Archives for posts with tag: US backroads

The minute I read about an outdoor market being open today, it was immediately declared my day off from writing. I’ve been to a million of these markets over the years and even sold my hand painted shirts and jewelry at functions very similar to this trying to find enough money for food, shelter, clothing and the likes for my daughter and I during my self-employment years. It was always fun meeting people and seeing what others were doing so I jumped at the chance especially knowing I could see some great red rocks in the mix!

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Tuacahn Market sits at the foot of the Amphitheater.

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Flowing Water divides the walkway. Nice toucht!

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Mother Nature’s version of Mount Rushmore!

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Mother Nature’s own carvings.

The layout was very nicely done, not crowded and had some boring stuff and some interesting things as well. Yeah. There were a couple of those venders who said, “My family makes these” but stopped short of “in China.” But, all-in-all, it was so worth the views, meanderings and entertainment!

And, as I was about to turn back toward the car, a Southern accent over the microphone stopped me dead in my tracks. I’d heard the young man singing and thought he was good but it was his story about how he was inspired to write his next song when he was invited to try some homemade peach moonshine! And, seein’ as how I happen to be familiar with that southern nectar, I had to turn back to hear more.

Turns out Tom Bennett hails from Conyers, Georgia, and is a young man who writes and sings a sweet southern blues! If you look closely at the picture of him below, you’ll see he plays a suitcase drum with his left foot, tambourines with his right, has a harmonica around his neck and Lord only knows what else he does up there that I hadn’t witnessed yet. He and his wife travel around doing gigs. He also writes a travel blog. I bought his album, “Tom Bennett One Man Band,” produced by Sweet Salt Records. Check him out at http://www.tombennettonemanband.com!

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Tom Bennett One Man Band!

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If you like the blues, you gotta buy this album!

Still hungry for a decent hamburger, I dug around on my cell Chrome and found a place called “Painted Pony” in historic St. George, Utah. And after driving around and a’ hollerin’ out at folks next to me at redlights about its whereabouts, I finally parked and started walking in the general direction they was a’ pointin’ to. Even that wasn’t easy because the reflections on the glass doors kept me from being able to read their sign but I barged right on through…tired, hungry and fed up. I done the right thang! It was all worth it.

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Painted Pony Menus

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Their Grilled Tenderloin Burger hit the spot and so did their ambiance.

Back to writing again. Had enough of that getting lost stuff for awhile. Now it’s time I got  lost in this book!

Happy Trails…until we meet again!

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Got a little stir crazy from sitting too long trying to ignore screaming of electric tools from the guy next to me build the next Taj Mahal or totally refurbish his travel trailer so I hit the road. Why oh why are they allowing this? Guess I’ll have to ask but, in the meantime, I took the road less travelled to Zion, Kanab and Jacob’s Lake to revisit some memories.

Plus, I’d had an unrelenting desire to revisit a bit of my last camping trip with Ava from  June, 2011 this past weekend. We’d left Vegas and headed straight for Zion where she spent a couple of days hiking some marvelous trails while Montana and I explored the few paths which allow pets. Our next stop was the North Rim of the Grand Canyon where Ava was determined to hike down the North Rim, spend the night at Phantom Ranch and hike back up the next day to the South Rim. Let’s just say it was one of our most eventful camping experiences. We spent that night in a cabin at Jacob’s Lake taking a much needed respite. Ava had hiked most of the way down the North Rim when her knees failed. They were going to helicopter her out of the canyon but she had other plans. She hiked back out escorted by Rangers.

I had just closed up the popup to head toward the South Rim when a stranger called me first saying Ava was fine and wanted him to tell me to stay at the North Rim. She was coming back up because of knee issues. Montana and I paced frantically for hours at the top of the trail asking anyone coming toward us if they’d seen her. Too scary to say what I was thinking that whole time but when I saw her, there wasn’t a happier mother around! We got the last available cabin at Jacob’s Lake and regrouped.

I felt compelled to go back. I think it was because we’d left part of us there and I needed to put it back into my soul before I could write again.

