As near as I can tell, we seem to be heading toward the Pacific Northwest. I suppose our thinking is that a number of bucket list items remain in the western U. S., many of which we didn't fulfill on our last sampling of the area a couple of years ago. So, regarding this list, we've 1) expertly toured Hannibal, Missouri, thanks to friends Ed and Marilyn, 2) toured the Ford Museum and assembly plant in Michigan, 3) toured the Amish areas and RV manufacturing mecca in northern Indiana, then we headed for 4) Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills, so those things are certainly checked off.
Then, we thought, since we're already this close, why not head toward Montana and check off some more items? First on the list in that area was to travel the Beartooth Highway toward Yellowstone. We have visited the park itself (not adequately), but had never driven what is supposed to be "the most scenic highway in the U. S." So, off we went, ending up a couple of days later in Billings, not far from the scenic route that begins at Red Lodge, Montana. We had a nice, shady (and expensive) spot at the Yellowstone River RV Park, and our Internet TV streaming came in handy, as the satellite antenna was useless underneath the trees:
Alas, our experience on the Beartooth Highway was not to be. On the appointed day, we noticed that visibility was not very good in Billings, but we drove to Red Lodge anyway, hoping things would clear up. They didn't. We were told that the smoke from forest fires in Canada had drifted into this area, and the visibility was truly terrible. It didn't improve after three days, so we reluctantly returned to Billings, pulled in Phannie's slides and set out for Glacier National Park, hoping things would look better there.
This is not the first time our traveling plan had been thwarted by forest fires. We passed up Glacier in 2015 because of the fires there, so we're a bit apprehensive this time, too.
We can't help but be grateful for the life we have in retirement wherein we can travel wherever our whims take us, but knowing that this freedom of opportunity is only temporary. Meanwhile, we intend to make good use of this blessing, so stick around; we can't wait to see what we do next.
Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough each day.
I would rather own little and see the world than to own the world and see little of it. --Alexander Sattler