Sitting here in Zero degree temps surrounded by snow, I'm dreaming of my vacation last Spring. I thought I'd tell you about it in installments, so I won't bore you with it all! My best friend Trisha and I went on my Dream Vacation. Since it was my dream, I did all the planning and reservation making. I plotted out a route, ordered a car, made reservations for the first night, and for a B&B in Idaho. I stayed awake too often, planning every eventually. I loaded my Ipod with music, packed car snacks, a water heater for the car, so we could make hot drinks on the road (which I never used) too many clothes, hiking boots, jackets, summer clothes, warm clothes, swimsuits...
The day came, May 16th. We flew into Jackson, Wyoming and rented a nice new Nissan Rogue. I was so excited to be back there, I had to show Trisha all my favorite places and explore new ones. The plan was to go into Yellowstone from the south and out the west entrance, continue on through Western Montana, Northern Idaho, into Portland-where we each had family to stay with, then go to the Canadian Rockies, down through Glacier and Yellowstone and back to Jackson. We had three weeks, enough money, good weather, music and a friendship that goes back to babyhood.
There were so many highlights! We saw wonderful places! The mountains were spectacular, cloaked in snow and wildflowers peeking out all over. We said Hello to the Grand Tetons, went through SW Yellowstone, staying a night at Old Faithful Lodge. We stopped at Quake Lake, west of Yellowstone. We fell in love with Ennis, Montana, a sweet little town surrounded by mountains, which is a huge fly fishing hub. We stayed in El Western Motel, which had log cabins with full kitchens in front of a lovely brook. It was so peaceful there that I had my first real night of sleep of the trip! The sunset on the mountains was pink, true alpenglow. We toured Virginia City, an old silver mining town, and had a great soak in one of the hot tubs in the C'Mon Inn in Bozeman.
We crossed over mountains into Idaho and followed a rushing river for hours on end till we got to the Palouse, where we went to Mary Jane's Farm B&B. What a find! I was so excited to surprise Trisha with a glamour camping experience. After her initial panic at seeing outhouses and tents, she was totally charmed by the place. Picture platform wall tents with wood stoves, real beds, fluffy comforters and pillows, outdoor kitchens with vintage fittings, a gourmet 4-course breakfast served in the plum orchard. Fresh eggs and produce from the farm...outdoor bathtubs with a view! (Click on the link for their slide show.) We were the only guests at that time, and they really pampered us. The Palouse was a surprise-high rolling hills where farms tuck into the folds. They do dry farming there--no irrigation--and grow canola, corn, wheat, soybeans. Quaint little towns filled with shops and antique stores! We shopped and shopped.
In Portland, Trisha's brother Paul took us to an iris festival/ flower show. OMYGOSH! Well, you must just look at the slide show, because what can I say? We both had nice visits with our relatives for a few days, (I had my own apartment at my cousin Jennifer's!) then we headed northeast to.......to be continued!