A Re-Discovered Life

A nurse traveling and learning to embrace new discoveries.


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From Colorado through Montana

I’ve been slow to update due to a serious lack of internet. We’ve had a great time exploring over the past several  weeks. In addition to a short trip home at the end of August, to welcome a new Daughter and Grandson into the family, we’ve had some great stops and are continually making great memories!!

Treft Wedding-COLLAGE

Cheyenne, WY

From Fort Collins, we headed a short distance to Restway Travel Park Cheyenne, WY.  Getting right into the local culture, we were invited to attend a small local Rodeo event; “Barrels & Bulls”. Our campground owners’ kids both participate in these fun events! I loved this because it was small, and we got to be up close and personal with all the action!

Our second night, we were amazed by the best light show ever! The sky lit up with lightening IN the clouds and it lasted over an hour…

More Photos…

Glendo State Park Wyoming

After leaving Cheyenne, we headed to Glendo State Park for a couple of nights….we had the most beautiful full moon and twin rainbows here!! More Pictures 

We had to abandon our original campsite due to Bertha being too lazy to make it up the hill! We ended up staying at Two Moon, which was at the lower end of the park. The day after we arrived, we spent lounging around on the beach and Dad and I even built a sandcastle!!  It was a great relaxing day on the beach.

Casper WY

‘Big Bertha’ started acting up again…  Our neighbor, Linda (‘lying Linda’ or ‘lucious Linda’) helped us find a great mechanic and the work on Bertha was quick and painless (mostly painless to the wallet)!

While we were here I found a broken shock mount on Bertha and had to go back to Casper to find a welder to fix my broken shock! This was quite the adventure as we were stopped getting gas and giving the vehicles a car wash and I started chatting with the car wash owner. He was telling me what a bad week he’d been having and I commiserated with him and told him about my broken shock. He knew a ‘guy’ that could fix it and after we finished washing the cars, we went over to the welders place. Nothing like finding a welder on a Sunday! Good Karma!

This guy was AWESOME!!!  He did a great job and his little grandson is a mechanic in the making. Dad says that he is one of the best welders he’s ever met…

Then the guys came out to the campground that evening to hang out and have a drink with us!

Black Beach Campground @ Alcova Reservoir WY

Linda (who we met at the campground in Casper WY, decided to join us and led us out to the Reservoir, she was gracious to take us on a little side trip to explore the Canyon area surrounding the reservoir. The camping opportunities are tremendously beautiful out here (although most are boon docking). It was a great time and one of my favorites to date.

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On our way to Thermopolis, we found Hells Half Acre and had to make a short pitstop to grab a view and a few pictures. See Photos

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 Thermopolis, WY

From here, we made our way to Thermopolis, WY where I got to lounge in the hot springs and Dad got to see the Dinosaurs! (See photos). Not really a lot to say about this small town…if I had it to do over, I’d probably pass it by.

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Next Stop: Cody WY

This was a fun stop. Dad & Dan explored some of the local attractions (Wild Bill Museum) while I strolled through the shops and galleries. There were some great photography galleries and I had a great conversation with one of the photographers. He clued me in to a website for anyone that does night photography. The Photographer’s Ephemeris. Check it out, it’s full of interesting information for the committed photographer – not those like me that just do it for fun!

The group camped next to us were friendly and one of the women has a son that’s looking to get into Travel Nursing! This isn’t the first time that I’ve wandered across someone in the field.

Just outside of Cody, we visited a really authentic looking Old Trail Town! (see photos).

The ‘Gun Fight’ that they do in the town center isn’t worth standing around for – unless maybe you have small children with you. It was poorly composed and acted and was more of a ‘commercial’ for the local businesses than entertainment.

Buffalo Bill Dam was a sight to behold. I think the hight may have made Dad’s toes tingle! The museum is worth a visit and the guy that shuttles from the parking lot to the visitors center was full of a wealth of local information.

Heart Mountain Relocation Center 

Address1539 Rd 19, Powell, WY 82435
Just outside of Cody WY, is this very informative Museum. Worth an hour stop if you’re in the area. It tells of the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII Wikipedia

Horseshoe Bend in Bighorn National Forest, WY

One night was spent at Horseshoe Bend Campground   with a drive and some excellent vantage points. Chatted with another tourist from Paris (France) that was in the area to do some marketing for a new product coming on the market….a battery powered airplane!!  Not just a play airplane, one to fit an actual human being!!  I don’t think I’m brave enough to fly is something that takes batteries to stay in the air!

