Archives for posts with tag: pop-up camping

As those of you who have followed me for the last four trips out west know, I get easily cracked out on caffeine and, sometimes, I do it intentionally to go longer distances although I normally avoid it. Yesterday, I started my three-day trek to Tennessee through the back roads of  Vermont starting in Burlington (near the Canadian border) with a cup of real java. The 30 MPH meandering roads through beautiful towns and countryside were wonders for this Alice to behold. I clicked away knowing my trusty camera battery was fully charged.

Just as I got to some of the most amazing residential architecture from the late 1800’s I’ve ever seen, my camera DIED! NO! NOT NOW! But all my screaming and ranting did absolutely nothing to resuscitate the recalcitrant battery. So, I’ll try to describe what I saw and give you website addresses for the most amazing cities.

But first, let me bring you down from the Border crossing where it all started! And this time, the US Border Police didn’t ask me where my horse was! LOL Or did I forget to tell you that part? Here’s the short of it just in case I forgot to share it.

I drove across the Canadian Border to meet Mirjana and drove back across into US the same day without any comments out of the ordinary. The next day as Mirjana and I pulled up to the Canadian Border Police, he asked the usual questions about how we know each other, why we’re crossing and he sees I have Montana’s “passport” and asks, “Where’s the horse?” Mirjana and I start laughing hysterically at the insanity of the question as he looks back at the pop-up which clearly doesn’t have enough room for a horse much less lil’ old forty pound Montana! I ask through my hysteria, “Horse?” “Yes. It’s marked right here on the form that you have a dog and a horse!”

I digress, but it was funny!

I crossed the Canadian Border on Tuesday via 133 from Montreal which becomes SR 7 on the US side and pulled into Burlington (or close to it) and stayed at the Motel 6 a couple of nights to acclimate to the US. I remembered the first time Mom  traveled outside the US, she said she wanted to kiss the ground. And, although I had a wonderful time with my host and hostesses, I felt the same way. I was ready for the next phase of my healing heart tour. And, what better way to heal a heart than back roads?

I left Burlington yesterday morning around 9:30 and headed south on SR 7 and immediately found pictures everywhere!

I needed to mail a letter at the post office and this was a building across the street from it in Winooski, Vermont. It’s a tiny, charming town steeped in history.

the strip where Post Office is located in Winooski

I say “tiny” because I was in the next small town of Burlington, VT with the turn of a corner!

Burlington, VT

Look at the lacy cornice at the top of the building.

Just south of Burlington, I got onto SR 22A where I really was in for a treat. Vergennes, VT is beautiful and it’s also Vermont’s oldest town (vergennes.org). You don’t want to go more than 30 MPH because you’ll miss many beautiful buildings and houses. The most interesting part to me was the delicate lacy wood work of the cornices around the roofs of the houses.

On the way to Cornwall from Vergennes down SR 22A

Vineyards!

Clouds on mountain!

Old barns, of course!

Milk cow country for all that cheese they make in this area! It ain’t just made in Wisconsin! And, boy oh boy, you sure can smell the other by products from all those cows it’s worth the price!

Cornwall, VT

But, between towns, views…lots and lots of views.

is it a house or a barn…or both?

Talk about a “fixer upper”! They were asking $80,000 for something in THIS shape but in the middle of nowhere!

Singlewide with a view!

This town south of Vergennes in Addison County  was all white and crisp like a new white starched shirt.

the name escapes me…this is when the camera stopped working!

This town was just a little too perfect for me! Maybe that’s why I can’t remember the name!

Then the camera stopped working about the time I got onto SR 7; Bennington, VT was gorgeous.

As I was anxious to get lunch and charge the camera battery, I was looking for a place to stop. As I turned the corner in the road, there it was: Chauncey’s of Arlington.

Chauncey’s of Arlington, Arlington, VT

This is out back of the restaurant where Owner and Chef, Stanley Holton, cuts the grass.

