Monday evening it rained while I was at USA Buffet for supper. With the sun low in the west I ran outside to check for a rainbow and there was one. A perfect, pale half-circle arch... Mama's greeting the day before the trip.
I spent a great deal of time Monday and Tuesday loading the van in such a way as to have an air mattress in the back for us to nap upon. This meant I loaded the sunshade poles, chairs, bucket with torchbowl/ lamp/oil/ropes/spikes, pans, basin, totes and ice chest along the sides leveling them with some of the slats from my bed. The sunshade, extra bedding and so forth was opened out on the floor for a flat surface to put the air mattresses on (only the top mattress was blown up). The tent went between the seats in front and our baskets went on the passenger seat when one of us was on the mattress in back. I spent some time devising hanger hooks for the rattan torch holder to go up on the clothing hooks and additional hooks to be able to use the back seat belts to stabilize the stacked totes (didn't want them falling on us when sleeping y'know). The bag of tent poles and the folding table went at the head of the bed to prevent it sliding forward. Actually the whole thing worked out pretty well for me but Leofwyna's penchant for carsickness caused her some problems and she didn't really rest well back there.
We didn't actually get out of town until around 5pm 'cause Leofwyna had to back track to get Baskin-Robbins icecream to celebrate the beginning of the trip. We stopped in Kronberg; the first purpose of this trip is to scatter Little Sister's ashes and our first stop for this was at our parents' graves there. I also dropped off what I had ready for the quilt ladies to finish for charity packages. We stopped at Jana's to leave a package for Greg in Marquette... really love her back yard and have ideas now for our patio someday. Red-headed woodpecker Then we got back on the long road through the first night and I drove across most of Nebraska listening to Gabaldon's Outlander along the way. I turned the driving over to Leofwyna at the Sydney interchange and crawled in the back to sleep. Falling star Leofwyna stopped later to nap in front a couple hours while I slept and then continued on.
Wednesday morning she stopped at the Oregon Trail wagon ruts and Register Cliff in Guernsey, Wyoming for a breakfast break and to stretch our legs. She'd been there before and wanted to surprise me. It was a good time to be there; it was in shade and the morning cool as well as being quiet with no one about yet. Geese, Piping Plovers, cliff swallows, little rabbits, antelope, prairie dogs, magpie, deer, ducks with baby ducks At one of our fuel stops the clerk had received Cherry Brandy roses for her birthday! That's the same kind of roses we'd bought for Little Sister's funeral bouquet; the dried petals were with us for scattering, too. Kinda spooky 'cause we've never seen that kind of rose any other time. Unfortunately we didn't pull into Great Falls until late; Jodi was very sweet about the time and showed us where to bed down for the night.
Thursday our hosts were up and gone to work when we got up and going. On the way though, shortly after noon we spotted a quilt shop (Choteau, MT) and I found a few Natelstern-type fabrics to buy there. Buffalo, beaver dam and pond, seagulls At 2:19pm we were below Swift Dam which was our second stop for Little Sister's ashes (last campsite in a secluded glen of birches). Ptarmagen, ground squirrel We headed up toward Glacier Park... or that was the navagator's intention. I took us several miles out of our way to Glacier County before we got that straightened out. In Glacier Park we drove up the "Going to the Sun" road and over the pass before turning back. We stopped on the east side of the Continental Divide at Logan Pass on the west side of the Silver Band Loop just above the loop over Siyeh Creek below a little waterfall on the west wall across the valley floor from the trolley stop; now Little Sister rests there. Bighorn sheep, chipmunks, mountain goats, ravens, doe and buck in velvet, turtle We were later than we planned getting back to Jodi's so again we didn't get to visit with our hostess. We all just went right to bed.