Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Road Trip

I am writing from Big Sky country, Montana. We are traveling into Wyoming today heading for Yellowstone National Park and then onto The Grand Teton National Park. By the time I get home, I will have been gone a month. It's fun to travel but I'm really ready to be home and sleep in my own bed. Living out of suitcases can get old pretty fast. Our cross country trek started off at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan for a week long workshop on hydrotherapy and natural remedies. This program was developed by Dr. Agatha Thrash, M.D. Wow! I was so inspired by this workshop. Home staging consultations are not what I had in mind when I pursued design but is what is available in a sluggish economy. I think, however, that I would have enjoyed naturopathy as a field of study. There was so much excellent information at this workshop that I would like to share with you! The program was mostly lead out by Dr. David DeRose, MD from Weimar Center of Health and Education and Don Miller, ND from Uchee Pines Institute. I am fascinated by natural methods of healing. There is something alluring about taking the road less traveled that attracts me to no end. So much to blog about on this topic, so little time.
Grand Hotel - Mackinac Island, Michigan
From Berrien Springs we headed up to quintessentially idyllic Mackinac Island. I really need to spend more time on this historic island. There are no cars allowed there . My kids got a real kick out seeing the horse drawn garbage collection buggy. We cycled the eight-mile loop around the island and left feeling like we just didn't spend enough time in such a gorgeous place.
Authentic Wells Fargo Stage Coach, 1880 Town - South Dakota
We traveled across the Upper Peninsula into Wisconsin and Minnesota. My family couldn't resist staying away from the Mall of America in Minneapolis and going on a couple of the rides at the theme park situated in the middle of this massive mall. From here we were off to the wild west. I felt like I was in some western movie as soon as we hit South Dakota. I never knew that there was so much to see and do in this state. My husband kept humming a tune from the old western films he watched when he was growing up. I couldn't help but think about what it must have been like for Lewis and Clark or Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family. I need to go back some time; I felt like we just scratched the surface there.
Mountain Goat, Glacier National Park- Montana

Do you see the line that traverses the mountain?  That's a road!  I white-knuckled it the whole way!  Logan Pass, Glacier National Park - Montana
During our trip we saw spectacular vistas at Glacier National Park, Montana and harvested wild huckleberries in grizzly country in northern Idaho. Aside from the famed novel by Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn, I had never heard of huckleberries. It turns out that huckleberries are the most highly prized berries out in those parts. My husband wanted to buy a huckleberry pie and came back with just a seven-dollar slice to share among the four of us. They were selling a pie for a whopping $42.00! A pound of freshly picked huckleberries can fetch between $40.00 and $50.00 wholesale. Talk about a pricey berry! When we experienced how long it took to harvest these dark succulent beauties, we understood why they are so highly prized. Not only do you have to look over you shoulder to be sure not to have any grizzly or mountain lion encounters, you also need to harvest from shrubs that stubbornly will grow only where they darn well please - which happens to be mostly in remote mountain tops.
Big Horn Sheep (Ram was not around) - Badlands, South Dakota

It thrills me to see wildlife in their natural setting. So much nicer than going to the zoo and seeing them in boring enclosures. Chancing upon a regal bull elk with a full, impressive rack or handfeeding skiddish prairie dogs just sends me to the moon. Anyone else get excited over such experiences?
Bison, Yellowstone National Park - Wyoming

Me and my kids (Nathan took the shot)

There is so much breathtaking beauty in this country of ours. From plains and prairies to fantastic sweeping mountain panoramas. It's no wonder that this land has been the muse of so many writers and artists striving to capture and convey the arresting beauty found in the varied landscapes. So much I want to see and do but time is limited! We'll save further exploration for another trip! Back to my regular blogging by next week!

Have a great day!