Courtney is one of my oldest friends. When we were little we’d spend hours dreaming of owning our own horses or chucking pastel colored ponies at each other during the “Pretty Pony Wars”. Time changes a lot but it doesn’t take the love of horses out of a horse girl’s heart.
Years later, Courtney lives in rural Wyoming with her family, a horse, a dog, a cat, and a small herd of goats. Their home is surrounded by bad lands leading up to the Big Horn mountains and pastures full of horses grazing under the biggest sky you’ll ever see.
A week there was a week in paradise.
So fun to catch up after so many years.
These beauties trotted right up to us on our bike ride.
Courtney’s horse, Biscuit, was so sweet and gentle even Thing 1 who is nervous around them petted her.
We all loved Blondie, especially Thing 1.
Spring was in full bloom in the Big Horn mountains.
Thing 1 made a special friend. He spent 3 nearly full days with Helen, Courtney’s piano teacher, who helped him to improve his music reading skills.
There was hiking, a raptor show at the library, cookouts on the patio, sunsets and sunrises, bike rides, yoga, and relaxing in the wild countryside of Wyoming.
This (and this) is why I think our next adventure needs to be setting up a little farm of our own or else we need to figure out how to pack a goat in our RV.
Steam rises and swirls in a dance with the wind. White mud bubbles and boils like living pots of paint. Geysers explode from the earth daring to touch the clouds….
Steam rises and swirls in a dance with the wind. White mud bubbles and boils like living pots of paint. Geysers explode from the earth daring to touch the clouds. Water rages through the canyon and trickles out of cracks. Rings of yellow and orange surround crystal clear springs filled with water so turquoise, it makes you wonder if you have ever seen turquoise before.
It’s every bit as magical and mysterious as I expected. And more.
We are in Yellowstone National Park.
It is the first, most famous, and most visited national park in America.
A giant caldera is responsible for the dynamic geothermal shows. Deer, bear, bison, elk, and many other animals make this natural wonderland their home.
We met Lucille when we delivered groceries in Ventura to homebound elderly. Every week would would deliver her order of Lean Cuisine, Lays chips, ice cream, and diet Coke. Afterwards…
We met Lucille when we delivered groceries in Ventura to homebound elderly. Every week would would deliver her order of Lean Cuisine, Lays chips, ice cream, and diet Coke. Afterwards we would stay and talk. She lived alone and had never had children. Her nearest relative, her brother, lived hundreds of miles away.
It didn’t take us long to develop a special friendship with her and when she was moved into a nursing home we continued to visit. In the nursing home, she had one picture by her bed, a picture of us.
We didn’t get to say goodbye the way we had hoped.
I knew she had been buried in Idaho so once we made it to northern Utah I began my search to locate her grave so we could give a more proper goodbye. I discovered she was buried in a little town called Aberdeen. Once we arrived at our campground I asked the host if they knew where the cemetery was located. It happened to be only a few miles away.
That evening we packed a picnic complete with Lays and diet Coke for Lucille. As the sun set we reminisced and laughed about our times with her.
Never mind that we all live in RVs because you know you are really with like minded people when you come across an anti-GMO march and find yourself wildly chanting and cheering along with the protestors.
Clementine and I cleared the shelves at Trader Joe’s.
Brent played grill master.
After a few days in Salt Lake it was time to say goodbye and this time…
In an attempt to deal with my sadness and to throw out one last effort to put off having to say goodbye, I half jokingly said something about coming to Antelope Island with us.
After some discussion the village decided to head to Antelope Island State Park for five more days together!!!!!!
The sun smiled and a bluebird came out to sit on my shoulder
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah-zip-a-dee-ay! My, oh my, what a wonderful day!!!!
Antelope Island is the largest island in the Great Salt Lake. While Antelope Island is only a hop, skip, and a jump from Salt Lake City, it feels like a world apart with its nearly untouched beauty. Mountains surrounded by golden rolling plains overlook the glassy water of the lake.
An abundance of wildlife, most notably bison, call Antelope Island home. The bison were everywhere: dotting the hills, on the roads, cruising through the campground, and even on the beach.
Bridger Bay Campground, while primitive, was a beautiful spot to call home for five days.
We sat on a hill overlooking the lake, a perfect place for morning coffee.
It was a relaxing week filled with bike rides, walks, and being with friends.
We even braved the cold and wind to take a quick dip in the Great Salt Lake.
After leaving Moab we had to make a choice between heading down to Zion and Bryce Canyon or meeting up with our friends in Provo, Utah. We chose our friends…
After leaving Moab we had to make a choice between heading down to Zion and Bryce Canyon or meeting up with our friends in Provo, Utah.
We chose our friends because if we’ve learned one thing it’s the people not the places that really make the journey. Afterall I have a feeling Zion will be there for a while and who knows when we’ll cross paths with our friends again.
The boys were happy to get to spend a week with their friends. There was jumping, skating, sleepovers, bike riding, and a campfire.
Jema, Clementine, and I spent an eternity afternoon in the thrift store. Ahhh, women after my own heart.
I considered renewing my vows just so we could were these dresses. 😉
Clearly, I’m not Mormon.
The week passed and much too soon we were posing for a group picture before we said our goodbyes.
When we hit the road in 2011, we each had the places we most wanted to see. Brent was excited about Maine. Thing One couldn’t wait for New York City….
When we hit the road in 2011, we each had the places we most wanted to see. Brent was excited about Maine. Thing One couldn’t wait for New York City. And Thing Two insisted we go to Egypt. Maybe someday, Thing Two.
Utah was my promised land. No, we aren’t Mormon but I had seen enough pictures of red rock arches and sheer cut canyons to know I would love it. And I did.
Moab was crazy beautiful.
Our home for the week was a desolate spot on BLM land. This may be my favorite “backyard” yet.
We spent a few days exploring Arches National Park. Arches National Park is known…well…for its arches. There are more than 2000 in the park.
Thing One wasn’t that into standing under arches after seeing the movie at the visitor’s center. He kept saying matter of factly, “You saw how that thing was formed. That (pieces of rock falling) could still happen.” It was just an excuse to not have to walk so much. Nice try, buddy.
He was, however, into trying to shove me into a mud puddle. Anything to avoid hiking I suppose.
We did hike to Delicate Arch, the most famous arch in the park. We couldn’t let the Utah license plate be our only view of the arch.
While in Moab, we also spend a day in Canyonlands National Park with full time RVing friends, Rachel and Spencer, who we met in Breckenridge. Canyonlands is divided into four districts most of which are not easily accessible by car. Just another reason to come back, next time with a 4-wheel drive.
It was nice to not have to ask strangers for family photos.
We tried mountain biking on Slick Rock Trail but decided it was out of our league after about…100 feet.
It was fun to watch the jeeps though. And another reason to come back.
We did find some easier trails to bike.
Nothing beats a red desert sunset.
Except for maybe a red desert Mother’s Day followed by lunch at an authentic Mexican dive with my two favorite kids.