Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage 9/17/13-Nov.4, 2013

Its the evening before Carol Allen and I take our flight from Chicago to Lisbon Portugal.  We've both weighed our backpacks about 700 times, checked our packing lists and checked them again...and we are almost positive we aren't forgetting whatever we will need for the upcoing pilgrimage walk from Portugal to Santiago, Spain, the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage that many travelers schedule each year. 

One year ago, new friend, Bruce Jones from Long Beach,CA, recommended that I see the movie "The Way".  I did...and I started plotting a way to make this pilgrimage happen in my life.  And of course, what you think about, YOU BRING ABOUT!  It wasn't even hard for me to talk my dear friend, Carol Allen, into going with me.  Thank God her husband, Dave, likes me enough to entrust his precious wife to me for 3 weeks as my walking companion.  Thank God for my friend, George Orr, who believes in my wild ideas and happily helps make them happen.  Thank God for my wild side and for this adventuresome spirit in me that flings me around and around this beautiful world of ours.

So, our backpacks are packed, our tickets are ready, and our minds are racing with the details of this upcoming adventure.  Carol will be with me until Barcelona, and then I'll continue on my own for another 3 weeks, taking in the South of France, including a visit with Thich Nhat Hanh at his Plum Village Community for walking meditations for a week, and then the exploration of Provence from Bordeaux to Nice. 

I hope to post along the way, and share my travels and to have the trip of my lifetime.  I've told several friends recently that,so far, my 60th year has been my favorite year of life!

May the adventure continue!

Sunday, August 25, 2013


St. Helena Cathedral
St. Helena Cathedral

Helena Tour Train

Civic Center
New Cowgirl Boots

Helena Museum
White Buffalo
Capitol Building-Helena
Capitol Building-Helena

Largest Charles M. Russell Painting-Senate/Rep. Room

Iron Horse Grill


Brennan's Wave

Son Zach and girlfriend Nikki
Gates of the Mountains-Helena
From the sights in Helena (pictured above), including Gates of the Mountains boat tour,  new cowgirl boots (where do I go two-stepping?) to Missoula, where l got to connect with friends, family members who flew in, and neighbors, how lucky can one person be?  From eating peach cobbler from kind neighbors, to dinners on the town, to touring the Smoke Jumpers Facility to the River City Roots Festival in Missoula to the pre-season football games here there and is very very good.
Gates of the Mountain

Site of great loss of firefighters-Gates of the Mountain

Smoke Jumpers Facility-Missoula

Heroes who sew and iron-Smoke Jumpers!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Glacier National Park 8/13

Logan's Pass

Hanging over the Ledge-Logan's Pass

Lake McDonald Lodge

Lake McDonald

Boat Ride Anyone?
OH MY...What a beautiful stunning "Heaven on Earth"

This ride on motorcycles with friends Linda McGarvey, who flew out from MI and George Orr from Missoula was unforgettable...first of all we all survived rounding the endless curves with 5,000 foot drop offs, and second we smiled the whole way around (after taking strong medicinal herbs to steady our nerves...Bach Flower Remedies for "known fears").

This ride started out with us heading East to West on the "Going To The Sun Road", and it took the entire day, due to the non-stop curves and pull-outs and chatting with other biker travelers on the road due to lengthy stops for road construction.  We had very nice weather, as you can see from the
"blue-skies smiling at me...nothing but blue skies do I see" pictures.

I couldn't be happier to check another item off my bucket list and to have yelled "woo hoo" through countless curves and canyons.

Two years ago, there was 54 feet of snow in Logan's Pass at The Summit when I tried to do this drive at the end of June 2010.  Now having seen the top of the summit of The Going To The Sun Road this time around, in August, 2013 and the remaining snow from last Winter,  I feel blessed to have been part of the awestruck individuals who stood with their mouths hanging open.  There was the group of Christian bikers from all over the world who rode to Sturgis to minister to the zillions of biker partiers there and then rode on to gasp at the wonders that the hand of God wrought in Glacier National Park.

We ended our day by staying in Coram at The Evergreen Motel, and we all agreed that it was one of the nicer accommodations that we had during this entire trip.  We ate across the street at the Glacier Grill and had fabulous wild-caught salmon and copious amounts of local Black Star Brewery Beer out of Whitefish, MT as well as gallons of rich red wine.  Thats all I remember.  We made fast friends with other travelers from CO and MT, and a good time was had by all.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Missoula to Kalispell MT

 Momma...Can I go, Can I go too?  Minerva Luella will be staying home at a friend's house and resting for a couple of days while we ride into the wild.  There will be lions and tigers and bears, oh my.  You will be very glad you stayed home alone and had a great adventure of your own.

Today's ride was absolutely perfect.  We started off at the crack of Noon, following a great breakfast prepared by one and all.  The day was hot enough to decline the leather jackets, and yet not too hot for a fabulous ride.  We flew along through the gorgeous scenery as we ran along Flathead Lake on Hwy. 93 headed North to Kalispell.  We intended to spend most of the day sitting in the very pleasant Moose's Saloon, eating their gluten-free pizza and drinking copious amounts of beer.  And we succeeded!
Stopping for lunch on Flathead Lake, MT

Flathead Lake

George Orr
WWK and Linda McGarvey along for a great ride

Going To The Sun Road-Glacier Natl. Park
Moose's Saloon-Kalispell
And lucky for us, there was a TravelLodge across the street, and we safely parked the bikes for the night and walked back and forth from Moose' Saloon.  

Tomorrow is a brand new day...filled with the excitement of safely riding the "Going To The Sun Road" through Glacier National Park, heading East to West in a monumental effort to stay away from the cliff-side drop offs and stay on the inner lane against the mountain pass.  Wish us all great luck, even though I can tell you that the angels always ride along with special request.

From Great Falls MT to Missoula MT to Glacier National Park!

Oh YES...after a 100* day of riding from Great Falls to Missoula!  What could be better than this?

Brennan's, too, can surf in one spot on the river!

I'm a kid again!  So is Linda

Dinner at the elegant PLONKS-Missoula

Linda McGarvey (here from MI), George Orr from Missoula and me

Momma:  Are we really heading out already? get to stay home alone in our friend's house and rest!  See you in 3 days!

The ride was hot and beautiful...smoke wisps everywhere from the Montana wild fires, none of which were actually anywhere close to us.

Couldn't ride with a jacket on because it was over 100* and way, way exhausting to do whats a few insect collisions?

Entered Missoula around 5 p.m., and made my way to a cold shower, a cold beer or five, and a very cool Buffalo Wild Wings establishment for the pre-season football game.  Being a Raiders, Rams, and Bears fan in this world isn't an easy thing...but I persist anyway!

Today we 3 travelers depart together to ride to Whitefish, Kalispell, and Glacier National Park.  We will stay overnight in Kalispell tonight and then take off for Glacier in the morning...ride that fabulous "Going to the Sun Road" all day on Monday, come back to Kalispell and spend the night again, and then head back to Missoula on Tuesday.  Its only going to be in the 80's for the next few days, and the wildfires are not where we are heading...all is well.