Our Travel Blog

My photo
Driving Miss Donna - what does this mean? Whenever I want to go somewhere, if Don is home he will usually drive. He always says he is driving miss Donna! This blog is for our travels, usually with our truck and fifth wheel trailer, but sometimes in our Journey. Don retired October 2011 so hopefully the travelling part will increase! When we are not vacationing check in for updates about our life at home and our wonderful family:)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Last Days of September

This week has been about heading home, but still trying to relax and enjoy that.  We left West Yellowstone, and headed towards Bozeman, Montana for one night.

I have to tell you, get Bev and I in a city and we sure do enjoy shopping.  And what is it about Costco?  We just like to check out the more localized products I guess.

So a one-nighter leads us to Great Falls.  We decided to tour some of the area and found Ryan Dam and Black Eagle Falls.  It seems funny to find such picturesque places after travelling through miles of farmland.  After years of traveling and seeing what Lewis and Clark overcame, you really respect those old explorers.

Our last stop on the way home was Lethbridge.  We had such a nice campground!  I was just a bit surprised by this for no reason.

This stop gave us the opportunity to look up some friends, Robert and Jeanine Schulz.  Don and Ron were buddies of Robert’s “back in the day”.  We met them for dinner and then coffee back at their house.  It is always great to visit and catch up on life.

We also took some time on this stop to pack up the clothing and perishables in the trailer, as it is getting dropped off at the dealership in Olds for some warranty work.  Hopefully that will go well and we won’t need to be back there for some time!

So this on the road report of Driving Miss Donna is complete.  The next few months will see Don going back to work, me doing who knows what, lots of time with our family. etc.  I’m sure the next 5 months will fly by and before you know it I will be posting from the road again, or so I hope.

Enjoy the fall!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Oh Give Me a Home…

Where the buffalo roam.  Well the last time we talked about vacation we were in Arco, Idaho.  That was a great place to visit, but now we are on our way to West Yellowstone, Montana. 

Of course you can’t get this close and not visit the geysers!  Although Don and I have been here before, this time we were intent on hiking as much as we could and seeing EVERY geyser.  Good way to get the required amount of exercise.

I won’t say the weather was lovely, because quite frankly, it just wasn’t.  Rather chilly, and sad to have to wear longer pants and sleeves.

We basically toured the entire Yellowstone National Park, from east to west and north to south.  As typical tourists we stopped at every guided trail, walking path, driving path and boardwalk.

We also spent a day travelling to Jackson, Wyoming.  As a shopper I could not let Bev get away without a visit to this little town.  Check out the photo of Don and I in the Elk Antler Arch.  We added to their economic viability, then headed back to camp.

These day road trips are our favorite, and heading back to the trailer for the evening, well what can be better?

As this holiday is heading to a close, I start to think about getting home.  That is a state of mind, as it happens no matter how long the  holiday has been.  Mmmmm – maybe time to plan the next one?  LOL

Good photo opportunities at this stop – talk to you soon.

DSC_7953DSC_7943DSC_7930DSC_7924DSC_7909DSC_7897

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Life is Crazy Good

In these days of Pinterest, Facebook, etc. it is easy to come across unique things that draw your attention, and admit it, even your dreams.  What has really got me lately is posts about renovated travel trailers, mostly teardrop, and also small one axle ‘70s era.(As a side, just as I discover this interest, a friend of mine, Erika, has a husband that builds a teardrop!)

So how does this story fit in our vacation?  We are parked at the Mountain View RV Park in Arco, Idaho and the lady at registration tells us a group of ladies are arriving for the weekend, for an annual celebration of friendship and womanhood.  And you guessed it – they are almost all in cute little, frilly, fancy travel trailers.  I have been trying hard to simplify life and belongings, which to me means decreasing the “stuff” in my life, and hence this trend for a cute female trailer doesn’t fit.  But a girl can dream and take pictures.

So here are a few of the 24 that were in the RV park.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did :)

The inspiration behind the blog title:

2013-09-20 18.25.15

This was by far the fanciest.  Note the bedding, upholstery in the dining area, etc.

2013-09-19 19.25.392013-09-19 19.26.552013-09-19 19.27.022013-09-19 19.27.10

Of course the ladies had quite the outdoor eating and drinking set up as well.  And where there’s women there is a wine bar.

2013-09-20 18.22.142013-09-20 18.22.21

I will just leave you with assorted photos, again enjoy and don’t miss the individual set up outside each and every door and entrance.

2013-09-20 18.25.352013-09-20 18.26.162013-09-20 18.27.292013-09-20 18.27.472013-09-20 18.28.132013-09-20 18.28.442013-09-20 18.28.582013-09-20 18.29.092013-09-20 18.29.21

Life is Crazy Good!

