Cheyenne to Billings and Home

Wrapping up our Land That We Love Tour with this post. On Saturday October 9th after we left Cheyenne we headed north on Interstate 25 with a cruise through Casper Wyoming ending up in Billings, Montana for the night.

It was a 455 mile drive. We filled up at Jerry’s Interstate Gas Station in Casper for $3.989. One of the highest priced gasoline on our trip. When we got to Billings we filled up the tank again at Costco for $3.149. On Sunday October 10th, on our last stretch to our home we bought gas again in Missoula at Costco for $3.299 and finally at our usual gasoline stop in Spokane, Washington at Costco for $3.489. Our drive from Billings to our home on Sunday was 609 miles. We originally planned to stop in Wallace, Idaho overnight on Sunday and drive the last stretch home on Monday the 11th of October but we were so ready to be home again we cancelled our night and headed straight home.

Here’s what we saw on our drive on Saturday October 9th.

Jackalope of Wyoming

 

After Casper I probably drove so photos ceased.

We arrived in Billings, filled up with gas at Costco, checked into Fairfield by Marriott for the night at $159.68. We freshened up and had one of the best dinners on our trip and I wrote a post about it here.

On Sunday early morning we packed up for the last leg of our journey home.

We made it home before dark and turned the heat back up and had a relaxing evening.

We are talking about where we should road trip next, Lord willing. Time will tell where and when. Thanks for following along with us. We do Love the USA and pray God will have mercy on our Homeland.

Cheyenne, Wyoming

After we checked out of our hotel on Saturday morning October 9th we drove to the downtown historic district to see what we could see.

Historic Whipple House located in the heart of downtown Cheyenne. This historic mansion was built in 1883 by Mr. Whipple and later sold to Mr. Lacy who was commissioned by President Author to begin the Wyoming territory. The 24 foot ceiling, old historic pocket doors, and craftsmanship remain in the home today.

The sign wasn’t really easy to read but this original bronze statue is on sale for $6000. This was in the front yard of one of the homes downtown.

The Cathedral of St. Mary

Supreme Court State Library on Capitol Avenue.

Wyoming State Capitol

On July 4, 1867 the first tents were pitched on the site now known as Cheyenne. Cheyenne means “aliens” or “people of foreign language.” 

The City of Cheyenne had its beginning in 1867, when the Union Pacific Railroad came through on its way to the west coast. The town site was first surveyed by General Grenville Dodge and was named for an Indian tribe that roamed the area (originally called ‘Shey’ an’ nah’, belonging to the tribe of Alogonquian, the largest family of Indians on the North American Continent). Settlement came so fast that the nickname “Magic City of the Plains” was adopted.

The Cheyenne Depot museum in the distance.

The first Cheyenne Frontier Days happened in 1897.

We found our way out of Cheyenne as the sun rose. We traveled Interstate 25 north to Interstate 90 and Northwest to Billings on this day, 455 miles and Six and a half hours.

My next post will be filled with photos from the road from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Billings, Montana. Almost done with our Land That We Love Tour.

Kansas to Wyoming October 8th, 2021

We were on the road before dawn on Friday October 8th, 2021 on our Land That We Love Tour. On this day we traveled 549 miles which took us approximately 8 hours. Our original plan was to travel north to Nebraska and then west to Cheyenne but because of some road issues we changed our plans to travel west on I-70 with a northern jog once in Colorado then a west jog and finally continuing north on highway 85 into Cheyenne.

It’s time for some true confessions on some travel failures that we realized once home and doing further research on this area of Kansas. The reason we got off the highway for a while in Hays was to find Joe Bob Outfitters which we did and Dear made a purchase there. We also used the Home Depot for a pit stop. Now come the discoveries we made after we returned home and another discovery just this week. It’s not about Bob Dole, either, although it is interesting that Bob Dole was from Hays. This weeks discovery was that Dear’s mother Verna went to college in Hays! I was going through some of Verna’s papers this week and there were her college documents from Fort Hays Kansas State College!

