Two strolls, two walks and one superb roadtrip

A little catching up is required around here.  I’ve been away for a length of time (more on that later) and I have my own business, which kicks into higher gear in the fall, which all adds up to less blogging time.  However, how better to begin a Sunday afternoon?

We’ve had a couple of pleasant strolls out on the back forty, along the Bridger Creek. One of our elusive dipper friends has reappeared, here in the center of the photo, after having apparently flown the coop all summer…

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The creek is lovely in this extended fall…

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…and we often see trout.  We think they’re cutthroat trout, but we’re better birders than fish-people, so that’s open to confirmation.

We walked The M route this morning, enjoying our beautiful day before the winter storm that’s bearing down on Montana reaches us.  Lots of people were out, doing the same thing, and I opted to leave the main trail for a steeper cut-through.  So, I have a scenery photo that’s a new angle along this very familiar trail…

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…and MD came along with me on this cut-through…

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…and this familiar image from The M, with Tobacco Roots to the west and the Spanish Peaks showing up southward…IMG_2449

Our more strenuous walk yesterday involved a pleasant visit to the Madison Buffalo Jump State Park just down I-90 a bit.  The park is about seven miles off the highway and it’s amazingly open country.  We passed a few homesteads and a dairy farm, but really…neighbours are few and far between.

There’s no mistaking the “jump” once we’d arrived at the park:

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The vertical cliff or “jump” is about 30′ tall.  There’s a kiosk with informative signs, explaining how this concept was put into action, located before a visitor begins the walk to the top of the jump.  The path follows what’s believed to be an old bison trail…

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…which is the main path running from the lower left to the upper right of this photo.

Its been a few weeks since I’ve walked anywhere, let alone uphill, and I felt like the Tin Man for the first dozens of steps…just trying to get moving forward in any resemblance of a graceful gait.  Not that there was a soul around to see me…IMG_2412

Onward and upward, until we reached the top of the jump , where it was quite something to see teepee rings…

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The rings are a minimum of 200 years old, as that was the time of the last bison hunt at this site, but are likely much older.  It made sense that camps would have been in this location when the jump was not being used, I guess, because of the views for miles.

Another common sight…a nemesis of the Lewis and Clark expedition…the prickly pear cactus…

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It was growing scattered about everywhere and somewhere along our way Indy discovered what it was because she became increasingly reluctant to go off-trail.  Except, of course, if I carried her.  Or, if food was involved.

The far side of the cliff wrapped around into a huge canyon with a sheared off outcrop, seen here in the center of the photo…

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Jeff decided to head to the edge of the jump and look over…

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…and I decided to plop down and prepare lunch.  By plopping down at random I narrowly missed plopping down on a prickly pear, but, miss it I did and so lunch began. We were happily munching away on sandwiches, chips, apples, tea and pumpkin cookies when we noticed two golden eagles coming in from the north.  Hmmm.  They were flying in circles while drifting southward, until they arrived above us, where they stopped the drifting and just circled.  Through our binoculars we could see their heads turning to better focus on us while they circled…just a little unnerving I must say.  Not for us, of course, but for Indy, our little, fluffy white appetizer-like-looking pooch, who was oblivious to the very real danger above her head.  However, the eagles eventually gave us a pass and continued on their southward drift…IMG_2429

And, we began our descent.  I have so many pictures like this one, of Jeff and Indy ahead of me trails…

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We turned to look back at where we’d been and we’d had lunch on the grassy rise above the jump, just off-center in this photo…

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We took a different path back to the parking lot, so we’d missed this sign on our way in…

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which, for me, was probably just as well.

Happy to have survived her ordeal, Indy kindly posed before jumping in our car and calling it a day…

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So, that takes care of updating our recent strolls and walks, of which there’s been few, because of the one superb roadtrip!

Our elder daughter, Sara, decided to accept an offer of employment with a software company in Nova Scotia.  We all decided that she should have a vehicle with her there, so hey…roadtrip time!

