Thursday, August 28, 2008

Last picture show

Scenic Hwy. 1 between Anaconda and Philipsburg, Montana.
A colorful past: farm vehicle junkyard in Wyoming.

Colorado at dusk...

Crop duster in Colorado. We were so glad we chose to bypass Denver and get to see rural activity.

Colorado has a big sky too, Montana.

Real life Wyoming cowboy on hillside.

Wildlife in Wyoming... saw lots of these, mostly in mornings and early eve.

Familiar sight in Wyoming, the horses AND land for sale.

Wyoming town at dusk.

Goodbye Montana, we miss you already...

South I25 in Montana, almost to the Wyoming border. Where is everybody?

Long-abandoned mining road between Anaconda and Philipsburg.

We found this border collie puppet in Philipsburg. Ha.

Fixer-upper on road to Philipsburg.

We made it home!!!

We made it home late Wednesday night. It was a loooong drive home. But it was a beautiful reunion between Paul and Mika... this will be our last blog.

One of the nice things about driving is being able to see places you would never otherwise see. Some views were more impressive than others, like the vastness of Wyoming and the snow-capped peaks of Tetons and Rockies. But just as impressive were the crops (wheat, beans, potatoes, sunflowers, corn) that covered a gazillion acres. And the wild herds of antelope, deer that we never tired of seeing mostly in Wyoming. It also was interesting to see those gigantic wind generators in just about every state we were in (Texas, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming).

We also saw some things that were somewhat disturbing, such as the cattle lots outside of Greeley, Colo. We will not soon forget the smell from the seemingly millions of cattle being held in gigangtic feed lots. Also, the apparent poverty on the Indian Reservations is always disappointing. Casinos obviously are not benefiting everyone, even though they are everywhere. Then there were the state rest stops and gas stations, some were worse than others, a lot worse. Enough said about that.

Lochridge family reunion is on for next summer. Because no one will come to Texas in July, some of us discussed Montana -- Missoula/Philipsburg. They are pretty close. Pburg has a lot to offer: hiking to mining trails, Georgetown Lake, Philipsburg is a great place, RV, tenting areas... think about it.

Lastly, thanks to all of you who followed our wonderful little journey back in time. We thoroughly enjoyed sharing it with you!!

Mary & Paul

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Family pics

Paul nicely captured my brother Andy's gigantic house in Philipsburg, Mont. It has four rental units. Andy and Brenda live in one of the units and the others are being renovated. Andy has done all the work himself until recently. Of course the parents have helped when they visit him. The day we were there a guy he has hired had just put in new windows, the kind that stick out and you can put plants in them... Andy said it took the guy 5 hours to do what would have taken him the weekend to complete... See Manny in the bottom right-hand corner? Paul was in the car when he took the picture. BTW: Andy is on the town council.

View of area between Philipsburg and Anaconda, Mont. OK, we get it. Montana is beautiful.

Interesting business in Philipsburg. That is a saw sculpture of Sasquatch.

Here's Flathead Lake taken on the mile walk up to my parent's house in Lakeside, Mt. Not bad. It is one of the more beautiful places in this country. My parents' place is an older A-frame across the road from the lake, up a hill. My kids call it the "tree house" because it is surrounded by trees and not really visible until you reach the bottom of their driveway. I really hate that I didn't take any pics of their house. Next time.

Here's my handsome brother Andy holding what is believed to be fossilized palm tree found in the area around Philipsburg, a gift he gave to us. Paul gave him a painting. And, Paul , also handsome, is holding his carved bear he bought in Philipsburg.

Here's my dad, brother John, and mom at the classic boat show in Lakeside, Mt. on Flathead Lake. They are pretty classic themselves. John always makes your stay more fun. He's probably the family favorite... we all admire that he has been working with at risk boys for 25ish years. The folks were gracious hosts, their place looks great. They both looked great. My mom continues to look 20 years younger than she is.

Missing Mika

I has been tough not having Mika on the trip. However there was so much time spent driving,she would have hated it It appears that the bears treat family pets as food, and I did not want to lose her to a bear.

Maybe a shorter trip, say to Padre island would be good for Mika, and I could get more inspiration for my paintings. It is crazy, but there are no palm trees in Montana. Go figure!

1300 miles since yesterday morning. I am exhausted and hope to make it home soon, but it may not be until Thursday, late. Oh well, it has been a beautiful drive. We live in a great country.

Bye, bye Montana

It is day 12, 6:30 a.m. as I write this from Sheridan Wyoming... It was bittersweet saying goodbye to my folks yesterday, but we also are missing home (kids, dogs). We got to spend time with my brother Andy in Philipsburg, Mt., on the way. It's an historic mining town, great Main Street: we shopped and ate. Andy showed us his GIGANTIC compound really at the end of the town's main street (Broadway). In addition to a four apt. complex, his land continues up the hill where there is plenty room for Brenda's chickens and greenhouses and Andy's wood pile for the house's wood burning stove/forced air unit. Andy looked great and it was wonderful to meet his Brenda.

We don't know how far we will get today. We discovered yesterday we don't really care for night driving. I will be posting more pics later!! Gotta get going.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

More pictures

My brother Jim had to play dog whisperer with his BIG dog Lola and tiny KoKo who believed he was alpha dog, but Lola disagreed. This was on Friday morning. Lots of fun!
My dad and little KoKo who my brother is dog-sitting...

