Roadtrip Wrap-Up
Aug29

Roadtrip Wrap-Up

Now that I’ve finished my East to The West Roadtrip, my most ambitious so far, and had a few days to process, it’s time to count out the highlights and maybe some of the lowlights. Just to recap, the trip started when I realized there were only three states I’ve never lived in or visited. Two of them were North and South Dakota, so they became the destination. The inspiration was Teddy Roosevelt’s observation...

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Nevada Daydreamin’
Aug26

Nevada Daydreamin’

Today was a long day mostly in Nevada. Wait! The last you heard, I was up in Yellowstone. Well, two days ago, I entered the unscheduled portion of my trip. While every other stop was booked back in January — as you must do with National Parks — that’s not my normal mode of roadtripping. Usually, I prefer to go in the off-season, have a vague itinerary and feel free to depart from it. Turns out, it was lucky I...

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Natural Beauty on the Hoof and Elsewhere
Aug23

Natural Beauty on the Hoof and Elsewhere

When I mentioned that the Lamar Valley is sometimes called The Little Serengeti of the Yellowstone, I wasn’t kidding. As spartan as the Roosevelt Lodge and cabins are — and as cold as it’s been in the morning — I’ve been getting up at 5AM and getting out on the road in this, the most remote corner of the park. I’ve been rewarded with amazing close encounters with animals. And with viewing herds of...

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Bison and Wolves and Birds, Oh My!
Aug22

Bison and Wolves and Birds, Oh My!

Yellowstone is so big and so varied, there is no way you can do it all in the three days I had scheduled. You have to pick your Yellowstone. Mine was going to be concentrated on animals. I’d made the right choice staying at the Roosevelt Lodge which is in the least populated part of the park, up near the Lamar Valley — which has been called The Little Serengeti of America. Even just on my trip in the previous evening from...

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Yellowstone or Bust!
Aug21

Yellowstone or Bust!

I pulled out of Buffalo at the crack of dawn and aimed the Hobbit SUV toward Route 16 and a straight shot to Yellowstone National Park. With one important stop: The Buffalo Bill Center of the West, which is actually five museums in one. There is the Plains Indian Museum, the Cody Firearms Museum, The Buffalo Bill Museum, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney Western Art Museum and The Draper Natural History Museum. I’d planned just to see the...

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The Best of the West
Aug18

The Best of the West

If there is one state that says The West, it’s got to be Wyoming. And today, I got myself out of the deeply weird town of Deadwood as fast as I could and headed for that border. As I’ve noticed in other state to state transitions, as soon as I hit that Welcome to Wyoming sign, the scenery changed dramatically. Suddenly, there were golden fields of nearly open range grasslands extending toward dramatic buttes and far away...

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In the Dakotas
Aug16

In the Dakotas

One of the main goals of this East to The West roadtrip was to get out to North and South Dakota, two of only three states I’ve never lived in or visited. Well, now I’ve ticked both off my list. And I have mixed feelings, as neither was what I expected. I have a feeling I gave neither state the time it deserves. One amazed me unexpectedly and one disappointed me unexpectedly. But first, speaking of disappointed,...

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A Tale of Two Glacier Tours
Aug14

A Tale of Two Glacier Tours

In the last two days, I’ve seen Glacier from two modes of transport — Tuesday, by my own feet along the famous High Line Trail and, Wednesday, in one of the historic 1930s Red Buses. Neither trip turned out as I expected. Both of them were better than I could have imagined, in spite, or maybe because of several glitches, mix-ups and unexpected events. I’d meant to get in shape for hiking Glacier, but two weeks of over 100 degree...

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The Road Less Traveled to Glacier
Aug13

The Road Less Traveled to Glacier

Two roads diverge at Lolo Pass. I took the one more traveled by. And that has made all the difference. Here were my choices: Montana State Route 93, which passes through towns and is the easier driving or swing out near the Bob Marshall Wilderness and take the virtually unsettled Route 83. I’d heard that Route 83 was more teeming with wildlife and much more scenic. When I asked the advice of some locals at the only café/bar/casino at...

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To the Lolo Pass
Aug10

To the Lolo Pass

Yesterday on my East to The West roadtrip, I connected with one of my personal heroes, Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce. After an excellent night’s sleep in the Rim Rock Inn’s Standing Bear Tipi on the edge of Joseph Canyon, I was in a perfect frame of mind to continue the journey. My goal was to travel a good section of the Nez Perce Trail which roughly follows the route of Chief Joseph’s famous retreat. The section I...

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