So, it was only natural for me to focus on rocks first. They help me get outta my own head. Plus, they’re strong but vulnerable and, I sure love me some rocks and how the Mothers create and scar them!

The force of the Mothers (Nature and Earth) are never more apparent than at Zion.  These mountains show signs of Mother Nature’s etchings on their surfaces as the winds carve their way through the sandstone mountains. She drops water into their crevices, then quickly freezes it over and over again to weaken that link to its parent in order to loosen huge boulders enough to cause them to crash below creating thunder throughout the canyon and land atop of the eroded soil at her feet.

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Approaching Zion from Hurricane

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Etchings from the Mother

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Amphitheater created by Mother’s determination to break free pieces of the mountain.

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Erosion at the base waiting for more from above

Mother Nature blows her seeds in the wind and sprinkles them like a condiment  into those same crevices. Some germinate and grip for the rest of their lives to the precipices of the rock fighting forever the changing wind, rain, snow, freezing and warming temperatures the Mother sends their way. The larger they grow, the larger the crevice becomes and encourages the huge boulder upon which they cling, along with the Mother’s help, to join the other large boulders below.

The light changes here as rapidly as the temperature and weather. I take a picture one minute and in the next, different hues appear. It’s this marvelous discovery by those artists of yesteryear who fell in love with that very dynamic…the effects sunlight which…Vermeer and Impressionists captured in their paintings and focused on by painting the same scene over and over again in varying light (i.e, Monet’s many paintings of Notre Dame). At some point, the word spread far and wide that Carmel, California held some magic light there. I believe that “magic” light is in the desert here in Utah.

See what you think about my drive to and from Jacob’s Lake.

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Trying to capture the Vermillion Cliffs and the White ones too

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Light changes rapidly especially on cloudy days like yesterday

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These three were literally taken only minutes minutes apart while sitting still.

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Money shot!

The other two parts of this adventure were to visit a place Ava and I had always wanted to visit but never found the time to do so…Best Friends Sanctuary (a non-profit) facility in Kanab, Utah of National Geographic’s “Dogtown” TV show notoriety (https://bestfriends.org/sanctuary/visit-our-utah-sanctuary/places-stay).

For those of you who knew Ava, she rescued cats…and dogs…but mostly cats. Ava rescued   a paraplegic cat, Murmur, from a Vet who was moving and who would no longer keep. Ava took Murmur and lovingly nurtured her until the little animal passed away. Ava  would have loved to have lived and worked at this place (if they could have incorporated opera), so I it was only fitting for me to take their tour while I was in the neighborhood and donate to their wonderful cause in her memory.

Yup. It was hard but it was what Ava wanted me to do yesterday so I did it.

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Best Friends Welcome Center

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Where “Dogtown” was filmed for National Geographic (https://bestfriends.org/sanctuary/explore-sanctuary/dogtown/series)

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New Veterinarian facilities

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Cat  World HQ

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One of many outdoor fun for their Sanctuary Cats looking for their fur-ever homes! 

Then, just for me, I had to go back to Rocking V Cafe (http://www.rockingvcafe.com)  for one of their amazing pork chops. I’d had one of their pork chops this past summer and couldn’t stop thinking about it…so I did what a girl had to do…go back and order it again!

Pork chop

YEAH, BABY! Pork chop at Rocking V Cafe! Way to end the day!

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Rocking V Cafe, Kanab, Utah

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Cozy Inside with nice art for sale on the walls!

Happy Trails…until we meet again!

A dear friend of Ava’s (my daughter) came up to visit me in Hurricane this weekend and it was perfect…but that’s as it always is when we get together! Yesterday, we just couldn’t find that sweet spot about how to spend our day. Somehow, we couldn’t quite settle on whether to hike Zion (which we’d both already done) or revisit Snow Canyon. As neither of those “felt” right, we headed for the one book store we did want to visit which  happened to be in meander the historic part of Hurricane, Utah! We found lovely items from yesteryear lovely shops and great people, too!

