Time to begin the journey home
Glacier!! What a beautiful beast. We already can not wait to make the journey back someday. Summer and I got in one more yoga session at YOGA LOVE early morning because we dropped Tylere off in Whitefish so he can fly home today. Time for a long haul to billings Montana. We arrived before dark at Billings KOA, a great, right off the highway, one night stop. Billings KOA is the first ever KOA, that's fun!! They have a great pool, safe property, good little store, and good sites. We would pit stop here again. https://koa.com/campgrounds/billings/
Billings to Hill City South Dakota
Rafter J bar Ranch! This RV park is only a few minutes from where we stayed on the way to Glacier. It is close to Mount Rushmore, and in the heart of the beautiful black hills. We planned this stay for 2 nights so that we had some down time. We made the best gluten dairy free waffles YUM, relaxed in the RV in the rain, Summer drove my jeep around the beautiful wide open RV park (her first time behind the wheel!) We also got go down to town and see the Sturgis bike rally taking place! It was on the quiet side because of the rain. https://www.rafterj.com/. Great place! We will be back. (If we had to pick this one or Mount Rushmore KOA though, we would pick Mount Rushmore, but that's personal opinion and both are fabulous, more to do for everyone at Mount Rushmore KOA, Rafter is spacious and quiet.)
Enter a Heading
Off to South Dakota Sunsets RV park for one night. We arrived later day and we were all hungry!! When we pulled up, we were greeted by the owners with homemade chocolate chip cookies! This was our favorite arrival of all of our stops. There is something to be said for sure about privately owned RV stops. A little more warm and fuzzy, and adorable. Dakota Sunsets did not disappoint! Just picture farm land for miles and miles, corn fields and peace and quiet further then the eye can see. Magic really.We took Maple and Winston for a long walk down a dirt road lined with corn and horses. It was like something out of a movie! We loved it here, we would stay again in a heart beat. https://dakotasunsets.com/. Get ready for some yummy cookies!
Time to keep pushing home, Milton KOA Wisconsin
Another great pit stop for a long haul. We checked out a fun restaurant on the water, took the dogs on some nice long walks to get some energy out and had a great night sleep. https://koa.com/campgrounds/milton-wi/ We ate at Anchor on the water. It was quiet when we were there but looks like it would be a really lively fun place on a hot summers day. https://www.anchorfun.com/. (I also realized 8 hours into our drive the next morning that I left my purse here, thank goodness for good people, and one of the wait staff went to the post office for me and mailed it home!!).
Indigo Bluffs RV park, Empire Michigan
This one halted my blog posts until we got home. This stop will forever be in my heart and soul. This stop took a piece of me. This stop was hard. We fell in love with Michigan on our way to Glacier. It's a state that for sure feels most like home. The Michigan coast of Lake Michigan is stunning, and immediately a place I wanted to revisit again and again someday. This time we were staying a bit more south, in the sleeping bear dunes area, 30 minutes west of Travese City. We fell in love again on arrival. Spacious, kind people everywhere, we knew we were going to enjoy our few day stop that we had planned for here.
We spent the first full day hiking empire bluff trail. https://www.nps.gov/slbe/planyourvisit/trailempirebluff.htm , explored a little town near by, had the best coffee at Tiffany's cafe (empire Michigan). https://www.facebook.com/p/Tiffanys-Cafe-100063454248327/ , and stopped at the steepest sand dune in sleeping bear, about 800 feet almost straight down! You can descend, and climb back up at your own risk, but there is a 3,000 dollar fine if you need to get rescued! We went to dinner in Traverse city at Firefly. https://www.tcfirefly.com/ SO GOOD) and did some shopping downtown, they had a lululemon, one of our guilty pleasures for sure!
Today we hiked Dune Climb trail. This was a hard hike all through sand and huge dunes! 3.6 miles with a 636 elevation gain! We were so proud of ourselves after, especially proud of Summer, possibly her hardest hike yet! We spent the afternoon resting for a bit, and hanging with the dogs, and finished the day with a nice dinner in town (it was ok, didn't leave us wanting more, but a beautiful spot). We came home and went to bed, our last night in Michigan.
"I lost my very best friend this morning. We knew going into this trip that Chevy was on borrowed time, but I knew by the way she looked at me that this trip was in her plans. Chevys temps with fate were long listed, but her will to live and be together were strong and admirable. She knew I needed her and I knew she needed me.
She knew we needed this time together before she was ready to leave this earth. Time. Uninterrupted beautiful time. She saw every sunrise with me, snuggled with every morning cup of coffee, touched her feet in every states soil and took it all in with us. She took part in all the game nights and movie nights, and loved on us every chance she got. She was so happy right till the end.
I got her when I was pregnant with Summer, and she’s been with us for every moment to follow since. From a time it was just Chevy, Summer and l, to every high and low in between. She woke me up every morning for the past 13 years at 6 or earlier ready for breakfast and love, 4:59 sharp she barked for dinner and at 7:59 on the nose it was time to snuggle up for bed. She LOVED life, adeventure, and her people so much, and after all this time we had a beautiful silent language, the same one she used to tell me she was coming on this trip, she used yesterday to tell me she had lived her life to the fullest and that it was her time to go. I can now see if we made it home with her she knew the reality of life’s throws and hectic schedule would not have given us the goodbye she wanted. That this final adventure had come to a beautiful end.
Chevy, there is no other soul on this earth that I would have wanted by my side for the last 13 years. I learned so much from you and with you. How to be a mom, how to love more gently and patiently, how to be sure to close my eyes and smell the air and feel the sun and appreciate all of it. You saw me through every failure and success, you never missed a moment of Summers life, first days of school, trips to camp, all the girls nights, you never missed a photo opportunity, you never wanted to be left out, you were always at the door when we came home, you were there for every single fever, bad day and celebration. You cost me more money then I can count, brought more happiness then I ever imagined, showed me how hard you can and should fight for this beautiful life and filed every empty dark corner of my life with light. Every time my life unraveled YOU were constant and steady, forever my rock. You will never be forgotten and we will take from all your love and lessons every single day. We love you mama - run pain free up there and eat all the treats along the way"