Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Wonderful West

This is going to be a L--O--N--G post because there is so much to show and tell!  Leaving Wisconsin, we had a mighty long drive in front of us, as I had to be in Wyoming in less than a week.  But I was determined to enjoy some of the sights of the West--so we drove a couple of full days and rested for a few.

First stop--The Badlands. What a beautiful national park, especially when viewed from the vantage point of a bus.  Everything looks better from a bus!
 Yep, those are real cowboys! (Excuse the dirty windshield)
 Our next stop--the Black Hills and Custer State Park.  As we drove the winding road into Custer, Glen noticed this quilt block peeking out along the roadside--how about that?
We couldn't stop in the bus, so once we reached Custer, I drove back (about 30 miles each way, but hey--it was a South Dakota barn quilt!) and left a note on the house.  By the time I got back to our campsite, I had spoken to the owners and found out that they had hung the block just three days earlier!  Pretty nice timing.  The owner, who works at the Crazy Horse Memorial,  invited us to visit. 
 On to Wyoming--my vote for most beautiful state in the US. I looked outside to see that it was "snowing" in our RV park. Granted, the weather was cool, but not that cool.  Turns out that we were in a grove of cottonwood trees, and their seeds fall in the midst of "cotton."  New to me!

Wyoming is a great place to seek out wildlife.  We took a drive into the mountains near Buffalo, where we encountered this fella and several of his friends.

And these are his mountains--just nothing more beautiful anywhere.

A drive along a somewhat scary Forest Service road through Crazy Woman Canyon (Who knew I had my own canyon?)  took us to a couple of unexpected treats.  I would love to tent camp here.

On to Montana and more incredible scenery.  Surrounded by mountains on all sides--and more of that cool weather.  This is the view from a roadside in Bozeman.

I conducted a barn quilt painting workshop inside of a barn here--what fun!
Missoula may not be quite as scenic, but it does have a small quilt trail. Even better--these quilt blocks are painted directly on the barns, as the original ones were in 2001.

Imagine driving down the street with this in the background!
It seems that wherever we travel, we end up eating Chinese food. It's sort of like McDonald's in that it's inexpensive and we pretty much know what to expect. In Missoula, a glance out one of the the restaurant's windows revealed quite an amazing sight.  There were actually two rainbows, but this is the best photo. I am not sure I have ever seen one with such vivid colors!

Well, that was the good news.  Saving the bad news for last, as we crossed the mountains near Missoula, dear old Ruby started to cough.  Then she hacked, then she stopped. Yep--she was down for the count.  Here she is being towed into a repair shop. We left her there as we continued our journey westward.