A Travellerspoint blog

Montana

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August 27, 2012
We left Ironwood around 9am and had a nice leisurely drive along route 2 toward North Dakota. Has anyone noticed as soon as you gas up at $3.89, you go 20 miles down the road and there’s a station selling gas for $3.74. What’s up with that! Ok I’m whining. We are seeing more and more color in the trees the further West we go. There are miles and miles of farm land, with corn, hay, soy and sunflower fields. Many small towns dot the landscape. We spent the night in Grand Forks and dined at Joe Blacks. We ordered a pizza and wondered if it was enough for two. Then the 16 inch pizza was dropped at the table and wow, it was huge. We ended up taking some back to the hotel and will use it tomorrow for lunch on the road.

August 28, 2012

We were off and running this morning, with pizza in tow, around 8:30. We saw more farm country and rolling hills for miles and miles. They are also doing shale oil drilling in North Dakota and there are thousands of rigs dotting the landscape. It doesn’t seem to interfere with the farming but the traffic is awful. And the infrastructure has not caught up with the drilling. You have to see it to believe it. We had bad luck with getting a hotel for the night and not much of a selection. The last hotel was booked and the lady at the desk was nice enough to call Fort Peck and book us a room. Only a 14 mile detour but we have a bed. It’s an interesting place to say the least. The hotel is very old with very old rooms and baths. The sitting area with bar has a big fireplace with many mounted animals over the mantel and on the walls. We had dinner at a local pub in town. In fact it was the only pub in town. The food was good and the patrons were really local. Great people who like to hunt and fish. Check out the pictures they are worth a thousand words. We also found out at the bar in town that the place we are staying is haunted by a young girl. We asked the manager and she said that there have been sighting. Don’t you think this is something we might want to know before check in! Well it is off to bed with one eye open and trying to adjust to our second time change.

August 29, 2012

Ok, if your morning starts off bad, the day can only get better. We were just a few miles from Fort Peck, when from out of nowhere these flashing light came on behind us. Yes, it was the police informing me that I had just broke several speeding laws. Oh, you must mean where the speed limit drops from 70 MPH to 25 MPH in the space of 100 yards. Anyway, we negotiated the fine down to $55.00 cash and we were on our way. The ride to Missoula MT was a change in altitude and scenery. The rolling planes and golden fields of hay and corn gave way to mountains and rivers. When we left this morning we were at two thousand feet and when we crossed over Rogers Pass we topped out at about six thousand feet and passed the continental divide. We arrived in Missoula, checked into the motel and then it was off to dinner. No bar food to night. We had a nice bottle of Kendall Jackson and a steak dinner. We are back at the hotel planning our route to Idaho tomorrow.
Bob and Annette

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Heading West

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August 25, 2012
We had a slow morning and afternoon. Annette and Sherri seem to have a slight touch of some bug. They both have sore throats and Sherri can hardly talk. Norm doesn’t seem to mind this issue as much as Sherri. Hum! Norm and I went for a ride to gas up the boat and drop some stuff off at the car. We spent the rest of the day chatting and doing the I pad, I Pod thing while Sherri and Annette did some prep work for the get together at Ed and Phyllis’s tonight. Everyone manage to squeeze in a short nap before we set out for the evening. It was a nice gathering with lots of great food and some really great people. We had a fun time with lots of wine. Norm gave us a nice leisurely boat ride back to the house and we enjoyed one more glass of wine and some late night conversation and then it was off to bed.

August 26, 2012

It’s a sad morning because we have to leave Norm and Sherri and there beautiful home on the lake. Sherri still has a horse throat and Norm is still smiling. That’s just a joke, he really does feel bad. We can't thank you enough for all your hospitality. Anyway, after hugs and kisses it was off on our next adventure. Norm gave us directions for a scenic drive along the Northern part of Lake Michigan and the Southern part of Lake Superior. It was a very nice drive with some great sights. We stopped for lunch in Munising MI at Falling Rock Café and Bookstore. They have great food and lots of sweet treats if you are interested in taking the plunge. Also, the leaves are already starting to change color in some areas. Fall is in the air. We are currently in Ironwood Michigan for the evening. It’s right on the border of Wisconsin. We had a nice dinner at the Iron Nugget Restaurant. Things got a little batty when a bat invaded, sending patrons running. One of the waiters finally coaxed it out the door, with the help of a broom. You can’t make this stuff up. Annette and I hope all our friends in Florida are doing ok. It looks like you have escaped the big one. Stay safe and let us know how you all made out.
Bob and Annette