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Reed Point MT (An unexpected stop)

We’ve still been having very hot temperatures pretty consistently and with this comes some issues from Dad’s Falcon. When combining the elevation, pulling the trailer and the heat…it sometimes want’s to overheat. Due to this, we occasionally have to stop for a bit just to let it cool down.

reed point

This particular stop was perfectly enjoyable. A town of about 180 people, it appears a bit of a ghost town. It was full of interesting photo opportunities! I love rust and old and this town fulfilled my needs! In addition, it’s right along the Yellowstone River so Dad and I wandered to the riverside to soak our feet for a bit while waiting for the Falcon to cool down. The locals were quite engaging and full of questions about the entourage we call the #hipgyptrip.

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Spring Creek Campground, Big Timber MT

This was another of my favorite spots! Secluded, quiet and riverside on the Boulder River. The campground facilities are top notch and the staff very friendly. Sites are a bit close but sit right up next to the river for a great view!

spring creek

While at Spring Creek, we took a day trip and visited Gallatin National Forest Natural Bridge falls and did a little light hiking. See Photos

Dad continuously looks out over the landscape and exclaims “This is beautiful” or ‘Do you see how pretty that is?”  This site was no exception.

Flathead Lake, Polson MT

Flathead lake is purported to be the “largest natural freshwater lake by surface area that is west of the Mississippi River..“. The photo’s I saw online were amazing…crystal clear water, calm surfaces and beautiful sunsets. This place didn’t disappoint. We stayed at the Finley Point Campground on the southeast side of the lake. The campground had super close spaces so you were very close to your neighbors. This might have been an issue on a different day with different neighbors but for us, it worked out great. We met some amazingly friendly campers here. The beach area right outside our doors gave a great view of the lake day or night.

 

I was mesmerized by the rocks/stones in the lake. The colors were so diverse and beautiful! A few might have made their way into my pocket…

“Cherry Jerry”

While staying at Flathead, we took a drive around the entire lake. This area is know for it’s Cherries! The climate is just right for growing and there were little shops all along the lakeside road. Our favorite, was meeting with ‘Cherry Jerry’, owner of Bowman Orchard and Winery. He has not only cherries, and huckleberries; but makes his own wine too! Dan grabbed a bottle or two of wine while I toured the orchard and picked up some fresh cherries and some huckleberry honey on my way out.

We spent over an hour here chatting, exploring and watching the sorting process. If you are in the area, stop by and say hello to ‘Cherry Jerry’ and tell him the #hipgypTrip (with a Falcon from Indiana) folks said hello!!  (See More Pictures here)


The Hip-Gyp Trip began on June 3, 2016 and who knows when and where it will end…  If you would like to see all of the photo’s from the trip, please visit Hip-Gyp Photo’s

You can follow our adventures via Facebook, Instagram, and my Blog Page via Facebook

To be continued….



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Great Platte River Road Archway

The Great Platte River Road Archway is easily seen from the I80. I, myself have passed under it more than a dozen times during my travels. However I never stopped. Why? I really don’t know. I have never been much for museums and I figured that this one would be just like all the rest…boring displays of this and that. WOW…was I wrong!!!

This place was so much fun!!  The exhibits are larger than life and interactive. What a fun place for a child (or child at heart) to explore.

We were greeted by “Crazy”, a volunteer dressed in period clothing from the old West and a personality to match! (See All Photos)

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After we chatted with Crazy for a few minutes, we got our tickets and headphones and acceded the escalator into the covered wagon to begin our frontier journey. I only wish that I could have gotten the camera working quicker to get the full experience of entering this fun place.

As soon as we topped the escalator, our headphones came alive with the sounds of the frontier and continued as we worked our way through the exhibits.

Start at Ft. Kearny in the 1840s where the Oregon Trail converged with the Mormon Trail and California Trail. Here, you’ll immerse yourself in the sights of the historic trails while listening to the stories of the early pioneers. Next, hear the rumble of the Iron Horse on the transcontinental railroad as it passes overhead. Watch a Pony Express rider make a quick stop to change horses as he races to deliver mail across the country. Listen in as the first transcontinental telegraph transmits the news of the breakout of the Civil War to the West Coast. Finally, traverse the historic Lincoln Highway, catch the newsreel at the drive-in theater and take a break to check on the traffic below in the roadside diner. 

http://archway.org

My favorite part was playing cards with Dad as we waited for the Pony Express Rider to show up at the Station.