If we would have traveled north through Hays and then west on highway 36 we would have gone through a few small towns where Verna’s Aunt Matilda (Dear’s Great Aunt Matilda) lived, (Oberlin, Kansas) and where Verna taught in a one room schoolhouse in McDonald, Kansas! Oye, we are kicking ourselves for missing that opportunity.

Another border town that uses part of each state name as the border city.

We stopped for gas in Seibert, Colorado at the Travel Plaza. Gas was $3.499 per gallon in Eastern Colorado. We also turned north here to jog up to Highway 34 and west again to highway 85 and north on 85 to Cheyenne.

The roads we traveled to get to highway 85 were desolate.

Always a good relief to reach our next destination safe and sound. We thank God for that.

We checked into Spring Hill Suites in Cheyenne where we paid $161.70 for our room. We ate at Sanford’s Cheyenne paying $42.14 before tip for a California Club Sandwich, a Cajun Chicken Sandwich and two drinks. The food was good.

Our Saturday travels on October 9th included stops in the historical area of downtown Cheyenne before we left town for Billings. Lots of photos in my next post.

Back to the present…

We spent Sunday January 23rd at home. We planned to go to church but when we pulled out of our drive onto the road it was so icy that our car didn’t want to go straight ahead. Slip, slip, sliding along we decided against our original plan. We very carefully turned around and into our driveway and watched our church service online. For the record, in person church is far better than online church.

The difference a day makes. We traveled on Saturday to Spokane and back home with no road issues. Whatever weather happened over night Saturday into Sunday turned our road into a sheet of ice. Monday the county will probably do some sanding since the school buses travel our road.

Hope you all had a peaceful weekend.

Land That We Love Tour ~ October 7th

We start on our home stretch on our Land That We Love Tour.

After two and a half great days with our brother’s family we left Dallas on Thursday October 7th at O’dark’thirty heading north to Oklahoma and Kansas. I posted a short post on that day here. We got a few gallons of gas at Central Truck Stop in Oklahoma City at $3.199 per gallon. Later that day we filled up our tank at the Costco in Wichita, Kansas for $2.729 per gallon.

After our gas and shopping stop at the Costco in Wichita Kansas we continued North and noticed the sign on the highway about the Mennonite Heritage and Agricultural Museum in Goessel, Kansas. We took the exit and enjoyed our time on these backroads checking out the church and museum.

Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church

Here’s a link to the museum for more information. It is a well thought out museum with a great collection of history and historical artifacts and other objects that tell stories of the Mennonite people in Kansas.

When we walked into the museum we noticed the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Cookbook. Woohoo!

Schroeder Barn

One room schoolhouse

Goessel State Bank

It was quite warm on this day and we were parched after walking around the museum out buildings.

Back on the road we made our way to McPherson, Kansas where we stayed at Fairfield Inn and Suites. We used our accumulated points to stay here for free. We ate at La Fiesta Restaurant and ate well for less than we had at any other Mexican restaurant.

McPherson has developed into one of the most industrialized small communities in the nation. Centered in one of the largest wheat producing areas of the United States, McPherson is also ranked among the top agricultural centers of Kansas.

On this Thursday we traveled 416 miles for approximately six and a quarter hours not counting our shopping and time at the museum.

 

Land That We Love Tour ~ N.C. to Texas

It was way back at the end of September and the beginning of October 2021 that we were on our Land That We Love Tour from Washington State, through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina for the wedding of our niece. That’s where my posts left off in mid-December. Now I’d like to finish the rest of our tour through North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and home again, home again, jiggety jig. I hope to finish by the end of January.

Goodbye to Hickory, North Carolina and our VRBO and hello Tennessee on Sunday October 3rd.

On Sunday after 4 full days in our VRBO home we packed up our car again and had to use our Tetras skills to get it all to fit. We headed west on Interstate 40 through the Appalachians in North Carolina and along the Smoky Mountains into Tennessee and all the way to Jackson, Tennessee for the night.