Our first visit was in “Mercantile Gifts and Consignments” on State Street near Main Street. It’s a plethora of wonderful items to try, view, explore and purchase! Their “sister” entity is just around the corner called “Gypsy Emporium.” We just had to go in there! I’m so glad we did because I met a young kindred spirit who works there, Sarah Jane! Don’t forget our pinky swear!

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Mercantile Gifts & Consignments on State Street. It’ a great place to explore!

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GYPSY EMPORIUM just around the corner from Mercantile!

 

And found the Hurricane Pioneer Museum where we met this lovely man who had been the voice of some interesting early cartoon characters! His ancestors were part of this towns beginnings and is well versed in its history.

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HURRICANE PIONEER MUSEUM

Our new friend from Gypsy Emporium recommended Main Street Cafe for our lunch and I’m so happy she did! Thanks, Sarah Jane!

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MAIN STREET CAFE on Main Street! Go Figure! Great food!

And along the way, who would have thought we would come across such a magnificent display of roses trailing along the sidewalk of one of the first houses built in Hurricane in 1906? We stuck our noses in every single one of those beautiful roses! I think we were responsible for cross-pollinating some of them!

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Roses in the desert? Yup!

Our new friend at the Pioneer Museum had told us to go see where the canal was built to bring the water to the newly formed town of Hurricane. We decided it might be fun to drive down that main road a little farther and look what we found…and, yes, it did involve a u-turn!

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Convergence Overlook! Several Creeks come together here. It looks like a great hike but not on this day!

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Beautiful canyon and mountain views!

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And, look at those rocks!

We had such a great time making u-turns to find those “right” spots to explore whether it was a shop, canyon or food! I highly recommend finding this historic area and playing there for the day!

Happy Trails…until we meet again.

WOW! I left Green River, Utah at 9:30 AM today headed West on I-70 to drive 237 miles which, under normal driving, would have taken just a little over three (3) hours with the speed limits generally ranging from 75-80 MPH past the major inclines.

I did decide as I took off from Green River that I’d take the time to turn off on “Scenic Views” if and when I saw something interesting. The name “Black Dragon Canyon” pulled me right in. I didn’t have the time or inclination to hike the trail to see the drawing but if you Google the name, you’ll see an interesting pictograph painted on the walls of the canyon by ancient ones of what looks to be a flying dragon, which, by the way, isn’t black! The view, however, was marvelous!

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Now, go back in time a couple of days to recall that horrific 40-60 MPH wind gusts I faced going through Denver toward Boulder? Well, I guess somebody upstairs wanted to prepare me for today because it took me 6 hours to drive that 3 hour distance because of that same situation except include 8000′-foot elevation mountains (up and down), dust flying from undeveloped prairies and NO gas stations for a hundred miles on a tank that’s only gave me 7-8 MPG today! The good news is that the only cows I saw were in holding pins and not in front of me in cattle trailers!

After driving almost a hundred miles without the whiff of a gas station, I broke my normal rule of easy on/off gas stations at the exits and decided to exit at Emery, Utah  as the next town was 35 miles away. It was one of those gut instinct moments because only after exiting the expressway was there a sign that read “Next Gas 35 Miles.” Needless to say, I gladly drove the 24 miles roundtrip to get to the sleepy little one-gas-pump (literally) town to fill up.  I would have been so screwed if I hadn’t!  All these years of driving the back roads (and especially this summer’s adventures in Canada) reinforced my instincts to fill up at every chance.

The few times the winds weren’t beating me up, I was able to catch a few shots that were so magnificent that I just had to try and capture some of the wonderment of this region. It feels like “home” to me except for all the winds!

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I finally made it to my next stop for the night glad I booked in advance because all these RV parks fill up quickly! I need the rest from those blowin’ winds. I got this baby anchored down for the night which is something I don’t normally do on hit-and-run stays. I don’t normally mind being rocked to sleep but I’ve had enough of that bucking bronco rodeo for today! I need a trophy that reads, “Buckin’ Bronco Road Warrior Rodeo Champion!”