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Norm and Sherri

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August 23, 2012
After coffee on the gazebo we had a late breakfast and then a cruise around the lake. The lake was nice and flat again today and the scenery was beautiful. Norm and Sherri were the cruise directors and Annette and I just sat back and took in the sights. We made a few stops on the way back. We stopped at Ed and Phyllis’s to pick up our salmon dinner and another stop at the car to get our tennis rackets. Yes folks there is tennis here on the island, you just have to boat around to get there. We played tennis for an hour or so then headed back for showers and cocktails. Do you see a pattern here? Too much tennis! We had a nice dinner then another I phone, I pad and laptop duel on the lounge chairs. Next thing you know its 10pm and time for bed. The time is passing quickly and we will be leaving this lovely part of paradise in a few days. But before we leave we have one more round of golf with the guy’s tomorrow morning and the girls are off to get their hair done.

August 24, 2012

It was not looking very good this morning for golf. There were thunder storms in the area and a few rain drops on the way to the golf course. I did manage to bring my own clubs with me this time, however it didn’t do much for my game. Norm was replacing my Garmin for directions and we somehow managed to overshoot the golf course by, let’s say a few miles. We were a little late but only missed the first hole. Norm, Ed and I did not play our best games but Ray was on and managed to hold up the team. I think I had high score again but I’m not really sure, Ed stop adding when you reach 100. It was a fun day and when it’s all said and done, the beer was cold after golf. Annette and Sherri returned with their hair all done and exhausted from all that shopping. It was martini night at the Young’s and Norm was the shaker man. We couldn’t find the olives so we had to settle for a twist of lemon. Norm and Sherri even showed off their dancing moves. Strictly sixties vintage and Norm gets the nod as best moves seen to date. After dinner it was movie night. Annette made it through the first 5 minutes before retiring. Sherri almost made the end and Norm and I made it all the way. It’s our last day tomorrow and we are sad to see it coming to an end.
Bob and Annette

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Norm and Sherri

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August 20, 2012
Today is our youngest son’s birthday. So happy birthday Craig, hope you are enjoying your birthday present, on the Vineyard. We got off to a tough start this morning with the Garmin doing some funky stuff. We actually had to find our way back out of the city, to the highway, without assistance. How did we ever get around without GPS? We had to reset the Garmin back to all the original settings, after that, we were off to Sault Ste Marie or as it’s called by the natives, the Soo. The line to customs was backed up for a mile, so it took an hour to get through. I was being drilled by the customs agent and Annette was on the phone with Sherri getting directions. The agent said, could you please ask your wife to put the phone down so I can see her face. I think see was looking for a pat down, but no luck. We hooked up with Norm and Sherri at the hardware store and after hugs and kisses we were off to tour the Soo. We were lucky to catch a ship coming through the locks. It’s amazing to watch a 730 foot ship, the Saguenay from Duluth Minnesota, work its way through and all the people and effort that go in to making the whole operation work. We were going to dinner with Norm and Sherri and Norm’s cousin Linda and her husband Barry at Karl’s Cuisine in the Soo. The food was very good and most of us tried the white fish, which was outstanding. After dinner it was off to Norm and Sherri’s cabin on Marquette Island. They have a beautiful home that overlooks the water with a gazebo for sipping your morning coffee or cocktails in the evening. And of course Sherri’s flowers are beautifully positioned all over the deck and the boat dock. After catching up on the latest action is was off to bed wondering what was on the docket for tomorrow.

August 21, 2012

What a beautiful morning, plenty of sunshine and no wind. So we took the opportunity to set off to Mackinac Island for the day. The waters of Lake Huron were smooth as glass and from what we understand that doesn’t happen very often. Norm was the boat commander and Sherri was chief navigator. Annette and I just relaxed, enjoyed the scenery and left the driving to the pros. After docking the boat it was time for lunch. We ate lunch at the Chippewa Hotel Harbor View Restaurant. The food was great and the company was even better. We walked around town dodging all the pasture patties form the horses that are the main mode of transportation next to the bike. We opted for a horse drawn carriage ride to tour the island. The driver was very nice and our two horses Lola and Sharon did a great job hauling us around. That’s Sharon with one R. I’ll let you decide who is who. Maybe Dick will have some input when he sees the pictures. We toured the fort, did a little shopping and then headed back to Norm and Sherri’s. Ed and Phyllis were coming for dinner. They arrived and after cocktails in the gazebo we had a wonderful dinner and some great conversation. After Ed and Phyllis headed back to their island we settled in with our I pads, I phones and laptops to play games and catch up on the happenings around the world. What are we coming to? Anyway it was off to bed and thoughts about what tomorrow will bring.
Bob and Annette

