Montana, US National Parks

Montana road trip, part IV: cowboys, old cars, & the prison museum

Next up on our Montana history tour: Deer Lodge, a small town with a surprising amount of history! We arrived mid-morning and our first stop was Grant-Kohrs National Historic Site. This is an old cattle ranch that’s still semi-active. They have horses and cattle on site and park workers give tours, talks, and demonstrations of… Continue reading Montana road trip, part IV: cowboys, old cars, & the prison museum

Montana

Montana road trip, part III: First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park & Gates of the Mountains

Five of the six days of our Montana road trip were beautiful – warm, sunny, no rain to speak of. Perfect weather for exploring. And we did take advantage of this, although we spent some of our time inside on those days as well. So naturally, the one cold rainy day of our entire trip… Continue reading Montana road trip, part III: First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park & Gates of the Mountains

Montana, US National Parks

Montana road trip, part II: Fort Benton & the Missouri River Breaks

If you know me – or you’ve been following this blog for a while – you know I’m a planner. Some might say I’m an overplanner. I usually have a lengthy and well-researched list of things to do at each destination. Such was not the case for these first couple days of my mom’s and… Continue reading Montana road trip, part II: Fort Benton & the Missouri River Breaks

About me, Montana

Montana road trip, part I: waterfalls, birds, & the Lewis and Clark expedition

For someone who spent 18 years of her life in Montana, I’ve seen a remarkably small amount of the state. In my defense, it’s a huge state. I’ve done a reasonably thorough job exploring the area around my hometown. But most of my trips to other parts of the state were for gymnastics or track… Continue reading Montana road trip, part I: waterfalls, birds, & the Lewis and Clark expedition

Colorado, US National Parks

The Land of Prehistoric History – Dinosaur National Monument, Utah

(Gold star to anyone who can figure out the random inspiration for the title of this post. Hint: it came from the TV show I was bingeing at the time I sat down to write this.) If you’ve ever heard of Dinosaur National Monument, you probably specifically heard about the dinosaur quarry… a building that… Continue reading The Land of Prehistoric History – Dinosaur National Monument, Utah

Midwestern US, US National Parks

The Devil’s Corkscrew – Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Nebraska

After exploring Scotts Bluff and learning the history of the Oregon Trail, Chelsea and I continued north to our next stop: Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. Here, we would learn about a very different time in Nebraska's history. With my semester wrapping up just a couple days prior to our departure, I hadn’t really had… Continue reading The Devil’s Corkscrew – Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Nebraska

Midwestern US, US National Parks

Landmark on the Oregon Trail – Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska

Back in May, Chelsea and I headed to the Dakotas for a long weekend to do some highpointing. Since we were driving all the way up there, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to detour through Nebraska along the way and visit some national monuments in the western part of the state. Our… Continue reading Landmark on the Oregon Trail – Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska

Colorado, Colorado Bucket List, Colorado Hikes

Colorado Bucket List: Picketwire Canyon Dinosaur Tracks

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m a dinosaur snob. I can’t help it. I grew up in a state full of fossils, in a town with a pretty fantastic dinosaur museum. The bar was set really high when I was really young. So I’m not easily impressed. But this place was… Continue reading Colorado Bucket List: Picketwire Canyon Dinosaur Tracks

Colorado, Colorado Destinations, US National Parks

Castle on the plains – Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site

Bent’s Old Fort was in fact not a fort in the traditional sense. It may have resembled military fortifications, but it was actually a trading post. Brothers Charles and William Bent and their business partner Ceran St. Vrain built the fort a few miles outside La Junta in 1833, choosing this particular place because it was fairly centrally-located between the fur trappers of the Rocky Mountains, the native lands of the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa, and Comanche tribes, and people traveling between the US and Mexico on the Santa Fe Trail. It quickly became a key location for trading and the main stop on the Santa Fe trail for travelers in need of rest, repairs, and replenishment.

Colorado, Colorado Destinations, US National Parks

Heartbreaking history on the Colorado plains – Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site

The Eastern Colorado plains are the original homeland of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche, Osage, Kiowa, Sioux, Jicarilla Apache, and Ute tribes (source). But by the mid-1800s they were being systemically dispossessed from their homelands. The 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie established that the Cheyenne and Arapaho would retain some of their native lands in exchange… Continue reading Heartbreaking history on the Colorado plains – Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site