Category Archives: On The Road

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 #7 ~ This Is What We’ve Been Waiting For!

Yellowstone National Park

Leaving Jackson, we headed north towards Yellowstone National Park. There, we stayed in West Yellowstone Montana for four nights. I’m glad that we had a `fridge and a micro. We had stopped at the local ‘mega-market’ and found some healthful choices for lunches/picnics while spending our days in the park.

We would start out each day (this hotel didn’t offer free breakfast) with a yogurt, a piece of fruit and a low fat granola bar each morning and were in the park no later than 8am. It seemed that the route through the West Gate of Yellowstone was a particularly busy locale to view wild life at that time of the day.

Our first afternoon’s luncheon was alongside Yellowstone Lake at a beautiful picnic area. As I turned my back to reach for something or another in preparing our meal, we were joined by several rather large birds, who insisted that we share with them. Oh, so this is why they have signage everywhere telling you that feeding the wildlife is considered animal cruelty. They no longer forage in the wild, just at your table and they were a little aggressive.  We were told this is what happens when animals in the wild figure out humans have food that they can either steal or you actually give them.

We tried dinner one night at the restaurant connect to our hotel, meh. When we looked at their dessert offerings, we decided to pass. There must be something else around these parts.


Outpost Restaurant around the corner.

My better half had a Butterscotch Sundae (when was the last time you saw that?) and I had the special for the week, Triple chocolate cake with a side of Huckleberry ice cream.

In fact, we went back to the Outpost for breakfast our last day and had sugar cured ham and the best hash browns I’ve had in a while.

On our last night in town, we had the Turkey as well as Baked chicken dinner plates; of course dessert too!

And what’s a trip to America’s first National Park without going to Old Faithful and the Old Faithful Inn?

For lunch we ordered Bison and Pheasant sausage with sauerkraut cooked in Apple cider, mash, and the best mustard on the side!

Now that was an adventure of a lifetime, yet another check mark off the bucket list!


Our Great Western Adventure ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #6 ~Wagon’s HO!


Jackson Hole Town Square

To, Jackson Wyoming, loved it! So beautiful, a little on the tourist-y side, but all in all we really enjoyed our time there.

Cowboy Village Resort, Jackson Wyoming

We stayed at Cowboy Village Resort.

Cowboy Village Resort, Jackson Wyoming

In a one room log cabin with a kitchenette, YIPEE!! AND  we had a picnic table, plastic lawn chairs and a charcoal grill out front, loving this!

My first stop? A grocery store. I found the Jackson Whole Grocer not far from where we were staying.

Cowboy steaks while staying at Cowboy Village Resort

Nice grass fed beef, so I got us a cowboy steak, some outstanding fresh local veg and a bag of Match Light! Light`er up boys!

Grand Tetons NP outside Moose Wyoming

I also bought a bunch of other foods for breakfast and picnic lunches when we went into Grand Tetons National Park. One morning I made us bacon and eggs, I think most of our neighbors were jealous, when I went out to pack up the car for the days outings, this young couple in the next cabin asked if they could come over tonight for dinner.  😀

Teton Village Aerial Tramway in Jackson Hole Wyoming

We took the dirt road (wrong way, but we made it) to Teton Village on the recommendation of a friend, and took the Aerial Tramway after 4pm for cocktails, the ride was free and gorgeous!

One of our days here in Jackson was a really rainy-foggy day and you couldn’t see the mountains, so we decided to amble around the town square and have early supper. Another friend had highly suggested that we go to Local.

My husband ordered the local grass fed beef, Cheeseburger while I wanted to try their handcrafted charcuterie … duck prosciutto, paté and a nice piece of havarti, MAN! What a great meal, in Wyoming!

Bubba's BBQ in Jackson WY

Earlier we’d had lunch at Bubba’s Bar-B-Que Restaurant, smoked turkey breast with two sides, corn and beans, YUM!

Time to relax

Then it was back to the cabin to relax on our front porch, watch the storm pass by and chat with our neighbors and their dogs, what a great place!


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 ~ September 2013 ~ Installment #3 ~ Did I Forget Something?

Oops, I think I did. Here we took off on our trip, I showed pictures of ALL of the stuff that I packed, but didn’t tell you what was in those sacks. Pshaw!

My DH (darling, dear, dazzling, debonair, dashing – husband) just LOVES chocolate chip cookies. The past few times that I’ve made them though they were just, meh. So I did several searches over a number of days on many, many sites and found a Land O Lakes recipe and gave it a shot.

They came out better than I could have imagined. Crisp on the exterior and nice and chew on the inside, I even liked them. Here’s the best part, I stored them in a zip top freezer bag for transport and they STAYED that way.

Speaking of the journey… I didn’t want our goodies to get smushed in the hub-bub-bub, ya’ know? So I made up two cookie tins (I just can’t leave well enough alone). The computer and printer came in handy making custom labels for the cans, cute huh?


YUMMY! Oatmeal Cherry Cookie Bars, thick and chewy

My personal favorite of ALL times is an old fashion Oatmeal cookie.

It’s just me I guess, but I always want to play around with a recipe. I have used the Quaker Oats Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe that I had printed out YEARS ago. But wait, there’s something different about this new one on line… the butter as well as sugars are in different proportions.

Chopped dried tart cherries

I used a cup of cherries

Rather than raisins, I prefer tart dried cherries; I spray my knife with cooking oil and chop them roughly first.

mix the cherries with the oatmeal

Then I mix them into the oats, so that they don’t clump up in one huge chunk.

parchment paper held in place with clips

parchment paper held in place with clips

My new Chocolate Chip cookie recipe recommends resting the dough overnight, so I figured that would work just as well for the Oatmeal ones.

I would rather have bars than drop cookies, mainly because their so nice and chewy, why not make a good thing better.  I press the dough into a 9×13 inch pan lined with parchment, held down with alligator clips, smart.  These Oatmeal Cherry Cookie Bars are the best!