Monday, October 12, 2015

We’ve Been ATVing—Surprise!

Wow—have we ever been ATVing!  Friends of Larry and Geri who have homes in Casa Grande, AZ arrived on Sunday.  There are four couples all with side by side RZR ATVs—Henrietta & Elmer, Doyle and Karen, RE and Sue plus Mark and Barb.  They spent Saturday night in Grand Junction, CO and were privileged to see the  USAF Thunderbird show.  They arrived here at our boondocking spot about 10am and we were off!


We wandered in the Moab desert for several hours--IMG_3402Notice the white strip on the slick rock in front of our yellow CanAm—those are trail makers.

IMG_3384Some steep climbing!

IMG_3394Elmer needed to heed the call of nature, wandering off out into the desert—look what he found—dinosaur tracks!

IMG_3417Determination TowersIMG_3424It looks as if that vapor trail originated from the towers.IMG_3425Today we woke at “O dark thirty” and we were off again, trailing the ATVs back up the River Road heading for three destinations, Pole Canyon Ridge, Top of the World and Dolores River Overlook. Again, the word of the day was, “WOW!!”

IMG_3446IMG_3449The Colorado River.

IMG_3454We are really enjoying our side by side CanAm—there were many places on the trails yesterday and today where I would not have felt comfortable or safe riding my 4-wheeler.  The CanAm just crawls up and over the rocks—not to say we didn’t rock and roll at times but we didn’t feel unsafe—I did close my eyes at times!  Today’s trails were probably the most rugged we’ve ridden.

IMG_3459IMG_3472Larry and Geri out there on that skinny outcropping.  The photos don’t do justice to the height—we were WAY up on Top of the World looking down on Fisher Towers.



WOW—what a fantastic two days with more to come! 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

We Landed Near Moab

Friday morning we pulled out of Riverton, Wyoming and landed near Moab, Utah 500 miles later.  We took a very scenic, quiet route through Wyoming and Colorado avoiding chaotic Salt Lake City.  Geri and Larry were waiting for us—in the same spot where we boondocked almost two years ago.  We have different kinds of neighbors this time John and Brenda--DSCN1718


As we came through Grand Junction, CO we noticed strange vapor trails in the sky—as in round vapor trails.  Then we noticed the jets—flying in formation, whirling, cartwheeling, streaking through the sky—I Googled “air shows in Grand Junction, CO” and discovered the USAF Thunderbirds were in Grand Junction for the weekend—cool!

Today we loaded our cargo trailer with all three ATVs and headed out the River Road to a riding area called “Dome Plateau.” As always Moab didn’t disappoint us—“wow” was the word of the day I think!  We didn’t unload and get started until almost noon so photos are a little washed out from the bright sun.




Geri and Michael took a little hike to get behind this arch.  Notice Geri carrying Emmi in the second photo—seems when Emmi started down the slick rock she got a little ahead of herself and started sliding—she was in no danger but it scared her—Geri to the rescue!

IMG_3327These photos were taken at a Thelma and Louise spot—straight down, hundreds of feet—we kept a tight grip on Emmi at this spot!




Our guide, AKA Geri, usually leads us on these rides with almost pinpoint accuracy—today the GPS, trail book, map and signage conspired against us and we ended up wandering around out there trying to find the right trail for a long, long time—getting us home, back to the RVs after dark!  The phrase 40 days and 40 nights kept going through my head! Smile

I think more riding is on tomorrow’s agenda—more friends are arriving in the morning.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Can You Guess

What we did today--


Finally—all loaded up, strapped down and heading south.  We are taking a new route this year, to Laurel, MT, south to Cody, WY and south down through Wyoming and Colorado small towns.  Tonight we are tucked in with the truckers at the Wind River Casino in Riverton, WY. 

We got a late start today, seems the motorhome needed new shoes—a couple years ago we put new tires on the motorhome front.  This year it was time to put new tires on all four of the rear wheels—our pocketbook gave a big sigh!!!  The cowboy chose 20 ply Yokohama truck tires and Tire O’Rama in Billings did the work—he is pleased.

It’s good to be on the road, very good!


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Happy Birthday Dear Michael

Michael and EmmiA Handsome Cowboy

Twenty one years the cowboy and I have been celebrating birthdays together—regular ole birthdays and momentous ones such as this year.

And this says it all—happy birthday dear Michael—you mean the world to me!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

It’s Good To Be Home

But Chicago was awesome—just the most spectacular trip!  I was the first to leave Saturday morning and was again brave enough to ride the train to the airport—$3 on Saturday—what a bargain!  The train clientele were a little on the rough side that early in the day—coming home from the bars??

While I was gone fall/winter arrived—rain, rain (over 2 inches), way cooler temperatures and snow on the foothills and mountains.  It’s cold enough that Michael has built a fire in the downstairs stove—we didn’t quite escape Montana before the cold came.

