Category Archives: Field Trip

Our Great Western Adventure ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #9 ~ Our Next Stop Is …

Whitefish Montana. Yeah, I know, I had never heard of this place before now either, but I have heard of Glacier National Park, it has been on my bucket list for a good long time. My gosh, the drive from Helena to Whitefish was just beautiful, mountainous country side; yet again, not on the interstates. Not a whole lot of places to stop and grab a bite, so if you go, bring water and a picnic. Oh, but don’t drink too much water, there are no rest stops!

I didn’t get a picture, but we saw loads of hay stacks, for real stacks, not baled in those familiar round or rectangular shapes you see, but the old school way.

This was the backbone of America.

After finding our hotel, we looked for some dinner. But wait, it’s Monday Night Football night, dear! Egads Man! So… my lengthy research pointed me towards the Buffalo Café, as well the very helpful front desk staff at our hotel. It was less than a mile from our hotel, well pretty much everything was about a mile from our hotel, not a huge town.

I gave a call and made a takeout order of the Flat iron steak and Beef Stroganoff. YUM! This was more than enough food for the two of us.

The next morning we took off for Glacier National Park. We figured it would be a long day, so it was a quick breakfast in the hotel of yogurt and fruit and we were off!

Going-to-the-Sun road. Oh My Goodness! I don’t think that I’ve said WOW so many times in one day. The drive is a little tricky, steep, very narrow to the point that they do not allow certain vehicles to take the drive. We could have gone on the Red Bus tour in old style jammer buses, but we like to stop when and where we want to. Once again, bring your water and a picnic, but I knew this going into the Park. It was absolutely spectacular sitting there having a picnic lunch in Glacier National Park, such a beautiful setting.

What a day! Well, time to look for something for dinner. Ciao Mambo, fantastic! Though very small and they only take reservations for parties of 6 or more, so go early. DH and I shared an Antipasti plate and he had a Caesar salad with anchovies. Would ya’ look at the size of those buggers? Our entrées were spaghetti and meatballs and cheese raviolis, and their bread…very good and tons of food!

We were so tired the next morning, we decided that we’d take a day off from touring and chill for a while. We started our day off back over at the Buffalo Café for a nice big breakfast or was it brunch? We had the day’s chalkboard special of ham steak, egg, hash browns and toast; that rye toast was good and I don’t really care for that. The other choice for the table was Kansas City Pie, oh baby baby!  Start with a base of hash browns, then slap on a couple of slabs of Kansas City bacon which is smoked pork shoulder and some smoked cheddar cheese. Top all of that with a poached egg that was cooked perfectly; add some toast of your choice (I went for the whole grains, yum!) and that was only a HALF order! MAN!

We have been seeing so many different RV’s on this trip, and don’t ya’ know, I’ve been trying to sell my dearest husband on the fact that would be an easier way for us to travel… so we went to a dealership in the next town over to take a lookey-loo.

Our days not done yet! The weekly Farmer’s Market is this evening from 5 til about 7 or so. I had been told by several of the locals to look for Flathead cherries. I finally found some, not much, but they were well worth the hunt. And those summer squashes are the biggest I have ever seen, I wish I had a kitchen!!!

Dinner. Buffalo Café. Salad. Delicious!

Steak salad with very yummy fried onion rings on top and a salmon Caesar, both with the dressing on the side in a great cruet. Yeah, we’ll be back.

Roadside Attraction outside of Whitefish Montana

It’s time to motor on to our next stop and yet more interesting sights along the way, I’m sure.


Our Great Western Adventure ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #8 ~ Let’s Go Visiting

A few months back, I was fortunate enough to reconnect with an old friend from Hawaii, who I hadn’t seen in over 30 years. It just so happened that DH and I were planning this month long odyssey and guess where she lives now? Montana! So we added Helena Montana into our itinerary and I’m so glad that we did.

So load ‘em up and let’s go visiting.

I’ve realized that here in the Plains-States there are very few Interstate Highways and most of our journey was on much smaller, more picturesque roadways. Several times we got to see ranchers and their cowboys, that’s right real cowboys, moving their livestock for the upcoming winter.

Also, in many cases, we traversed unimproved roads, just dirt.