And…there was even an old barn!

But, to really top off the amazing home cooked horseradish cheese hamburger and carrot cake like my mama used to make is the fact the owner’s mother, Lucille Holton, is quite the town celebrity. She posed for Norman Rockwell as he painted “The Babysitter!”

Sorry the quality of my picture is so bad but I just couldn’t get a good shot of it without a lot of glare. But, there she is holding the painting!

The waitress, Debbie Whitman, and I became fast friends and hugged as I left. You just won’t meet strangers in this establishment!

Now that my stomach was full and so was the battery for my camera, we could take off again! But first, I needed to go two driveways down to The Cheese House to pick up some local dark amber Vermont Maple syrup! Yum!

The Cheese House, Arlington, VT

And back to seeing beautiful houses and interesting engineering.

What the heck is that thing, anyway?

arns
Massachusetts town on SR7

Mountain views that are just stunning!

Outbuildings

Hudson River

New York mountain views

Virginia pastoral views

and…last but not least…Tennessee mountain views!

Tennessee

I’m here for a couple of days to recover from the 20 hour straight-thru drive and 4 hours of it was the first  150 miles of the journey!

Happy Trails!

 

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We drove into Old Montreal to do some sightseeing. I’d forgotten how pretty it was as well as how old. One remnant of a chapel of an old hospital dates back to 1693 and it was really wonderful getting that “olde world” feeling while walking around down there. We got to see the Cirque tent and an acrobatic flyer that I’m sure was a fighter pilot from the Iraq war with way too much adrenaline. We were all frozen…mezmerized by some of the most death-defying flying I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen some pretty amazing Blue Angels flying in my day!

Remnants of the chapel which was a part of the hospital built here in 1693.

Beautiful old world feel to this area in the architecture and sculptures.

Temporary Olympic housing built over thirty years ago!

YES! THAT WOULD BE FLYING TOWARD THE GROUND! Why is it called “flying?” Because he didn’t crash! He kept cutting his engines while doing his tricks.

Street performers and shops all in this walking avenue.

Loved listening to these South American Native professionals. They were mesmerizing.

We were all invited to go to the mountain house of a good friend of Mirjana’s for the weekend. We couldn’t wait to get back into nature and enjoy the company of good people while swimming, playing with fire and just playing. Montana needed a break from all the bicycles in town, that’s for sure!

Was whisked away to the mountain chalet of a new friend. Montana and I decided to take fresh air while I had a glass of wine. After all, it was three months ago when my daughter decided to leave and I was feeling serious sadness from her. Yep, news flash. It still comes through. It did when she was alive and it still does. Nope. Not nuts. Just still have the umbilicus attached.

Fire GOOD!

By the fire.

The lake. I couldn’t believe how hot it was in the mountains! People leave the city to get cooler! OOOPPPSSS! Not this year!

Montana sure enjoyed being in the mountains! I know it looks like a man in a blue shirt is sprouting from her head but we couldn’t get him outta’ the picture and we took 20! Too funny!

Great views and great new friends.

I almost fell of the balcony when I saw this first thing this morning! How many times will you see a couch being moved down a major street of a major city hooked up to the back of a bicycle? They are a professional mover…eco friendly, that’s for sure!

We finished up the last-minute discussions about the website, to-do lists and sad goodbyes and then Montana and I hit the road again. I was so upset, I almost forgot to pick up my camper before leaving town! Thank goodness Mirjana and I are so very close that she reminded me as we got our last hugs seconds before heading out! Whew! That was a close one!

The drive down Highway 133 toward Vermont was quite a surprise to me because it was so rural. More barns and brightly painted houses and exciting views.

Love me some old barns, what can I say!

Love the character of this!

Love this rural agri-land.

Then there was this really cool looking church but I just couldn’t safely pull over to get a better shot.

And….there it was…the UNITED STATES BORDER! Whoot whoot!

