The last day of July I headed to Kalispell, Montana to join my daughter, her boyfriend and his parents for a vacation. I was super excited and looked forward to using my new full frame camera.
My flight was delayed resulting in my missing my connecting flight in Denver so I spent the night there and completed my journey to Kalispell the next morning.
After unpacking, we hiked the Avalanche Trail the afternoon I arrived.
The next day, Tuesday, we hiked Piegan Pass.
Surprisingly after 2 days of hiking only my feet were sore.
Wednesday it was 60 degrees and raining so we changed plans and toured the Conrad Mansion Museum. Charles E. Conrad and his brother William established a shipping and freighting empire in Fort Benton, Montana Territory that eventually became the most important transportation center in Montana. When Charles moved to Kalispell he had an impressive 13,000 square foot home built.
Thursday we drove around Flathead Lake admiring all the beauty. Then I headed back home.
In Okemah there is an Woody Guthrie festival and we attended the 19th annual this year and shared a campsite with one of Keith’s high school alums. We saw a huge tree next to a park. Wonder what stories it could share with us!
We found a great spot in a cool air conditioned spot in the Brick Street building and listened for several hours as folk singers performed. Keith bought CDs of these two artists.
Then we attended an evening concert as well. Thankfully, the sun was going down and so was the temperature.
This is a festival we think we’d enjoy attending again.
We enjoyed an extended weekend of camping in Red Rock Canyon. This is the area where Keith’s great grandfather C.E. Garee found the Caddo Maple tree as he explained in his account:
History of Caddo Maple (Acer saccharum – Sugar Maple) Hard Maple About the late twenties I found in some canyons in Caddo County, some acer saccharum (sugar maple) that did not turn brown in August, but held the sap in the leaves so they could turn brilliant red and yellow at the approach of frost. I soon began selling a few of them, but cannot trace any of them now, except one. About the mid-thirties, Howard Jenson and I spent a Saturday in one of the canyons. Howard was head of the O.U. Landscape Dept. While I was getting small seedlings to plant in the nursery for later sale, he spent the day searching out and digging larger trees to plant on the campus. If you want to see any of the 16 trees resulting from that day’s work, drive over the campus on the approach of frost. You will not need to have them pointed out. Every one will show itself.
Recently, Robert Rucker, head of the Landscape Dept. and his foreman, Joe Peters (now deceased) have planted a lot of them and have grown a small nursery of them near the south edge of the grounds.
I have dubbed it “Caddo Maple” to distinguish it from hard maple from any other source, which up to now, have never failed to brown and lose their beauty in August. — C.E. Garee, Ed Garee’s Stories, page 13
Interestingly, the canyon is the only remaining site of native Caddo maple trees. I think it’s fascinating to retrace the steps of our ancestors.
This canyon area was a stop on the California Road and there are wagon wheel ruts still visible.
We enjoyed visiting a local museum, walking around the canyon, a relaxing campsite and hotdogs cooked on the outdoor grill.
The entrance/exit is quite steep and winding road and our truck did a great job pulling our trailer.
When we heard about the Pawnee Bill Original Wild West Show happening this weekend at the Pawnee Bill Ranch we decided to take our RV to Pawnee Lake for the weekend and see the show. There was plenty to see and do for 2 days was a wonderful experience.
A few pictures from the Pawnee Bill Original Wild West Show. We had seats that were close enough to be hit by the clods of dirt during the chariot racing.
The next day we enjoyed time at our campsite looking at the lake with a friendly dog.
Oklahoma has more than 200 lakes created by dams, which is more than any other state in the United States. So, we have plenty of lakes to choose from and this weekend we went to Lake Murray with my Dad and step mother. Our campsites were very close to the water’s edge and here you can see their trailer is in the foreground and ours is in the background.
This was our first camping together and I hope we have many more opportunities.
Saturday morning was very windy and chilly so we stayed inside and played cards most of the morning but by late afternoon it was a nice day.
The sunset was gorgeous!
For the second weekend in a row we went camping near Stillwater but this time we stayed at Lake Carl Blackwell, which was quite pretty. My mother’s day weekend included time with my kids, receiving a beautiful bouquet of flowers and special dark chocolate candy. My daughter and I worked on her flowerbed, it’s her first one ever.
That evening we had a nice meal and played dominoes as we watched the sunset.
For our first away from home camping in our RV we went to Lake McMurtry, which is near Stillwater where our daughter lives.
We had a very shady campsite and Saturday, Keith and I enjoyed basking in the sun with a gentle cool breeze.
On our drive into town there we several turkeys and I managed to snap a pic of one darting across the road.
Note: The same day we bought our RV my brother and sister-in-law shared that they are expecting a baby girl in September!
Over the past few years we’ve been toying with the idea of getting an RV. We borrowed my step-father’s motor coach after Thanksgiving 2013 and enjoyed a few days of RV camping. This past fall we rented a 25′ RV for two weeks to sightsee and experience a different type of RV.
In March we went to the RV show at the fairgrounds and learned a lot. We’ve done a bit of RV shopping for new & used and over the past several months Keith’s been researching and asking lots of questions of others who have an RV. Then last weekend we rented a bumper pull type trailer to try yet another type of RV.
Now that we sold our boat and have been doing lots of researching we are ready to get serious about purchasing an RV. Yesterday morning Keith noticed that there was an RV for sell that seemed pretty close to all the features and price we are looking for so we made a small road trip to Enid to see it. We looked the RV over pretty thoroughly then decided to sit down and discuss it over a nice cup of coffee at a local cafe.
We loved the coffee and decided we love the RV. We agreed upon a price and will pick it up later this week.
Sitting behind our truck, here’s the 2013 Keystone Cougar Xlite 25′ RET that will soon join our family.
We rented a bumper pull trailer to test out our truck’s limit to tow and did a bit of sightseeing at Lake Ouachita, Arkansas.
We arrived late on the first evening and didn’t have a site that had full hookups so the next day we moved to a different site. The lake was steps away at both sites.
My favorite camera lens stopped working properly right after I took this photo so the rest of my photos for the weekend were taken at a ridiculously high ISO or with my cell phone. Guess I’ll need to see if it can be repaired or buy a replacement lens.
Along the drive to our second campsite was this old railroad track.
Our journey this weekend had some interesting twists and turns that overall helped us feel more comfortable about a decision to purchase a trailer. Who knows what’s around the corner for us!
As I was getting my personalized tour of the small Oklahoma town where my Dad recently moved, we entered mule country apparently. Back road travels generally offer sights that city girls don’t see too often. Notice the dachshund is running to catch up while the horse inside the fence tries to engage the passersby. As they passed he turned and shook his head seemingly frustrated that he couldn’t go with them. The dachshund was not talking much but was sure interested.
This wagon, which is similar to the Sooner Schooner, is frequently in the local parades and, in order to keep the mules in practice plus enjoy gorgeous days, they go out for an afternoon stroll occasionally.
The other end of the wagon has signs that say “mule lovers are stable people” and “caution your entering mule country” while the family dog quietly lays down and peeks out of the doors that are open.