Friday, June 4, 2010

Back to Earth

I've been gone for awhile. Drh and I took a ten-day trip to deliver our daughter L to Montana where she is attending a photography school for the summer. On the way, we stopped at Yellowstone National Park for three days, stayed in Missoula, MT, for a day where we left her, and took in Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument and Museum, and Badlands National Park on the way home through South Dakota.

My main impression was that the West is HUGE. I can't imagine the thoughts of the pioneers and explorers as they first encountered those amazing and majestic spaces.

I took several pictures (hundreds, actually), but those taken by L were so much better that I will just direct you to her blog - enjoy!

The most interesting part was the other-worldly scene created by the hundreds of hot springs and geysers in the thermal fields and basins. Just like being on another planet (I think, as I've never really gone to one).

Because it's early in the season for most park visitors, we avoided lots of crowds, and were blessed with chilly but mostly dry and sunny weather, the sight of lots of moms and babies - bison, elk, grizzly and black bears, great horned owls, nesting eagles, pronghorns, and regular calves on the ranches along the way.

I didn't forget about the activities and plans waiting for us at home - in fact, I probably added to the list as I was fortunate to find a great, cute quilt/fabric shop in Missoula (and bought a little fabric). They were even open early on Sunday morning and right next to the little breakfast deli where we ate a great meal. The shop is Selvedge, and if you ever get that far away from home, I urge you to visit. They have a wonderful corner full of vintage fabrics, home decorating and drapery bolts, a big selection of printed oilcloth, some fascinating books (I wish I had bought them all!), and beautifully selected designer quilting cottons arranged in the most delicious and inspiring displays. Here is their blog. I didn't take any pictures, but I wish I had.

The travel schedule was demanding enough that I only got to run once - about 3 miles in Missoula on a great trail next to the Clark Fork River. But the walking, stair climbing on boardwalks and trails, a short hike at Yellowstone, plus the adrenlin of driving so far pulling a trailer must have worked against the constant eating, since I managed to lose a couple of pounds on the trip.

I would say my Friday Fave Five are:
1. Beautiful open spaces and skies of the West.
2. Reminder of the great timelessness of the universe as we saw all the baby animals and the care given them by their mothers.
3. Appreciating the natural wonders of our country and how they are being preserved.
4. Spending time with my husband and daughter on a unique adventure.
5. Getting home again to my comfortable and welcoming place of my heart.

(See more Friday Fave Fives here at Susanne's Living to Tell the Story.)

Now it's back to work and routine - oh, we'll be attending a wedding and the surrounding festivities this weekend, so maybe not! Have a great week!


Megs said...

Sounds like a great trip! I love traveling out west - the scenery, the wildlife, the quirky cafes and shops! But, I also love coming home to Minnesota... All the green and the lakes. I love how much variety we have right here in our own country!

Have a great week, Cathie! (And thanks for stopping by my blog!)

Together We Save said...

Sounds wonderful... that picture is amazing!!

Jerralea said...

What a wonderful week you had! I love it out West.

BUT, coming home is always best, is it not?

aspiritofsimplicity said...

wow that picture is wild!

Jerralea said...

Cathie, I now have permission to post the link to the barbecued chicken recipe that I talked about on my blog.

Karyn said...

Sounds like a wonderful holiday! I, too, love the incredible scenery in the areas you describe. I could always go back for more.

Your daughter's photos are beautiful.

ellen b. said...

Wow...sounds like an amazing adventure. I bet the photos are amazing. The one photo on this post is...
Glad you are home safe and sound and enjoying your space :0)

Beth Zimmerman said...

What a beautiful post of thankfulness! Sounds like it was an amazing trip!

Sue said...

Wow Cathie, sounds like a fantastic trip! Gorgeous picture too!

Thanks for stopping by to my blog. It's always great to meet new people :-)

Have a great weekend

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

Oh, I enjoyed reading this post! It took me back to a family vacation to the very places you mentioned. One of my best memories.

Beautiful, beautiful, big places -- really God's handiwork.

And it is good to be back home. Happy weekend!

Jientje said...

I followed the links to see the pictures and they are stunning! That shop looks like a wonderful place to shop for quilt fabrics!
It's always nice to be away from home but coming home is wonderful too. Right now I'm counting the days till we leave on holiday and I don't want to see it end too soon, but I know I will be happy to be home when the time comes! Looks like a great week, have a wonderful weekend!

Anonymous said...

Oh, your trip west sounds wonderful! And to enjoy the views without the crowds even better. Looking forward to visiting your daughter's photo blog.

Susanne said...

L's pictures are absolutely amazing. Photography school is going to suit her well. Love the one of the bison holding up the traffic, that cracked me right up.

Your trip sounds like it was really great. Makes me want to jump in the car and take that same road trip!