Since my daughter’s death, her adopted siblings have been critical in my healing process and I hope I’ve been instrumental in their’s as well. As most of her friends reside in Vegas, I was blessed with extended family the seven weeks I slept in her bed and finalized her affairs. It was always necessary for me to come to Montreal to be with another one of my daughter’s adopted siblings, Mirjana and her precious Una. And, although it’s been a bittersweet reunion, we’ve finally been able to go through a process of healing our hearts which could only be done one-on-one. It’s been remarkable. Not only have they embraced me as “mom/grandma,” they have embraced my core, grief and all by making sacrifices and extending themselves in such a way as few in this world do.

Mirjana, a very busy mother , voice teacher and performer in her own right, canceled her scheduled lessons to meet me in Niagara Falls and camp with me on our way to her home in Montreal. She has not only opened her heart but her small apartment and made me feel exceedingly welcome and comfortable.

Her boyfriend, Serge, surprised us all with a special treat. We all went camping in Charlevoix, Quebec where we camped on the banks of the St. Laurent River where it meets the ocean overlooking its rocky cliffs where whales abound. This is about that trip.

The view along the way to Charlevoix, Quebec via Quebec City

The highway view

Longest bridge I ever saw!

Beach along the way to Charlevoix!

Falls along the highway to Charlevoix!

And I thought WE had a lot of churches in the south! Quebec has us beat! As it was my only picture of a church here, I decided to included it even though it certainly isn’t a great one!

Farms with amazing views of the St. Laurent River (St. Lawrence River for those of you who don’t read French! Okay, so I’m showing off a bit!)

Where the river meets the ocean.

We stayed perched on the banks of the St. Lawrence River overlooking where it meets the ocean at Camping Spa Falaise sur Mer in St. Simeon, Charlevoix in Quebec. This facility is erroneously rated Three Stars instead of Five so it comes highly recommended by us. The owner was gracious and extended all courtesies to us above and beyond the call of duty. She even gave us two sites for the price of one. Check it out at http://www.camping-falaisesurmer.com or call 1-888638-1441. The facilities are orderly, clean and new. We really didn’t want to break camp!

Rock climbing in Charlevoix!

Can you see the rock to the left which I repelled and then had to climb back up to get to the campsite? Serge, Una and Mirjana were all quite proud of me. They didn’t know I grew up climbing. This felt awkward but totally doable especially with them cheering me on and lending a hand when needed. Montana helped too, ya’ know!

Montana on the Beach looking for rabbits, deer, squirrels, bicycles and whales? What’s a whale? LOL !

Wildflowers at the campground

On Friday, we took a road trip to Baie St. Paul, a little mountain village.

Breathtaking turns with a magnificent view perched in the middle of the turn!

Unusual architecture is very common here…no two houses the same makes the drive a welcomed relief. Even the farms vary greatly from the more traditional placing of outbuildings far from the main house to several cramped close to the home. This area of Canada had an interesting variation of architecture but it also had something I’d never seen in such abundance: red galvonized roofs and white houses with bright red trim!

Baie St. Catherine where we caught the whale cruise.

Saturday, we took a shorter trip to Baie St. Catherine to catch the whale watching cruise near Tadoussac through Cruises 2001 in Baie St. Catherine. Serge was told three times that we could take Montana on the cruise with us. When we arrived, however, we were told Montana could not go! I freaked out. There was no place to leave her and Serge had already booked the tour. The lady who was to guide us to the cruise ship graciously volunteered to take care of Montana while we were on the four-hour tour. I wasn’t comfortable leaving Montana with a stranger knowing there were horses and dogs in the back of their neighbors’ yard and, with a loose grip on the lease, Montana could take off for Europe or, with a tighter grip, take the nice lady DOWN. Of course, the nice lady didn’t speak English too well but her eyes convinced me she would love up on my puppy the whole time and I’d find her navy blue pants covered in Montana’s white fur! So, off we went.