 

Give yourself about an hour to make the stop. There is a huge parking lot more than adequate to accommodate any size RV, a gift shop and small cafe.


The Hip-Gyp Trip began on June 3, 2016 and who knows when and where it will end…  If you would like to see all of the photo’s from the trip, please visit Hip-Gyp Photo’s

You can follow our adventures via Facebook, Instagram, and my Blog Page via Facebook

To be continued….



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Pioneer Village, Minden NE

While we were hanging out in Kearney NE, Dan mentioned that we were very close to this somewhat old but very interesting museum. Self-proclaimed ‘largest private collection of Americana anywhere’, the Harold Warp Pioneer Village in Minden, NE boasts of holding 50,000 irreplaceable items of historical value on it’s 20 acres of property.

It was a great little walk-through of American History. From the old Automobiles to the odd collections and even a very cool Original Gypsy Wagon!

 

Favorites included Dad & Dan playing checkers outside the Old Country Store and discussing the operations of the HUGE train on site.

We spent several hours wandering around and exploring this treasure trove of Americana. If you happen to be in the area, it’s worth a short side trip. See All Photos


The Hip-Gyp Trip began on June 3, 2016 and who knows when and where it will end…  If you would like to see all of the photo’s from the trip, please visit Hip-Gyp Photo’s

You can follow our adventures via Facebook, Instagram, and my Blog Page via Facebook

To be continued….



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A Meeting with Noah

Snake Creek, Missouri River South Dakota
June 13-14, 2016

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Snake Creek was a beautiful spot with excellent facilities. Grounds are well maintained to the point that we couldn’t even find a twig to start a campfire with. Coming across the plains and coming up on the river the landscape changed dramatically from the occasional rolling hills to vast hills and the greenest of greens! We also had some of the most beautiful sunsets here.

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We set up on the riverside and watched the sailboats and fishing boats on the river. My favorite part was skipping stones. There was a small beach just down from the camp site and the first nights walk I discovered tons of great ‘skipping stones’. I can’t tell you the last time I skipped rocks! I convinced Dan to join me on night #2 as we skipped stones and watched the great sunset…next morning we discovered a fatal mistake: Skipping Stones = sore right arm muscles! Guess that shows just how out of shape I am!!

Fort Kearny SRA, Kearny NE
June 15-19

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The weather just won’t break! Temps have been in the high 90’s for the past 5-6 days which makes it difficult to want to do anything other than sit and try to stay cool.

Vine Island Campground lakes were originated as gravel pits. Had a great discussion with the local State Campground employee about some of the local history. There are a lot of local campers here, mostly visiting for the weekends fishing, kayaking and just enjoying the great outdoors with their families.

Dad’s Falcon found a competitive similar!

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We met up with our camp neighbor Noah and spend several evenings hanging out around the campfire enjoying telling stories and getting to know one another. I still can’t figure out what Noah found so intriguing about two Hippies but he even went so far as to come back on Monday (after he broke camp on Sunday) to hang out and chat some more.

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While we were in Kearney, we took a day-trip over to the Pioneer Village in Minden (Photos) and checked out the Archway Museum (Photos) on our way out of town.


The Hip-Gyp Trip began on June 3, 2016 and who knows when and where it will end…  If you would like to see all of the photo’s from the trip, please visit Hip-Gyp Photo’s

You can follow our adventures via Facebook, Instagram, and my Blog Page via Facebook

To be continued….



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Our Route: The #HipGypTrip

We’ll be updating this map along the way.


The Hip-Gyp Trip began on June 3, 2016 and who knows when and where it will end…  If you would like to see all of the photo’s from the trip, please visit Hip-Gyp Photo’s

You can follow our adventures via Facebook, Instagram, and my Blog Page via Facebook

To be continued….


Porter Sculpture Park_0287


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Porter Sculpture Park

We hopped onto the I90 for a bit between Split Rock Creek and Snake Creek with Big Bertha taking the lead. I’m always one to make a quick un-planned detour and this one did not disappoint. As we were driving through the boring landscape, I suddenly spotted a HUGE bull head! My first thought was that someone was extremely proud of their ranch! Boy, was I wrong.

