National Forests

Big News

We have been in North Carolina for almost two weeks now. We had to unexpectedly cut our time in Tennessee short to head back to NC on business. In the end, it seems to have been Providence. And we have big news

We have had a most wonderful 6 months traveling the country in our RV. It was such a huge blessing! But, I have really been struggling with UC for several months now and we have all decided that the best thing for our family right now is to move into a house. We found a great house just outside of Asheville, NC. So, a new adventure begins!

I just want to clarify one thing… traveling did not make me sick. Traveling did not make me sicker. I was sick in my house before leaving on this trip. It is no harder to be sick in an rv than it is in a house. The reasons we are moving into a house have nothing to do with being sick and everything to do with convenience for myself and my family while I am sick. For example, four people sharing one bathroom when one of those people has a UC flare – not convenient! LOL! (I just don’t want to give the impression that a disease can/should stop you from doing the things you want to do. You can be sick just as well in one place as another… it is just a matter of comfort.) So, live life and be happy! Chose your own limitations and don’t let anyone else determine what you can or cannot do!

Here are some pictures of our visit to a local apple orchard and Pisgah National Forest two weeks ago when the leaves were just beginning to change –



Categories: going mobile, IBD, National Forests, North Carolina, Ulcerative Colitis | 3 Comments

Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills


The purpose of the memorial is to communicate the founding, expansion, preservation, and unification of the United States with colossal statues of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. –Gutzon Borglum









Yesterday we visited Black Hills National Forest and Mt. Rushmore. The drive through the Black Hills was lovely. It was a refreshing change to be surrounded by so many trees.  I have, of course, seen pictures of Mt. Rushmore, but it was quite a thing to see in person. I can’t begin to imagine the amount of skill and ingenuity it took to create such a sculpture! It is really quite amazing!












Categories: National Forests, National Monuments, South Dakota | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Bridger-Teton National Forest

We have been so busy having fun that I haven’t had time or energy for blogging. Soooo, I am a bit behind again. Rather than making one very long blog post, I am going to break it up into smaller pieces.


I’ll start with Thursday. We spent the afternoon in Bridger-Teton National Forest. We followed Granite Creek up to the Granite Hotsprings.  In the 1930’s the CCC built a pool for the spring water to flow into, but we hadn’t brought our swim things with us, so we didn’t end up swimming. Too bad.


Here are a few pictures from our day and a photo of a bridge for sale along the side of the road that caught our eye.













Categories: National Forests, Wyoming | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Teton and Yellowstone

This is an exciting day! My sister gave birth to a little boy this afternoon. Congratulations to John and Katie and the three big sisters!  I have now been blessed with 21 nieces and nephews! 

So… I have fallen behind in blogging. We had a wonderfully busy weekend and then Monday I had a terrible headache all day, so I will try to get a little caught up now. And I am sorry this post is so long. Friday we were back in Teton to hike a trail that skirted beautiful Jenny Lake. Saturday, Nick and George had a wonderful adventure exploring a wind cave in Targhee National Forest (hopefully he’ll blog about that tomorrow). Sunday we spent the day in Yellowstone National Park. I should say we spent *most* of the day in Yellowstone, because we were actually in two national parks, 3 states (Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho), 3 national forests and a wilderness area before the day was done. It was quite a day!

Hiking around Jenny Lake on Friday


Sunday we drove through Teton, making a few stops, to get to Yellowstone.











Visiting the AMAZING Yellowstone National Park


A picnic lunch at Lewis Lake (Luckily, we did not encounter Yogi Bear!)











We saw Old Faithful and other geysers erupt. Very cool!






















The Lewis River and Nez Perce Creek











Wildlife! We saw a lot of really awesome things in Yellowstone, but the wildlife was definitely the highlight!  Most of the creatures we saw in the park were along the Nez Perce Creek (coyote, elk, and buffalo).



















I wish I would have gotten more pictures of Idaho, but we were all tired by the end of the day and a storm was approaching so we just wanted to get home.  In any case, the farm land was so lovely and I have never seen so many wildflowers. It was absolutely delightful! Here are a couple of pictures of the the Tetons from the Idaho side.

The Tetons have loomed up grandly against the sky. From this point it is perhaps the finest pictorial range in the United States or even North America. -Thomas Moran, while painting the Tetons from the Idaho side, 1879


Categories: Idaho, Montana, National Forests, National Parks, wildlife, Wyoming | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Happy 4th of July from Wyoming

One flag, one land, one heart, one hand, One Nation evermore! -Oliver Wendell Holmes

Happy 4th of July from beautiful Pinedale, Wyoming!  We are staying in a great little rv park that borders on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. I love Wyoming! It is spacious and empty and wonderfully serene. In the midst of this crazy, busy world, I truly appreciate the peaceful solitude of this place.

Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.  -Theodore Roosevelt

The beautiful rv park where we are staying. Most of the land you see in this picture is actually national forest.

The beautiful rv park where we are staying. Most of the land you see in this picture is actually national forest.

We heard a strange squeaking sound coming from the grass just outside our rv. We discovered countless burrows and saw at least a dozen prairie dogs scampering about. Here is one of our little neighbors.