But, if you want to get to an out-of-the-way locale, that’s what you have to do sometimes, like to get to my friends house!

So we got there in one piece and spent an evening with my long time friend and her adoring husband who made supper for all of us on the grill.

Now, it happens that DF’s husband hunts, so dinner was from his most recent outing. Elk burgers. Super delicious! I had never had any kind of game before, and I really liked it.

We brought to the party a pie from a local bakery and a couple of bottles of wine. So the gals sat and chatted while the guys watched football and did guy stuff.

I hope that we can do this again soon!

Our Great Western Adventure ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #5 ~ Moving On To Our Next Destination

Next stop, Tremonton Utah.

Where the heck is that, you may ask and why would we go there?

Golden Spike National Historic Site

Well, this is the closest city with a hotel to the Golden Spike National Historic Site.

This is where the joining of the rails of the first Transcontinental Railroad across the United States connecting the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads occurred on May 10, 1869, at Promontory Summit, Utah.

And that was your US History lesson of the day.

Beautiful countryside of Utah

No, really, this place is so amazing. Granted, we had to go out into the middle of nothing basically, but it was very beautiful.

On most days, we had picnic lunches

There’s nothing here, so if you go, take lots of cold water and a picnic.

Not much in Tremonton either.

Just some of the food that I brought along

A girlfriend of mine had sent me an email while we were on the road and she said, “I’m sure your car is a moving grocery store.”   YUP!  I even had a case of wine.  😉

I had done a lot of searching on the `Net while we planned this trip, looking for different places and ways that we were going to get fed.

What I found for this locale was in the next town over, JC’s Country Diner. It says that it’s in Tremonton, but really it’s not. I had stashed one of their cards in my bag, but now I can’t find it. Anywhos…

We had the special of the day, Salmon Plate with `Tots and THE  special Tater Tot sauce –  along with green beans and bacon (DH had corn on the cob rather than the tots). This is all served with your choice of bread; I had read that their scones were really good. Different. I wouldn’t call it a scone, it seemed more like fried bread.

This is very much the local hang out for coffee and a chat.  This ain’t no BEVERLY HILLS, this is the country.  Where folks is folks and a diner will give ya’ an honest, square meal, nothing fancy, just good grub.  AMEN!

We only stayed but that one night – too bad, I liked it here, but it was Wagon’s Ho!


Our Great Western Adventure ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #4 ~ Day Two Of Our Great Western Adventure

Can you believe it? I was up at 5 am!

We got ready and went down to breakfast in the hotel. It was okay I guess for the free fare that you get in most hotels; then it was out the door with us.

Bryce Canyon National Park, WOW!

Even the drive up there was beautiful, going through those red rocks. We’ve got our America the Beautiful annual pass, which will get us into all of the National Parks for a year.

Bryce Canyon Utah

What I had read before hand, was to drive all the way to the top of the road, which was 13 miles, and then work your way back down to the front gate. That was perfect! We got to see the red rocks and formations in the different changing light and then on top of that, the pullouts or vistas are all on the right hand side of the road going back down, it made sense.


We had a picnic lunch at Sunset Point which was the only stop with water and flushing toilets. It was a very pleasant day, starting out at 45 degrees when we woke up, but by the time we had lunch it was in the high 60’s.

Dinner was at Ruby’s Inn again; I ordered a baked potato with the trimmings all on the side and a cup of chili; I topped my potato with everything, yum.

It was Rainbow Trout for my husband and we shared an apple pie ala mode. We’ve found it best to go to eat dinner by 7pm; I’ve never seen so many Germans in one town that wasn’t in Germany. We were told that 88% of visitors to the National Parks for NOT Americans.  #SeeAmerica people !!!

Oh, I forgot to tell you, there was this campground just outside of the entrance to the park that has TIPIs, for real kind that you could camp out in! I didn’t get a picture though, shucks!


Our Great Western Adventure Road Trip! ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #2 ~ Let’s GO!

Blast Off was at 0650 hrs. Yup!

The car was loaded up the night before; food made and packed. Everything turned off or down. We made only three stops in total, one for a bathroom break at Sunset Point Rest Stop in Arizona and then 2 times for gasoline. One stop we made for gas in Jacob Lake Arizona the gas was $4.14/gal … WHAT?!

