USA : Land of the Free

North Carolina: Raleigh to Clemmons to Boone

Oct. 7 : Clemmons, NC: A destination-themed breakfast and a first stop to Clemmons, NC to visit Johanna & Kendall, newly engaged and now home-owners! Also a stop at the mechanic for a $231 replacement of a broken axle (?)… too bad they couldn’t also give me advice on how to tie a bike to a roof rack.

Oct. 8-9 : Boone, NC

The Appalachian Mountains in the Fall. Believed to have been the highest mountains on earth about 460 million years ago when all of the continents were connected.

Jackie & Byron live in an amazing mountain house in Boone. (Byron actually has a head, but photoshop…).

Jackie & Byron.

Textures of the Appalachian Mountains.

 Kentucky: Boone to The Land Between the Lakes; Oct 10

Western North Carolina.

Western North Carolina.

Bridge in Kentucky into The Land Between the Lakes.

The campsite at TLBTL.

Over 170,000 acres of land was designated by President JFK in 1963 as the “peninsula Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area in an effort to demonstrate how an area with limited timber, agricultural, and industrial resources could be converted into a recreation asset that would stimulate economic growth in the region.” A 9am picture by Energy Lake on the east side of the peninsula.

 Kansas: TLBTL to Lawrence: Oct. 11

Illinois truck stop.

Western Missouri.

 Colorado: Lawrence to Denver to Granby to Boulder

USA time zones: Learning something new everyday.

Oct. 12: Denver, CO: Words can’t explain how windy and long and flat Kansas is/was. At first I said, oh this is so lovely – I’m out West- by the end I was flicking off road signs. Alas, I made it to Denver at 10pm.

I-70 through Kansas.

Windturbines in Kansas.

The “Breadbasket” of the US. Right? Kansas.

Oct. 14: The house I was born at in Denver: Valejo Street.

Oct. 15: Granby Lake Campsite at Sunset. Granby Lake is the largest in Colorado.

Camp Chief Ouray meets the Subaru.

Oct. 16: Granby, Colorado.

Granby, Colorado.

Dead Elk?

Golden Aspens.

Camp Chief Ouray: the new fire pit.

Colorado Fuzzies.

Camp fire at Granby Lake.

Oct. 17: Somewhere between Granby and Winter Park , CO: Day Hike.

watch: Trailblazin’ in the Ukon!

Original homestead at CCO, Granby, CO.

A stop at Red Rocks in Morrison, CO on the way to Boulder.

Boulder, CO

Hiking the Flatirons near Boulder. Can you spot the climbers?

A hiker atop the arch; Boulder to the left and Denver to the right.

Molly and I made it to the top!

Guy and girl hang out with their dog at the top.

Colors of Colorado Fall.

Sock Puppets! Pearl Street in Boulder.

Super hipster.

Oct. 24: Wonderous Wyoming

Wind River Indian Reservation, WY

watch: Meditation in Wyoming

In Wyoming (2009):

52,000 (9.8 %) individuals were living below the poverty line

9,000 (6.3%) families were living below the poverty line.


“We’re the only house on the block. Can’t miss it. The sky will point you right to us.”

I really like my car. Can you tell?

So that’s where the UFOs come from…

The Tetons: blowing my mind…

Oct. 24-26: Jackson, WY

National Elf Refuge

North Cache, Teton Theatre.

Bike ride in Teton Village.

The aftermath of passing out in a field after trying to run 3 miles at 7,000 ft (bad idea!).

The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar; my mom’s old stopping grounds.

Snake River IPA at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.

Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park; Wyoming.

Yellowstone National Park; Wyoming.

 Oct. 26- Nov. 4: Jackson, WY to Bozeman, Ft Benton & Billings, MT

I MADE IT! Montana!

Oct. 26-30: Bozeman, MT

10.27: The Axtmans unite in Bozeman, MT! : Kayle, Kelly and me.

10.29: MSU vs. Idaho; Great Falls tailgate.

You think you’ve seen the west and then you go to Montana.



Oct. 30- Nov. 4: Fort Benton, Montana

Montana; between Great Falls and Ft. Benton.

The Missouri River; just outside Ft. Benton, MT. Just as Lewis and Clark found it.

Ft. Benton, MT; Old railroad tracks.

Ft. Benton truly is the birthplace of Montana. It was explored in 1805 by Lewis and Clark on their journey to the Pacific along the Missouri River. Beginning in the 1830s, fur trappers established settlements in the area and in 1847, a new settlement called Fort Clay emerged, later to be known as Ft. Benton (in 1850) in honor of Thomas Fort Benton, a US Senator who supported the fur trade. (

Bridge; Ft. Benton, MT. This bridge, which is now pedestrian only, was built in 1897 and is the first bridge built in Montana to span across the Missouri River. (

Ft. Benton, MT. I snapped this the day before it was torn down.

Ft. Benton, MT. Notice the “FB 2012” on the hill. While the letters remain the same, the seniors each year change the year. Sometimes the juniors will mess with the rocks and change the years around and so last year the numbers were made permanent with concrete by Russ Axtman and some seniors.


1. Hunters seasonally make their way to Ft. Benton to hunt.

2. John Deere green can be found in interesting places around town.

3. Ft. Benton offers canoeing trips down the Missouri River in the summer time.

Ft. Benton, MT. Governor Thomas Francis Meagher was an Irishman who traveled a world away, finding himself as Governor of Montana in the late 1800s. His death on July 1, 1867 remains “one of the biggest mysteries in Montana. ” Whether it was murder, accidental or by suicide, no one knows. He’s noted as one of the worlds’ greatest orators, which seems so appropriate for a town banked on the Missouri River with so many stories to tell and layers of history to unravel. (

Grandparents & I.

Ft. Benton, MT. The old railroads tracks and train station. The story of Shep took place at these tracks:

In 1936, a sheepherder fell ill and died in Ft. Benton. Shep, a loyal dog, watched as his body was taken away on a train and remained faithful for 5-1/2 years, coming to the train station daily to await the return of his master. It’s said that Shep grew old and hard of hearing and when a train 235 rolled in on a winter’s morning, Shep was hit and died. He was buried 2 days later on a bluff overlooking the station and it’s said that school was let out early and everyone in town attended. A statue now stands in honor of Shep on Front Street, forever faithful.

Nov. 4-6: Billings, Montana


Judith Gap, Montana.

The mysterious west; on the road to Billings.

Black Cows.

Atop the white rocks coming into Billings with the city in the background.

Billings, MT. A wintery day.

Nov 6: Billings, MT to Denver, CO

Wyoming to Denver.

On the road through Wyoming.

Clouds in the west. Judith Gap, MT.

Nov. 6 – 11 Denver, CO

Duh, coffee; St. Mark’s Coffeehouse on 17th Street.

Nov. 11 – 13: Moab, UT

Gnarly Tree; Arches National Park

Vegetation; Arches National Park

Arches National Park

Cacti; Arches National Park

Fuzzies; Arches National Park

Arches National Park

Arches National Park

Arches National Park

Arches National Park

Nov. 14: Grand Junction, CO to Denver, CO to Raton, NM

Nov. 15: Raton, NM to Dallas, TX!



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