Marina sign at boat dock

On the cruise.

There’s our first whale sighting! We even heard and saw him “blow” the water out! We were told he was a Minke whale.

The black line of turbulence is a group of seals swimming together at quite a rapid pace for thousand pound animals! If you look closely, you can see their heads out of the water. The white in the middle of them is water splashing.

We then headed toward the fjord where the Beluga Whales are found.

BELUGAS! They’re quite endangered and Atlanta shouldn’t try to keep them in their aquarium. They really don’t do well in captivity. Maybe somebody should tell them to put something in there that does! Duh!

See the white dot in the water? That’s the Beluga! There were several diving rather rapidly and were quite hard to catch on camera.

Breathtaking views

Much to my relief, as we walked off the ship, the lady who took care of Montana greeted us with how much in love she was with her and how she wanted to keep her. She told us of how Montana stayed right by her side and turned over on her back for tummy love. The nice lady was wrapped around Montana’s paw! Thank you God that Montana didn’t take off after the horse in the back!

After she finished telling us all about her time with Montana, I asked her name. It was “Angel”, of course! Their website is: www.croisieres2001.com. They were amazingly accommodating.

After the cruise, we decided to find a beach so we rambled Saguenay where there was a music festival on the beach. We took the ferry to Hotel Tadoussac and played on the beach.

Free ferry boats to Hotel Tadoussac in Saguenay.

Although I liked the idea of finding a beach, my idea was to find a deserted beach but was out voted. They wanted to go to the beach where there was a music festival in town and I pictured being trampled with hordes of drunk people. I was so wrong. The beach was lovely and not crowded at all. There was a sand art competition and Serge and I picked our favorite to be the one that looked like a forest.

Beach at Hotel Tadoussac in Saguenay

Sand art

Boats anchored right off the beach.

Marina just a few feet from the beach.

Montana playing on the beach with the rich and famous!

We went back to the campsite tired but very happy. Una and I got cracked out on Smores (Marshmellows roasted over an open fire sandwiched between dark chocolate and two graham crackers…drool…as in “I want some more!”) yet another night, showered and turned in early as Sunday was going to be full of more adventures in 600-year-old Old Quebec City (Le Vieux Quebec).

First sight of Quebec City!

Beautiful city but Old Quebec City is what we were going to see.

Old Quebec City has very steep inclines but it is worth the extra effort. This is from the park which sits below the palace and above this view. Beautiful city.

The palace above the park overlooking the structures in the pictures above.

Hotel Chateau Frontenac in Old Quebec City. Beautiful old world architecture designed by an American Architect in the late 1800’s. Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt met there during the early 1940’s to discuss strategies of World War II.

Chateau Frontenac

Chateau Frontenac

And what trip would be complete without a picture of Montana? For those who don’t personally know Montana, she’s a bird dog of the English Pointer variety which means she’s a hunter. Hunting anything that moves is her passion be it squirrel, turtle, rabbit, deer or bicycle. And, as there are so many bicycles in Montreal, she’s been quite challenged keeping up with all of them.

Is that a bicycle I see over there?

We enjoyed a dessert at a cafe overlooking the old city.

We continued onto Montreal back to the apartment and Montana’s obsession with finding all the bicycles in Montreal!

We’ll stay here a few more days before heading toward Prince Edward Island to find Anne of Green Gables.

The healing heart tour continues for a few more weeks. I plan to be back at the cabin around the first weeks of July. Then, I’ll head toward Florida to see other family down there which includes my other granddaughter, Angela, who was born during this fray.

Happy Trails!

We toughed out the tollways from Niagara Falls to get to the good part which starts in Watertown, NY. Mirjana focused right away on a little town on SR 3 called Tupper Lake, NY but because it would add another two hours onto our drive I really wanted to find a place in Watertown. I’d never heard of Watertown and was sure we’d be able to find something affordable. NOT! Every place we called was over $100 just to sleep! I’m getting beyond tired as I hadn’t gotten enough sleep the night before and just wanted a shower and a bed but not at such outrageous prices in a noname town.

