Friday, August 27, 2010


Duluth Lakeshore walk Today is as pretty a day as you could ever see.  Walking along the lake shore today, the air was cool, crisp, and sparkling clear… almost enough to make me wish we were staying longer in Duluth! 

I’ve been making a mental transition this week, from our eastern travels to the west.  With the approach of the last of the dreaded Big Three Camping Weekends (Labor Day), we needed a reservation for a site somewhere – and decided it was time to move back into the more familiar territory west of the Mississippi.  On Saturday, we’ll leave Duluth for a week of travel to Livingston, MT (just north of Yellowstone National Park), where we’ll stay over the holiday weekend.  We have a couple of social visits planned along the way – one of which might end up taking place in a rest stop!

We took a break from sightseeing this week and hung around our campsite. Watched neighbors arrive and depart – including a couple with two English Bulldogs (and two more at home).  This guy spent his downtime in the drivers seat, and we often saw the smaller female in the passenger seat – too funny!

Ready to go What you lookin' at??

Travel planning, minor motorhome maintenance, laundry.  We washed our filthy windows!  I planned our meals for the six day trek across North Dakota and Montana; today we’ll go to the grocery store, cut each other’s hair, do the last of the laundry. 

Sound like too much fun, huh???

I also fit in a LOT of reading, sitting outside in the sunshine.  I started and finished “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest”, the third of the popular trilogy by Stieg Larsson featuring his gutsy hacker heroine, Lisbeth Sander.   Of the three books, this was the most “dense”; though you couldn’t breeze through any of the three, “Hornet’s Nest” took quite a bit of concentration (and was worth it).  What a shame Larsson died after finishing the trilogy (heart attack at age 50)– I REALLY enjoyed his story and characters.  If you haven’t read the books and plan to, be sure to start with the first, as this is a consecutive story.

And of course we had the freighters to entertain us. 

Passport pagesWhen I blogged about my new guide book to the big freighters, my friend Elaine commented, “Laurie, with your new book, jot down the date and time of sighting next to the entry of each vessel. Used to do that many years ago with the Western Guide to Birds, and it brought back memories when I thumbed through the old book.” 

I had learned that from my BIL Frank back when I was trying to enjoy bird watching (another hobby not for me – I’d rather hunt BIG things than tiny things, I guess).  Elaine’s comment brought to mind my favorite “diary” activity: the Passport to Your National Parks.  I know I’ve mentioned this before, but my enjoyment of my Passport grows with each year of travel and park visits.  I didn’t buy mine until our second year of travel, but sections of it are full, now, and I love browsing through it as a reminder of our travels and all we have seen.  If you like visiting National Parks, pick one up!


  1. Those pics of the dogs in the RV are priceless! Too funny, for sure.

    Enjoy your drive and stay in the Big Sky country!

  2. I also have a blue "Passport to Your National Wildlife Refuges" book. It lists each refuge separately with a little info about each one. :)

  3. Oh that is too cute! The 2nd picture of the bulldog looks as though he is saying "What are you looking at?"

    Don't you just love "down" times?

  4. Love the photos of the bulldog! There is something special and funny about seeing a dog in the driver's seat; I find it to be a comical metaphor for who *really* runs the show in a human-canine pack.

    I really must pick up one of these Park Passport books. I heard of them only recently, and I am enamored by the idea.

  5. We really need to get a National Park Passport...Loved the dog in the driver's seat..I have seen a few people who should be in the back and let their dogs do the driving.

  6. The dog's the boss of that household without a doubt!!!!

  7. Adorable pictures of the dogs. Too funny!!!

  8. Cute pups at the wheel! Our collie sits in Steve's seat and the Sheltie sits in mine. Folks walk by at rest areas and point and laugh at them. We have a protective cover that goes over the shifting pad to prevent them from ever
    putting it into gear. ACK!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  9. Hilarious bulldogs! I wonder how good they are at backing up that rig?
    Gotta get one of those Passports! K

  10. I've read the first 2 in the "Girl" Steig Larsson trilogy and have bought the 3rd one, Hornet's Nest, for vacation reading the week after next. I also loved the characters.

    Safe travels to you and Odel.

  11. I just finished 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'. Engrossing, but left me a bit flat in the end. Don't know why. But I guess I'll read the next one and pretend that the first one just never ended. 8^)
    We also keep track of our National Park visits with the Passport book. Nice way to have a light weight keep-sake.

    -- jc

  12. Glad you enjoyed Duluth. We'll get there one of these days.
    Our toy poodle Shadow sits in the driver's seat of the motorhome whenever we're checking into an RV park. We always ask him if he wants to park it when we come back, and that's his cue to jump down. I think he's too small to see from the outside. Loved the photos of the bulldog.

  13. Laurie & Odel: We live 50 miles from Livingston, MT. Are boondocking right outside YNP with Gina and Rollie this weekend. Would love to meet you guys over the holiday weekend if at all possible. Check out the Rib and Chop House in Livingston for dinner--reservations are advised on a Friday or Saturday night.

  14. Always fun to see people's pets in the drivers seat. Our cat loves to hop up on the drivers seat whenever we stop somewhere. That's quite a site too.

    David and I just picked up a passport book and had our first cancellation stamp on the Erie Canal. We didn't even know about the books until the ladies at the Erie Canal Museum mentioned them. What a neat find!

  15. I have discovered in the last five days without internet access that I am addicted to your blog, Laurie! We are at Camp on the Heart, as planned, but since I have no wifi card, I am dependent on theirs. ah well. looking forward to Minot!