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Category: The Road Less Traveled

Devil’s Tower National Monument, Wyoming…

December 27, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

Devil’s Tower National Monument, Wyoming…

We are so incredibly blessed to be able to travel with our family during the winter. This fall, after leaving our home state of Montana, we took our time getting down to Texas, where we spent much of December. On our way south, we stopped at a few National Parks; NPs are kind of our ‘thing’. We are trying to stop at as many National Parks as we can; at each park the kids complete the educational Jr. Ranger program, and collect the badges they earn as we go (they are small and don’t weigh much at all!). So far, we have been to over 6 dozen of our NPs! This past fall, we came south out of Billings via I-90, and spent the night in Gillette, WY (we like short driving days!). We decided that we couldn’t be so close to Devil’s Tower, located in the upmost NE corner of WY, and not take the opportunity to check it off our long list of parks still to visit! It was about an hour drive (each way) from Gillette. On the way out there, one of the littles asked what it was;... [Read more...]

“THROWED ROLLS”

October 22, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

“THROWED ROLLS”

Have you ever been in a restaurant where the servers throw huge 5-inch in diameter, hot, yeast raised rolls across the room with hopes that you will catch them? If you answered yes, you have most likely visited one of the three locations where Lambert’s has one of their original “Throwed Rolls” cafes. We stopped at Hinton RV Park just off I-55 in Sikeston, MO.  When we checked in, the park attendant handed us a packet of information on local points of interest.  The one that caught our eye was for Lambert’s Café.  We were told that Lamberts would send a driver to the RV Park to pick us up for dinner and then bring us back to our RV.  With an offer like that, how can you refuse? When we arrived at the restaurant our chauffer took us to our table, gave us some preliminary warnings and left us to our server.  At that point, a young man in jeans and red suspenders came down the center isle of the restaurant shouting “Throwed Rolls” and then pitching them to anyone that held... [Read more...]

Savor those Campgrounds in September…

August 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Pacific Rim National Park, Vancovuer Island, British Columbia September has always been one of my favorite months for vacation. Alas, now that my children are in school, I don’t get to vacation during the last official month of the summer, but when my children were very little, we always took a week out on the beach. The beaches and campgrounds are blissfully quiet, and the summer sun has started to shift towards that autumn light.  Birds are migrating, and the leaves are starting to turn. Campsites are easier to find, so the travel itinerary can be a little looser and more subject to whim and spontaneity at this time of year. It’s also easier to nail a prime campsite (at a reduced price!) at the last minute. Furthermore, the nights aren’t too cold, but they are noticeably chillier and even more amenable to a warm cozy campfire. Homemade chili and hot cocoa are brought front and center on the menus again. Do you have any favorite last summer destinations? Photo by Melissa... [Read more...]

Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center in Homer, Alaska

July 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center, Homer, Alaska Do you ever visit a destination and then wish that you had started your visit exactly where you ended up? That’s how I felt when I visited Homer, Alaska last week. After spending about a mere 36 hours in this seaside town, I decided to dash into the alluring Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center. Unfortunately, I did this on my way to the airport! It was early Saturday morning, and I wanted to sneak a couple more sights in before we departed. Hence, I pulled into the nearly vacant parking lot of the visitor center and doubted that the place was open. Much to my delight, it was. Located on a bluff with walking trails down to the beach, the visitor center celebrates the local marine environment and acts as a window to educate visitors about the largest seabird refuge in the world. My daughter and I marveled at the massive Steller Sea Lion sculpture prominently placed inside the entrance, but without a doubt, what impressed... [Read more...]

Making a Major Life Change After 50, Continued…

May 27, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Making a Major Life Change After 50, Continued…

Yes, we are finally about to embark on our cross country move from Wisconsin to Taos, NM. We recently accepted an offer on our Manitowoc home and hopefully it will close without a hitch in May 30th. But moving after 50 seems more complicated and difficult than it was at 20. Our home in Manitowoc Is it that I miss the memories of my children growing up here? Yes and no. I love all the memories of raising our children in that home, but realize they are precious memories, not the reality of what I am living now. I am ready to live in a location that gives me more of what I want to do. That place is Taos. It has a multitude of hiking, camping and other outdoor activities. Terry and I will be able to find a new hike to do every day of the week if we so desire. And we will be able to find a new singer, band or lecture to listen to or restaurant that appeals to us as often as we will be able to afford looking for them. And for those times we must stay home, we will always enjoy the KTAO Solar... [Read more...]

WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN – IT IS GOOD TO HAVE FRIENDS AROUND

March 30, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN – IT IS GOOD TO HAVE FRIENDS AROUND

Somewhere between Little Rock, AR and Carrabelle, FL two cross members that support the frame rails on our fifth wheel broke. Initially, I could not tell there was something wrong because the plastic belly panels covered the problem area making it impossible to notice the broken welds. Our first indication that there was a problem occurred when we attempted to open the curbside living room slide and it would not extend.  My inspection of the problem resulted in a major shock – the axles under the camper had moved at least 3” toward the left side and the drive rod for the slide-out had been bent by the tire.  The tire was ruined and all six spring hangers had bent to approximately a 75 degree angle – they should be 90 degrees to the frame rails. In case you haven’t caught on yet, this is a MAJOR problem that could easily result in many thousands of dollars for repairs and the loss of use of the camper for “who knows how long”.  One thing for sure – we were not going to be... [Read more...]

What is Your Travel Planning Style?

January 16, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

Seward, Alaska, 2011 Do you have a method for planning your road trips or vacations? Do you dutifully sit down in January and target where and when you will go to specific destinations? Or, do you just “wing it” once the official camping season kicks off in the spring? I have to admit that I have waffled between both methods over the years.  I am, in fact, still waffling! When we first started camping and our children were very young, I was pretty strict about planning in advance, pinpointing destinations, and then making reservations. I have vivid recollections of often doing this ten months in advance. Back then, it was a system that I needed to have in place.  Packing food, kids, cars, and gear can be a monumental task. I knew I didn’t want to take the spontaneous route only to find out that the car was loaded and the campgrounds were too! Traveling and camping with young children can be challenging.  I needed the certainty of knowing that we had a good campsite... [Read more...]

The History of Old Military Road…

January 8, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

The History of Old Military Road…

In many previous posts I have espoused the picturesque beauty of the northwoods of Wisconsin and extolled the virtues of its plethora of rustic but peaceful camping areas. Anvil, Franklin and Carpenter Lakes have some of the most beautiful unspoiled campgrounds we have ever seen. But the northwoods also has a bit of interesting history attached to it as well: Old Military Road. Originally the Old Superior Trail, a horse path created and used by the Native Americans who first inhabited the area, the road was used by these peoples for hundreds of years before being officially constructed as road between 1864 and 1870. Running from Fort Howard on Green Bay to Fort Wilkens in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, the road provided a route for rapid reinforcement of Fort Wilkins during the Civil War. A sign details the route and history of the Road Though created by the Native Americans, early trappers, travelers and drovers (livestock dealers) used Military Road as well, providing supplies... [Read more...]

More Miracles in Wisconsin…

December 18, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

More Miracles in Wisconsin…

My previous post concerned the visions occurring in 1859 at the location that has become the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Hope, located one mile east of the town of Champion, WI. Many healings and miracles are reported to have occurred at the site of this vision. About 17 miles northeast of Green Bay, the grounds now consist of the chapel, rebuilt and enlarged again in 1942, as well as the convent, school, gift shop and  an area know as “the crypt.” It is in the crypt area that a small altar is located, upon which a statue of Mary is situated. This is the exact location of the two trees between which Mary appeared. Also in the crypt is a statue of the Virgin Mary holding the body of the lifeless Jesus encased in glass. Behind the statue are numerous crutches, braces and canes visitors have left at the shrine, no longer needed. The statue in the crypt--at the location of the two trees Some of the more common reports include: –In 1954 a gentleman wearing a hearing aid participated... [Read more...]

Our Lady of Good Help–A Vision in Wisconsin

December 14, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Our Lady of Good Help–A Vision in Wisconsin

Many of you know that, on our travels, my family and I love to visit sites of historical significance, as well as shrines and locations of significance to our faith and culture. Most of the ones we have seen have been located in the western part of our beautiful country. However, we recently learned of a significant site right near our home in a small corner of northeastern Wisconsin. This is the location of the only site in these United States that the Vatican has sanctioned as an official appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary. An investigation was begun by the Bishop David Ricken of the Green Bay Diocese in 2009 to review the historical information of the Marian apparitions at this location, as well as the life of Sister Adele, the Belgian immigrant to whom Mary appeared in 1859. One year earlier, the Virgin Mary appeared in Lourdes, France, to a young woman named Bernadette. On December 8, 2010, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Bishop gave official Church approval of the... [Read more...]

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