Flowers

With all the craziness that’s going on in the world, I thought a little burst of color might help cheer us up. Here are some flower photographs I took during our travels. Hope you enjoy. Stay safe and healthy my friends!IMG_2804

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Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, AZ.

IMG_6933A U.S. Monument and UNESCO biosphere reserve, Organ Pipe Cactus N.M. is the only place in the US where organ pipe cactus grow wild.

IMG_6935Located in extreme southern Arizona, 95% of this beautiful park is declared a wilderness making it a great place to camp and hike.

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The cactus that grow wild here in the park are huge.

We love to hike, and this place does not disappoint. The Sonoran Desert is alive with flora and many different types of cacti.IMG_7057

There are several mines located throughout the park, so we hiked to a couple of them.

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A hike to Quitobaquito Spring offers sightings of waterfowl in the desert.

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Our first night a cold front blew in and the temperature dipped to a chilly 28 degrees. We bundled up in our sleeping bags that evening and waited for the morning sun to rise and heat us and the desert. The weather was perfect for the rest of our time there. We camped for three nights, four days.

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The sunsets were incredible every night.

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Desert golden poppy

 

 

Las Vegas, NV.

After leaving the ranch in Montana, we flew back to Chicago so we could see our new granddaughter.

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Sienna Primrose Petro

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What a beautiful addition to the family!

While there, we got to carve pumpkins and spend time with family.

 

When we returned from Chicago, we jumped back in the motorhome and headed for Las Vegas.

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Friends from Michigan, Mark and Angie, joined us.

We enjoyed dinners and drinks on The Strip, Tape Face Show, zip-line down Freemont Street, Hoover Dam and Valley of Fire State Park.

!!!!!!!!Thanks Mark and Angie for sharing Vegas with us! We had a blast.!!!!!!!!

Friends we met in Canada, Duane and Ruth from Colorado, stayed at the same RV resort as us. That gave us a chance to re-connect and hang out for awhile. We danced to some great bands on Freemont Street, rode bikes on a Historic Railroad Trail, walked around Nevada’s largest cactus garden at Ethel M Chocolates decorated for Christmas, and lounged around the pool.

Camping Trips in Montana

We had the chance to go tent camping a couple of times. Our first trip was to Lost Creek State Park. IMG_9771

With gray limestone cliffs towering over 1,200ft high on both sides of us, our camp spot was perfectly located.IMG_5357IMG_9825

Lost Creek Falls, cascading 50ft.over the limestone, was an easy hike to view.IMG_5369

A beautiful trail north of the falls winds through the forest.IMG_9790

We just hiked to the bridge, crossing Lost Creek.IMG_9799

The water was cold and clear.IMG_9812

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Our second trip was to Thompson Falls State Park. IMG_0079

This small state park is located right next to The Clark Fork River. IMG_0040

The temp. was well into the 90’s, making the river a refreshing place to escape the heat.IMG_0039

Our camp spot was located amongst the tall pines.IMG_0036

The falls are now damned up, producing electricity for the nearby communities and beyond.IMG_6741

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A walking bridge crosses the water and goes to an island.IMG_6684

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Lets Volunteer !

We’ve always talked about volunteering. Since we started traveling, our goal was to help at a National Park or similar place. Well, we are fortunate enough to have landed a volunteer position at Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site. For three months, working at the ranch has been tons of fun. We work three days, then have four days to explore the area in and around Deer Lodge, MT. IMG_9538

We greet visitors at the visitor center/ gift shop and give historic house tours. IMG_9624

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I somedays get to be a chuckwagon cook, talk about the duties of the cook and make cowboy coffee.IMG_E9944

We have learned a lot about the history of the ranch and Montana ranching.

It’s been a great experience, a beautiful place to volunteer and we’re looking forward to next year here.

 

Branding Event at Grant- Kohrs Ranch, MT.

Grant- Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site was branding about 55 calves today. So, we watched how they brand cattle.IMG_6208 Branding dates back to the ancient Egyptians. It’s used for identifying cattle owners. Modern day branding uses different techniques. This ranch stays true to the 1800’s way of branding, making it very interesting. IMG_6244 (2)Grant- Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site is the only site within the National Parks System specifically designed to tell the story of the western frontier cattle era and its role it played in shaping the history of the U.S.IMG_6220

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I think the calves were more upset about being temporally separated from their mamas then the actual branding!

 

Bannack, MT.

Now a National Historic Landmark, the ghost town of Bannack started in 1862 with a population of 10,000 at its peak. The last residents left here in 1972. Today it’s a well preserved, historic town that can be enjoyed by a self walking tour. IMG_9372 (2)

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About sixty buildings remain, making this old mining town a fun place to explore.

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Schoolhouse and Masonic Lodge

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Methodist Church , circ. 1877

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The Hotel Meade

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A ghost in the hallway?

 

 

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Although abandoned, the ghost town feel has been preserved!

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Flaming Gorge Natl. Rec. Area, WY.

IMG_5909Located in the northeast corner of Utah and southwest corner of Wyoming, the Flaming Gorge NRA offers a 91 mile reservoir, many campgrounds, biking, paddling, hiking, boating and fishing. A dam was constructed in 1964 across the Green River, generating 50,650 kw of power using three turbines.IMG_9331

We only spent one day exploring, but in that short amount of time, we saw some spectacular scenery. IMG_5973

 

The name Flaming Gorge was given by John W. Powell during his 1869 expedition down the Green River.IMG_5911

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View from Red Canyon Overlook.

 

We had a great time driving around this beautiful area. If you’re ever in this part of the US, its a must stop.IMG_5974

Mueller State Park, CO.

IMG_9155 (2)After flying to Chicago and Detroit to celebrate our grandsons’ 3rd birthday, we returned to Colorado with him, our daughter and son in law to go camping.IMG_9237

 

 

The campground was close to Cripple Creek, so we went for a ride on the Cripple Creek and Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad.IMG_9253

 

Mueller State Park Campground offers over 5000 acres of beautiful forested ridges and granite rock outcroppings. Pikes Peak provides the backdrop.IMG_5716

 

We always have a great time in Colorado and look forward to the next camping trip!IMG_5711

 

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