Dear needed some coffee and we were ready to fill the tank with gas so we got off at an exit that didn’t have good choices for either coffee or gas. We did see Old Tennessee Distilling Co. and stopped in to have a look around. This was in Kodak, Tennessee. Dear had a great conversation with this character who’s grandfather taught him how to run a Still when he was 8 years old. His grandfather’s original Still was on display on an upper shelf in this establishment.

After our time in this store we headed west again on I-40 and a few exits along the way we were able to fill up with gas and then have a nice light lunch at Aubrey’s just outside of Knoxville. Dear had a burger and I had a 1/2 turkey sandwich and soup. Our food was $22.00 plus tax. Gas outside of Knoxville was $2.889 per gallon and we filled up with 17.284 gallons at $49.93.

On the road again we traveled through some incredible thunderstorms and downpours that slowed us way down because of no visibility. Several accidents had the freeway backed up for miles. Most of the accidents were on I-40 going east which was fortunate for us. We were so happy to finally get to clear skies and dry roads. We just zoomed past Nashville only seeing what we could off of the freeway. This was already a long travel day and we didn’t have time for sight seeing.

We thanked God for bringing us safely to our destination for the night at Residence Inn by Marriott in Jackson, Tennessee. We paid a total of $143.56 for the night. On this Sunday we traveled approximately 506 miles, 7-1/2 hours. We filled the tank up with gas again in Jackson for $2.889 per gallon. We only needed 12 gallons to fill up here. We had dinner at a local Mexican restaurant that was very popular. There were a couple mix-ups in our ordering and the meal ended up being half the price we expected, about $25.00.

On Monday We drove through Memphis and onward.

We crossed the mighty Mississippi river for the 2nd time on this road trip.

Hello Arkansas!

 

We stopped for gas and lunch in Texarkana. A town that is in both Arkansas and Texas. We bought gas on the Arkansas side for $2.729 per gallon. We had a fast food lunch at Whataburger on the state line for $13.45.

The Arkansas side of the road has Arkansas flags on the light poles and the Texas side of the street has Texas flags on the posts.

In Texas we are headed to my youngest brother’s home in Dallas. We would be staying with his family for a couple nights before hitting the road on a fast track home.

After 534 miles and over 8 hours of driving we pulled up to my brother’s home. We enjoyed a roast beef dinner around the table this evening. It was good to be in the state of Texas with our extended family for a couple of days.

Posts about our time in Dallas are here and here.

While in Dallas we also got to tour the church and offices where my brother and his dear wife are on staff. We enjoyed good conversation during our time together. Dear was able to help out with a couple home projects and I helped Andrew with one of his jigsaw puzzles.

Thursday October 7th we head north on our Land That We Love Tour.

Give Me Freedom to Roam Hodgepodge

It’s Wednesday so here are the Hodgepodge questions for this week. Thank you to Jo From This Side of the Pond!

1. What do you wish you’d done more of last year?

More meditating on God’s Word, the Bible. Remembering what the Lord has done for us.

Less of? 

Less watching of mindless TV.

2. What’s the tallest building you’ve ever been in?
~chihuly-065
The Sears Tower was the tallest. The photo at the top of this post is of some of the Chicago skyline.
The Sears Tower is now the Willis Tower. Other tall buildings I’ve been in: Empire State Building, The Space Needle, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Statue of Liberty.
~
Do you have a fear of heights
~
No but I do have a fear of edges. Edges of cliffs, open edges on winding mountain roads.  A nice handrail or some sort of barrier between me and the edge is always comforting to me.
~
3. Do you have a word for the year? Elaborate if you’d like to elaborate. 
~
No word for the year as of yet and don’t know if I’ll choose one. I was considering Perseverance.
~
4. January 11 is National Milk Day…are you a milk drinker? What kind? Your favorite recipe that calls for milk (cereal doesn’t count)? 

I like milk but milk doesn’t like me. I can enjoy it in moderation. Give me whole or 2% please. Our family favorite, Swedish Pancakes, calls for milk.

5. What excites you most about the future?

That the Lord will return to gather us up to be with Him.

Seeing our grandchildren grow.

What do you miss about the past? 

Freedom to travel without masks and restrictions and having all the resources of travel available like open restaurants and attractions.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Speaking of watching our grandchildren grow. I will cherish all the moments like this one.

