Favorite places continued...the road West
There are so many, aren’t there? It occurs to me that if I don’t write about them, I’m liable to forget about them. Some of these are early memories and I don’t have the pictures anymore.
We traveled a LOT when I was growing up. Wonderful trips. Family vacations, which are always both wonderful and challenging. The most challenging was probably a trip, at least two weeks long, to Montana for a ski camp in June after school got out. 2+ weeks in a puce-colored station wagon - the one with the backwards-facing third back seat? - Mom, Dad, Nana, three girls between 12 and 17 and a German shepherd. All survived the drive from Maine to Montana and back, incredibly. There were some dodgy bits, creepy motels, strange and questionable food, short fuses. I don’t have fabulous memories of a motel in Granby, Quebec and the Granby Zoo. I remember horrifying traffic across the (old) Champlain Bridge through Montreal. I remember dense smog and shocking mine-scapes through Sudbury, Ontario. Crossing the international bridge at Sault-Ste-Marie was cool. The Upper Peninsula was wonderful, delicious fish suppers, fantastic dunes on Lake Superior. I don’t remember much of Wisconsin, we just zipped through. Stayed in Duluth which seemed nice. I absolutely loved North Dakota. We stayed in a nice little motel in Bismarck that had a supper club type restaurant with the best steak I’ve eaten in my life. I loved the Badlands, where I saw my first buffalo! and want to go back to explore North Dakota and Montana - that’s another story.
I had high expectations (sorry!) of Montana and they did not disappoint. Billings was great, though we weren’t there long. Red Lodge, the spectacular Beartooth Pass, on to stay at Cooke City / Silver Gate - and skiing on Henderson Mountain, seeing mountain goats and bighorn sheep nearby. A wonderful, friendly town in an absolutely gorgeous place, convenient to visiting Yellowstone.