Category Archives: RVing

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Montana

State 24:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is

Montana

Montana became the 41st state on November 8, 1889. The capital is Helena.

We visited Glacier National Park in 2006 on our very first cross country RV trip. The National Park had just opened back up after a wildfire when we arrived at Johnson’s RV Park.  The smell of smoke was heavy in the air and many firefighters were still in the area. Our campsite sat on top of a hill overlooking St. Mary’s Lake.

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St. Mary’s Lake

Driving from the eastern entrance of Glacier National Park to the western entrance in West Glacier on the 55 mile long steep and curvy Going to the Sun Road was the highlight of our visit. After wandering around West Glacier we turned around and returned to St. Mary the same way we came. We also enjoyed exploring the St. Mary side of Glacier.

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Glacier National Park, Montana
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Glacier National Park, Montana
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Glacier National Park, Montana
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Glacier National Park, Montana

The next year we traveled to Montana again, this time to visit the Little Big Horn National Monument near Hardin. While we were in the area we made a day trip to Big Horn Canyon.

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana
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Little Bighorn Battlefield
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Bighorn Canyon

Earlier in that same trip we had gone through snow storms in Minnesota so we kept an eye out the weather after we left Hardin. We made a quick overnight stop in Garrison, Montana. Everything was fine when we went to sleep that night. The next day we woke up to several inches of snow. We were headed west with more snow moving towards us from the east so we skedaddled out of there as fast as we could and arrived safely at our next destination in Washington.

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After the storm in Garrison, Montana

Several years later we enjoyed spectacular scenery as we traveled through Montana on the way to Alaska. We spent a night at Cardwell Store and Campground and three nights in Great Falls before crossing into Alberta, Canada about 120 miles north of Great Falls.

Mountains in the distance in Cardwell, Montana
Mountains in the distance in Cardwell, Montana
Our Lady of the Rockies overlooking Butte, MT
Our Lady of the Rockies overlooking Butte, MT
Snow on the mountains between  Butte and Great Falls
It was snowing over the mountains between Butte and Great Falls

In Great Falls we took care of some business and stocked up on supplies before continuing north to Canada and Alaska. We also got to do a little sightseeing.

Statue honoring Lewis and Clark at the Visitor's Center
Statue honoring Lewis and Clark at the Visitor’s Center
Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls and Dam

On our way home from Alaska two and a half months later we spent two more nights in Montana as we traveled east towards Georgia.

A Bear cub with fish in our campsite in St. Regis, Montana
A Bear cub with fish in our campsite in St. Regis, Montana
Montana Sunrise
Montana Sunrise at Camp Three Forks

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana     Maine     Maryland     Massachusetts     Michigan     Minnesota    Mississippi     Missouri

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Missouri

State 23:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is

Missouri

Missouri became the 24th state on August 10, 1821. The capital is Jefferson City.

From the Mississippi River to the Lake of the Ozarks and many places in between, we had great adventures while in Missouri.

High on our bucket list of things to see in Missouri was the Gateway Arch at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis. Henry rode the elevator up to the top of the arch while I strolled along outside. We hopped on the MetroLink to explore some of the other sights in the city.

What fun it was to explore Hannibal and see so many places where Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer had their adventures.

Harry Truman State Park was a great place for camping and taking a walk on a nature trail.

Our home base for visiting Branson was Table Rock State Park.

One fall we planned a trip to Missouri to attend a football game at the University of Missouri in Columbia. In addition to enjoying a football weekend we also camped beside the Mississippi River at Trail of Tears State Park, enjoyed the spectacular fall colors at Lake of the Ozarks and went shopping at the first Bass Pro Shop in Springfield.

Moon rising over the Mississippi River
Moon rising over the Mississippi River at Trail of Tears State Park
Barge going down the river at sunset
A barge went by right before sunset at Trail of Tears State Park
There are 24 different Mississippi River Tales Murals on the floodwall in Cape Giradeau
There are 24 different Mississippi River Tales Murals on the floodwall in Cape Giradeau
University of Missouri Logo in the grass at the Mizzou Stadium
Fall Colors at Lake of the Ozarks
Fall colors at Lake of the Ozarks
The original and largest Bass Pro Shops

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana     Maine     Maryland     Massachusetts     Michigan     Minnesota    Mississippi

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Mississippi

State 22:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is

Mississippi

Mississippi became the 20th state on December 10, 1817. The capital is Jackson.

Our travels have taken us through Mississippi on two interstates and numerous state roads. Driving along the state roads we passed by the Jim Henson museum in his birthplace of Leland, B.B. King’s birthplace in Itta Bena, Tennessee Williams birthplace in Columbus, and many historic places along the Blues Trail,

Our wandering has taken us to Vicksburg twice. Both times we camped at the Ameristar Casino RV Park across the street from the Mississippi River. We enjoyed touring Vicksburg National Military Park and seeing the views of the Mississippi River.

The mighty Mississippi River in Vicksburg, Mississippi
The mighty Mississippi River in Vicksburg, Mississippi
Barge on the Mississippi River in Vicksburg
Barge on the Mississippi River in Vicksburg

Another one of our trips took us along I-10 through Mississippi. Buccaneer State Park was a great overnight stop. You can read more about our stay at A night on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Walking along the beach in Waveland, Mississippi
Walking along the beach in Waveland, Mississippi
Majestic oaks in the campground
Majestic oaks in Buccaneer State Park

While staying in a  campground across the Mississippi River in Arkansas we made a day trip to Greenville, Mississippi for some Tamales at Doe’s Eat Place. They were so delicious we made a return trip a couple of years later. More about the tamales at BBQ, Pie and Tamales.