August 22, 2012

It’s another beautiful morning with temps in the 70’s. We had a wonderful breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast. Everything you need to get you through the day. Norm and I headed off to run errands and then play a round of golf at Hessel Ridge Golf course. Nice 18 hole course with many challenging holes. I arrived at the course only to find out I had Annette’s clubs and not my own. Not that there is anything wrong with her clubs but I need an excuse, so why not blame the clubs. Anyway it was a great game and I did manage to have high score again. Funny story, Norm was looking for his ball and found another ball, Nike MOJOE. So he asked me if I wanted a ball and what the heck I lost a few balls, I’ll take it. We were on the 17th hole and I pulled one left and we found it on the 18 fairway. I hit my next shot back on the 17th fairway and was ready to hit my next shot, when this lady comes charging through the woods accusing me of hitting her ball. Well come to find out we were both playing the same ball. She seemed al little upset, so I asked her if she wanted the ball back, when out of the blue she called me a dumb Fx?!. Well, this might be true but I had the ball and she had to take the stroke. Norm and I laughed all the way down the 18th and most of the way home. We took quick showers and headed over to Ed and Phyllis’s for cocktails and ribs. It was a great night with some outstanding food and great conversation. Thanks Ed and Phyllis for a great evening and the beautiful sunset. Well, we are back at the house with our I pads, and laptops and getting ready to hit the hay.
Bob and Annette.

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Mt Washington and travel to Canada

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August 17, 2012
We had rain early but it cleared up later in the morning. Annette and I took a ride to Mt. Washington and went for a short hike. Nice hike through the pines and around the river. Part of the hike was on the Appalachian Trail that starts at Springer Mt. GA and ends in Mt Katahdin Maine, 2184 miles long. We have hiked parts of the trail in the White Mountains but that’s a long way from doing the whole trail. Maybe in another life! We spent some time at the Pinkham Notch Visitors Center, before we headed back for a quick shower and hooking up with Sharon and Dick for dinner at their chalet. After dinner and conversation we headed back to the condo to start packing. I miscalculated how long the drive would be to Norm and Sherri’s. The last time, we only stopped once in Canada, however we left from NY. Leaving from NH makes it a two stop trip. So it’s off tomorrow morning for Ottawa Canada. One of the pictures attached is the Covered Bridge in Jackson NH. It is one of the many of these 100 year old bridges that dot the landscape in NH and VT. They were in the news several months back when some severe flooding destroyed several of them. Some things just ca't be replaced.

August 18, 2012

Rain again this morning but it cleared up quickly. We were on the road by 9am for the next leg of our adventure. We took the ferry from Burlington VT to Port Kent NY. Nice 45 minute ride with some nice scenery along Lake Champlain. The rest of the ride to Ottawa is through mostly wooded areas and small towns. It’s amazing that you are only 5 miles away from a major city and still in the woods. We settled in to our hotel and then went for a walk to the Black Irish Pub for dinner and a cold beer. The food was good and the beer was great. Back to the room and we will see what tomorrow brings.

August 19, 2012
If you are ever in Ottawa, do not stay at the Econo Lodge in downtown. It is a dump, with a capitol D. The A/C sounded like a diesel truck, the television didn’t work and someone’s dog was barking for two hours in the middle of the night. And it wasn’t even a real dog, just one of those irritating yep ones. Ok, now that I have that off my chest, today is a travel day from Ottawa to Sudbury Canada. Some off and on rain but nothing serious. . We had breakfast in a small café in Arnprior. The waitress was great and made me try maple syrup with my sausage. It definitely kicked the taste up. I mentioned to her about trying Michel’s favorite, ice cream with maple syrup and she said that she would try that tonight. We stopped in North Bay for coffee and a quick look around before driving the last two hours to Sudbury. The last two hours always seems like forever. The scenery along the way was spectacular. There were many lakes and rivers following Trans Canada 17 highway. The small towns along the way provide places to lunch and shop. We are settled in at the hotel and no complaints. And the best part, we had enough points for a free night. Dinner and a good night sleep is on the agenda and then off to see Norm and Sherri in the morning. We should be there sometime early afternoon.
Bob and Annette

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