We started off from Indiana on June 29th, threaded our way through Illinois, Wisconsin, and turned west once we hit Minneapolis, Minnesota. We drove all through North Dakota, where the land began to look different to us than we have been used to traveling through the eastern half of the USA. The weather couldn't have been better! We actually were the SECOND of our own family to hit the Northwest, as our younger set of kids (Brett and Holli) had taken their first real getaway vacation since they moved up to Red Wing. They wanted to see Yellowstone Park, and had a chance to hit Mount Rushmore, as well as the corner of Montana where we made a plan to stop after seeing their photos. (They learned early from Momma to record their journey on camera. And they did a great job.... didn't you, HOLLI?? hehe)
Each time we rounded a corner or topped a hill; the scenery changed and all of it really "WOW"d us! The sky seemed to get larger, the further west we got. But the going was not ALL so smooth; at one point after we stopped in Bismark for the night, we were shocked to find the highway we were on came to an abrupt STOP. Not just a stop sign, but NO HIGHWAY at ALL! We were motioned to follow a pilot car who led us through crusted, truck-packed-down plain old DIRT for about 5 miles. A bit after that fiasco, we found our gas tank in our 50mpg Prius to be nearly empty. We just happened to finally find a gas station in a town that popped up out of nowhere. And finally we also saw a McDonald's ! (I was beginning to wonder if there were ANY kind of fast food restaurants at all, there for a bit...)
|The Badlands of Theodore (Teddy) Roosevlet National Park...|
|Since Brett and Holli brought back a Buffalo named Billy, Dad and Mom brought home a Buffalo Colt (I say it's called a CALF) and named it Buffawo Bilwy.|
But NOTHING prepares you for the AWESOME, breath-taking views of Glacier National Park!!! Seems like once we hit Montana itself; the sky just went on forever. I guessed a person could see the weather coming at least two days ahead. But once we hit those mountains... Mike Stoker posted a pic of the mountains from his deck (yes, THE Mike Stoker of "EMERGENCY!" who was not only a SAG-card carrying Engineer of Engine 51 "Big Red" for the show, but he was a real FF for LAcoFD and retired as a Captain)and he was right- it sure is a beautiful sight to behold!
|My favorite of all- had to be the Native American Indian life and culture. What a BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE!! They were warmly welcoming, and gladly shared their heritage with us in lessons of the Great Spirit and the power of life that the animals held. The Blackfeet Nation have a land that is too beautiful to describe it in words. And they have a wisdom - as do all the NAI Tribes- that the White Man would be smart to learn from.|
|One man-made thing I have wanted to see for ages: those four dudes behind the ChiefHubby and I. Meet my friends;George, Tom, Teddy, and Abe! Our relationship started out a little 'rocky', but smoothed out as we chatted a bit about the things going on in Washington D.C. these days. I think the four of them totally understood.|
|I set out all the goodies I came home with, minus THE HAT. The Chief had been wanting to find THE perfect hat for ages. Like he doesn't have two tons of them NOW?? (But any Fire Wife knows Firemen collect certian things:flashlights, pens, keychains pertaining to firefighting, and hats.)|
Personally, I love postcards! I always get double sets of them and always choose only two or three and usually in a vintage theme. Imagine my surprise when I found all the same vintage postcards that I used on my JUNE Tag!
So, of course, as soon as I got finished with my JULY TAG, I started playing with a couple of the postcards and some Tim Holtz CORRESPONDENCE set of papers, tapes, and my Alterations M&S Matchbox Die.
|I like to make my 'windows' so that nothing will fall out of it. I never know what all I end up putting into them. At this point, I double-sided just a tiny section of a strip of clear packing tape, and I have a window that won't stick to anything else.|
|A bit of similar shades of Distress Inks around the edges of the covers and the star-windows gave me the look I wanted.|
|The backside of the TAG whish I ended up putting the boxes onto, had enough room for a large photo of us from our trip. One of the many selfies we took among the 21GB of photo stills and videoI came home with. Of all the souvinirs....|
PHOTOS are my FAVE things to bring home, and THEN postcards. :)
|Here is the final frontside of the MatchBox Tag.|
Keep going, and you'll see what's inside soon!
|The photo has some of the matching Correspondence tape and I added some of the same Remnant Rubs- #84 stands for the year we got married- July 14, 1984. We've been seeing the world TOGETHER since then, and took our kids with us up till not too long ago.|
|The inside ended up being perfect for stashing MINIS I MADE OF THE POSTCARDS!!!|
This was so CUTE and so FUN!!!
|This pic and the next show the dates I stamped on the top for the first part of the two week trip and the bottom has the second part of the trip.|
|I added one of the stars from the matchbox covers with a bit of Vintage Photo Distress Ink around it for shading.|
|You can see the textuyre come out. I put some more of the tape over the front- just like any other package coming in the post would look.|
|The dates on the drawers were the dates the postcards were purchased.|
Of course, there is much more to the story of this trip, and there are 14 more people who joined us for it. Each of them has their own favorite parts of the vacation, and every person had at least their phone for taking pictures. I imagine we will have quite a bit to share when we see each other again. We actually didn't have as much time together as we hoped since none of us took into account how HUGE the state of Montana really is and the amount of time you end up DRIVING to get ANYPLACE. Plus, the cows, buffalo, goats, and tons of other critters blocking the road and chewing at your car like "Dude, I don't care for blue. Get outta my road, I'm busy CHEWING."
I know I learned a very important lesson that I already knew. I just really never fully understood until the moment I turned around and stood up to see a mountain up above me that truly fit the description "Crown of the Continent": these wondrous, beautiful-beyond-description places could NOT have just 'happened' on their own. Each mountain is intricately chisled in impossible shapes.
Only a Creator GOD could have done that.
Thanks for sharing this part of the JULY TAG post with me! I hope it helps you understand why my Tag says "the beatiful USA". And I also hope it gives you the desire to get out and see some of this awesome land! If it hasn't been possible for you, yet, then perhaps this will give you HOPE that you can hang on to. Afterall, we ALL can dream big; that's exactly how a lot of these places came to be. Someone at some point had a dream that "EVERYONE should see this!"
Till next time...
Click here to see JULY TAG; The 12 Tags of 2016...Part 2