We pulled in and found a very unique Sculpture Park.

Porter Sculpture Park is ran by a single individual, Mr Porter who owned a Sheep ranch that failed in 2008. He told us that when the recession hit, he had to give it up. I can’t recall how long he has been working on the various sculptures found at the park, but there are a ton of unique and somewhat dark and bizarre sculptures. He told us that he fell off the fishbowl and broke his arm at one point. He’s currently working on a horse sculpture, which is supposed to be about 110 ft. tall and made out of railroad iron. The bull (also made from railroad iron) which drew my original attention is aprox 60ft tall and weighs in around 30 Ton. It had to be disassembled from it’s original build site and utilized two cranes to set it up in it’s current position. The Bull sculpture is best viewed from the inside (enter from the back)

10422477_491676677649165_7754198683518173899_n.jpgWayne Porter is a metal sculptor who was born in 1959 in South Dakota. He grew up in St. Lawrence, a small town in central South Dakota and learned to weld in his father’s Blacksmith Shop. He made his first welded piece of art at age 12.He graduated from Miller High School in 1978 and attended South Dakota State University, graduating with degrees in Political Science and History in 1982. He has never taken an art class. He subsequently raised sheep for a few years, working on his art in his free time. His art is large in size and much of it is comprised of junk or found metal. His largest sculpture is 60 feet tall and weighs more than 25 tons. It is made of individual railroad ties welded together. In the fall of 2000, he opened Porter Sculpture Park, I-90 exit 374, by Montrose, SD. The sculpture park now has more than 50 sculptures, created by Wayne, along with the poetry that accompanies many of the pieces. In the off season, he works on making more sculptures in the same blacksmith shop where he learned to weld. His pieces are majestic, whimsical, thought provoking, and readily display the influences of the South Dakota prairies that he grew up on and also reflect his quick wit, humor, and diverse interests. He lives with his Australian Shepherd dog, Bambino. 

https://www.facebook.com/portersculpturepark/

There is some very intriguing poetry that goes along with many of the sculptures. If you happen to be along the I 90 exit 374, make plans to take an hour and check it out! Current admission is $8/pp.


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The Hip-Gyp Trip began on June 3, 2016 and who knows when and where it will end…  If you would like to see all of the photo’s from the trip, please visit Hip-Gyp Photo’s

You can follow our adventures via Facebook, Instagram, and my Blog Page via Facebook

To be continued….



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Hip-Gyp Trip: Week #1

South Park Campground: Gibson City IL
June 3-4, 2016

South Park is a tiny little campground with only 9 spaces, located on the edge of Gibson City. This campground cost only $10/night with electric and water…it was a steal!! Nice and shady and a great opportunity to get acclimated. Dad, being ever the out-going neighbor, met one of our camping neighbors (Jeff and Sherry, local farmers) and we spent two evenings hanging around the campfire chatting.

Shady Creek Campground, Muscatine IA
June 5-6, 2016

Situated right on the banks of the Mississippi River…the days were spent watching the river flow backwards (according to Dad) and the barges flow upstream being pushed by tugboats. Water birds were abundant.

Red Rock Lake Campground, Pella IA
June 7-8

Pella, IA is a super-cute and quaint little Dutch town. Abundant in windmills and Dutch culture, it’s a must-see if you are in the area. There is a great Dutch Bakery, I suggest that you get some ‘Dutch Letters’ there!

Jaarsma Bakery: : Dutch letters, Dutch pastry, apple ring, cinnamon …

Our family owned-and-operated bakery, located in historic Pella, Iowa, has been baking delicious “Dutch Treats” for over a century.

 

We also visited a great little Deli (In’t Veld’s Meat Market & Opa’s Deli in Downtown Pella, Iowa), that makes a delicious dried beef dip! I got to meet up with a friend Teresa P. here! The town park is clean and well maintained.

Dan and Dad found an old junkyard (with about 3K ‘head’ according to the owner). They spent a bit exploring and although they didn’t find the part they were seeking, they did find a part for the Falcon…you know, guy stuff!


See More Photos


The Hip-Gyp Trip began on June 3, 2016 and who knows when and where it will end…  If you would like to see all of the photo’s from the trip, please visit Hip-Gyp Photo’s

You can follow our adventures via Facebook, Instagram, and my Blog Page via Facebook

To be continued….


 

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