We decided on six days/five nights to cover the 3,200 miles and this plan was great.  We did drive into the dark most nights – not so much because we didn’t start early enough each morning, but more because we spotted places we needed to stop 🙂

Here we are starting out…all happy…

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Driving through Montana enroute to North Dakota…

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I need to mention that most of my photos of this trip are through the car windows, so bear with me 🙂

We did have a couple of evenings of ugly weather…our first night was during the snowstorm that buried South Dakota and led to the death of thousands of cattle in that state.  The northern edge of the storm was north of I-90.  When we were about two hours short of Bismarck, our first night’s stop, I had a call from our hotel, asking us if we were still coming, to which I replied, yes, of course and why are you asking?  The receptionist said that they were in the midst of a blizzard…yikes..the first we heard of it.  The driving got pretty sketchy at about one hour out and we passed nearly 20 vehicles in the ditches…

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…but, we made it safely and collapsed in our (dingy) hotel room.

Our next night was in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, a pretty healthy drive and again into the dark, but only rain this time…

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…and we had a lovely hotel room, this time.

Through the farm fields of Wisconsin…

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…where the fall colours were beginning to include some rusty oranges…

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…through Chicago and a teeny bit of Indiana, before missing our turn and ending up at a welcome centre for Michigan…IMG_2284

No harm done, though, because as we were tossing away our garbage we saw a tiny, forgotten teddy bear laying on the ground beside the garbage can.  I held it up to show Sara and she beckoned for me to bring it with me…so we adopted it as our trip mascot…

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It needed a name, of course, so we set our sights on coming up with a fitting one for our new little buddy.

We got ourselves back on track for Toledo, our next night’s stop, and enjoyed better evening weather as we arrived after a storm and got to enjoy a rainbow…

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My view of Sara, who did every inch of the driving…

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…and what I did while being the passenger…

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Yep, knitted dishcloths to welcome her to her new apartment.

…and into an upper New York state night, heading to Utica…

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We spent our final night on the road in Waterville, Maine.  We stopped in Bangor the next day and happened to park next to this camper, with a Montana license plate!  We’d made a game of spotting licence plates along the road and finished missing only Wyoming (go figure!), Hawaii (not surprising), West Virginia (somewhat surprising), and one other one…hmmm..can’t remember.

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Our next stop was at the overlook to Mt. Katahdin, the northern end of the Appalachian Trail.  I’d followed a couple of thru-hikers’ blogs this summer and both had summited Mt. Katahdin before we drove by, but Sara kindly indulged me in taking my picture at this place…

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Maybe some day these ol’ legs and feet will walk up that mountain.

Shortly after this we came to an interstate detour, which took us into the backroads of rural Maine…well out of the comfort zone of my city-loving daughter and she was just a little troubled by the remoteness of it all, especially when we had to stop for quite some time at a train crossing while a veerrry slowly moving train inched on down the track…

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During all this time we finally came up with the perfect name for our little mascot – “I-90,” of course, since we’d driven nearly its entire length.  I’d knit a long scarf for Sara while enroute and to officially welcome I-90 into our family, I crocheted a similar scarf him (her?)…

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After a night at my mum’s we arrived at Sara’s new hometown…yep…still smiling!…

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What a great adventure with my daughter!  I treasure my memories of this time together and am so pleased that she has this opportunity in my home province.

The red maples were in their finest colour upon our arrival…

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…and here’s hoping Sara future is just as brilliant!

Thanks, honey! What a wonderful time together!

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About walksandrambles

My love of walking began in 2005, when, travelling with my Girl Scout troop to Switzerland, I joined a group of Norwegians for a day, to walk up Elsignenalp. I wasn't at all sure I could make it, but the guide was kind and through her encouragement, started out. It was an all-day affair for me and I was always the last one, but this didn't matter a bit...I'd found my new love! No photos exist for this...the camera went missing on a train...but I remember toasting myself with a cup of tea from my thermos at the top...it was a day of tough work and pure pleasure. If you walk, you know what I mean!
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2 Responses to Two strolls, two walks and one superb roadtrip

  1. kiwiskan says:

    Lovely walks and road trip. Thanks for the ride

  2. Thank you. Lots of good memories for me, on the road trip. I enjoy your poetry and photos!

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