So, Happy Trails…until we meet again!

I had such an amazing experience this past summer traveling the West, Northwest, Canada and Northeast that I decided to buy a travel trailer and “gypsy” it up a bit and get back on the road! Like my BFF says, “If you can’t run with the big dogs, get off the porch!” Well, I’m officially OFF the porch and running the the big dawgs now!

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A little gypsy is a good thang!

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And more is mo’ bettah!

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Running with the Big Dawgs!

Crossing Tennessee and Arkansas just about wore me out and that ain’t an easy thing to do! I got wind, rain, mountains, more wind and 18-wheelers by the millions trying to blow me, my truck and stuffed Wolf Pup off I-40 but I wasn’t going to quit! I made it safely to the lovely Ivy’s Cove RV Park in Russellville, Arkansas. If you’re planning on doing this kind of traveling, I recommend picking a place ahead of time to arrange for a spot as soon as you know what day you’ll arrive. It’s helpful to be specific with where in their RV park you want to be placed…near the bathroom and a pull through…etc.

As a GoodSam RV Elite Member, I have access to their wonderful website to get all the information I need to contact any of the parks (in or out of their system) to help me make my arrangements so I’m not stuck at a truck stop (like I’ve found myself doing back in 2008) sleeping in my truck. I must say that every truck stop where I’ve resorted such measures was years ago and great experiences as long as you tell them upfront you’re alone, tired and to look out for you. Now that we’re in the age of magical access to internet via our phones, there’s no real reason to have to do the truck stop thing, however, it is an option. I also hear Walmart still allows parking lot parking but I haven’t confirmed that.

I’m so very surprised to find that there is such a great demand for these RV parks! I noticed back in 2010 when I had my pop-up that there were whole families living in these places. I assumed, maybe incorrectly, they were forced to live there in travel trailers because of the recession. I’m thinking now that it’s more of a lifestyle decision as more and more families are home schooling their children to find alternative lifestyles and I’m loving that!

After getting over the giddy feeling of sleeping my my travel trailer for the first time around 1:00 AM, I rested better than I have in months! I was raring to hit the road again  to cross the rest of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

As for Arkansas, I love the fact that they have “Toad Suck State Park” and the most amazing Great Country station 107.3 which got me across half of Oklahoma. Yup. Willie, Hank Jr. and Sr., Johnny (Cash) and all the good ole’ boys from yesteryear had me dancing in my seat!

As I travel, I love to find “mom & pop” places to fill up both my car and stomach! I found I could do both at Exit 270 on I-40 West (and East) in Checotah, Oklahoma at Campbell’s BBQ & Country Store. Turns out they have 100% gas and the best beef brisket with sides of slaw and pork-n-beans! It kept me going all the way to Amarillo! Yeah, baby! Tell them “Howdy” on Facebook (Campbells Country Store)!

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Campbell’s BBQ & Country Store at Exit 270 West!

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Deal of the century and the best brisket West of the Mississippi! 

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And, then there’s the chair!

All I can say about Texas: brutal cross-winds, a billion 18-wheelers, intense gas-guzzling white-knuckle driving and exhaustion. I actually watched the needle on my gas gauge drop rapidly as I limped along toward Amarillo! I just barely made it to a truck stop with the gas warning light staring back at me for those last ten miles. It was weird. The best part of that day was pulling into the Amarillo Ranch RV Park and the wonderful people who helped me get registered even with their internet down and get me outta there this morning! Now I’m fully trained (compliments of them) in black and gray water disposal! Hahaha!

As I do, I jumped off the interstate onto the backroads at Amarillo and headed for Eagle Nest, NM. I do love me some New Mexico and the only reason I didn’t stay in the Santa Fe and Taos areas were due to inclement weather issues. I need to get to Colorado, visit some VIP’s and get back south before weather turns nasty. Heck, there’s still snow remnants in northeastern New Mexico! Anyway, next time I’m this way, I’ll find a place where I can stay for longer when weather is more appropriate for my rig! LOL

As for now, I’m in R&R mode and catching my breath before heading for Colorado.