We heard a strange squeaking sound coming from the grass just outside our rv. We discovered countless burrows and saw at least a dozen prairie dogs scampering about. Here is one of our little neighbors.

This forest is just beautiful!

This forest is just beautiful!

We will be spending our day in the Grand Teton National Park appreciating this beautiful country and the blessing it is to live here.

Categories: National Forests, National Parks, rv parks, wildlife, Wyoming | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

A Change of Plans

Continuing on the theme of not having enough time…

We have decided to wait to visit Yosemite National Park until the spring. This will give us more time to spend there and really enjoy it when we do go. It is not a place to rush through. Waiting will also give us more time to spend at Teton and Yellowstone this summer. Though we were really excited to be heading to Yosemite, this is definitely the best plan.

Yesterday we took a scenic drive through Lassen National Forest and the Sierra Nevada Mountians to Reno. Later this afternoon we will be headed for The-Middle-of-Nowhere, Nevada. We are loving this adventure!


Categories: National Forests, Nevada | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

On the Road Again

We had such an amazing time at Redwood National and State Parks!  It is awe inspiring, to say the least, to stand among the tallest trees in the world.  We wish we had more time to spend there, but a year isn’t as long as it seems. We just don’t have enough time to stay in all the places we’d like to linger or even enough time to visit all of the places and things we’d like to see.

Yesterday afternoon we began our journey towards Yosemite. We made a brief stop in the Six Rivers National Forest before heading on to the Shasta Trinity National Forest. Both forests were lovely. The drive, up and down mountains on twisty-turny roads, was a bit stressful and took a toll on our brakes.  Pulling a travel trailer makes traveling a whole different experience! We are staying near Shasta Lake for a day or two before moving on to Sacramento.

Six Rivers National Forest


George found a centipede

Shasta Trinity National Forest


Trinity River and a beautiful rainbow after a brief shower in Shasta Trinity National Forest

Categories: California, National Forests, wildlife | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Redwood, Some REALLY Tall Trees

We have spent two chilly, wet, fabulous days in the Redwood Forest.  Redwood National and State Parks are amazing! Amazing! I am incapable of capturing the grandness, height, and beauty in my words or pictures. If you have never been to the Redwoods, you really should see these awesome trees for yourself.

“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It’s not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.” -John Steinbeck, Travels With Charley: In Search of America

(click on pictures to view them larger)





























It is a tree lovers paradise. And even if you are not the tree hugger type, this just might make a lover out of you.
























Monday my husband wanted to hike Fern Canyon in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. The 8 mile drive to the canyon was fantastic with tall moss covered trees and ferns all along the road. Towards the end of the drive the ocean comes into view. Just lovely!











Unfortnately, I was having an IBD day and the bumpy ride was not helpful. I rested in the car while my family hiked. My husband said that it was one the most beautiful places he has ever visited. He brought back these pictures from Fern Canyon.



I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.  -e.e. cummings

Categories: California, IBD, National Forests, National Parks, state parks, wildlife | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

Heading South




We have spent the past two days heading south. Late Saturday morning we left Newport and headed down the Oregon coast. Highway 101 is a beautifully scenic drive. The picturesque views of the ocean are excellent. There are numerous state parks all along the coast. They are lovely and right on the ocean providing terrific views of the Pacific, hiking, and camping. Well done, Oregon! Well done!















We stopped at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area along the way.











We visited the Coquille River Lighthouse and spent some time at Bullards Beach.




















Saturday night camped at the lovely Bullards Beach State Park. The campsites were spacious and afforded a rare amount of privacy. The beach was only a short walk away.


Unlike yesterday’s beautiful sunshine, today was rather blustery. It was rainy, dreary, and gray. And though I was missing the sun, I must say that the mist and fog added to the charms of Oregon and California’s rugged coastlines.












We are staying along the Klamath River tonight.










Tomorrow I will write about our Redwood Forest adventures. BIG TREES = BIG ADVENTURE

Categories: California, National Forests, National Parks, Oregon, state parks | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Mount Hood and the Historic Timberline Lodge

After a less than exciting morning of washing laundry and grocery shopping, we headed up to Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge.  I don’t think I have ever visited Oregon without visiting the lodge. We hadn’t scheduled time for it, but we delayed our move to the coast an extra day because I had to go. It’s tradition. The kids are all old enough now to appreciate its history and craftsmanship, which was great.  We all really enjoyed our time there. It was a lovely drive through the Mount Hood National Forest. Unfortunately, it was very cloudy and most of the mountain was not visible.

National Historic Landmark, Timberline Lodge was constructed during the Great Depression of the 1930’s by craftspeople working under the Federal Works Projects Administration. This stately Cascadian building was constructed of stone and large timbers and has been thoughtfully maintained. Publicly owned, and privately operated, Timberline Lodge is open to the public as a hotel, restaurant, and ski resort. Nearly two million visitors from all over the globe enjoy the lodge’s warm hospitality each year. Forest Service interpretive staff provide tours of the lodge. –

Learn more about the lodge’s interesting history here.

Cloud covered Mount Hood

Cloud covered Mount Hood


Categories: National Forests, Oregon | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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