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Road Trip 2021 onward...

Montana 2021 @trmugler

Saturday, July 10 we finished winding our way through Yellowstone, which included a stop at Old Faithful to watch her erupt. It was incredible to see in real time how high up it shot. We meandered along and stopped at other geysers along the way. The array of minerals produces the most brilliant blues, yellows, pale greens, and oranges we have ever seen. We slowly walked the boardwalk over one such geyser field, allowing us a view right through the middle as we crossed.


Leaving Yellowstone, we headed north toward the National Glacier Park. Unlike the barren lands of Wyoming and New Mexico, the vast open range of Montana encompassed fields of deep greens, bright yellows, and warm golds. Cattle spotted the landscape for miles, reminding the observant traveler the heartbeat of life was carrying on even in the quiet.


Just south of the Glacier Park we stopped in Helena for the night, settling on a Howard Johnson's for $172. It seems the entire west coast thinks 'cheap' hotel is anything under $200.


We entered our room to discover humidity checked in before our arrival and the a/c unit was throwing out hot air. Maintenance brought us a fan and took a look. As he pulled the filter a giant cloud of dust was released into the room, coating everything nearby with a nasty film. He cleaned it and left. An hour later the temperature had only risen, so we told the manager we would need to check out, as they were fully booked.


While gathering our luggage from the room, she called to tell us that another guest had volunteered to switch rooms with us, as he wouldn't need it until after midnight and a fan would be enough for him. She also invited us to the hotel bar to buy us a drink and watch the UFC fight, as a local boy was fighting.


We walked down to the Overland Restaurant and Lounge for supper. We split a delicious NY Strip sandwich and fries before heading back to our room, which came with a brand-new a/c unit making sleeping cool and comfortable. We want to give our waitress Kendall, a shout out and recommend you stop in and check the service and food out the next time you find yourself out on the winding road.

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Road Trip 2021 Day Four continued...

Today's final destination is Yellowstone National Park. Leaving Heart Mountain, we were able to see Devil's Tower from the main road, its massive presence stood majestically in the distance. Strangely all I could think about was mashed potatoes and Close Encounters the Third Kind. The mind is a strange an unusual keeper of time.


The winding road offered wide open spaces and the devastation of charred forest stood in contrast to the resilience of nature. The blackened remains of trees fell into the shadows of new life, as we marveled over the strength and spirit of life's rebirth.


Weaving through the park we drove slowly around the often-tight bends, finding unexpected waterfalls and Wild Buffalo grazing near the road. It was as though time stood still and world drifted on the edge of centuries gone.

Wanting to see the world-famous geyser come alive, we stopped for the night not far from Old Faithful. The Lake Hotel came into view like an opening scene in a movie. Soft yellow lap board edged with mountain peak white trim, stood like a gentle giant behind its towering columns beckoning you inside.


Quickly learning accommodations inside the park are booked up months ahead, we were offered a great nugget of advice by the concierge that proved to be true. Waiting until 4:30pm for the cancellations of the day to be released, you can land one of the 153 rooms without a reservation, and we did.


While it was odd that no internet, microwave, refrigerator, air conditioning, or television were among the amenities offered, we easily slipped into the quiet comfort of unplugging. A sense of togetherness wrapped around us, as we relaxed in a large common area, observing children basking in the undivided attention of their parents, playing board games, reading books and writing in journals. The disruptive gadgets of cellular phones, and televisions purging 24-hour news cycles into the air were absent, while life settled into the cradling arms of silence and we collectively exhaled.


Embracing the mild temperature and sun filled sky, we set off on a leisurely walk along the lake across the road. Exploring narrow paths through wooded areas, soon gave us the gift of a tranquil group of Elk foraging in a discreet clearing.


The rustling of leaves above our heads whispering the stories of yesterday, we embraced the smooth feel of grass beneath bare feet as our spirit reached beyond the chaos. Often it is in these serene moments we truly find ourselves. Stillness swaddles us like infants torn from the womb, lifting us into the light as we break free of the manufactured darkness, we allow life to create.


Take a moment or a day and allow peace to rock you gently into the calm waters of your most sacred dreams. Adventure awaits along this ever-winding road.

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Day Three Roadtrip 2021

Bighorn Mountains trmugler2021

Leaving Gillette, we headed toward Cody Wyoming. After a day of driving, we soon discovered a hotel was not to be had for less than $200, and that was the small non-chain motels. Determined to visit the Japanese "internment" camp at Heart Mountain the following day, we settled for a Super 8 for $159 in Powell.

Looking for a good meal, we asked for direction and the hotel recommended the Lamplight Inn Lounge, though we have no idea why. We entered the lounge and a woman walked pass us, going loudly on about how hot it was.

We continued to stand there, waiting to be seated, for 6 minutes, while listening to her go on an on about the heat with a man standing at the bar. Only 3 other tables were occupied and no waitress in sight. Imagine our surprise when the woman at the bar eventually approached us and led us to a table. Saying very little she disappeared before we were actually sitting. Another 4 minutes passed before she reappeared with a water carafe, that she promptly sat on the table. Quickly handing each of us a single sheet menu she disappeared again without a word to either of us.

After pouring our own water, we perused the menu. Its offerings were limited and the prices exorbitant. A mere 6-ounce sirloin was $26 and came with zero sides, meaning we would have to pay an additional $7 for a 'house salad'. We typically split our meals while traveling, thus resigned ourselves to giving the place a try.

Fifteen minutes later, we were still waiting to order, and decided to leave. No one seemed to notice either. Right next door we found a Millstone Brewery and Restaurant, which didn't appear very busy. Upon entry, we were immediately greeted and shown to a table. A waitress promptly appeared and took our drink order. The food was very good and the prices reasonable. The staff were super friendly and the atmosphere fun.

If you find yourself in Powell, along this ever winding road, we highly recommend you give the Millstone a try.

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