Happy Trails…until we meet again!

Yesterday, we explored West Glacier and today we spent the whole day exploring all the key areas in West Glacier we’d picked. I don’t know, but I think the photos will either get your exploring juices going or they won’t. My words won’t matter because this place is full of “gorgeousness” (as Jenni says) in so many ways that it feels archaic to try to reduce Mother Nature’s glory into words…or even photos for that matter…but that’s all I got!

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Snow capped mountain peeks

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St. Mary’s Lake

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Hiked Sun Ridge Point to Bering Falls

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Hike through a wonderland of wild flowers

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St. Mary’s Lake

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BLACK BEAR! AND…WAIT FOR IT…

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A GRIZZLY BEAR IN THE SAME MEADOW!!

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ONE OF THE LAST GLACIERS. NO!

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St. Mary’s Lake just keeps getting more beautiful!

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Bering Falls

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Snow capped mountains on way out.

Jenni and I have been talking about getting a good Montana grass fed Ribeye all week and I remembered this place my ex and I went to in 2003. It’s at the end of Hwy. 49 at Hwy. 89 and it is a MUST if you’re in the neighborhood! Best Steak…bar none!

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Cattle Barons Supper Club

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

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Uhhhh…we both did!

And, in the same building, they serve HUCKLEBERRY PIE! It’s got a little bit of a bite to it just the way I like my berries!

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

Tomorrow? West Glacier to hike the Giant Red Cedar trail before Jenni flies home…boohoo.

HAPPY TAILS, TALES OR TRAILS…YOUR PICK!

 

Every inch of this trip has been absolutely incredible… better than even MY wildest dreams! I’ve been blessed with new kindred spirit chirrens and friends at every turn and  I feel like I’m flying and it feels GREAT!

We headed for Nevada City and its twin Virginia City, Montana this morning as they are   places I always wanted to visit but never made could make it there. This year…it WAS going to happen!

The Old West towns of Virginia City and Nevada City sprung up in the mid-1800 as gold rush boom towns which, like most, petered out after the gold stopped flowing. After years of abandonment, it was the Boveys who took Nevada City under their wings to restore. And, as a cowgirl at heart, I wanted to immerse myself in the history of these towns. What we ended up doing was meeting some truly incredible people as we meandered through these “frozen-in-time-towns.”

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IDAHO just south of Montana

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These hills looked like velvet!

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Rocks, baby!

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They looked like sheep scattered on the mountains!

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NEVADA CITY & VIRGINIA CITY OR BUST!

NEVADA CITY, MONTANA:

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Railroad cars from that time

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This passenger car looked kinda spooky!

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Frozen in time for sure!

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Old soda fountain

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VIRGINIA CITY, MONTANA:

Bale of Hay Saloon touts itself as being the oldest watering hole in the US! We met new friends here (Hi guys!) and told tales for hours! It was great fun! I think I’m in love with this town!

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VIRGINIA CITY: BALE OF HAY SALOON…OUR FIRST STOP!

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Inside  the Bale of Hay Saloon

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Telephone company!

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Inside Telephone Company

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Not made for looks! Made for warmth!

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Yeah! Cowgirl Heaven!

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New chirred! Evelyn Schmelling–psychic poet. Welcome aboard!

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I asked her to write a poem for me. This made all three of us cry. It was definitely from Ava. Evelyn didn’t know about Ava at the time she wrote it! Yup. Got me another one!

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Way to top off our visit was with this sign! Loved it!

And, if today hadn’t already been the most outstanding adventure so far…for me…EVER, Jenni and I saw a rainbow around the setting sun! I’m so glad she was with me to see it and capture the best picture of it possible with her phone camera. If you look closely, you’ll see two layers of color above the mountain. My camera couldn’t even come close. We were both in shock and awe of this Post Script to our day and the prelude of our tomorrows hiking at Glacier National Park!

