Monday, July 28, 2014

Cowboy Take Me Away

Today was a day in Montana. As we were coming out of the Western Montana mountains one of my favorite satellite radio stations started playing the Dixie Chicks' hit song "Cowboy Take Me Away." It felt like a fitting song to be the theme for our daylong drive through Montana.

The day started bright and early in Coeur d'Alene where we got a cup of coffee at a cute local place with a nice and flavorful latte. The next 100 miles were filled with curvy mountain roads with beautiful views, tourist traps, and little cell reception.

Lunch was spent at a wildlife area. The view and break from the road was worth it. Who knew the first picnic table would be 3 miles down a dirt road? Never a dull moment on a trip with us.

A mid afternoon break was spent in Bozeman visiting a local brewery called 406 Brewing. They had a nice IPA and we learned a little about the alcohol laws of Montana. Each customer when they come in is given a piece of paper with a pint glass on it. As one orders they mark off how many ounces you have had. You are allowed 48 ounces or 3 pints. We just had one but it was still interesting.

We arrived in Billings after 500 miles on the road and checked into our Dude Ranch themed motel from the 1940s. The bathroom is orange and yellow, but the motel is located downtown so it is convenient. Dinner was had at Montana Brewing Company and now we are in the room watching one of our favorite shows about a sheriff in Wyoming.

Tomorrow we travel through Wyoming to South Dakota. Dennis hopes we don't have as many construction zones as we did today.

At the end of they day I feel a nice tired and am enjoying the "wild blue yonder".

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Confessions from Day 1

I have a confession to make...I am drinking boxed wine tonight. I know what happened right? Isn't boxed wine the pink stuff you found in your grandparents fridge? It used to be but several good wineries are now making a boxed option for camping or for a road trip.

On our road trip today we visited a winery called Badger Mountain in Kennewick Washington. The woman in the tasting room was a teacher originally from Nebraska who was friendly and fun. The boxed wine wasn't on the tasting menu but when she found out about our road trip she gladly let us sample some. The boxed wine is organic and should last several weeks after opened. When on the road why not?

Other highlights on the trip from Portland to Coeur d'Alene Idaho included:
Stonehenge in Goldendale Washington
Goose Ridge Winery in Kirkland which had some of my new favorite red wines
No-Li Brewing in Spokane with a great server whose mom is from Wisconsin and looked like Thomas Rhett
Dinner at a baseball themed restaurant that was featured on Diners Drive-ins and Dives where I had a drink called 49ers suck! (Love it)
A walk along the longest floating pier with an amazing sunset over the lake.

Tomorrow brings Montana. Time to cowboy (or cowgirl) up!

...having trouble with photos on my iPad promise to add soon.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Why a road trip?

The Road Trip. The great America journey that reminds us of eras gone by. Groups of friends or families seeing the country, trying their hand at a new fortune, or even just going where the road takes you.

As Dennis and I head out on our road trip tomorrow morning I find myself asking the question, why aren't we flying? It is a question that I have been asked several times in the past months. Realistically it is probably cheaper to fly and you could be at your destination in just a few hours, as opposed to several days. But I think the real question is why not a road trip?

We have the chance to take two weeks off work and see places we have never been. The list of all the places I will see and experiences I will have keep rolling through my mind. I can't wait to visit small towns, see vast farmland, gorgeous mountains, and everything in between.

There is a current country song by Miranda Lambert entitled "Automatic". The song describes a simpler time and how many of life's experiences have changed drastically over the past several years. Remember when maps weren't on your phone, but in a big book or a large paper that folded out? That is my soundtrack for this trip.

My goal over the next two weeks is to live. Not just go about my normal routine, but embrace the chance to try something new.

Road trip here we come!