Thank you for visiting, fellow hodgpodgers and friends, you make me smile.

Last Two Days in North Carolina

Back to our Land That We Love Tour for our last full day in North Carolina and our departures on Sunday the third of October.

On Saturday the 2nd of October we enjoyed park time, lunch at the local Mexican restaurant and then some time at the Bride and Groom’s home for an open house.

Following Baba back to the cars.

After the open house the guys and Katie went on a shopping excursion the rest of the girls and Addy and JJ went back to our VRBO. What we didn’t realize was that the car that went shopping had both keys to the house and we panicked for a short time until genius Laura checked under a planter and found a spare key that the owners left. Whew! Naptime and later a quick dip in the lake and a relaxing evening.

Snuggle time before naps.

Josh was the only one of us who decided to take a leap into Lake Hickory.

The rest of us just watched from the deck.

On Sunday Dear and I left to continue our Land That We Love Tour.

Goodbye to our home away from home.

Our kids loaded up later than us and headed to Raleigh for their flight home, stopping at a Cracker Barrel for breakfast.

More park time before their flight.

We were on the road again heading through the mountains of North Carolina into Tennessee. More about our day of travel later.

Back to the present we had another dusting of fluffy snow on Monday evening. It was fun to watch it fall. Tuesday morning was above freezing and the fluff melted off quickly.

The Wedding

Get ready for a photo overload. A friendly warning. Our niece’s wedding took place on Friday October 1st at the Providence Cotton Mill in Maiden, North Carolina. It was a lovely spot for a wedding.

Where’s JJ?

He followed me when I got up to take the photo of the group waiting for the wedding ceremony to begin.

Mother of the bride.

Giving the instructions that everyone will follow but one…there is always at least one in a crowd who doesn’t think the rules apply to them.

Jenna was the first to make us Uncle and Auntie.

Sisters of the bride and our nieces.

Sisters of the bride and our grand niece.

Our grand nephew and our nephew by marriage.

Christina (mother of the bride) and Terry (father of the bride). Terry is Dear’s older and only sibling. Terry and Chris were in our wedding as Dear’s best man and my matron of honor.

It was good to get photos taken before the southern humidity transported my hair to another dimension.

She is one of two of our newest grand nieces and we now have a brand new grand nephew, too.

A cousin shot with the Bride and Groom.

All the extended Bayles’ to date!

Congratulations Chris and Kacie. That’s a wrap!

I’m adding some more photos that I overlooked before to this post.

 

 

 

Happy 47th Anniversary to Us

For our 47th Anniversary which is today we drove to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho after church on Sunday for an overnight stay. We made dinner reservations on Sunday at Cedars Floating Restaurant. It was a good choice and we enjoyed our meal and time there.

When love is true, There is no ending. We hope to celebrate with you for years to come…

Tempura asparagus with balsamic and blue cheese crumbles. I love tempura veggies! Prime Rib for Dear, Scallops for me and then we shared with each other.

Complimentary Huckleberry Ice Cream.

We are going to do some shopping today in Idaho and then head on home. Coeur d’Alene is only 100 miles from Colville. It’s a great place for a getaway. Sales taxes are lower and gas prices are lower, too.

All of our Christmas decorations are up, the tree is trimmed, we had some snow in the early hours on Saturday so things are looking like a winter wonderland. I’ve been working on our Christmas letter so next up is addressing and mailing our Christmas Greeting for 2021.

Happy New Week to all of you!

Pool Time in Hickory

There was a pool at the house we rented on Lake Hickory and even though it wasn’t heated to a comfortable temperature some of our crew had a crisp good time.

 

 

Fun family time on our Land That We Love Tour. Next up a photo overload from the Wedding ceremony on Friday October 1st.

Back here in Colville our temperatures are taking a cold turn with highs below 40 degrees and lows in the 20’s. In the next several days the highs will be below 30 degrees. Brrr. As I type this the temperature outside is 28 degrees. Time to pull out the warm woolen mittens!!

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Have a good weekend everyone!