Friday, August 30, 2019


Did you know Idaho grows 33% of  the potatoes in America? And Coeur d’Alene has the longest boardwalk in the US? And women through their bras off a chair lift and land on a tree called the Brundage Bra tree. Yes folks, these are just a few fascinating facts of beautiful Idaho. We had one night in Coeur d’Alene and it was worth it. Found a great meal and walked the longest boardwalk.
We also spent some time in Spokane WA, simply because it’s 30 miles away. We stumbled into a 5 day festival called pig out in a park. Okay, I can do that. Caught an interesting musical act made up of one guy who played the hand drum, synthesizer, and a digeredoo.  It’s was mesmerizing to see him handle all 3 at the same time. We also found a quirky bookshop where they had a bumper sticker “Spokane, keep it sort of gross.”  Uh, I got nothin.
Tomorrow is a red letter day as we are in Portland for longer than 48 hours!  Yippee!!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Wild wonderful Wyoming.

WiFi is touch and go in these here parts. I am sitting in a restaurant typing this so it will be short and sweet. This is way different than my first visit here, as that was another state of abyss. Here are gorges, rock formations, ranches-lots of them. We are in charming Cody WY, the rodeo capital of the world. Lots of cowboys, beef, and Buffalo Bill. We spent the day in Yellowstone, not realizing how enormous it is. We covered a few picture spots and old faithful after 7 hours. The parks centerpiece is the beautiful Yellowstone Lake, with brown ribboned mountains of rock. It is quite a sight. The beauty in this country is beyond words.
Tomorrow we are tackling the northern route, which will be most of the day. Grand Tetons may not happen just due to distances.
We are staying in a charming old motor inn called the Big Bear. Crusty old cowboys hanging about, free horseback riding lessons, and love music every night, which is an ancient man with a keyboard twanging out Led Zeppelin. I love this cowboy town.

part 2:
2 full days in Yellowstone and we feel we just scratched the surface. I had no idea the park was that big. 20 to 40 miles between highlights so a trip to the inside of Yellowstone was 3 hours from Cody. It is a breathtaking park, vast and diverse. We ran into many bison ( literally) as they stroll down the road taking in sights. No beat sightings, but we saw one elk. Guess the vastness of the park doesn’t lend itself to large number of bears in one location. Not that I’m complaining. Beauty is the key.
Took a stroll through Cody this morning and bought all things huckleberry. And a piece of buffalo jerky. Took a quick tour of buffalo bill’s heritage center- not enough time in this sweet little town. Worth another visit. And also to visit grand Tetons. Time simply was not on our side.
Heading back to Montana. Hyped on coffee and again in our home away from home- the car. Happy to have Marji here with us- a nice addition.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Desolate Prairie..North Dakota and Montana

There's not much to report these last 2 days-we spent a great deal of time shaving off miles. 840 miles in 2 days. Sights we saw? Cows. Soy bean fields. Wheat fields. Sunflower fields. Not much else.  Our stopover in Bismarck was a delight. Diner food and live music and shooting the shit with 2 great local couples.  One was born and raised in ND-grew up on a cattle farm.  One actually moved to Bismarck from a very small town in Oregon of 40 people.  Seems Bismarck it big city livin!
I got nothing on Billings.  Saw some great caves dating back thousands of years. Made an attemot to look for music tonight.  All that was happening was music bingo,  No clue.
Hotel is ah...clean.  With a casino. Casinos are attached to everything here.  I asked the bartender about a restaurant-she then told me the later it gets here the weirder the crowd gets.  They had an overdose in the casino and robbed a couple of times.  I probably didn't need know that.  I guess the frst clue was the lobby sign tht saif "No Billings residents".  Hmmmm...
Seems Billings is a bit depressed, yet nice vistas.  A railroad town still functioning as one.
Looking forward to the next couple of days in Cody and Yellowstone!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Minneapolis the land of flour and malls

Minneapolis has made great advancements to deal with the weather from hell,  Stadium is inside.  Downtown is completely connected with skywalks so you never need to walk outside-ever.The sidewalks are heated so you never deal with icy walkways and parking lots.  And they have the most giant mall known to man-500+ stores, amusement park, an aquarium, mini golf, adventure golf...oh a zipline...youget the idea.  It'd fucking cold.  Hang at the mall....
Karen and I a couple of hours there and covered 5 stores and a restaurant.  And a roller coaster ride for good measure.  We followed that with a visit tto the Guthrie Theater for a play-excellent show by the play writer who did Ruined and Sweat.  We were in the 3rd balcony which was one row only in the very top of the theater.  I simply stayed in my seat and avoided all glances down...

