Category Archives: Wandering around America

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 – Minnesota

State 21:

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

Minnesota

Minnesota became the 32nd state on May 11, 1858. The capital is St. Paul.

Our first visit to Minnesota can be described in one word – SNOW. It started snowing shortly after we left Wisconsin one morning in early April. As we traveled west on I-90  we crossed the Mississippi River into Minnesota with the wind blowing snow horizontally across the interstate. It was so bad we pulled off the interstate and spent the night at a Holiday Inn Express in Winona. I will be forever grateful to the kind employees who put us up in a downstairs room with our Labrador Retriever. There was a restaurant in the hotel and they even had an indoor pool so we were roughing it in style.

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Crossing the Mississipi River to Minnesota in a snow storm
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Snowing over the Mississippi River
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Terrifying icy road conditions in Minnesota – at times we couldn’t even see the road
Icy trees beside the interstate
Icy trees beside the interstate
Overnight Camping at a Holiday Inn Express

The next morning the hotel let us have a late check out so we could wait until the roads were safe enough for travel. Later that day we checked into Blue Mounds State Park and we were the only campers in the park. With snow on the ground and temperatures below freezing the water was turned off and the dump station wasn’t operating. It was a great adventure!

Camping in the snow at Blue Mounds State Park

20070413MN-(6)The weather was much better on our other visits to Minnesota. During our stay at Temperance River State Park on the Minnesota North Shore we enjoyed wandering around Split Rock Lighthouse and on the huge boulders beside Lake Superior.

Split Rock Lighthouse on Minnesota's North Shore
Split Rock Lighthouse on Minnesota’s North Shore
Minnesota’s North Shore
Island in Lake Superior on MInnesota's North Shore
Island in Lake Superior on MInnesota’s North Shore
Minnesota North Shore

20100606Minnesota-North-Shore-(89)We loved visiting the headwaters of the Mississippi River at Itasca State Park so much we camped there twice.

Mississippi River Headwaters in Itasca State Park
Mississippi River Headwaters in Itasca State Park
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Walking across the headwaters of the Mississippi River
Mighty Mississippi River near the headwaters
The mighty Mississippi River near the headwaters
Walking across the Mississippi River near the headwaters
Walking across the Mississippi River near the headwaters
Sunset over Lake Itasca
Sunset over Lake Itasca

We made several visits to the St. Paul area to visit family. While there we visited the Mall of America and the Minnesota Arboretum.

A trip to the Spam Museum and the Green Giant Statue were on our bucket list as we traveled through Minnesota.

Some of the wildflowers and wildlife we found in Minnesota.

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

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