On September 23rd I set out on a road trip with my family, not just to unplug from reality for a bit, but to have an adventure and explore some places we’ve never been before. Of course, I knew that this long-desired adventure would entail making observations through a totally different lens than I would have five years ago, or even 2 years ago.
We rented a 26’ RV since there were four of us, along with my dog. We wanted to have the comfort while being on the road, and the space to spread out. I had high hopes of writing my thoughts while traveling, but the sheer bumpiness of the ride quickly diminished that hope. Instead, I made mental notes in my mind, and shot many photos along the way. My poor dog was in a state of shock at first, with all of the rattling noises and bumpy ride, but after a few days he began to gel into his dog bed. He was pretty much toast by the time we reached each destination, and looked like this in every pic. But once morning came, he was as excited to explore as we were, and so happy that the whole family was there. My parents were real troopers, and it was nice to hang out with my brother because we are always both so busy working.
It was fascinating rolling from town to town and state to state, experiencing not just the difference in landscape, but the landscape as a whole – the people, businesses, energy, and dynamics of each place. Knowing that mindset, perception, and critical thinking are the key to navigating these waters we all find ourselves in, it’s fascinating to see minds bend in different directions based solely on location. I wanted to share some of my observations, conversations with strangers we met along the way, a call to action needed in a sweet little valley in Montana, and photos of some of the most beautiful places in our country, to take you all along the road with me. I hope you enjoy the ride.
We began our adventure driving through the Badlands in South Dakota. It was incredible! The first thing I noticed, almost simultaneously with the beautiful landscape itself, was the pure silence. You couldn’t hear a peep, not even a bird. If we had the time, I would have sat there in silence all day. We were fortunate to still be rolling through as the sun was setting. As the sun began to set, the animals came out to explore. They were fearless around the people and cars. I didn’t notice until after I had taken the photo of one, that it was being tracked.
After the Badlands, we headed into a little town called Keystone, SD. Surely, everyone knows that town since it’s right by Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse is not far around the bend. Truth be told, I wasn’t excited to go see those monuments, but was elated to be along for the ride and observe the town itself. In between those two monuments, I found a sweet little lake with a boardwalk that went around much of it, with fishing docks and a campground. It was incredibly serene, and the coolness along one side of the lake dropped about 7 degrees, which was a nice surprise because it was a warm day.
Before beginning our day, I had searched out a little cafe that was open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, only when we arrived there was a sign on the door that said “closed.” When rolling into town the night before through Rapid City, an Arby’s had closed early, another Arby’s was out of several items including all sides and fries, and the local Safeway didn’t have a single box of Kleenex on their shelves. So we drove around the block in Keystone and found a restaurant that printed out new menus each day because they only offered about 50% of their usual menu since supplies were limited and varied from day to day. The nice man told us this was happening with most restaurants there, which is why some of them closed early. Whereas most places seem to have staffing issues, this little town seemed to be struggling with getting enough supplies in. I quickly learned that for the rest of the road trip I would need to call first, rather than assuming the hours listed on websites were accurate.
The town itself was hopping with tourists, Mount Rushmore seemed fairly busy, Crazy Horse had a special tour going on, and helicopter rides were buzzing above us. With the exception of lack of supplies and a small percentage of people wearing masks, it almost felt pre-Covid.
Our next stop was one I was very excited about – Yellowstone in Wyoming! No one in my family had been there, and I’m a nature and animal girl through and through, so this was a big highlight of the trip for me. Fortunately, dad has a senior citizen lifetime national park pass, which only cost him $10, that gives us free access to all national parks. I highly recommend all senior citizens getting one of these if you plan to explore national parks from year to year, because most of the parks would have charged us anywhere from $20 – $40 to enter. However, I just looked it up and of course they have now increased the rate from $10 to $80 for the lifetime pass. That said, if you plan to hit more than a few parks in your lifetime, it’s well worth it. You can also get an annual senior pass for $20, rather than a lifetime pass.
The journey between South Dakota and Yellowstone was magnificent! I couldn’t take my eyes off the rolling hills, farms, creeks and rivers, and the mountains we nestled into to sleep for the night. As you all can imagine, I didn’t take a single nap or sleep a wink in the RV because I was too intrigued with observing everything. We rented a couple little cabins in a sweet spot just 2 miles from the eastern entrance. They have a great restaurant/bar, and when we arrived around 9pm, people were all bustled up to the bar enjoying themselves, mask-free. The bartender told us to watch for bear cubs because four had been spotted just before we arrived. Just hearing him say those words made me smile.
I don’t know how busy Yellowstone typically is during the end of September, but there were people pulled over at every overlook, Old Faithful and Mammoth Springs were stirring about, and we were fortunate to get to see wildlife around many turns. Yellowstone has a lower and upper loop that kind of forms a figure 8. We only had one full day to explore, plus a drive thru the following day as we headed up into Montana, so we chose the lower loop. Within 15 minutes of driving through the entrance, a pack of bighorn sheep were running alongside the road on the edge of a cliff. We all came to a screeching halt – mostly because we all wanted to observe them and snap photos, but they had worked their way into the road so everyone was being cautious. I got one shot off when my dog caught his attention and he looked right at us just before he sprinted off, running sideways across the mountain edge. It was crazy cool how slick they move! Just look at that face.
On our way down around the lake, we came upon a bunch of vehicles pulled over and lined up on both sides of the road. I couldn’t see what everyone was looking at, but they were all observing something, so of course I said we had to pull over. About 2-3 football fields away were two elk dueling it out. At one point, they paused and took notice of all of us observing them, then continued to duel. I had my 300mm lens on my camera, but even with that, it was hard to get them perfectly in focus, especially their giant antlers with branches directly behind them. Here’s a blurry glance…
Old Faithful put on a nice little show for us and even produced a beautiful rainbow. I don’t know how many people typically show up for the display at this time of the year, but it seemed to be a bit of a weak audience to me. Those that were there consisted of a mix of people, some with masks, some without, but all were smiling at one another and no one seemed concerned about being “6 feet apart.”
