10/1: This was our 3rd visit to the Quashne's to do as much as possible before their big move. As always, we missed them as soon as we left, but knew FaceTime would keep us happy for now!
Unfortunately, I managed to break a tooth under a crown on Saturday. So lucky to find Dr. Sanchez, a weekend/emergency dentist who took care of it. The bad news is I will need an implant fix around Christmas to complete the job.
Apparently, as one nears 60, even your teeth start to fail you. Click below for more info on Dr. Sanchez with a big thanks for emergency services!
10/1-2: We picked up the big trailer in West Virginia where we had left it over Labor Day ($30 a month, can't beat that.) Alas, one of the inflatable bags that sits under the back end of the truck wouldn't inflate properly. Since we couldn't run with just one, we started west with a kind of bump and grind. Yeah, I know.
I was blessed with an "aha" moment when I remembered my dear Godson, Mike, lives along our route near Columbus, Ohio! He works for Snappy's Automotive in Delaware, OH, and was happy to help. We had the part FedExed (at the airbag company's expense). More on Snappy's!
10/2: After we left Mike in Ohio, I read this on his FB page:
"I don’t believe in coincidence so I’ll call it divine intervention, but happy to see my godmother and her husband today and blessed that they had their vehicle issues not far from where I work as they are traveling from Maryland to Montana. Love you guys!"
We love you too!
More good news is that Mike is a volunteer driver for an animal rescue/transport organization called Rescue Road Warriors. Click below for more info! Here he is with one of his own kittens, a refugee herself.
10/3: Made our way across the heartland through the rest of Ohio and Indiana. We had a bit of a struggle skirting Indianapolis rush hour traffic, but got through unscathed. The airbags are working great, and we are making good time on our way to Laramie.
P.S. Had to scowl at a few "Indianapolis Colts" stickers on nearby cars and trucks. Art Modell: forever a bum.
10/4: Continued west with no issues, just a bit of boredom. Lots of blue sky, hot breezes and windmills. We have had some fun talks along the way, and are enjoying SiriusXM radio. The adult comedy channel is fascinating. So many sex jokes. Who knew. But good to have access to news, old songs, etc.
10/5: I, for one, love this state. The plains are windy and quiet at the same time. We saw lots of windmills and cows, of course, and experienced a dust storm at sunset! Spooky stuff. I cannot imagine how awful they were during the Depression. If you haven't, read The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck to get even a little glimpse into that national tragedy.
10/6-8: Spent 3 wonderful days with our youngest, Lis. Had a chance to spend time with her boyfriend, Justin, and other good friends! Justin works at the Front Street Bar while finishing up school. His special beverages are worth the trip. Try the bloody Mary with a pickled ochre garnish.
Fun fact: You can't get Yuegling beer out here, so we packed 5 cases out for LIs and Justin to savor and/or share. It's the least we could do for our baby girl.
We were also delighted to visit with her and some co-workers at her new company, Trihydro. What a great company with important environmental work to do! See below:
10/9-10: What if you could see OLD FAITHFUL erupt all by yourself? No crowds, in the evening light and quiet? Yes, we did! We had a "quick, turn here!!" moment, and this is what we saw. The resort itself was closed for the season, but thankfully, nature stayed open.
My parents and grandmother brought me here as a toddler, and we have brought our girls, but this was a truly unique experience. If you can, try it yourself on an off season evening before the snows. Unfortunately, just about everything else was closed for the season, but I did manage to get another National Park sticker for my passport book!
10/11: We spent a quick night here, exhausted and so very ready to dump the trailer in Libby. A highlight on this day was seeing the Big Hole National Battlefield/Park, the site of a tragic slaughter of Nez Perce women and children in 1877. We could feel the sorrow and loss even after a century. Visitors are encouraged to write a thought about how they experienced the visit. This was most eloquent, written by a young boy. Another was written by an American vet.
Later, we shared a late lunch in town, and were invited to share a table with a lovely couple on the way south! More on them to come in MOATET.
10/10-17: After a long haul from Maryland with the green trailer, we finally unhitched and parked it out behind Ken's folks' house. We were then spoiled over multiple occasions by mom, Yvonne, who keeps her kitchen counter filled with baked goods. Her specialty is soft white bread with butter, and homemade raspberry jam. Her cinnamon rolls are incomparable.
We will be back in November for another round of visiting and adventures!
10/13: Charlie and Yvonne Decker are key founders of the RMEF. See below for more info on this very important mission. We had the pleasure of helping at the 2018 Libby banquet. We didn't win anything big via raffles, but brought home a few pieces of lovely art. The best part of the evening was sharing it with family and new friends.
10/18-19: We took a few days to head west a bit to the home of Russ and Tonnie, Cody, T.C. and Kali Decker. While there, we were able to see the guys on a logging job. I learned so much from Russ, and watched my nephews work hard with the heavy equipment. We also learned that Kali is having a baby boy in March! Congrats to the soon-to-be parents :) Elk tenderloins on the Traeger grill were additional treats. I want one. See below.
I created an "Alaska" page (follows this one) with more pictures and a journal entry for each waypoint, but I wanted to give a quick overview! Highlights included a boat ride to see a glacier up close, a long (12 hours) excursion on the Alaska Railroad Winter Train, a dogsled (ATV) ride for Becky, and some of the best food and local art we have experienced!
We met some very nice people along the way, and appreciated their warm welcomes in a snowy, cold place. We would love to go back and try the Arctic Circle excursions in the summer! We hope to go fishing and kayaking (Becky) then too.
Ken thought parts of the state looked like "Montana on steroids", but there is no mistaking the blue-green waters in the shadows of glaciers as unique. Here I am petting two of the adorable and incredibly lively sled dogs. Turns out that there is a lot more to know about this sport than is obvious. I'm posting a link on my Alaska page for more info.
Bottom line: Go see Alaska.
Copyright © 2017 Borrow Pit Adventures - All Rights Reserved.
Becky and Ken Decker