My dad had recently visited the Denver Botanic Gardens and was all about the Japanese Garden there, so after dropping off the RV (and Nat at work) on Saturday morning, I took him to Portland’s Japanese Garden. We had to go to the rose garden, too, of course. That place never disappoints. This was now over a month ago so that’s all I can say about that!
The last of the trip photos! I basically use my iPhone as a wide-lens camera, and since I’m always trying to take video for my 1 Second Everyday project, I have my phone out with the camera app open a lot of the time. So what you’re seeing here:
• The Museum of Un-Natural History in Walla Walla
• Maria in her studio / the Jim Dine sculpture outside the art building on the Whitman campus
• Cody just as worried as my dad was about the lack of fueling stations between Walla Walla and Ritzville / The view from our campground in Coeur d’Alene
• My dad with the Montana Trout Aquarium at the St. Regis Travel Center / The Mission Mountains of Montana, as told about by Lauren
• The Miracle of America Museum, outside and in
• My dad with his people
• The Fishing Bridge visitor center, in all its animal-themed glory
• Cottonwood fluff on our walk in South Park / An “unkindness” of ravens
• Me in the Antler Shed
• Fog at dusk on the drive north from Missoula
• Using a dump station! My dad was proud and asked me to take this photo.
• Downtown Coeur d’Alene, where you can walk into the lake
• Yours truly and Jimmy Jello outside Gross Donuts in Coeur d’Alene
I need to mention somewhere on here: I saw the Animals’ Trail of Western Montana on this trip! We didn’t stop driving to get out and see it since we were already behind schedule, so I only took pictures on my Fuji point-and-shoot. It was really cool to finally see it after years of reading about it (I learned about it when I was doing research for my BFA thesis). Maybe Nathaniel and I will stop to see it when we do essentially the exact same drive back to Grand Teton NP in the fall! I’m speaking at a conference and Dan and my sister are meeting us there for the weekend. Other things we could see since my dad and I didn’t have time for them: the wall of conserved elk heads at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation/Elk Country Visitor Center, the grave of Old Pitt, the elephant killed by lightning, at the Beaverhead County Fair, etc. If you couldn’t tell, this was a really amazing trip! I’m so glad my dad and I were finally able to make it happen.
We left Yellowstone on Thursday morning, after stopping at Old Faithful one last time to grab some souvenirs. On that first stretch of Montana highway, we had to drive through a huge storm for quite a ways. It was only at this point that I thought to contact Jim Phillips, the “Antler Man” behind the Antler Shed, which I’ve wanted to see ever since I found out about it in 2013. Even though it was such short notice (since I could never commit too far in advance to anything on this trip, as our travel time including stops was hard to know for certain), Jim got back to me and told me to come on over. We had a little mishap with the RV in Jim’s driveway, but he was wonderfully gracious and gave me a full tour of the shed. It is incredible. Pictures really do not do it justice. Jim’s collected 15,000 sheds over 50 years, and although he sold over 2,100 elk and deer sheds in the 80s to put three daughters through college, he has never bought an antler. He pointed out the weird ones to me and told me their stories – it was so fascinating.
On the way to Coeur d’Alene, we stopped in Butte to (talk to a person about our RV problem, and he stepped out of his home to help us even though he had some serious family stuff going on – really, Montana people are wonderful) see the statue of Auditor the Strip Mine Dog and in Missoula to have dinner at James Bar and walk Cody around. Missoula was not what I’d expected when we drove by it on the way to Yellowstone, but on the way home when we spent some time there I fell in love! No kidding, almost every person we saw stopped and talked to us (usually about Cody because he is so cute). They were so friendly. I’m so glad we got to stop. We were back at our Coeur d’Alene campground that night, in the morning we walked Cody all throughout town (right on the water – so lovely!), and then we went home! This is not the end of my pictures, though; I still have a post or two coming up…