McDonald Lodge (back facing lake) where Montana and I had our picture taken last year. (tear)

2017-6-20 MTg8

Lake McDonald

2017-6-20 MTg9

Cabins for rent overlooking Snyder Creek

2017-6-20 MTg10

Rushing waters of Snyder Creek emptying into Lake McDonald

2016-5-19MT1aMcDLake

Montana in Montana resting at Lake McDonald one year ago!

2016-5-19MT3CamasRdRvr7

Raging waters that feed Lake McDonald near McDonald Falls!

Tomorrow? More Glacier but from the East side! St. Mary’s, for sure!

HAPPY TAILS, TALES OR TRAILS…YOUR PICK! JUST DO IT!

Today’s adventure ended up being about 250 miles round trip and only 180 pictures to cull! I’m surprised that I took that many because it was a dreary, rainy, low cloud, foggy day. But, as I’ve said, coming back gives a different perspective from going and the second trip from Kalispell toward West Glacier was just as exciting as yesterday’s!

2016-5-20MT1

2016-5-20MT2

2016-5-20MT3

2016-5-20MT4

2016-5-20MT5

 

Logan Pass makes going from the West to East side of the Park extremely interesting and tricky as the roads are 1920 narrow with only short rock walls to keep you from going over the 6600+ foot precipice at the top of the Pass. There are other higher peaks but not ones you can drive. They have to be hiked.

At this time, the Pass is still closed and, frankly, after taking Hwy. 49 as a shortcut to Saint Mary East Glacier entrance, I’m glad. I was struggling with the fog, rain, hairpin curves, disappearing road, heights, drops and my vertigo to the point that I’m stiff as a board from the stress of that dang road but I DID IT! BTW, there are no pictures from this part of the trip! LOL

I called my BFF and told her what I’d experienced getting to the Visitor’s Center and how I was hoping the Going-To-The-Sun Road from the East entrance was as uncomplicated as the West was. And, other than the snow, rain, fog, curves, disappearing road, hairpin curves, heights and drops it wasn’t as challenging as Hwy. 49…but I was only twelve miles in. Believe me, the rest of that road will make a believer outta ya!

View near the East Glacier entrance (headed West).

2016-5-20MT7

2016-5-20MT8

2016-5-20MT9

Saint Mary Lake

2016-5-20MT11

2016-5-20MT12

Love me some rocks!

2016-5-20MT13

2016-5-20MT14

And really BIG rocks that look like mountains with snow on the top but it’s really big rocks with glaciers on top overlooking Saint Mary Lake.

2016-5-20MT15

2016-5-20MT16

2016-5-20MT17

Now this moment of wild flower love is dedicated to my mom. It was wild that I drove through snow and 34 degree temps with all the wild flower blooming going on.

2016-5-20MT18

2016-5-20MT19

2016-5-20MT20

Now I’m headed back toward the East entrance (going East).

 

2016-5-20MT21

And, as it happens in nature, there was a HUGE fire that took out a lot of trees but nature abhors a void and the new growth is coming back with a vengeance. Did you know there are a number of plants which rely on fire to release their seeds like the jack pine? (Thanks for teaching me that, Mom!)

This picture shows a magnificent waterfall (the white on the right) and the remnants of the glacier on the left. I think I took 15 shots to get this one pic.

2016-5-20MT22

There’s more evidence of the fire on the East side than West.

2016-5-20MT23

Personally, I love the fire remnants juxtaposed against the lush life of the green on the mountain looking over  the lake.

2016-5-20MT24

Yeah, ROCKS!

2016-5-20MT25

2016-5-20MT26

There’s a peek at the little rock wall built at the Park’s inception to prevent cars of the 21st century from dropping thousands of feet! LOL

2016-5-20MT27

Next, I drove to Browning, MT in the Blackfoot Reservation where there’s a cool shop I’d visited before called the Blackfoot Trading Company. The ladies there were so nice. The recommended I have a quick bite here at the Junction Cafe. They have a killer hamburger on flatbread!

2016-5-20MT28

Then home again, home again, jiggly jig! Now driving West on Hwy. 2 giving me a great view of the Flathead River you can’t grasp going East!

2016-5-20MT29

Yeah, it’s all about the water and the rocks for me…even at The Southern Comfort Cabin!

2016-5-20MT30

2016-5-20MT31

It’s off toward Auburn, California tomorrow as I’m expected there on Monday and it’s could be a bit of a drive (to say the least) considering the distance and the weather promised! Oh well. It’s the journey! All about the journey!

HAPPY TAILS!