I’ve spent the day cooking, cleaning and packing more things into the motorhome.  The cowboy did  some of the same. 

Here are some more photos of our Chicago trip--



Friday evening Kelly’s daughter-in-law Alison gave a recital for friends and family—she is an aspiring opera singer with a very, very big beautiful voice.  This is a short clip of a portion of Alison’s performance.

After the recital Elaine, Kelly and her friend/co-worker Marilyn and I took a taxi to the Hancock Building where along with half of Chicago we rode a very fast elevator to the 95th floor.  The Signature Room restaurant and bar has some breathtaking views—amazing!  As it was dark outside, my photos didn’t turn out well, I caught too much reflection in the windows—you will just have to take my word—the view was truly amazing! 

And then there was the Bean—here are some more photos taken Friday morning—I love how the skyline is reflected in the surface.

IMG_3226This photo was taken from underneath the Bean—strange reflections!IMG_3239Elaine, Kelly and myself.


IMG_3243These guys had a photographer trying to capture all of them in the air at once—as you can see they weren’t having much success! Smile



Friday, October 2, 2015


 Growing up I spent some time in the Chicago area with cousins--I have always liked this big city--a far cry from our place in Montana!  We are once again guests of our traveling friend Kelly--our platinum Delta and Marriott friend--soooooooo, we are staying in a lovely two bedroom, two bath suite high above the street with a gorgeous view of the Chicago skyline.

We all arrived Wednesday--I was very brave and took the train from the Chicago O'Hare airport into downtown--a $5 ticket versus a $50 cab ride!  As I was running on empty (my flight left Billings at 6:40AM!!) we enjoyed a mid-afternoon lunch then retreated to our hotel room to catch up on our lives.  

Thursday we braved the cool temps and major wind to walk the streets doing a little shopping--
And enjoying the gorgeous fall decorations.  In the afternoon we took a boat ride--an architectural tour of the Chicago skyline--incredible trip!!
Let me tell you, that wind coming off Lake Michigan was brisk!!  Our Fitbits told us we put in over 5 miles of walking.  After our boat trip we took a cab back to the hotel, relaxed for a while then walked to dinner.  There are so many incredible dining options in the big city!

Tonight we are in for a treat--Alison (Kelly's daughter-in-law) is an aspiring opera singer--I heard her sing at her own wedding and know how spectacular her voice is--she is giving a recital this evening.  We are so looking forward to this event!  Afterwards we are going to try and have coffee and dessert in the Signature Room on the 95th floor of the Hancock Building.  

The above photo is The Bean, a bean shaped stainless steel reflective sculpture by Anish Kapoor.  As you can see, it's a popular place!  Made of 168 stainless steel plates welded together with no visible seams.  

Lunch was Chicago pizza at Gino's-- not my favorite meal.  Saturday I fly home to the cowboy and Ms. Emmi.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Gathering of Friends

When I married Michael in 1994 I had worked as an operating room nurse for sixteen years—as a worker bee in the actual OR and in management.  Big Timber has a very small hospital, with the nearest hospital having an operating room being about 58 miles from us.  So, in 1994, I quit working.  I’ve worked since I was 14-15 years old—my first job was in a Western Auto store and I was employed from then until I married Michael.  I quickly became very bored, did some interim management for a hospital management firm and by some stroke of luck was in the right place at the right time.

I interviewed for a position at a Billings hospital to work in their heart surgery program.  I declined the offer after deciding I didn’t want to drive that far on nasty roads in winter.  But, the person with whom I interviewed, Linda, the assistant director of the operating room remembered me from that interview.  She worked on call/interim for the Kimberly-Clark Corporation doing sales support for a line of drapes and gowns used in ORs.  Linda called me out of the blue one day to say Kimberly-Clark was looking to hire three nurses on an as needed contract basis, would I be interested.  After hearing the details, I was more than interested.

For twelve years I traveled for Kimberly-Clark on a contract basis, not being paid when I was not working, but having the luxury of saying yes or no to assignments and being paid well when I did work.  My dear friend Kelly and I went to work in June of 1995 for Kimberly-Clark.  We joined a team of other nurses, two of those nurses, Shirley and Elaine along with Kelly and myself have kept in touch over the years making the effort to see each other at least once a year.

Wednesday morning (way, way too early), I flew to Chicago meeting up with Kelly and Elaine.  Poor Shirley took a tumble on her kitchen floor the other day and wasn’t able to travel so we are missing her very much!   In this photo (2013) we were in Corpus Christi, TX—from the left, Shirley, me, Elaine and Kelly.   


Kelly is hosting this gathering and we are going to the opera—her daughter-in-law, Alison is an aspiring opera singer—quite good—and we are going to one of her recitals.  I am sure there will be lots of laughing, eating, shopping, and wine drinking along the way.

The cowboy and Emmi are holding down the fort back at home, finishing up the last minute motorhome packing!

IMG_0392In West Palm Beach, Florida, October, 2014