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Tomorrows? Three days of exploring and hiking Glacier National Park! The bitter sweet part of these next days is how wonderful it is to have my girl, Jenni, experience it with me but the other is that she goes home as I head toward Canada. “Healing road” was the name of the album I bought in Taos. And that it has been for all of us who venture out to find love in our hearts for our great country and the wonderment of its backroads!

HAPPY TAILS, TALES OR TRAILS…YOUR PICK!

Montana in Montana at Glacier National Park 6/2016:

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They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. I hope these wet your whistle enough to get you out on our country’s backroads to find me some more treasures to discover!

Here’s one of my top two…Flaming Gorge, Utah. The turn off to Flaming Gorge overlook is at the Red Canyon Lodge marker. This is where Montana and I stayed in one of their cabins last year with the “not much snow” (by their measurements) of six inches! It was cozy and I’ll come back  for sure!

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RED CANYON LODGE

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VIEW BEHIND RED CANYON LODGE

This is what awaits you when you drive past the Lodge and boy is it worth it! Majestic!

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FLAMING GORGE (GREEN RIVER) TO LEFT

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SNOW CAPPED MOUNTAINS PEEPING OVER THE GORGE

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ME HOLDING ON FOR DEAR LIFE!

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FLAMING GORGE UPSTREAM (TO RIGHT)

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PERSPECTIVE: GORGE IS 4000′ WIDE & 1700′ DEEP. THESE TREES WERE ON A LEDGE JUST ABOUT 2O’ DOWN FROM ME. (STRAIGHT DOWN)

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GOING DOWN THE MOUNTAIN 

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SHEEP CREEK GEOLOGICAL TURNOUT IS A MUST!

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SHEEP CREEK

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SHEEP CREEK

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SHEEP CREEK

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SHEEP CREEK

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SHEEP CREEK

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AND MORE SHEEP CREEK

We took our time through the park driving the Sheep Creek Geological turn out (you must look closely for the sign) because I just gotta have my rock fix! Awesomeness!

We grabbed a late lunch in Green River, Utah and headed for Idaho for the night. Of course we took the back roads to Pocatello, Idaho and it’s a road worth taking again. Who knew Idaho was that lush with green pastures, cattle, horses, goats, sheep and huge ranches? Too dark for any of my pictures to turn out but it was magnificent.

Tomorrow? Virginia City, Ovando and, finally,Missoula where my husband lives…COSTCO! We gotta get more water and healthy snacks for hiking Glacier National for three days!

HAPPY TAILS, TAILS OR TRAILS…YOUR PICK!

Montana with me last year at Flaming Gorge with her happy tail! Dang, I sure miss that crazy lil mutt!

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There’s no greater thrill to me than to have someone as special as my daughter’s dearest friend with me on this healing journey. She has been with me on this adventure of pain, sorrow, grief, recovery and healing now for 5+ years. I love her dearly and our bond of friendship, understanding and trust grows as we help each other find peace with Ava’s decision to leave this planet. Thank you, Ava, for giving Jenni and I each other to share these most intimate of grief moments with each other and to help pull each other out of the mire.

For me, I always felt traveling was an important part of my retirement years; however, after Ava’s passing, I couldn’t even leave my house to get groceries until last year when I forced myself to go West to visit my favorite people and places again. I’d promised Jenni I’d take her on a trip to see the redwood forest where God lives and we did that very thing last year. This year, I’d promised to take her to all my favorite National Parks with the best for last…Flaming Gorge, WY and Glacier National Park, MT. and that’s exactly what we’re doing and loving every second of the backroads drive!

Today, we started at Bryce Canyon (not one of my favorites) because it’s not far from where Jenni lives and she needed to see what beauty was in her own back yard.

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Rainbow Overlook (last stop)

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Great geologic anomalies unique to Bryce

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Caves?

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Depth of the view is breathtaking

Then came the heart pounding part for me. I was most excited to share this with her just knowing she was going to feel the presence of a higher power and glory in these backroads headed for Flaming Gorge through Ashley National Forest and beyond where the roads continuously seem to disappear and reappear magically with every turn; where terrain, vegetation and geologic wonderment are around every bend in the road.

