On to Colorado….


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Leaving Montana meant traversing several more mountain ranges as we worked our way back to the East. One of the more spectacular vistas we saw was coming into Livingston, MT where Hwy 89 heads south into Yellowstone NP. (no pictures it was partly cloudy and just after sunset) I cannot imagine a more grand entrance to the park and we had hoped to make the trip into the park. Our initial plans for the trek back to Iowa included Yellowstone and then Mount Rushmore but with the parks being closed from the govt. shutdown and an unseasonable 48″ of snow being dumped in South Dakota we revised our route. Yellowstone remains on our ‘to be visited’ list.

We spent a very frosty night in Livingston parked out beside an Albertson grocery store. It was not a comfortable night and Matt did not sleep well. We ultimately got up quite early, hit a breakfast spot at 5:30 and got back on the road. This allowed us to make many more miles that day and we made it all the way to Cheyenne, WY. As we were pulling into Cheyenne we began to see billboards advertising the Sierra Trading Post factory outlet store. RHonda needed some clothes and we have always had good luck shopping online with them, so we went a little out of our way and gave her an opportunity to do some power shopping. I gave her an hour so we could get back and set up camp before dark. She almost made it (1.5 hrs) but unfortunately, it was nearly dark before we got out of there and that made finding the Famcamp at Warren AFB a bit challenging. We went back and forth in the dark and even got in the right area once but did not drive far enough. Eventually, we found it and got parked. Since it was another night of just stopping over, we didn’t level up, or extend the slideout, we read briefly and went to bed.

BillThe following day we went on south to Ft Collins and stopped in to see my Uncle Bill. It was great to be able to spend time with him and his landlord, Susan, who is very talented working metals. She does the most fabulous, unique jewelry! Bill is working in a new medium for him. Kristina inspired him with her art pieces and he has started some wood burning pieces. Last I heard, he was preparing for an art show! So cool!

A few miles south of Ft Collins, we experienced a tire blowout! I had heard a variety of horror stories of about this scenario but it was no big deal at all. We lost the left rear tire on the truck and I had no trouble getting slowed down and off on the shoulder of I-25. The major bummer with this part of I-25 is the three lanes wide with solid traffic whizzing by at 75mph. We decided to call Roadside Service and eventually even asked for support from the State Patrol to get people to slow down and move over. The tire had picked up some road debris somewhere and was toast. Continue reading “On to Colorado….”

Goodbye Bitterroot


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Darby SnowWell the day has come. The one I didn’t want to come in many ways. We are leaving the Bitterroot Valley today. I trust that it is not forever but just for now. نادي كبار الشخصيات We have spent the last 3 weeks seeking direction. Matt is concerned the data is right and the winters here are gray and cloudy. يورو 2022 مباريات People here offer the reasoning, “This is the banana belt of Montana”. Matt reminds me that the emphasis should be on “of Montana” not “banana belt” as most Montanans quote it. The grey, overcast winters would not be good for either of us but especially this solar powered wife. The breath taking views I have awakened to for over 2 months now will hold captive pieces of my heart along with some of the best memories of my life.

The nature trail that starts a block from my home and runs down to the wild Bitterroot River and back through the mixed forest will remain a treasured part, too. Just last Friday, I became one of the first to enjoy the 100 yard completion to this end of that trail. The trail is a labor of love built by 3 local people’s tenacity and perseverance. Two of the three are our own Travellers’ Rest owners, Jim Anderson and Mary Morris. We have heard and seen some of the smaller challenges they have faced which would have made a lot of folks quit but they pressed on through those AND bigger challenges, over an 8 year period, creating a legacy benefiting families for generations to come. مباريات يورو 2022

Nature TrailOn this trail, I have been blessed to stumble upon a moose quietly grazing in the marsh as I took a resort guest for a walk and had the thrill of watching the ospreys feed on the river and raise their young, including the first flight of the young! The young bucks often are sparring in one of the fields and the ducks of all varieties have come and gone to a neighboring pond. Always when you turn around, right behind you, are the ever changing, but always constant, views of the rugged Bitterroot Mountains and breathtaking glacial canyons with their unique splendor. Currently, they are dressed in a lacey coat of white from the unseasonable first snow storm last night.

We leave behind hikes that have beckoned us, left untraveled; canyons unexplored, rivers and hot springs not experienced but they will remain for hopefully a future chapter of discovery. A piece of my heart will stay here in what is sometimes called, “the last best place”. We decided that with 3.5 million acres of public lands here, we could live here and be over a hundred years old yet never experience all Western Montana offers. The million dollar question is, will we? Only God knows and He is saying, “no, for now”. So we “saddle up”* and move out with the bumper sticker one of our favorite CDT hikers gave us in the window stating, “Keep it Wild”. For Montana is and I rejoice that there is a place in this great land of America that still is. Goodbye, Montana, and thank you for the treasures! Please don’t change.

* We often say that when we get ready to leave and it always triggers an old song in my heart by Steven Curtis Chapman. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVFPjIp6nkk if you care to listen. The chorus says, saddle up your horses, we’ve got a trail to blaze……..this is His Great Adventure! We do and it is…..

