Road Trip Day 15 – 800 miles across 4 states to home

I didn’t plan to drive nearly 800 miles in a day, but that is what I did. I write this from home, where I slept last night. I have been writing this blog in the evenings, but last night I was pretty exhausted. This morning, I am sitting in my happy place, drinking coffee.

I didn’t leave the Secret Lodge Bed and Breakfast until 9:30 am, because I wanted to have breakfast! and it was satisfying, as was my stay there. The view is unbelievable.

The previous couple of days I had been looking around for a place to stop on my last night – I was thinking Baton Rouge area. But I had nothing, so decided to just drive until I got tired, and get a hotel. I set the google map to home, and headed south.

The weather was clear, the road was primarily straight, and with minimal stops for gas and bathroom, (I ate my leftover Mellow Mushroom pizza in the car as I drove) I found myself crossing the Mississippi in Baton Rouge at 5:30. I had two more hours of daylight, I felt good, and I kept going. By then, I was sure I would drive all the way. There were no sights I wanted to see except home and husband.

I drove straight towards a beautiful sunset, made even more so with the reflections off the water in the Atchafalaya Basin. No pictures except the images in my mind. I broke my rule about driving after dark, knowing that the rest of the way home was familiar territory on Interstate 10 to Houston. I entered Texas around 8 pm, and it was only 2 1/2 hours til home. I was sustained by apples from Massachusetts and cookies from Chattanooga.

I broke all records, mine anyway, on this drive. I hardly stopped except for necessities. The only other time I had driven a long way without stopping for a real sleep was when I drove my oldest daughter to Chicago to go to college, circa 2005. That distance is 1100 miles, and on the way back, I drove all night, stopping at rest areas for short naps. My youngest daughter was with me in the back seat, but way too young to drive. That was really just stupid. This time, I knew I would be home by 10:30, or I would have stopped.

The worse part of the drive was through the city. Had it been daytime, I would have taken more northern roads to avoid it, but it felt safer to be on the interstate after dark.

It was wonderful to be greeted by my loving husband, and sleep in my own bed. I have no pictures from the road yesterday, so here are some flowers blooming in my yard.

Road Trip Day 10 – Hanging out with the kids

My daughter got up early to make homemade vegan biscuits, to eat with apple butter from yesterday’s fun. They were delicious!

It was a gorgeous day, temp in the 50’s in the morning, so we set off for a short hike and sat by the Deerfield River for a bit. It was really great to be out in nature. So much beauty in this area! If it weren’t for the winters, and being far from grandbabies, I would want to live here.

We went a bit farther down the road, to Shelburne Falls, investigating the shops, not buying much, and then had a really delicious lunch at Hearty Eats.

Ricotto balls, mushroom soup, mixed fries – all delicious!

Then we enjoyed walking across the bridge of flowers. So beautiful!

We found Mo’s Candy store at the other end, and I got some fudge for the trip home – hopefully I won’t eat it all, and can share some with the husband when I get home!

We returned home and enjoyed a game of scrabble —-

I’m so glad I go to spend time with these children of mine, 2000 miles from home.

A Walk in the Wilderness

The last day of my vacation I experienced a tiny piece of Montana in a very big way. Marcia had planned the day hike for my last day, so I would have time to become accustomed to the altitude. I think I did pretty well, and at the end of the day was only limping a little!
It was an unseasonably hot morning, but  it felt great with the low humidity and the smell of the pines. As we walked the five miles into Twin Lakes, Marcia told me the names of some of the flowers growing along the path, and I noticed some elk tracks. We crossed a fast moving stream several times, the sound and sight of it bringing memories of Colorado camping as a child. I was pleased to find that in spite of living at sea level, I was having no problem at 7000+ feet!
Wild Strawberries
marsh marigolds
Shooting stars
elk track
We arrived at the lake around 1, happy to be able to take a break and eat our lunch of rice cakes, hummus, and apples. The mosquitos were very happy to see us, too! but we warded them off with the OFF wipes Marcia had packed. I was glad she was an experienced hiker and had was well prepared. We even had bear bells, and I was not unhappy that no bears seemed to be in the vicinity.
I stuck my feet in the lake as we ate, and we could see fish swimming in the clear water. It was so lovely and peaceful. Before returning to civilization, we sat and meditated for a little while. For just a moment, I felt oneness with even the flies that buzzed gently around my head.
We took the old trail back, which was not kept up and a little more challenging, but shorter before it joined with the new. Mosquitos swarmed, water rushed, then the wind picked up a bit as it became overcast. We were quieter as we walked downhill, and I was grateful for the walking stick as weariness began to set in. We saw no creatures except for a mother grouse who kept a careful eye on us as we passed.
grouse
For about the last two miles I focused on my feet, mindfully aware of each step, grateful for my two legs, and thankful for the cool fresh air. I turned around for my last view of the beautiful mountains, and we could see the rain coming down.
I was very happy to see the jeep and set my body down! We were out on the main road before the rain came. It was a wonderful day.