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Roads appear to disappear

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And come back with a BANG!

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Then leave again

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Wonderful little towns with surprises like this family rending a caboose for a vacation in the middle of nowhere!

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Then changes

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Jenni & I were so excited to find this view around the bend!

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Pretty magnificent!

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Then back again!

Tomorrow? Flaming Gorge, of course, and I can’t wait! It’s in my top two! I’m saving the best for last!

HAPPY TAILS (Montana is certainly with us on this trip), TALES OR TRAILS!

 

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Montana sure enjoyed being in the mountains! 

Zion is one of my favorite national parks but I think that this time, after seeing it no less than 6 times, I’ve had my fix. It’s majestic, entertaining, whirlwind of rock-ology to satisfy any amateur or professional geologist with the whittled and whirled carvings wind and  water have done to the different sandstones in both checkerboard and dancing swirls across the sides of mountains. There’s also the Virgin River which flows through Zion with it’s flash flooding impact on vulnerable boulders, trees, river banks and visitors, adding different elements such as erosion, landslides and chaos.

Do’s & Don’ts: I highly recommend not coming in the heat of the summer. It was hotter than hot (107 may not sound so bad but add altitude and dehydration and you won’t like it). Don’t wear flip flops or open toed shoes if walking in the sand in this heat is what you plan to do because your feet will be burned like fire. Don’t forget food and water. Don’t bring children under 25. I saw way too many miserable babies with equally miserable parents with condo’s attached to their backs to carry the little ones. Don’t rely on cellphone service for communication with family members if you aren’t at a lodge, Visitors Center or a neighboring town.

Do bring comfortable walking clothes and shoes. Do take the Zion Shuttle from the Visiter’s Center. Get to the park early to get a parking space for under $20.00. Do take your time driving through and read up before going because this is really a cool place to visit but knowledge about the park will help you enjoy it even more.

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Driving into Zion from St. George, Utah

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The topography is constantly changing.

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When Jenni and I took the Shuttle, she decided to jump off to take on the mighty Angel Falls hike up (and I mean UP) a switchback trail to see what she could see. I, however, took the low road and opted for a casual stroll by the river, aptly named “Riverwalk.” Neither was easy in 107 degree heat with 6000 foot elevations. We came back exhausted, dirty and thirsty but very happy!

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Riverwalk by Virgin River

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Riverwalk trail has much to see and it’s easy hiking with right clothes and shoes…which I did not have on!

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more Riverwalk trail

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and more Riverwalk trail

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and more Riverwalk trail

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HUH? A herd of Mountain Goats? Really?

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Leaving Zion going toward Kanab, Utah

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And there it is! The money shot!

As we left Zion, we felt we must be in the middle of nowhere because cell service wasn’t great and neither was the internet but some people who live here think it’s in the middle of everywhere! I kinda think they might be right because Kanab, Utah is East of Zion, South of Bryce and North of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and I’d swear that when Ava and I came through here in 2011, it wasn’t this hot nor was it this as developed!

Kanab is a quaint town bursting at the seams. Big chain hotels are popping up everywhere here, but the coolest place to stay is The Parry Lodge (“where all the movie stars stay”). It’s clean, reasonable, comfortable and includes a breakfast buffet! Can’t beat that, now can ya’!

The other charming element of this town is “The Rocking V Cafe” owned, operated by a most engaging and entertaining proprietor by the name of Victor Cooper. He goes around from table-to-table making sure everybody is happy and full. Looks like he enjoys his work! (rockingvcafe.com)

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Tomorrow? Bryce Canyon drive-thru and haul a$$ to Vernal, Utah to see Dinosaur National Park and hit my very favorite Flaming Gorge, Wyoming the next day. Cowboy country coming up, y’all! Yeehaw!

HAPPY TAILS, TALES OR TRAILS…YOUR PICK!