Montana Connections


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Nicole in BoliviaWe interacted with some interesting people in Montana, some new connections and some reconnections. I enjoyed reconnecting with one of the teammates I went to Bolivia with on our Engineers Without Borders trip. كاس امم اوروبا 2022 Nicole Mosby had relocated to Helena for a new job opportunity shortly after our trip to Suncallo and we maintained sporadic email contact through the years so when our route to Glacier took us close it seemed like an opportune time to reconnect.

As fate would have it Nicole accepted a transfer to Missoula within the engineering company she works for and that made it even simpler as Missoula is the closest “big city” to Darby, about an hour north. We had a great time catching up and sharing over breakfast one Sunday morning and asked Nicole to come down some weekend and see where we were staying. She was able to do so before we left and we got to spend more time together and take in the Apple Festival in Hamilton. Being with her again made me realize how much I missed interacting with her.

A new connection we made was Dan Nelson in Helena. We went up to meet with him on a recommendation from Wendell (a family friend of the Taylors) and look at a new energy balancing technology he is developing. Dan is a physicist with a deep interest in quantum mechanics and has created some fascinating mathematical patterns related to the bodies energy systems. It’s a little hard to explain but essentially it is a revolutionary way to approach the balance, flow and distribution of energy in the body. العاب قمار كازينو It could be said that it acts as an energetic form of acupuncture. Dan demonstrated the technology on each of us and we both saw significant improvements over the next few weeks.

We also met Dave Burner, a local resident of Darby who is the retired CEO of BF Goodrich Aerospace, and had some interesting conversations on the local economy. Tamara Rackam, a very talented local massage therapist who also taught us some basic principles in Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) which is another energy balancing modality. And many other folks who were guests at the resort. جورجيلينا كاردوزو

Hiking Log Update


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One of the nice things about the Bitterroot Valley is the large number of hiking trails that head out through the Bitterroot National Forest towards the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness.

At 1.3 million acres, it is one of the largest designated wilderness areas in the United States. لعبة الدومينو المصريه اون لاين It spans the Bitterroot Mountain Range, on the border between Idaho and Montana. It covers parts of Bitterroot National Forest, Clearwater National Forest, Lolo National Forest, and the Nez Perce National Forest. The Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness Area is immediately to its south, separated only by a dirt road (the Magruder Corridor). Together with adjoining public land, the two wilderness areas form a five million acre wild region.

That’s a lot of hiking opportunities! العاب مباشرة على النت We have only been out on a few so far but they have all been rewarding. The Tin Cup Creek trailhead (TH) is just outside Darby and it runs some 20 miles or so up into the wilderness. We’ve only been a few miles up it so far and have yet to get out of the forest although we did see a bull moose in the creek. Too many trees in the way so I did not get a picture. Blodgett Canyon is located just outside of Hamilton and we hiked 4.5 miles up the canyon to the Lower Falls. It was an amazing hike, the canyon is reminiscent of Yosemite and it deserves a post of it’s own.

The picture above was what awaits us when we go back to finish the hike up Little Rock Creek. We found it the other morning while heading to Lake Como for a short hike as we were limited by time and it’s easy. However, on the way to the trailhead I got distracted by a sign pointing to the Little Rock Creek TH which I had read about the other day. Seemed a lot more interesting so we detoured and ended up driving several miles up the forest road and eventually found the trailhead.

Little Rock Creek TrailheadLittle Rock Creek TrailSignLRC-6The trail wound up through a lot of new forest growth (pines about eight feet tall) and then reached a point with a view of Lake Como, back east to the Sapphire Mountains, and west up Rock Creek. It then turned left and provided the view at the top of the post. The trail descended the side of the mountain eventually reaching Little Rock Creek and entering the Wilderness. We continued hiking through the forest but ran out of time and had to return. سباق Definitely want to go back and finish this one if time permits.

Random Bits


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It is hard to fathom that four months have passed by since we launched out on this journey. We have progressed steadily northward but our goal of Glacier NP now looks doubtful as it’s begun snowing up there and we still have a commitment here in the Bitterroot Valley til mid-October. It’s been a really great place to “camp” though and we will find it hard to leave the area. Montana has grown on us for sure. We had originally thought we would be pursuing business interests along the way but that has not really materialized as the last decade or so of work-related stress has slowly melted away. It has been interesting watching the body and mind relax and let down into a less stressful routine. In short, life has become more enjoyable and sharing it with my lovely wife makes it even more so.

Home Grown TomatoesSaturday mornings have often taken us into Hamilton to the local Farmers Market where we have enjoyed the local produce and arts & crafts. Rhonda enjoys sampling all the home grown veggies and we end up bringing bags of the stuff home. Big Creek CoffeeI am usually happy sampling some baked goods but resist bringing anything home since I spend my money on a pound of locally roasted coffee from Big Creek Roasters. One morning I spent a little bit of time chatting with a local knife maker (Ron Panko) and left wishing that I could find something like that to take up as a retirement “hobby” that would still produce some income. He makes the knives from scrap metal like chain saw blades, barbed wire fencing, steel cables, etc. and they have some very interesting patterns to them. He also makes the handles and leather sheaths. If we end up staying in the area I might have to see about “apprenticing” with him.

