Road Trip–Glacier National Park

My husband and I have been on a road trip for about 10 days now. We’ve had many adventures and seen beautiful places. I posted photos and some commentary earlier in the week (Mammoths and Black Hills) from our first major stop.

Our second major stop we visited Glacier National Park in northern Montana and had a beautiful day to see the mountains, rivers, lakes, valleys, waterfalls….

We decided to travel on the Going to the Sun Road which I heard about through the years, but I figured it had gotten wider and easier to drive on through the years. Maybe it has, but it’s still a narrow, twisty road that’s kind of scary some of the time as well as a road that shows beautiful scenery. Next time maybe we would let someone else do the driving since we saw cool, red buses on the road!

We reached the top of mountain pass and found a bit of roadside snow from earlier in the week. There is a visitor’s center and lots of trails to walk further into the mountains. A little earlier in the day there were mountain goats visible, but they had gone around to the other side of the mountain. Then we started down the mountain.

And down the mountain we went! This side was shorter which we were glad of! But the views were no less spectacular. Near the bottom was a beautiful lake and then we were outside the park.

We drove around the bottom side of the park from east to west back to our hotel. However, I saw a shortcut which we took. Of course, that turned out to be an unmaintained road with open range cattle and horses. Which we did see! Again it was a narrow, twisty road with drop offs, but pretty scenery!

We drove about seven hours on these roads. We were happy we’d seen Glacier National Park. The scenery is spectacular, but we were exhausted when we got back to the hotel.

On to Canada and Banff National Park.

Mammoths and Black Hills

We have been on the road for seven days and have driven a lot of miles! I had a few posts scheduled during the week, but didn’t manage to get a Sunday Post done. We are in Canada now and I can only use the internet when we have wireless available in hotels. I’m hoping to write a few posts during the next couple weeks about our trip.

Our first major stop of our road trip was at The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, South Dakota.

Mammoth bones were found here over thirty years ago. Paleontologists work to uncover the bones of dozens of Columbian Mammoths and Wooly Mammoths as well as other animals who died here. The site is the largest in the United States that shows mammoth bones in situ (left where the bones are found).

The site appears to have been a sink hole fed by warm springs. Vegetation would have grown on the side of the sink hole and mammoths and other animals sometimes fell in. Once they fell in they couldn’t climb out the steep, slippery sides and they died of starvation. Over thousands of years the sink hole filled in with dirt.

One humorous story we heard during our tour was that all the mammoths found and identified so far are young males. The scientists think the young males had to leave their herd and because they weren’t as cautious as older mammoths they fell into the sink hole!

After we left The Mammoth Site we drove through the Black Hills. Surprisingly they got their name because the hills are black! Though I thought the hills looked like regular hills. We stopped for lunch in Hill City. Such a cute town. I especially liked the two metal sculptures in front of a shop–a horse and a mule (or a donkey).

We ate at the Alpine Inn. They had German food and I had spaetzle which I love. And a Fat Tire beer from New Belgium Beer!

Then we drove out of South Dakota into Wyoming and finally to Montana for the night. Next major stop is Glacier National Park.

No Sunday Post–The Maine Edition

I’d planned to to do a Sunday Post* yesterday, but we got back from our trip and I needed some time to recuperate from the vacation…LOL. We had so much fun in Maine. The company of my sister-in-law and brother-in-law was wonderful and the yummy food. bright blue skies and gorgeous scenery all combined to make a great trip.

Here are a few photos from the Portland Head Light we visited the first day. This is the oldest lighthouse in Maine and it’s automated now.

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The Sunday Post returns next Sunday at its regular time!

*The Sunday Post–hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

My spring break-away

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We took planes, trains, metro, buses, taxis and our own feet…

My daughter–Karen–and I along with two cousins–Mary and Katie–(also mother and daughter) spent spring break in Ireland and Spain. It was spring break for Katie since she’s a Spanish teacher in Wisconsin so it was spring break for all of us. 🙂

Katie and Karen (who lived and worked in Colombia, South America for five months) were our Spanish language translators and tour guides. The one time Mary and I split off from our daughters we ended up walking back at night to our hotel in Barcelona and nearly ended up in a riot! Luckily, we only ran into police officers and closed off roads. We did have to ask the police for directions every few blocks, but even though we didn’t know much Spanish the police were very helpful.

Our trip began the last week in March in Chicago on Saturday, March 22 when we flew overnight to Dublin on Aer Lingus. The flight on Aer Lingus was great though none of us got much sleep. I especially enjoyed the cups of tea brought around every so often.

So…we stayed in Dublin for a day and a half (not long enough–but we only had a week for the whole trip). An Irish cousin met us at the airport and took us all over Dublin. After Dublin we flew to Spain. In Spain we stayed in Valladolid and Barcelona. We made side trips to Peñafiel (a wine region north of Valladolid) and to Montserrat.

The high points of the trip (according to me):

  • Talking, laughing, sharing a wonderful trip with people who are both friends and relatives
  • Malahide Castle (near Dublin)
  • Drinking Guinness at the Guinness Factory in Dublin
  • Staying in the old part of Valladolid
  • Peñafiel and the castle above the town
  • The lamb I had for lunch in Peñafiel (the best lamb I’ve ever had)
  • Antoni Gaudi architecture in Barcelona
  • Montserrat (a monastery in the mountains near Barcelona)–the scenery and the basilica
  • Shopping in Barcelona
  • Wine and sangria we drank in honor of spring break!

A wonderful trip with amazing memories!

  • Malahide Castle & Coastal Tour!
  • A Little About Valladolid
  • Dublin airport ‘an alternative hub to Heathrow’, says Aer Lingus