SR 3 has lots of little lake communities along the route.

Beautiful!

Then we saw the Adirondacks!

Mirjana focused again on Tupper Lake. She went on  hotels.petswelcome.com  and searched Tupper Lake, NY and found a wonderful Mom and Pop place called Park Motel and Cabins, 336 Park Street, Tupper Lake, NY  (www.parkmotelandcabins.com). It’s a quaint lake town which reminds me where I live in the mountains but bigger and a great deal more developed. This motel has probably been around since the 50’s or 60’s but is so well-kept and the proprietors are very friendly, keeping that homey atmosphere you look for when traveling long distances and are over tired. The price was very reasonable as well.

The Park Motel office.

We were very hungry as we’d just smacked the last two days. The proprietor called a local restaurant and confirmed their hours. We drove a couple of blocks down to Little Italy Restaurante & Pizzeria where we found friendly greetings and healthy, fresh food. It’s a must if you’re ever in the vicinity.

Now we’re off to Montreal to go camping and dancing by the fire like gypsies in the moonlight! Boy, do I ever need that!

Happy Trails!

I FOUND THE REAL NIAGARA FALLS! It’s on the other side of the border! LOL Here goes! I TOTALLY apologize to Canada for saying their side of the Falls wasn’t as good as the American side. However, I will say the American side is all about nature and the park because their views really aren’t as magnificent without hiking down into the bowls of the falls as the Canadian side is from the curb. The Canadians have created a Vegas-like party atmosphere which irritates me because the nature of the Falls is so gorgeous that having all that neon seems to dilute the natural experience. So, for view, drive over the border, for a hike stay on the US side, for glitz and bawdy-hawdy cross the border, for dog friendly park stay in US as Canada’s side is so NOT dog friendly!

There they are! They’re on the Canadian side! LOL

Horseshoe Falls

Then we saw the Maid of the Mist boat drive right into the rainbow!

We were greeted with a complete rainbow into Horseshoe Falls!

Montana even got into the rainbow! She stopped traffic with her posing! Everyone wanted to take pictures of my Hollywood movie star Crazy Lil White Dawg!

Then we received a DOUBLE Rainbow into Horseshoe Falls! A gift from Ava! Look closely to the far right.

When Ava was fifteen, she and I were driving back from Florida. It was dusk and I wanted her to have some experience driving through the back roads. We saw the double rainbow and decided to pull on the side of the road. As she was pulling off, I said, “Be careful and don’t pull off too far…it drops…” Well, it did and we did! The right front of the car was in a ditch. I’m really mad because this is a back road where the curbs are pulled in at dusk and I’ll have to walk to a farm to get someone to get their truck or tractor to help us as there is no such thing as cell phones at this time…not for the general public, anyway! I sternly tell her to keep her bikini clad body IN THE CAR as I start hiking to the nearest farm.

About 500 yards into my hike, I look back at her and she’s doing exactly what I told her NOT to do and I see her perched on the back of the car. Trucks appear out of nowhere to rescue this damsel! I’m relieved but now anxious to get back to her. The men who stopped were wonderful. They pulled us out of the ditch in seconds and we were back on the road.

I believe the double rainbow for Mirjana and me was from Ava. She always wanted us to meet face-to-face and, yesterday, we finally did. Thank you Ava! We love you so much!

Double Rainbow!

Awwww…caught by the magic of a rainbow!

I called this photo “prism” because the falls gets caught between the two rainbows and had a prism-look to it. Darn, I’m good!

Montana had to have her picture taken with the double rainbow too! She stopped traffic again as everyone wanted pictures of this cute pup!

Rainbow in the Maid of the Mist boat!

Daisy and rainbows!

Look closely at the falls…the rainbow colors the falls!

