Reminiscing: Devil’s Tower, Wyoming

When I learned that Devil’s Tower was on our route to Glacier National Park it became a must-see destination. Devil’s Tower features prominently in Close Encounters of the Third Kind which is one of my all-time favorite movies. Needless to say, as soon as it came into view on the horizon we had to pull over so I could have a total fan girl moment.

There may have been squealing involved when Devil’s Tower came into view

Devil’s Tower is still considered a sacred place to Native Americans and others so, if you visit, please be respectful by staying on the trails and not disturbing the prayer bundles and prayer cloths you will see in the trees and shrubbery.

One of my favorite memories of The Great Road Trip of 2019 comes from our visit to Devil’s Tower. As we hiked the trail around the base of the tower we had one of those “it’s a small world” experiences; we met a man from the Atlanta area, just a couple of hours north of our hometown and a young man and his son from South Carolina. (We have family in both North and South Carolina so we were familiar with the area from which the young man hailed.) We all chatted, then went our separate ways. Each time our paths crossed, we would stop and visit again. Finally, the young dad asked, “Does everyone here keep apologizing to y’all for the humidity?” We all had a good laugh. Indeed, one of the park rangers had expressed concern that our visit was occurring during such high humidity. Y’all the humidity level was 25%. For native Southerners, 25% doesn’t even register on our humidity scale. As far as we were all concerned, the air was downright dry.😂

Sadly, no UFOs made an appearance during our visit but Devil’s Tower did not disappoint.🛸

Until next time, stay safe and happy trails!

Reminiscing: Toad Suck, Arkansas and Peculiar, Missouri

It was The Great Road Trip of 2019. We were driving through Arkansas and were getting tired and hungry when we noticed a sign for the town of Toad Suck. After confirming that we did both, in fact, see the words “Toad Suck” we pulled off in Conway and found a restaurant. Our server was happy to tell us about Toad Suck, where to find it, and the fact that there is now a Toad Suck festival every spring. Once we had eaten and were feeling human again, we made the drive to Toad Suck. It should come as no great surprise to anyone that there’s not a lot to see; it truly is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town. (Surprisingly, there is an Army Corp of Engineers campground in Toad Suck.) However, there is a sign perfect for selfies and a convenience store (which was brand new in 2019) featuring Toad Suck themed souvenirs.

Y’all, we seriously suck at selfies
I had to have the shirt

While we were struggling to get a somewhat decent selfie in front of the Toad Suck sign, a battered, older Toyota truck pulled over next to us, and the driver called out through the open window “What in the world are y’all doin’?” I explained that when you see a sign with the words “Toad Suck” you have to stop and take a selfie. He followed up with “Y’all ain’t from around here, are you?” we assured him that we were not and proceeded to have an enjoyable conversation. I know that Arkansas is considered a Southern state but mentally I don’t think of it as one. I have to admit I didn’t expect an Arkansan to sound way more Southern than I do.🤷‍♀️😂

The next day as we motored though Missouri, we came across signs for the town of Peculiar so, once again, we had to pull over and take pictures. I think of Peculiar as a fairly typical older, small town – with an unusual name. As a matter of fact, I didn’t find out how the town got its name until after we got home.

There are so many beautiful and unusual things to see in this country of ours. It’s important to take the time to stop and smell the roses, check out the town with the strange name, and take the bad selfie. (I know, it’s not always easy when you’re towing a travel trailer. During this trip, we weren’t.)

Until next time, happy trails!

Meals on the Go

I have a love/hate relationship with cooking. It doesn’t come naturally or easily to me and it’s never been something that I have particularly enjoyed. That said, I did the cooking for the first few years of our marriage; Kenn took over a few years in. (I think he was tired of watching me stress out over every meal, bless his heart.) However, once I retired, it was only fair that I take over the responsibility once again. Less than a year later, the pandemic hit and eating out was no longer an option. Cooking may not be fun for me, meal planning is even less so. We had used the Hello Fresh meal kit subscription a few years ago and decided to sign up once again. Using Hello Fresh works for me on two levels: one, it gives us a chance to try things we normally wouldn’t and two, that’s two less meals I have to plan each week. Surprisingly, I’ve also discovered that I enjoy the prep work; I don’t mind getting in the kitchen and zesting, chopping, an mincing up a storm.

Now, we are planning our first long road trip with the travel trailer which means meal planning without the assistance of Hello Fresh. It also means meal planning within the limited storage of a travel trailer. We sat down and listed a few of our favorite meals and the ingredients of each. I know we’ll eat out occasionally during our trip. After all, part of the travel experience is trying new/regional foods. (My love of all things huckleberry is a direct result of our 2019 road trip. It’s too bad we don’t have huckleberries here in the South.) However, we know that we have a tendency to repeat the same handful of meals over and over. Pasta also features frequently since it’s so easy to prepare.

Image courtesy of Depositphotos.com

So, dear reader, I need your help. What are some of your favorite meals to prepare when you’re on the road? Do you have any cookbooks or online resources to recommend? (Insert puppy dog eyes here)

Until next time, happy trails!