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.

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.

Hickory, North Carolina

On Wednesday September 29th we found our way to Hickory, North Carolina on our Land That We Love Tour, to the home we rented for our family to stay in during the wedding festivities for our niece and her love. We had a short drive this day, only 50 miles. We stopped at a Wal-Mart to gas up at only $2.83 a gallon in Lenoir. We were able to check in early to our VRBO and got a load of wash started before we ventured out to do some grocery shopping for our stay here. We had lists from each of our kids for what to buy to stock the refrigerator with. We enjoyed lunch at a Mexican restaurant and then went back to our VRBO and waited for our kids to arrive from their drive after flying into Raleigh Durham Airport. Fun family days ahead for all of us.

It was wonderful when they pulled into the driveway later on this day and we were all together for 4 days.

The house we rented was on Lake Hickory.

On our way out of Boone, N. C. we stopped at Stick Boy Bakery and bought some bread and goodies to enjoy at our VRBO in Hickory N.C. This was a great bakery and if you are ever in Boone look it up.

We also stopped in at the mall in Boone and shopped at TJ Maxx where I found a different top for the wedding we would be attending. I packed something for cooler weather and the weather was nice and warm so I found something more appropriate.

This was the 9th day on the road for us with sunshine and blue skies again.

The Advent Season is upon us. Today I’m busy in the kitchen and this evening I’ll be helping with decorating our church for the Christmas season. We have a few of our own Christmas decorations up but not the whole enchilada!

Have you started decorating?

A Three State Drive

On Tuesday September 28th our Land That We Love Tour was shorter in mileage but longer in time because of the smaller twisty roads we would travel. Interstate 75 south to East 25 through the Cumberland Gap on to Interstate 81 northeast towards Bristol connecting to highway 321 into Boone, North Carolina. We traveled approximately 259 miles on this day. Kentucky to Tennessee and across the border into North Carolina.

We stopped in Corbin, Kentucky to have breakfast at Cracker Barrel Store #8. Dear had Biscuits and gravy with a side egg and I had the Two egg biscuit breakfast with their famous hashbrowns. Total for breakfast before tip was $17.98.

After passing through the Cumberland Gap tunnel we came across Lincoln Memorial University. We chose not to go into the National Park because it was foggy and visibility would not be great.

On Highway 25 East/South we pulled into this overlook.

Unfortunately we really couldn’t see much at this overlook because the valley was covered by fog…sigh.

The sign above shows what we were supposed to see.

After the morning fog the sun broke through for another beautiful day for travel.

We kept seeing a lot of these strange looking vines/ivy and we were curious as to what it could be. We researched later and that will be for another post.

Are you ready?

We were entertained along the mountain roads with how many Baptist churches we drove by. We aren’t exaggerating to say that we saw one about every half mile!

We made it to our destination for the night in the College Town of Boone. Hotels were pricier here and we paid $161.00 for the night with a total of 181.53 with taxes. It was a nothing special Courtyard by Marriott.

King Street in Boone.

Appalachian State University enrolls over 20,000 students. Lots of young people walking around this town!

We ate Linner at Macado’s on W. King Street. Fish and Chips, Black Bean Quesadilla and two drinks for a total of $32.87 before tip. After we ate we did a little shopping along King St. We stopped into the Mast General Store but didn’t end up buying anything. We heard about a great bakery called Stick Boy Bakery that we planned on stopping at on our way out of town on Wednesday September 29th.

Back to the present. We had about 6 inches of snow overnight so it’s a white winter wonderland for now.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Historic Boone Tavern

When we were done at the Ark Encounter on Monday September 27th we filled up our tank with gas for just under $49.00. The receipt was torn so I’m not sure the price per gallon. This tank would last us until we got into North Carolina. We drove south in Kentucky for 80 miles on Interstate 75 to the college town of Berea.  We had a room booked at the Historic Boone Tavern. You can read about the Historic Boone Tavern located on the campus of Berea College in Berea, Kentucky. Our room charge was $119 and with taxes the total was $130.90.

It was nice to stray from national chain hotels to this beauty on our Land That We Love Tour.

We were able to check in earlier than we expected and went out to do a little shopping at an Artisan Village called Old Town Artist Village. The college campus was busy with students walking to and from classes. Berea is a college that does not charge tuition but the students given admission to the college agree to work 10 hours a week for the college in different positions around the campus.

This was a nice shop featuring woodcrafts called The Cabin of Old Town.

We had an early dinner reservation at the restaurant in the hotel.

I tried some deep fried deviled eggs that were delicious.

Dear tried the Shrimp and Grits. (When in the South…) Besides the deviled eggs I had a cup of soup, a salad, and we shared Steamed Mussels. We had a drink each. We shared Bread Pudding for dessert. Our bill came to $98.93 before tip.

Tuesday morning we would be checking out early and heading to Boone, North Carolina for our Tuesday night stay in the Appalachians. Are you catching the theme in this part of our country. In Kentucky we were on the edge of the Daniel Boone National Forest.

The Ark Finale

Today I’m wrapping up my Ark Encounter posts with a hodgepodge of photos I took inside the three level Ark. If you ever find yourself in Kentucky you really should put a stop at the Ark in your itinerary! The next overnight stop on our Land That we Love Tour was Berea, Kentucky.

Possible water storage on the ark.

There is a lot about the whole Ark experience that Noah and his family had that the Bible does not spell out. The Ark Encounter made it clear when they were taking artistic license.

A devotional popped up in my email about the time of Noah that I’ll share parts of here. It’s from Drawing Near by John MacArthur.

Genesis 6:5 says, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Before moving in judgment against the most evil and corrupt society in history, God appointed Noah to build an ark, which became a symbol of life and salvation to all who believed God. For those who disbelieved, it represented impending death and judgment.

Concurrent with constructing the ark, Noah preached about coming judgment. Peter called him “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Pet. 2:5), and every board he cut and nail he drove in was a living illustration of the urgency of his message.

God’s warning was stern and His message horrifying, but His patience and mercy prevailed for 120 years. As Peter said, “The patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark” (1 Pet. 3:20). The people had ample warning of judgment, but they chose to disregard Noah’s message.

As sad as the account of Noah’s day is, perhaps the greatest tragedy is that man’s attitude toward God hasn’t changed since then. Jesus said, “The coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt. 24:37-39).

After 120 years of diligent work and faithful preaching by Noah, only eight people entered the ark. But God’s purposes were accomplished and the human race was preserved.

For your information there are many attractions on the Ark Encounter grounds. Ararat Ridge Zoo, camel rides, kangaroo walk about, Rainbow Gardens, The Village Smokehouse (food), Emzara’s restaurant (food), Southwest Grill (food), Zophar’s (food), Free Fall Tower, Zip-Line Tower, Truth Traveler Virtual Reality Experience (separate ticket for this event along with the Screaming Eagle Zip Lines and Aerial Adventure), Family Playground, Noah’s Village has pizza, burgers, hot dogs, soft serve and hand dipped ice cream and funnel cakes. Strollers and wheel chairs along with motorized wheel chairs are available.