Wednesday, October 01, 2014


We climbed over the top of the Rockies with no problems, even though it was snowing at one point!  Love the new truck.  Here are the largest sand dunes in North America, and they are awesome.  The backdrop of the Sangre de Cristo mountains is beautiful, and Mt Blanco towers above it all.

Monday, September 29, 2014


 After crossing Flaming Gorge, we went up and over the Uintas, just in time for some fall color before the rain knocked the leaves down.

 Landing in Vernal, Utah, we went to Dinosaur National Monument and viewed a whole hillside enclosed in a building for viewing purposes.  So interesting.  Below, I stand next to a dinosaur femur to show the size comparison.


 We drove through Paradise Valley, into Roosevelt Arch, and after some re-configuring due to road closures, we were on our way through the park to West Yellowstone where we stayed 2 nights.  The elk were loitering in Mammoth Hot Springs, and bison were still causing traffic jams.

 We tried to do a selfie with Old Faithful spewing in the background, but it was I decided to do a play on words, and we had fun with it.

On our circuitous drive south through the park, we stopped at Canyon, where they are building 3 new huge lodges.  This cabin is what we stayed in when we visited Amber back in her college days when she interned at Yellowstone.  They were rustic then!

 On to the Tetons, we were blessed with good weather for picture taking, and camped in Gros Ventre campground,  We thought it would be dry camping, but we had a nice, paved electric site!

 The new visitor center near Moose Junction is beautiful. Afterwards, we just drove around taking pictures.  Even though we've been here several times before, we always see it with fresh eyes.


On to Bozeman we went, stopping at the Museum of the Rockies, a beautifully curated museum containing wonderful exhibits of dinosaurs found in Montana, plus a visiting art exhibit we wanted to see.  Just before we left Kalispell, my cousin and her husband came through on their way here.  We got to have dinner, and Dean shared that his friend, Clyde Butcher, was exhibiting his photography at MOR.  So, we decided to make it one of our stops.
This photographer takes photographs similar to Ansel Adams, but these are huge, some 4 x 6 feet!
It was a great exhibit, and we had fun seeing Bozeman again.  It has grown a lot!

On the road again.....

 Our first night heading home was spent at the Lewis and Clark Caverns campground.  The next morning we headed to the top of the hill and just made the first tour.  These caverns were much more "hands on" than Kartchner Caverns, and not quite so huge as Carlsbad.  Lots more narrow passageways, steep climbs, and a slide down a well worn chute!  Really cool in our opinion.  Glad we finally made the stop to see them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


This is our last week before we hit the road for Tucson, so we are hitting our favorite spot one last time.  We had gorgeous weather for a trip up to Logan Pass, and were able to squeeze into a parking space down the road from the visitor center.  It was really busy!  

 Back at Les Mason the next day, the swim buoys are coming in for the winter.   Our swim platform, the kids' favorite, has survived another summer of use, both by kids and grownups of all sizes, and quite a few ducks!

Friday, August 29, 2014


 We chose a short trip (2-1/2 miles one way)  for our first solo carrying our packs and everything we needed, as opposed to having them "drop shipped".  Our destination was Twin Lakes, in an area east of Kalispell, called the Jewel Basin.  This area is designated for hiking only, and contains more than a dozen pristine lakes. Our trailhead is located at Camp Misery, named for a miserable winter some settlers spent there.

 Nice views of the Flathead valley and lake on our way up.
We reached our Twin Lakes in early afternoon, time enough to explore the area for a campsite, and let Luna take a swim to cool off.  
 Our tent (Big Agnes) went up nicely, and we were ready for the evening.

 Long underwear was on the agenda for me, it did get cool that night.  We forgot to check our thermometer, but I would guess it dipped to about for late August. We both had a little trouble sleeping; not sure why, we were warm and comfy.  Luna had trouble too....she was still wet from her swim, and I think she was cold.  I ended up covering her a bit with my vest and she went right to sleep.  High maintenance lab, huh?
Darrell filters our water pre-dinnertime.  Gotta have water for that tasty chili-mac!  Everything tastes good after you've hiked carrying your home on your back.
 We found an ideal fireplace, in the open and surrounded by rocks.  Felt good after dinner as it cooled down.
So, the next morning it was cold and blustery.  We started out by having our coffee in order to function, then moved on to our breakfast burritos.  While we sat on a log together eating them, the wind came up and blew our tent end over end right into the lake.  Holy breakfast burrito!  I looked at Darrell, expecting him to jump up and go after it....but it wasn't happening, as he was straddling the log on the downhill side and couldn't get up. So, I jumped up, burrito in hand, and chased it into the lake.  It would have sailed into the middle of the lake and sunk if I hadn't caught it.  Luckily, I had my crocs and not my hiking boots on, and though my socks got soaked, I had another pair. All was well, and I still had my burrito!  We had a good laugh about that one.  Lesson learned......leave the tent staked until you're ready to fold it up!
We bid farewell to the lake as we head back home.