Veteran’s Day

We have a history of military service in our families: My husband and I were both in the military as were our dads. My dad and two of his brothers fought in WWII. One of my grandfathers was in the Cavalry (when they still rode horses!) in the Spanish-American War. One of our daughters was an Army officer in Iraq, Qatar and Afghanistan during her service.

We are in a very divided country, but today as we honor our veterans we are very thankful for a military that protects our country. I watched President Obama at the Tomb of the Unknowns today and agree when he talked about the important symbolism of the election and Veteran’s Day in 2016 in the same week. This was a very divisive election, but we in the U.S. have a peaceful transition of power. That’s so important.

A few days ago Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted “A paltry few Countries in the history of Civilization have gotten to choose their leaders. How lucky we are to be among them.” We are very lucky and even though my candidate didn’t win I hope that the people of our country will work together. I hope President-Elect Trump will realize what a great deal of trust our country is giving him. I hope he will rise to the challenge and become a President for all the people and not just the people who voted for him.

I hope our very divided country begins to listen to one another. We seem to only listen to the people who think and believe like we do–and then we’re surprised when we find out there are people who believe the opposite.

And I really wish Americans would understand what a gift they have been given–the right to vote. And I wish they would exercise that right–find out about the candidates and the issues and vote!

Glacier National Park, Montana

My husband and I have been on a road trip for about 10 days now. We’ve had many adventures and seen beautiful places. I posted photos and some commentary last week (Mammoths and Black Hills) from our first major stop.

Our second major stop we visited Glacier National Park in northern Montana and had a beautiful day to see the mountains, rivers, lakes, valleys, waterfalls ….

We decided to travel on the Going to the Sun Road which I’d heard about through the years, but I figured it had gotten wider and easier to drive on as the years went by. Maybe it has, but it’s still a narrow, twisty road that’s kind of scary some of the time as well as a road that shows beautiful scenery.

Next time maybe we would let someone else do the driving since we saw cool, red buses on the road. When they stopped people were able to poke their heads through the roof and take photos!

We reached the top of mountain pass and found a bit of roadside snow from earlier in the week. There’s a visitor’s center and lots of trails to walk further into the mountains. A little earlier in the day there were mountain goats visible, but they had gone around to the other side of the mountain. Oh, well, I’ve seen mountain goats before!

Then we started down the mountain.

And down the mountain we went! This side was shorter which we were glad of. But the views were no less spectacular. Near the bottom was a beautiful lake and then we were outside the park.

Mammoths and Black Hills

We visited The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, South Dakota. Mammoth bones were found here over thirty years ago. Paleontologists work to uncover the bones of dozens of Columbian Mammoths and Wooly Mammoths as well as other animals who died here. The site is the largest in the United States that shows the bones in the location they were found.

The site appears to have been a sink hole fed by warm springs. Vegetation would have grown on the side of the sink hole and mammoths and other animals sometimes fell in. Once they fell in they couldn’t climb out the steep, slippery sides and they died of starvation.

One of the best places we’ve stopped on our trip!

After we left The Mammoth Site we drove through the Black Hills. We stopped for lunch in Hill City. Such a cute town. I especially liked the two sculptures they had in front of a shop–a horse and a mule (or a donkey).

We ate at the Alpine Inn. They had German food and I had spaetzle which I love. And a Fat Tire beer from New Belgium Beer!

And then we drove out of South Dakota into Wyoming and finally to Montana for the night.

Roadside Scenery

Our first day of driving we made a big push to drive across western Iowa and then across South Dakota. Most of my photography was from the roadside, the car or at rest stops! I think the scenery is beautiful even if it is along the road.

The first set of photos is from western Iowa and the second set is from South Dakota.