Although the cafe’s in Niagara Falls don’t serve you if you have a dog, they did allow us to sit without service. Montana is protesting!

Me and my pop-up in purple camophlage as any good southern woe-man would be!

Gotta’ run close up the pop-up to head for Canada via Vermont!

Happy Trails!

The internet reception was so bad at the Toledo, Ohio Motel 6 that it took me until 3:00 AM to get my last blog posted (obviously cracked out on decaf consumed at 6:00 PM) and I woke up at 7:30 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep! Geez! So, up and at ’em finished loose ends and to get going by 10:30’ish.

The drive was pretty unremarkable except for the fact that the Ohio barns (few and far between) did have that Iowa barn look to them. But the minute I got into Pennsylvania, the barns started looking like the ones in Iowa which raises the questions did Pennsylvania move west or did Iowa move east? LOL

Pennsylvania farmland!

This is just for you Shannon! Cleveland!

ONLY in Cleveland have I seen wind energy in a big city! Look to the right!

Huh? Really? In the middle of the city?

The minute I crossed over into Pennsylvania, the terrain changed. Wish you could see the remarkable change better.

There is one of those Iowa barns in Pennsylvania!

For those of you who followed me on my Great Adventure into New York City last December, you know how much I love NYC and how it charges my batteries. Well, understandably, I’d forgotten that until I saw this! And, apparently, it ain’t just NYC that charges my batteries!

Oh, did I tell you I have a “thang” for old bridges? I won’t get on them, that’s for sure, but I do like to look at ’em!

The drive to Niagara Falls on I-190

BIG bridge but not a white-knuckler!

Grand Island KOA view out back of my unit!

Almost sunset

The internet here at Grand Island KOA SUCKS! The people are wonderful and very proactive but it’s taken me HOURS to just download these few pictures (started at 1:00AM last night and now into 2-1/2 hours this morning. What’s going on? Had the same issue at Motel 6 the other night. Are we spoiled or what!

It’s raining and, seein’ as how I’ll get wet at the Falls anyway, I’ll forgo downloading the last picture and take off to do some seeing of the sights.

I’m really praying hard that this trip helps my heart to do some seriously needed healing. Mirjana says I’ve been in Ava’s head too much lately and she’s probably right. She’s on the way tomorrow to rescue me from myself for about a week or so. Now that she mentions it, I think she’s right. My daughter was an opera singer (full lyric) and I’ve been listening to all her voice lessons for the past year (I’m up to 10/19/11 now) and hearing how hard she worked for sheer perfection is SICK. How can anyone be that perfect in FOUR languages not to mention being perfect in every note as well as the period of the piece and the author’s meaning. Seems like t

I gotta’ say that I-80 from Nevada to Ohio is either rolling fields of agri crops or huge pasture land for cattle with range of vegetation from scrub to some of the most lush green you’ve ever seen. As you already know, I loved the farms in Iowa and Illinois was similar but not as spectacular.

KOA at Rock Island, Illinois was nice and this was my view from the camper BUT…PLEASE GET DECOY GEESE! The goose poop covered every square inch of my space! Is that why I only paid $30 instead of $45? Really?

Doesn’t it look like Iowa? This wasn’t far from Iowa…as the crow flies…or as I fly! LOL

They scrambled this beautiful farmland with this stuff just like Iowa or was it Nebraska? Which ever, it still looks weird.

Funky lil farms and outbuildings here as there…wherever that was! It’s all a blur now that they all look-alike! Cool picture crooked like it is! LOL

So pretty!

Love old barns…guess you knew that by now tho.

And then…

INDIANA! Notice there are NO pictures of Indiana because there is absolutely NOTHING on I-80 East to take a picture of! It doesn’t matter if you’re driving south to north or west to east…just nothing screams out to my camera. Sorry guys. I couldn’t find one…not even one picture to take in Indiana but the second I crossed over into Ohio, I thought I’d gotten back on the wrong highway again and was in Iowa! The farm houses looked just like the ones there! Incredible!

