First, a little musical introduction.
For some reason, this song plays pretty often on my internal tape.
In the summer of 2010, Hubby and I took a three-week vacation, and drove from our home in Washington State to Michigan and back, for a Hillsdale Hostel. We took the Southern Route to get there, through Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Iowa, to get to Hillsdale. and we took the Northers route home, through Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, northern Montana, and Idaho.
The trip to Hillsdale took us by some very beautiful scenery, and the weather was excellent. Well, most of the time it was excellent. On the first day of driving, we crossed Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho, and Montana, and spent the night in Missoula. The next day, we drove through a corner of Yellowstone National Park.
This formation is called “Devil’s Slide”, for obvious reasons! Sometimes I wished I had a geologist along to explain how those layers of rock, which start out horizontal, got tilted to be vertical! We do know that those rocks started out as layers of sand at the bottom of an ancient body of water. That’s the Yellowstone River just visible in the foreground.
Next, our journey took us through Wyoming. On another hot day, we visited another “devil”, the Devil’s Tower National Monument.
Boy, that Devil sure gets around! I have always loved that columnar basalt, created when layers of hot volcanic rock cool quickly, into lengths of hexagonal rock. Washington State has extensive bluffs of that same rock, along the Columbia River.
Next, we drove across South Dakota. 2010 was a pretty wet year, and we saw fields of tall green grass, and cows belly-deep in it. We stopped at the South Dakota Air and Space Museum, which has a number of old warplanes on the field outside. I captured this pair of house-finches enjoying the sunshine.
When we crossed the Missouri River into Iowa, the weather changed. Dramatically. We did our best to outrun a big thunderstorm across much of the state. This picture was taken through the windshield of the car barreling down the highway. It was pretty spectacular, and the outside temperature was in the 80s.
We made it to DesMoines just in time!
On the last day before we got to Hillsdale, we drove through Indiana, and made a pleasant stop in the town of Elkhart. Now, some of you might know what Elkhart was famous for many years ago, and that is brass band instruments. More than one manufacturer of horns was based in Elkhart, and we found a really fun outdoor art exhibit that celebrates that history.
My internal tape was playing 76 Trombones all afternoon!
We had a great time at Hillsdale, taking classes taught by Hillsdale faculty, meeting people from all over the country, and sightseeing around the area.
On our way home, we took the Northern Route. We knew we were back in Eastern Washington, when we saw this. That Devil must have been following us all the way!
In the Good Old Summertime…