Doe's Eat Place in Greenville, Mississippi
Doe’s Eat Place in Greenville, Mississippi
Three dozen Mississippi Delta hot tamales
Three dozen Mississippi Delta hot tamales

We traveled to Oxford in the fall of 2016 for a football weekend at Ole Miss. Friday afternoon downtown and tailgating at the Grove were fun, the game not so much. I posted about our stay here.

Tailgating Tents as far as the eye could see
Tailgaters in The Grove before a football game
Sunset over Sardis Lake
Sunset over Sardis Lake

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana     Maine     Maryland     Massachusetts     Michigan     Minnesota

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Michigan

State 20:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is

Michigan

Michigan became the 26th state on January 26, 1837. The capital is Lansing. Michigan is the only state with two peninsulas.

Our wandering around Michigan took us to three great lakes, two national lakeshores, huge sand dunes, magnificent waterfalls, a beautiful island with no motorized vehicles allowed, a lock connecting two great lakes, lighthouses, and gigantic cliffs.

Our Michigan journeys included camping in Muskegon State Park on Lake Michigan and in Lakeport State Park on Lake Huron.

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Swan in Muskegon Channel
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Beach on Lake Huron in Lakeport State Park

We picked a beautiful day to explore Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on Lake Michigan.

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Dune Climb at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
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450 feet above Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

We had a great view of the Mackinac Bridge from our campsite at Macinaw Mill Creek Campground. The campground was our home base for a visit to Mackinac Island.

Mackinac Bridge at sunset
Mama Swan with babies

 

After crossing the Mackinac Bridge we spent a few days in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, otherwise known as the UP. We spent a day marveling at the spectacular waterfalls in Tahquamenon (rhymes with phenomenon) Falls State Park.

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Upper Tahquamenon Falls
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Lower Tahquamenon-Falls

We drove up to Sault Ste. Marie for a look at the Soo Locks.

Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie
Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie

Another day was spent exploring Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

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Sable Falls
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Miner’s Castle
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Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Our campsite at Porcupine Mountains State Park was right next to the rocky shore of Lake Superior.

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We enjoyed seeing a few of Michigan’s Lighthouses.

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky     Louisiana     Maine     Maryland     Massachusetts

Wandering Around America One State at a Time – Louisiana

State 16:

Welcome to the next post in my series highlighting states we have visited throughout the years. I hope you will enjoy coming along for the ride!

I will be featuring the states alphabetically. The next state is

Louisiana

Louisiana became the 18th state on April 30, 1812  and the capital is Baton Rouge.

Ever since I started working on this post about Louisiana the following lyrics from the Hank Williams song “Jambalaya (on the Bayou)” have been going through my head.

Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and fillet gumbo
‘Cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o
Son of a gun we’ll have big fun on the bayou

Each time we visited Louisiana we tried as much of the delicious local food as we could get. We sampled everything – boudin, crawfish etoufee, gumbo, dirty rice, cracklins, shrimp po’ boys and more! Chef Paul Prudhomme’s K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen  in New Orleans served up one of the most amazing meals I’ve ever had. Is your mouth watering yet?

We’ve visited New Orleans three times – twice to watch our Georgia Bulldogs play in the Sugar Bowl and once to take our children when they were young. We wandered around the French Quarter, attended a performance of New Orleans Jazz at Preservation Hall, rode a streetcar to the Garden District, took a riverboat ride on the Mississippi River, chowed down on amazing Cajun food, and of course had coffee and beignets at Cafe Du Monde.

New Orleans Jackson Square
New Orleans Jackson Square
Cafe du Monde
Cafe du Monde
Calle D Borbon
Calle D Borbon

There is so much more to Louisiana than food and music. Our lake front campsite at Lake Bistineau State Park was perfect for watching the wading birds search for food among the huge cypress trees on the banks of the lake.

Great Blue Heron at Lake Bistineau
Great Blue Heron at Lake Bistineau
Great Egret in Lake Bistineau
Great Egret in Lake Bistineau
Lake Bistineau
Lake Bistineau

The rain didn’t stop us from enjoying our campsite on one of the ponds at Poche’s Fish N Camp. After a delicious meal at Poche’s Meat Market and Smokehouse I stocked up on Cajun goodies like homemade boudin, Andouille sausage and tasso ham to take home.

Pavilion at Poche's Fish N Camp
Poche’s Fish N Camp

We are one of the families who always has a bottle of Tabasco sauce on the table along with the salt and pepper. A visit to the Tabasco Factory on Avery Island was a must for us.

The world's best known hot sauce
The world’s best known hot sauce

We even took a tour of the Duck Commander headquarters in West Monroe.

Duck Commander Headquarters, about 3 blocks south of I-20 in West Monroe, LA
Duck Commander Headquarters, about 3 blocks south of I-20 in West Monroe, LA

I started writing this post right before Mardi Gras and have been hungry for Cajun food ever since. On Fat Tuesday I made a big pot of Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo using Alton Brown’s recipe (I added okra ). Yesterday I made Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Jambalaya (I left out the oysters). Now if I could just find some crawfish tails I’ll make that crawfish pie.!

To read previous posts about the states featured in this series just click on the state name: Alabama      Alaska      Arizona      Arkansas      California      Colorado     Florida      Georgia      Hawaii        Idaho  Illinois      Indiana      Iowa     Kansas     Kentucky