But first I had to get lost in Michigan which looked a great deal like some of the back roads of Georgia!

Lost in thoughts, I suddenly realized I was in MICHIGAN! WHAT? How did that happen? Oh my  TomTom routed me to Niagara Falls on the Canadian side! LOL Thankfully, I only had to go about six  miles on back Michigan roads to recover. The good news is that I discovered a little piece of Georgia on that back road!

What a pretty little house even if a telephone pole interrupts the view!

This reminds me of some of my favorite back roads which I take going to the Florida panhandle!

THEN OHIO! WHAM! What a contrast to Indiana! Back to the beautiful farm lands of Iowa and Illinois on I-80.

Crooked or not, it’s still beautiful!

The Toll highways surprise this southerner as we don’t have them there. They just don’t seem to be worth the cost. I’m going back roads the rest of the way! Well, maybe not if I-80 doesn’t have a toll for the rest of the way! LOL

 Another thing about Iowa that I meant to mention yesterday is that there is a great deal of construction going along I-80 through Iowa through Illinois and Indiana but the worst part is that there were hundreds of dead deer. So word: DON’T DRIVE AT NIGHT ON I-80 because you’ll either get challenged by the construction or by a deer!

The other part of the story is that my fav Motel 6 has been bought by the company that owns Hilton so I can only hope and pray they get their internet issues corrected where it’s FREE with the room. As the young woman at the front desk said, “It should be free with the room. Heck, even McDonald’s has free internet!” I totally agree especially when it SUCKS as badly as it does in your corporate owned hotels. You franchise units take care of business!

Tomorrow, I’m scheduled to camp at Niagara Falls for the next few days (US side, that is) until crossing the border. I’m so excited! It’s a lifetime dream and this trip is extended because it is a necessity for my sanity since my daughter’s death. I haven’t written about it much because I just can’t do it yet. Just continue to follow me on this healing heart adventure because it feels good knowing my friends are coming along for the ride.

Happy Trails.

Didn’t have a clue that eastern Colorado was such a cow palace! It resembled the cattle ranches I saw in Texas (yes, with holding pens).

Wide open country

Then comes Nowhere Nebraska which is ALL green and lush.

It’s really interesting how crossing a state line is so obvious because of terrain or rivers. You KNOW you’re in another state because everything looks so different.

There’s a great deal of agricultural areas in Nebraska. I sure hope they’re not all owned by large corporations. I hope there are still some Mom & Pops around.

Beautiful countryside but make sure you get gassed up before entering Nebraska on I-80! There just aren’t that many places for fuel here.

I thought all the long trains went through Nevada and Colorado! Here’s a neat perspective.

Although there’s some dirt on the car window, I still wanted to add this photo because of the river in the background. Just beautiful!

And, as always, it’s Motel 6 when I need a TV fix or drive too long and have gotten too tired to set up the camper. BTW, most campsites don’t have really fast internet service so it takes forever to download photos. I’m kinda’ liking this Motel 6 because it’s a franchise (instead of a chain) and, although it’s pricier, it’s definitely privately run because of the grounds, location (overlooking a river) and it’s internet service. It’s in Grand Island, Nebraska just in case you’re ever up this way!

How in the WORLD do you totally miss Flaming Gorge? I have no clue but that’s exactly what happened today. See, it all started when I found myself in the middle of no where Wyoming needing gas. So, I did the most logical thing which was to find an interstate, which I did. It was either back track 10 miles or go down into a no name Wyoming town 3 miles off the freeway to fill ‘er up (so the sign on the freeway said, anyway).

I drove three miles to find the state route closed. The highway department worker sent me on a detour. That’s the last thing I remember except I kept saying to Montana that nothing looked familiar, which was the way it was supposed to be because I was taking a back road. Then I saw a sign mentioning Flaming Gorge and got all excited but it NEVER showed up. Before I knew it, I was in Green River, Wyoming north of the gorge.