We made it to Bryce Canyon City Utah by 4pm AST or 5pm MST. We found our room, got settled and then went across the street to have dinner at Ruby’s Inn, which is the sister hotel to where we stayed, which by the way is so nice!

We had the Soup & Salad buffet $8.99 and then added on the ice cream (ice milk really) bar for $1.99 each. I had started to chat up our waitress, Lesa, only to find how much she loved having gone to Hawaii and staying at the Marriott timeshare in Ko’Olina. Both she and her husband loved the food in Hawaii and they even went over to the Windward side (where I’m from), HOW’S THAT? We were very tired so it was off to bed. Oh, I forgot to say we saw, I mean, I saw my first elk (I’ve never seen one before).  This going to be a GREAT month long adventure!


A Lunch Date At The Grand Canyon National Park

Since DH and I moved to Central/Northern Arizona, we are now so much closer to one of the Seven Natural Wonders, The Grand Canyon.  What makes it that much better is, we purchased a Senior Pass back a-ways when they were still only $10 for a lifetime of entrance to any of

¹  “… recreation sites managed by six federal agencies: National Parks Services, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, US Forest Service, US Army Corp of Engineers’.”

The card holder, in a private vehicle (as we were) can even take along 3 other adults, FREE! WOW!  We were trying to think how many times we’ve used DH’s America The Beautiful Lifetime Senior Pass over the years as well as how many other folks have tagged along for the ride… a lot!

As of the end of August 2017, the price changed to $80, but if you think about it, that’s still a great deal.  Here’s a good example of that value: it now costs $30 per carload of 4 to get into the Grand Canyon, which went up too.  Both of us were pretty sure that it was $20 or $25, so there you are.

Last week, DH and I were talking about a day trip somewhere, seeing as we hadn’t gone or done anything in a while.

My suggestion was to start out really early in the morning on a car trip; we could have lunch at the El Tovar Restaurant in the Grand Canyon.  YEAH, let’s go!

What a fascinating building.  Originally a Harvey House, servicing the Santa Fe Railway, the El Tovar Hotel was built in 1905 and is still in operation more than 100 years later.

We decided once we got up to the hotel that we’d walk around for a while, along the South Rim Trail.  **Hint: You’re at over 6772 feet above Sea level, take your time, it’s not going anywhere – walk slowly and take small sips of water to overcome becoming dizzy.

There are some very unusual rock formations for sure.  Everywhere you turn is a wonder.

DH and I are still trying to figure out why there are pennies embedded into the pathway every so many feet???

Okay, so are you hungry yet?  😀

The restaurant in the El Tovar Hotel is “white linen service”, but don’t let that stop you from having lunch or breakfast for that matter.  It’s much more relaxed during the daytime hours.  And that view, I mean, come on man!  Be sure to go early and ask for a table near the windows, or call ahead for a reservation.

Sylvia, our server today, took our order and promptly brought us a basket full of these heavenly rolls.  I’m not sure exactly what was in them, but do try them.  And I think that it was salted BUTTER  to schmear all over them.  We asked for a second basket.  😉

DH had the Chicken Cordon Bleu sandwich and I, the Rib Eye sandwich.  Both were very good and generous.  We were stuffed.  So we walked around a bit more, exploring the gift shop and then out to the veranda to simply sit in their Rocking Chairs and stare at the beauty.  I requested a glass of wine and DH a coffee.  Aahhh!

What an afternoon!

*Hint # 2 : I suppose folks think that there’s going to be a ton of snow, ice and general crummy weather at the Grand Canyon’s South Rim (the North Rim closes from October through May) in the Winter.  Check the weather reports before you do go, but we had a spectacular, sunny, warm day (it was in the sixties).  And guess what?  There were very few people.  That was the first time that DH and I have not been elbow-to-elbow with humanity at the Grand Canyon!!!


¹ Quote from


The Weekend’s Here, Happy Aloha Friday!

Back a few years ago, on one of our trips back home to Hawaii, we went to the Honolulu Fish Auction, what a blast!

Palate after palate of the freshest fish, I mean just brought out of the Pacific Ocean fresh, kept coming out from the fishing boats.  Eat more fish!!