Aug 142014
 

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We’ve arrived, after five-and-a-half days of easy travel, beautiful scenery, and happy coincidence. Our overnight stays have been in three hotels, two campgrounds and with my sister Camille in Idaho. Along the way, we’ve experienced a lot of trains, a fantastic bakery in Reno, a wonderful family dinner, more trains, booming oil economy in North Dakota, and what my friend Chris Olson refers to as Large Weather.

One of the best coincidences happened because we missed the turn off for US 93 to Twin Falls Idaho, and had to take a smaller state highway farther east that connected up to the interstate near Pocatello. This road, almost completely void of vehicles, took us through the middle of a thunderstorm. Our dusty Jeep Cherokee was pounded clean by the torrent, while lightening flashed all around us, once only a couple of hundred yards away. We don’t get these kind of desert monsoon storms in the bay area, and we both miss them, so we grinned ear-to-ear at each other as the thunder cracked and boomed.

I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

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Grand Tetons, Wyoming.

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Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park. One of my favorite geologic features in the world, with one of my favorite people.

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10,900-foot pass in the high Rockies, on US 212 in southern Montana.

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Itasca State Park, Minnesota. This is what a visitor’s center should be! Amazingly informative about flora, fauna, CCC projects during the 1930’s, camping 100 years ago, etc.

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The Mississippi originates from Lake Itasca. So we crossed it right next to the lake, where it’s only 10 feet wide.

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Camping in Itasca State Park. Jen gave me a Biolite for my birthday, so we used it for cooking. This little wood-powered stove also charges your cell phone, and heated water for coffee and oatmeal quite quickly.

After we crossed into Canada at Sault Ste. Marie, it got cloudy, then started to sprinkle. By the time we entered the lake country south of Sudbury, we were hitting a steady rain. This part of Canada is gorgeous, unspoiled, and mystical. It’s as though the countryside is weeping as Nancy’s remains return. The rain continues without a break as we settle into our friend’s cabin for the night. I feel a little surreal; it’s my first time here without Nancy, and that makes it a different experience. Yet I have my own connection with this country, and that part feels the same. My heart opens and my body relaxes as I see the oh-so-familiar Duck Lake, with it’s islands and boats and birch trees. Tomorrow, I pick up Miss Powassan, and check out the Jones family cabin.

 Posted by at 10:54 pm

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