Sure, I coulda’ turned around and gone south through the gorge but I’d already done that three times. I wanted to discover what it was like going north. Oh well. It just wasn’t meant to happen on this trip and quickly resigned myself to the fact that I’ll just have to do it next trip out!

So, here are pictures of the back road I was on!

Wyoming unknown state route going north!

Looks like Nevada!

Snow covered mountains!

landscape changes again

Flying!

more flying

changing terrain again and again

beautiful greens and big rocks

THE END

Tomorrow I leave Wyoming and enter Colorado to see Mandy in Boulder. I can’t wait!

Happy Trails!

What a change! NW Nevada looks like the craters on the moon with some scrub growing. And, as soon as you get going east on I-80 it changes and changes and changes as does Utah. I ran out of juice on my camera battery by the time I hit Wyoming because I’d taken 150 pictures which all boil down to these.

In this never-seen-by-me stretch of Nevada, I’m trying to show perspective of the same view as I pass by it or to show the perspective of a panaramic view and how it changes all within the same line of vision from stark and craggy to lush and green.

Check out the scrub grass on each side of the road as I approach this mountain range.

And now this grassy area next to the ever-changing mountains and hills.

Then, suddenly, this craggy Monument Valley look.

Then snow-covered mountains, which, btw, I’m heading right toward!

LOVE this perspective! Looks like everyone is driving INTO the mountain!

Up close and personal snow-covered mountain!

Doesn’t it look like I’m flying? LOL

Fell in LOVE with the pinkish peak in the middle of this picture. Now, watch it change!

Pink marble look?

Going East on I-80 about 4’ish…watch what happens to the light next…

What my pink rock sits next to…then

cool shadows appear on the neighboring mountain…

making stripes across it enhancing the vegetation color changes

THEN, I cross the UTAH state line and the whole terrain CHANGES instantly like I’ve gone to another part of the world! It was crazy how it went from this last photo to huge SALT beds. These next pictures were taken in sequence from 3:59 PM Ava Specific Time (a/k/a Pacific Mountain Time) until my camera ran outta’ juice at 7:04PM…just TWO short hours!

Last vestiges of Nevada in the foreground and Utah state line behind it!

Amazing blue sky and HUGE, ENDLESS salt beds on both sides of the road!

Salt in the front and then God threw in some purple mountains for a back drop.

and more salt

on both sides of the road as far as you can see…left and right!

and then some more purple mountains miles, mind you, from the last ones!

Then let’s paint in some water on each side of the road in this massive salt invested area…some really pretty turquoise water!

Then let’s screw with everyone’s head and bring back the salt beds and throw in some really pretty green vegetation covered mountains!

And, 5 minutes later, we’ll remove the salt beds and add some ground vegetation and greener mountains..

And then let’s turn the corrner and find this HUGE lake…could it be Salt Lake?

Then a totally different lake in a totally different environment just minutes down the road from the last one!]

And yet another minute passes and look what I find now!

Then we’re back to the craggy rocky mountain look just when you thought you were in vegi heaven!

And the last shot de jour of Utah looks like the spine of a huge dinosaur!

So, that’s it for today’s adventure! No hiking…only driving…but I hope I’ve shown you a side to Nevada and Utah you’ve never seen before, or, if you have seen it, I’ve given you a whole new perspective of what you saw. After all, as an artist, the first thing they teach you about drawing is to forget everything you think you know about what you see making you focus on seeing in a fresh light.

Tomorrow is my favorite place. This will be the fourth time I’ve gone there. Flaming Gorge, Utah/Wyoming. But, this time I’m dropping back down into Utah to travel through the area south to north as it will totally give me a new experience. I find that traveling west through Zion is so much more interesting than traveling east through it. Just saying.

Happy Trails!