Today was Mill City Museum, also known as the Gold Medal factory, It had a flour explosion in the late 1800's, destroyed the mill and killed 13 people.  I had no idea flour was so flammable..They rebuilt and then closed for good in 1965, only to have most of the building burned by fire.  Company taken over by General Mills and Pillsbury.   Walked the pedestrian bridge that was used by trains long ago, grabbed lunch in a small deli, ate in Minnehaha Park and called it a day. 

We are headed into land of the abyss tomorrow. Lots of.....hmmm..wheat fields, maybe a cow, 2 towns, where we will land in Bismarck, population of 70K. But hey, they are having a beer and donut festival tomorrow night!  And perhaps I might ctch a glimpse of the northern lights..

Mileage so far: 1,706

Pics are on Facebook.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Youp..

Have to say, spent most of today near Lake Michigan, travelling around Lake Michigan, in Lake Michigan, or a combination of Huron and Michigan.  I guess I always knew they were big lakes, but this was a dose of reality. 4 hours to get from the top of the lake to Green Bay, also on the lake.  Beautiful, clean, and as they salt, no sharks.  But also no dolphins...

Mackinac Island is a beautifuk spot in the middle of a couple of these famous lakes.  No cars. Charming village where you land by ferry and the well oiled machine of the island works their traffic patterns.  Its a hilly island, with posh homes and condos. And of course, the ever Grand Hotel.  So, luggage to the Grand is shipped for you up the hill via horse and cart.  Everyone else who has luggage unloaded-you figure it out.  Granted, a room at the Grand start at 400 a night-least they can do is bring your luggage to the hotel.  Karen and I bought a 10.00 pass to allow us to roam the lobby and veranda. I did take full advantage-sat on the veranda in a rocking chair and asked the outside butler for a beverage.  I thought of asking for bocce ball attire, but probably too much.

Breathtaking day of temps in the 70's.  We arrived in Green Bay this evening-minutes away from Lambeau Field. We are staying in a hotel that advertises"'themed rooms". So, what exactly does that mean?  Spiderman rooms?  Leather rooms?  Brett Farve rooms? 

Goal tomorrow-cheese.  Thats it.

Mileage: 533 from Muskegon to Green Bay WI

Monday, August 19, 2019

Hitsville USA

Detroit. Home of Motown.  Barry Gordy opened a recording studio in his house and made american music history.  He started the business with 800.00-a loan from his family, which he had to pay back with 6% interest. Perhaps this is the business model we should practice in this country...

After a bit of soul, we headed to Third Man records, where Jack White presses his records for his label.  Different vibe in a good way.  He spends time between Detroit and Nashville and it brought back one of the first concerts I went to with Andrew duting White Stripes era..

Time for eats...popped into the Traffic Jam and Snug restaurant-just because of the name.  They brew beer, bake bread, and make cheese.  What else does one need?

We ventured down to the river walk along the Detroit river-with a view of Canada, which is really a short swim away if you wanted to venture there.  Detroit has cleaned its act up. No need to carry weapons (although you can with a license).  Years ago, it wouldn't be a city you would wander around in.  The walk along the river was busy with families from all walks of life and backgrounds.

Our day ended in Pontiac, where Krista and Nick's good friend Laurie graciously offered us a bed and lots of dog love.    Up early today and landed in St. Ignace MI in the UP, also known as 'youp"


Saturday, August 17, 2019


What a fabulous weekend of music!  Woodstock films, history,  videos of every musician we all love, and a kick ass performance from the Zombies, who, by the way, have DEFINITELY aged. Well, like usual. We ate from food trucks as we waited for the Zombies and then the skies opened up. I think the rock and till gods wanted us to have a full experience as Woodstock 69 as it poured.
I always learn something new and today was no exception. I honestly was not familiar with the Small Plates, who had Ron wood and rod stewart.  Sorry, small faces. As Karen said, I was probably hungry. 🙂
Preparing to another music day in Detroit. Time for Motown!

Mileage: 455

Thursday, August 15, 2019

pre-journey trip

How does one pack for a 6 week journey?  It is a question I ponder this week.  I have asked a friend for advice-she recommended not over packing as she had done.  She was prepared for glamour nights and camping days in the attire department and only wore a third of what she brought.  so, i can leave home my glitter dress and pumps.  She also packed art supplies, thinking she might be inspired to paint or create-wrong.  No time for that.  So, I have limited my selections to activities to do in the car.  Snacks.  Out of control.  We have enough for the entire country if there is a zombie apocolypse. Technology-everything and then some.  My good friend Lori gave me a rocketbook everlast, which I am learning hopefully before I leave.  Of course, this all hinges on internet service.

Will I forget something?  Probably.  But it isn't like I am traveling Mt. Everest.  They do have stores in the wild west.  Except for maybe the lonliest road on the planet-which we probably won't be traveling to.

Cleveland or bust!