Ron Panko - Knife MakerHand Made Knife

On Tuesdays we have a farmers market right here in Darby so there has not been any shortage of fresh fruits and vegetables on the table lately. On the short walks into towns we have visited other local stores as well but choices are limited as Darby is a small town and has not seen much economic prosperity in a while. It is a shame really and somewhat curious as a major US highway runs right through town and there is quite a lot of traffic. What the area needs is some industry. Since the mill shut down there is no significant employer.

Friday nights have recently become more interesting as school is back in session and we are located right next to the high school football field. The Darby Tigers have won the last two games, the most recent one being Homecoming. There was a nice Homecoming Parade that went right down Hwy 93 much to the chagrin of any motorists traveling through. Amongst all the fire engines and other vehicles there was a black 1961 T-Bird which made me think of Dad’s Lost Bird. It overheated right at the end so I was able to get a picture of it cooling down.

1961 T-BirdT-BirdWhich reminds me…we made a trip up to Helena the other day and stayed overnight in a small community called Deer Lodge. Deer Lodge happens to be the home of the Montana State Prison and they have a museum (several actually) of the old prison and part of it includes an amazing Auto Museum. We toured the auto museum and really enjoyed looking at the 150 plus cars that date back to the beginning of automotive history. It was a bit of a shocking find…apparently it is one of the top ten auto museums in the country. There was totally restored example of Dad’s Lost Bird too. Even the special edition.

The Days Go By So Quickly!!


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Well we have been in charge for 10 days straight, the owners count it as 11 (they came home last night) and are paying us a stipend! COOL! I think they are being gracious. We worked hard and the place was full most of the time. we didn’t ‘make’ it full but we were charming to the folks the Lord brought here! 😉 One of our hikers wrote an email to the owners about how wonderful we are! bet365 كازينو Was nice to hear.

I took the opportunity to deep clean some of the cabins as they needed a mid-summer clean to make it to October and closing in style. There were some challenges- we washed the curtains and they fell apart so I had to go and find something in a thrift shop to cover the windows. There are no Walmarts, Kmarts, etc here and I have no sewing machine here so what I found had to be ready to hang after a quick wash. The Thrift shop is about the only place to find something you need. I was successful! I had to be able to cover windows for the night’s reservations.

The irrigation ditch dried up. Hard to water the lawn and landscaping without that! It took several days but the water returned and life resumed as normal. Someone must have been poaching up stream.

More CDT hikers descended upon us in 2 or 3 bunches. They are so much fun but do take more time to entertain and clean up after. Since they are sending packages ahead to their next “resupply” stop with food and trail supplies, as well as replacing shoes, food bags, bear spray, water cartridges, camp fuel or various other things, they make a lot of recycling and garbage. They bring a lot of the forest in with them, not just dirt but pine needle pieces and little stones, too. Fortunately for Suzy, our housekeeper, some do tip her for her efforts. There is a trail smell that has to come out of the cabins. We have run our ozone machine to overcome that. Who would have thought when we bought that to “remove the dairy farm” from the truck that we would be needing it to deodorize cabins in Montana?! Only the Lord…..

While I was curtain shopping, the health inspector stopped by! This is all about day 3, so we didn’t have a groove yet and had all these fun things happening at once. Matt showed the inspector around the clean rooms we had just finished and our laundry – we passed inspection! طاولة محبوسة اون لاين We had just cleaned all the carpet between the Forest Service employees varying schedules (some are nights and some days) when a guest got ill and we had to clean all the linens, bedspread, and carpet all over. We are nothing if not practiced! It doesn’t sound like a lot but in a full house with people in early, out late, etc, it was a lot to keep all the beds clean, the rooms cared for, the laundry done, and the irrigation managed.

This was a great practice run. Matt and I have talked about running a place similar to this so it has been a great practice run. The jury is still out as to whether we would actually embark upon such a commitment at this point in life. We have run a sort of Bed and Breakfast most of our marriage. We are enjoying our freedom. We have talked though. The owners would love to sell to us. لعبه كره السله It will go on the market soon……in case any of you need a life change. We can vouch for how amazing the Bitterroot Valley is!

In Case You Have Wondered…


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What the last week has been…. I know we have been silent but with good reason. driponin cena

We have been busy getting back to establishing a pattern in our own lives – learning the new finance software has been the biggie, the second one since leaving in June! ivermectin over the counter for humans Matt’s new computer didn’t like the ancient software we have used for over a decade. Matt found one on line that met our qualifications, was fairly inexpensive. is ivermectin now legal in south africa We tried it but came away less that pleased with the results. Now, we are learning Quicken. Not too difficult but one more thing to learn and get set up, life seems to be a never-ending, accelerated learning curve on this new adventure! Some days, I wearily ask the Lord if I have to get back up on the “Potters Wheel” again today……