Once in a Blue Moon

Wow – trying to pick cute titles like I was taught in blog school is getting harder, and the titles are cornier.  But this post is about Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho, and it really is once in a blue moon that we find a new adventure in the western states.  This trip has shown us that we could ideally take 1-2 months and spend it in each state and province before finally feeling like we’ve seen everything we are interested in!
I have said this before but there is beauty and awe to be found in all sorts of geographical locations.  It just depends what a person finds awe inspiring in the way of scenery.  Sometimes you need to be very open minded, and look for subtle differences form another area that was visited.  I can say that being from Saskatchewan.  I cannot tell you how many people say driving through Saskatchewan is boring.  My only response is open your eyes, get to know the place.  The beauty of the fields, the vast openness of the plains, and if you dare to go south, the splendour of mountains such as in the Cypress Hills area.  The point of this being that there is beauty in all forms of nature and you should always pause to enjoy that.
Craters of the Moon is an ocean of lava flows, some now covered in sage brush, that covers over 600 square miles.  Thanks to the National Park service we were able to drive in and around the area, as well as hike many trails that combined numerous photo opps with some much needed exercise and new adventures!
This was going to be one of those 2 night/1 day stays, but quickly turned into a 3 night stay, to ensure we had visited all areas of the park available, and any other area attractions we found.
The “organized” walks you can take in the park include the  North Crater Flow, Devil’s Orchard Nature, Inferno, Snow and Spatter Cones, Tree Molds, Big Sink Overlook and the Caves.
DSCF5195DSC_7611DSCF5192DSCF5173
We saved the caves and the orchard for the second day.We might be enthusiasts but we aren’t athletes!  LOL  The caves were a new experience for us, and thankfully one of them was large, had natural light, and no bats. The other ones were crawl in and use headgear, flashlights, etc. Although we didn’t go in those, both Don and I attempted to get close and at least take a few pictures.
DSC_7615DSC_7696DSC_7699DSC_7692DSC_7689DSC_7685
It might sound simple to say that acres of black lava rock was interesting, but words cannot describe the uniqueness of this area.  The photos may help, but this is yet another place you need to see to appreciate (kind of like Saskatchewan - get it?).
DSC_7678DSC_7647DSC_7642DSC_7669DSC_7672
We stayed in nearby Arco at Mountainview RV Park.  It was a great hitching place, and we would not hesitate to stya there again.  HOWEVER – the National Park has a picturesque campground as well, so cheap almost free, that I think we would visit as well.
We made a short day trip to nearby Ketchum as well, in hopes of finding a public hot springs to visit.  We did but one was full of silt from a recent fire, and the other was closed for the same reason.  Ketchum and nearby Hailey may need to be re-visits in the future…
This morning sees us leaving to visit West Yellowstone and check up on Old Faithful.  I’ll let you know how that goes:)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Testing the American Medical System…

Boise proved to be a unique stop.  I had big dreams of shopping the big city, and spending the day touring and admiring the area.  Unfortunately something happened to my back or hip, or some dumb part of my anatomy, and I could hardly move.  It may sound unbelievable but the only thing that did not hurt was standing or walking, and those were challenging at times.   I had just finished a round of chiropractic and massage at home  before holidays, and was disgusted by this.  Thankfully I was able to receive a referral to Oakes Chiropractic Clinic in Boise, and booked a visit.  Dr. Oakes was fantastic, found the guilty area, and treated it.  It was a great experience, and allowed me to go on enjoying the trip!

During the one day we were in Boise, Don and Ron visited the Warhawk Air Museum for a few hours.  Although not the calibre of the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum they toured near McMinnville in 2010, it was still interesting and worth the price of admission.

Bev and I did manage some shopping, but I was glad for that chiropractic stop and Aleve.  Tomorrow can only be uphill, as we travel to a new area – the Craters of the Moon National Monument!

DSC_7555DSC_7547DSC_7538DSC_7536DSC_7535DSC_7518

This was a cool plane with a neat Canada/US story behind it.  The pilot was an US Boise resident that joined the RCAF in Vancouver at the start of the 2nd World War.  When the US joined the war, he resigned from the Canadian Air Force and joined the US.  This is a replica of his plane!

DSC_7558DSC_7559

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I Call It Heaven but…

it’s really called Hell.  Hells Gate that is.  We have so many places that we often drive through or stop for one night.  But that is not the point of this life we have chosen,and so we have taken this trip to stop and enjoy some places we noted in the past as “gotta go back to”.  Most of the stops this trip have been in Idaho.  What an amazing state for scenery and drives.  Hells Gate State Park was one of those.  I can’t believe I did not take one photo of the campground.  It was almost regal in appearance.

The pattern in this tour is if we stay two nights in one place we get a day to jam all the touring in, if we stay three nights we get two days; easy math I know!

As Hells Gate was a two-nighter we had to think hard about what to do.  The cities of Lewiston and Clarkston, separated by the Snake River, would have alone sufficed for a day each.  But sometimes you get enough “city” stuff and have to go country.  So we did that.  We set out on a tour with the destination of seeing Hells Canyon – the lookout, the viewpoint, whatever the drive allowed.  It turned into a long 7 hour day, filled with majestic scenery, and luckily enough, finding the Hells Canyon lookout point.  The roads were not for the faint of heart, and as always glad that Don is “Driving Miss Donna”!

The lake is the reservoir formed by Brownlee Dam on the Snake River.  It was not the largest dam we have seen, but so beautiful as the sunset approached.

Hells Canyon is breathtaking and well worth the road trip.

DSC_7469DSC_7470DSC_7484DSC_7498DSC_7499DSC_7515DSC_7517