We spent the weekend doing things with the kids. On Saturday, Evan, Amanda, Miss B and I went to Cheyenne to do some school shopping. We stopped by the Harley Davidson store to pick up a chip for my cousin Sue.
While the kids were at work and school, we decided to ride out and see the remains from the Badger Creek fire in northern Colorado. The skies were smoky again.
Some of the aftermath of the Badger Creek fire in northern Colorado. While it is now fully contained, there are still many hotspots. It was interesting to me that so many of the aspen trees did not burn even though they were right next to the pines. Their white bark is a sharp contrast to the burned black pines.
We then turned around and turned on the Woods Landing Road. When we saw these horses, we pulled over and the dark brown horse came over to us. Notice her cross? The blond one was in the road grazing and didn’t really care that we were there.
And we visited this barn again.
On the way back out to the main road, we turned and drove up the Laramie River Overlook Road.
Back on Highway 230.
Before heading back to the house we went looking for eagles.
A day of rest from being in the truck. Since we weren’t going anywhere, I went to the backyard to take some pictures of Amanda’s flowers. Unfortunately, as is usual in Laramie, the wind was blowing pretty good. So I only got two photos.
We left the Best Western at 10:40 AM. It was 64 degrees and clear. Because I wanted something different for breakfast, we stopped at a small cafe in Sheridan. Tommy got a cinnamon roll and a pecan roll. The cinnamon roll had absolutely no taste and the pecan roll was stale. So we circled around and went to the Silver Skillet. Tommy got me another cinnamon roll. While the first few bites were pretty good, I found a hair baked in it. Yuck. Should have just gone for the usual McDonald’s.
Leaving Sheridan we saw this banner. Unfortunately (or maybe not), we were going to miss this festival.
On our way to Laramie we drove I90 to Gillette and then south. Along the way we saw these osprey and a jackalope.
Looking at the map when we got close to Douglas we saw that we were pretty close to the Ayres Natural Bridge. It’s a nice little park and would be a great place to picnic but pets aren’t allowed.
We drove through Sybille Canyon hoping to see some wildlife. Nope.
We left the hotel at 11:15 AM; it was 61 degrees and smoky. We got gas, ice and breakfast and headed south. When we travel, if we can’t find a local cafe to get breakfast, we will go to McDonald’s. It is a pet peeve of mine to get an Egg McMuffin like this one. Is it really that hard to get the ham, cheese, egg and muffin centered?
On our drive down to Yellowstone, we saw this eagle. Majestic!
We drove to Yellowstone National Park. It obviously was pretty busy as the line to get in was 1/2 to 3/4 mile long.
We saw on the park map a 6 mile dirt road, so we took it. It was a nice drive but we had hoped to see some wildlife.
Back on the main road we did see some bison and some beautiful scenery.
After leaving the park, we drove through the Big Horn mountains on our way to Sheridan.
Along the way, we were stopped for road construction. You can’t really see from this photo, but just past where we were stopped, half of the road was gone.
We stayed the night in Sheridan at the Best Western. Tommy walked across the road to a food truck and brought hot dogs and brats.
We woke up to another beautiful morning; it felt like Fall. When we left the hotel it was 55 degrees and clear. We gassed up and went to the Montana Nugget Casino again for breakfast. We planned on heading south. As we were leaving Kalispell, we found this beautiful church.
Fishing on Flathead Lake in Big Arm, MT.
After we left the lake area, which was pretty congested as it seemed to be a resort/tourist area, we came to the Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge. Beautiful! Unfortunately it was getting smoky again.
Not far down the road we found a roadside stand selling cherries so, of course, we stopped. We bought some Lambert cherries. They were the best I’ve ever tasted. Yum!
Unfortunately, our route had us get on the interstate (I90) at Missoula until we got off at Drummond. We drove around the little town and found two small churches.
Of course we had to stop in Hall.
In Phillipsburg, MT, we found a couple of churches, a jail and a high school.
Just outside of town, we found a barn that had such pretty, rich-looking wood.
We got to the Yellowstone Pioneer Lodge in Livingston, MT at 7:30 PM. A problem with booking hotels online when traveling is you’re not really sure what the hotel looks like until you get there. When we pulled in the parking lot, Tommy said, “Kerry, I don’t think this is it.” We were the only auto in the parking lot. The hotel looked like it hadn’t been updated since the 1970s.
We woke up to a beautiful morning with no smoke. When we left the hotel, we weren’t sure where we were going to go but first we had to get some breakfast. Tommy asked someone at the gas station where we could get a good breakfast sandwich. He was told to go to the Montana Nugget Casino and we did.
As we looked at the map trying to decide where we should go, Tommy said we should go to Idaho.
And when we realized how far north we were, we decided to drive up to Canada. Since neither of us has a current passport we couldn’t go across the border, but we got close.
We saw this nest before we saw the bird in it and thought it was an eagle’s nest. As we zoomed in, we realized it wasn’t an eagle. Sent the picture to Evan who identified it as an osprey. Cool!
We drove into Bonners Ferry to go to the Visitors’ Center and saw this grain elevator. Have never seen one like this.
In a few towns we saw these fish. I guess trout fishing must be good there.
We drove Hwy. 37 along Lake Koocanusa. We drove up to the dam on one side and then along the lake on the other side. The lake is 93 miles long!
We found a quilt barn in Eureka, MT.
And another nest of ospreys. Look closely and you will see three in this nest.
It was a really nice 400 mile drive. Parts were beautiful, parts smoky and some boring. The lakes and rivers were so pretty. We arrived back at the LaQuinta in Kalispell and got dinner from Applebees.
Going to Glacier National Park! The drive from Great Falls up to Glacier was really smoky. As we got closer to Glacier, the mountains seemed to all of a sudden appear. If there hadn’t been so much smoke I’d have said they were majestic. We drove into the park to the Visitors’ Center to get my Passport stamped. While there I heard one of the park rangers talk about how much smoke there was. Tommy talked to a fellow who was leaving after a week’s visit to the park. The guy said that it was hard to get good views due to the smoke. We left the park and drove to Kalispell and checked in at the LaQuinta Inn.
We left Miles City at 10:00 AM. We thought that we would head towards Helena but didn’t know if we would stay there for the night, go farther or go a completely different route. We wound up in Great Falls instead.
There was lots of this driving through eastern/central Montana:
A couple of churches and a hotel:
Petroleum County – In the 2010 census it was the least populous county in Montana and the 7th least populous county in the United States. We believe it!
We got to Great Falls and checked into the Comfort Inn. But first we went looking for the great falls. This is all we could find.
We stayed at the Little Missouri Inn the night before. What a nice hotel it was. For dinner, Tommy walked to the restaurant, Teddy’s Lounge, that was in the hotel next door. I got a Steak Mochata Salad which was delicious! Tommy ordered medium hot wings that were really hot!
We left the hotel at 10:30 AM, filled up with gas and ice. We drove around town looking for a local cafe for breakfast and couldn’t find one. We wound up getting something from Hardees.
Then we headed for the North Unit of the Roosevelt National Park. While it was not as interesting to me as the South Unit, we still enjoyed the drive.
Another favorite photo.
We left the park and headed towards Miles City where we would spend the night. We got to Montana at 3:00 PM.
We got to the Best Western in Miles City at 7:30 PM. We ordered take-out Chinese for dinner–yuck!