At the top of Going to the Sun Road in Glacier.

Mountain top view.

This is part of the path UP to a lookout at Logan Pass, the summit of Going to the Sun Road.

This rock bridge on the Going to the Sun Road is one of the more famous features.

From my parent's front porch in Lakeside.
Irelyn and others in Missoula.

At Jim & Dawn's house in Missoula.
Adorable and crazy Lochridges: Teya (pink), Danny (hat), Eddy (no shirt), & Irelyn (white shirt). Boys belong to Jim and Dawn, girls belong to Dan and Lorie.
Manny at Idaho rest area, getting close to Montana border!!!

Idaho potato field.

Palisades resevoir in Idaho.

It's still there, but older - just like us

We made it!! This is where we stood 30 years ago and said "I do!" Just like us, the campgroun appeared to have aged. 30 years ago the structure where we got married had been newly built by my family members and others. Today it is weather-worn and seemed a little darker. Still, it was sweet to be there.

My brother John, Paul and I also visited the Dew Drop Inn. That was almost unrecognizable. Gambling machines line the walls and there are no tables to sit at. It is for sale: $1 million, but they will negotiate. Ha.

We then went into Glacier Park and drove the Going to the Sun Highway. It was of course spectacular - and scary. We hiked up (and up and up) to a lookout (Ok, John and Paul made it there, I fell short by about a half mile).

Frank and Shirley (my parents) stayed behind. It has been so great to spend time with them. Today we went to a classic boat show here in Lakeside and every person we were introduced to says how wonderful they are, how they have done so much for the community, how they like them yada, yada. They ARE wonderful people.

Before we got here we stayed overnight Wednesday in Missoula with my brother Jim and his wife Dawn and kids Danny and Eddy. We got to spend time with my nephew Dan and his wife Lorie and kids Irelyn and Teya. It was a nice end to a looong drive. Of course we watched the USA women soccer beat Brazil for Olympic Gold!! Then we headed out...
Droppings contest:
We got one guess on the droppings - Debbie Bishop - who will win the grand prize. She guessed raccoon, which we think is wrong. My nephew's book of such things shows it likely was elk for the larger scat and maybe fox for the small stuff. GOOD GUESS Debbie!! We not sure what your prize will be, but it will be good!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Last day in Wyoming

Today we put about 100 miles on the car. Went to Jackson Lake for those of you who are familiar with this park. It's the biggest lake inside the park and home to a fancy lodge. Below are some of today's pictures. We saw a MOOSE and a BEAR!! Needed binoculars to see them, but we are pretty confident of what we saw. Also, we took pics of some animal droppings and are offering a prize for the first person to ID them correctly.We are excited about heading on to Montana tomorrow, but will miss Wyoming.

Missoula people:
We will call when we get close. Thinking it will be early eve. Don't plan to feed us or anything, we are self-contained. We will certainly be thirsty tho... All we really require is a big TV to watch the women's national soccer team win Olympic GOLD!! It should be airing Thursday morning around 9. See ya soon!!

What are these??

Tell us what these droppings are and you win a prize!!! We came upon them on our hike around Jackson Lake.

Day 5 in pictures

Beautiful Jackson Lake inside Grand Teton National Park.

The dark black thing in the middle IS a bear.

That black dot in the upper middle part of picture IS a moose.

Jackson Lake Lodge. Paul bought his new hat there.

On our way to Jackson Lake. Wish I could take credit for this gorgeous pic, mostly it's just point and click- mother nature/God/Allah/etc. get the credit.

Paul's latest artwork and yes Mika is in this painting.

Happy Anniversary Day

Here we are getting married 30 years ago today!! Below are several pictures of the event. Thanks for letting us share with you. Paul likes to say it feels like just 10 minutes (pause) under water. Humor is a lot of what attracted me to Paul, and has kept us us together all these years. Love to all and feel free to share any of your memories of the event .

The wedding party: Nephew Eric Lochridge with mom Jan Lochridge-Long (both in Rapid City, SD), and John Trommater on the end (Vorhees, NJ).
I love this pic: that's my Grandma Lochridge standing next to me and my Grandma Eskelson with Paul. They were wonderful women.
Bride with 5 brothers: John (Spokane, Wash), Jim (Missoula, Mont), Frank (we lost him 6 years ago to cancer), Andy (Philipsburg, Mont.) and Charlie (Laughlin, Nev.)
Bride's parents Frank and Shirley Lochridge (Lakeside, Mont.) and Lew Stickney (we lost her 3 years ago) with the newly weds. I love how we were gazing into each other's eyes. Awww.
Sweet Grandma Eskelson and Uncle John Lochridge (Colorado Springs) pitch in the night before chopping veggies.
Little brother Jim helping with food prep.

Niece Kara Lochridge (Boston, married last month to Amos Blanton) sneaking a taste of the wedding cake. Brother John eating the feast he helped prepare.

Here are the flowers and ferns picked and arranged by my Aunt Mary Lochridge (Colorado Springs) and Paul's mom Lew. They were perfect and such a nice personal touch!!