2017 The Road Trip West

Well, by now I was getting the hang of this retirement thing. Pretty good at it, I would say.

Early in 2017 I had signed up through Road Scholar to volunteer at a youth camp in Wyoming. A "ranch' for kids and young adults with cancer. A week doing chores getting it ready for the upcoming Summer season. It was scheduled in the middle of May and I had decided to drive out West and take my time. Routed through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan I started out about 10 days early and just poked. After the camp I had decided to just head further West and let the wind blow me where it would. The first thing I did was build a sleeping platform and storage area in the back of my pickup. Nothing fancy but to an old submarine sailor there was enough room back there for me and a three piece band.

While the Upper Peninsula was nice, to me it was very much like the woods of the Adirondacks. Didn't spend a lot of time as I wanted to get out West. Traveled down into North Dakota and headed for Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Spent a day or so in the Southern Unit of the Park and was fortunate to witness a full moon and spectacular sunrise along with various critters from prairie dogs to wild horses.

After North Dakota I headed straight South to the Badlands of South Dakota where I spent the night. Although the skies were cloudless making for terrible sunrise photography I did manage to eke out a few nice shots of the wildlife including my first opportunity to photograph a burrowing owl.

Over the next few days I continues to work my way West, stopping along the way in Scenic, South Dakota, Lewis and Clark State Park in Montana, Little Big Horn and finally Deer Lodge, Montana where I visited an auto museum and the old state prison.

Finally I arrived at Camp Make-a-Dream where I was to spend the next week painting, roofing, gardening, laying brick, cleaning. Hell I even used a draw knife to debark some poles. If it needed doing we did it. A nice bunch of people and I look forward to going back but not this year. The opportunity is scheduled just too early for the weather to be appealing for a road trip out West. It can be found on Road Scholar.

Well I guess that wraps up this session. I'll get to the rest of the road trip after the camp work another time. Enjoy. Click here to be taken to Gallery

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