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On the road through the West

The past two weeks have been spent in traveling. Pictures are not up yet, internet access has been spotty and acting a bit strange at work.

Addendum: Photos are now up–it’s a huge gallery that might be split up later into more manageable sections. It can be seen here:

Last year we (my husband and I ) decided it would be fun to follow the Lewis and Clark Trail. We started in St. Louis and got as far as Billings Montana. It was great fun and we took lots of pictures. Here is the link to last year’s pics.

This year we started with a motorcycle rally in New Mexico. There were 300 motorcyclists there, all in little tents. We camped out in the bed of my truck with an inflatable mattress and a tarp over the top. It rained most of the night and the wind blew and rattled that tarp so hard I have a rub mark on the side of the truck.

The next day we headed west. We saw the Grand Canyon, drove over the Hoover Dam after being inspected by Homeland Security, through Death Valley which was amazingly green in spots, then on to Yosemite. We had wanted to see the Sequoia Forest but that would have required a trip through Fresno and I just didn’t want to attempt that. There was a small sequoia grove in Yosemite, though.

Next was the Redwood forest in northern California–this was fabulous. All our pictures there are of us looking up or reaching across the trunk. But I think my favorite part was the Big Sur and the pocket beach in northern California. There was no sign of human occupation on that beach.

Then the sand dunes of Oregon–very windy and your footsteps disapeared almost as fast as you made them.

Finally we were to Fort Clatsop and the site of the beached whale Lewis and Clark saw. The Columbia river is quite large and we followed it back through the Bitterroots and Lolo Pass. Idaho is very pretty–lots of streams–or maybe it was the Snake river we were seeing. The western part of Montana was very smoky from all of the forest fires.

Our final stop for Lewis and Clark was in Great Falls Montana. It’s actually a series of falls, and we saw just Black Eagle which is supposed to be the smaller. There are several steps that are over six feet high along with several one to two feet high ones. If I had been in a canoe with lots of stuff, I would have been very discouraged when I took a look at all of that. Portaging is hard work.

Then we turned toward home and went through the west side of Yellowstone. It was amazing to see Old Faithful and the  hot springs. One of the oddest things though were the Paint Pots–it looks rather like cream gravy bubbling up in a hole dug in the earth. This was the only place on our travels where people stayed strictly on the paths provided. The Grand Tetons are south of Yellowstone–a fairly new park I think as there are a lot of private homes accessed only through the park.

After the Grand Tetons, we drove through Jackson Wyoming—packed full of people—and in all of Wyoming we could not find a hotel room. We ended up sleeping in my truck at a rest stop.

Although Mount Rushmore had been our agenda, we decided to head home to Texas. We were both a little tired of being on the road—

All my photos are labeled and as soon as I’m home from work, I’ll upload them.

It’s good to be home and it’s good to have seen the US. Now to translate what I’ve seen into art.

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