We saw Bison off in the distance in many locations, then suddenly we came around a bend and there was one standing right on the edge of the road. We pulled up right next to him, about 6’ away. The sun was setting just over the lake in the distance, but it was hard to get it all in as I snapped off photos of him. These bad boys weigh up to 2,000 pounds and can run 35mph, but also have terrible eye sight – not that he couldn’t see me right next to him. Ha! I was trying to keep my dog from seeing him so he wouldn’t startle him with his obnoxiously loud bark. Success!
The changing of the landscape throughout Yellowstone is remarkable. I could fill an entire album with photos just from Yellowstone. Here are a few of my favorites.
On day two, our plan was to travel through a portion of the upper circle through the north entrance to head toward Montana. However, as we were about to head that way, a man had blocked off the road and told us a semi had flipped on its side so we had to go the other way. Well, the other way meant going all the way around the lower circle again, which took quite a bit of extra time. We still headed up the left side of the upper circle so we could see Mammoth Springs, which was unlike anything I’ve seen in nature before. Just as we arrived, there was an elk hanging out right next to it, as though showing off for the people.
As we headed toward the north exit we went through this darling little area that looked liked a mini town where elk had taken over. They were hanging out on every corner. There had to be at least 40 of them. Cars and people were being told to stay put while some of the females (cows) moved about the streets, and a large male (bull) lay in the grass near a building. It was quite a site to see. Nothing puts a smile on ones face or produces the feeling of awe more so than wildlife and nature. Everyone’s eyes were on these fantastic creatures. I would be perfectly content living out the rest of my life in Yellowstone, if there weren’t so much government control.
Next, we were heading for Flathead Valley, Montana where my good buddy James White, editor of the Montana Daily Gazette and host of Montana Gazette Radio, lives. I was really looking forward to meeting up with him and his beautiful wife, as we had been planning it for months. I had also spoken with his good friend Dennis Thornton, who was dealing with a land theft situation there, and was anxious to meet him in person and get a lay of the land.
On our way, we ran into a man at a rest stop who was fleeing California. He and his wife were checking out different locations while traveling in their RV, and had decided they would head to Tennessee next to check it out. To my pleasant surprise, I also discovered that gas stations had RV dump stations at some of them. I had it in my mind that we would have to find campsites for that. Some are free, and some charge up to $10. Not bad.
Flathead Valley is an absolutely gorgeous area in Montana, just about 30 minutes west of Glacier National Park. I hadn’t been to Glacier since the 90s, so I was also excited for that fresh mountain air once again. When I arrived in Montana, it was as though I could breathe again – I felt ultimate peace. The rivers, lakes, mountains, horses, deer everywhere, wonderful hard-working, kind, and genuine people – there’s just no other place quite like it. And, there’s a coffee shack on damn near every corner! We spent five glorious days there, and rented a little farmhouse along the river. I laid in the grass staring up at the sky, fantasizing about it being my little piece of land where I could build a dozen little tiny homes and bring my family and friends there. Perhaps one day.
On the second day I was there, James picked up my father and myself and we headed down to Somers, MT just a short ride away. I finally had the honor of meeting Dennis Thornton in person. He is a wonderful, hardworking man who had the unfortunate experience of Whitefish Credit Union, a once respected credit union, commit fraud in an attempt to steal his land – all 500+ acres of it, with portions overlooking Flathead Lake, the largest fresh water lake west of the Mississippi. It by far has one of the most outstanding views of the lake and mountains in the valley. Dennis has worked hard his whole life, building roads, bridges, and developments in this beautiful valley.
Call To Action
James White has done an excellent job reporting on the illegal deed transfer committed by Whitefish Credit Union (WCU) against Dennis Thornton – financial crimes that even the Flathead County Attorney and the FBI have reviewed and agree a crime has been committed, yet it’s still not cleared up til this day. While Dennis has worked tirelessly for years trying to battle this in court and bring it to the attention of investigative agencies who will actually do something about it, WCU has locked him out of his property of 500+ acres with nearly $5 million in equipment owned free and clear by Dennis. He lost hundreds of thousands in business by not having access to his equipment. They stole his land, and he wasn’t the only one. Whitefish Credit Union was once very respected, but unfortunately, a corrupt group seems to have taken the reins.
In late September, Dennis finally cut the lock to enter his property and take matters into his own hands, after exhausting all forms of legal processes to receive justice. Family, friends, and supporters have setup camp on his property to take a stand. Even the local Sheriff has stated that Dennis Thornton rightfully owns the property. Dennis welcomes all Patriots who wish to take a stand with him, to join them on his beautiful land at 860 Boon Road in Somers, MT. Just follow the road to the top of the hill. Feel free to bring a tent, food for grilling, and a sleeping bag if you wish to camp out. Outhouse facilities are setup on site.
Watch the video of Dennis reclaiming his property, walking the land, and assessing the damage to all of his equipment that he was not allowed access to.
I encourage everyone to follow this story and support Dennis Thornton in any way you can. If you know anyone in this area who can help get justice for Dennis and his family, please reach out to me at [email protected].
If you would like to send financial support to Dennis, you can mail it here:
43 Woodland Park Dr., Suite 6
Kalispell, MT 59901
Please read the full report and evidence here, and share this story with others. We need this to go viral.
To sum up this area of Montana, it feels alive to me, most people don’t seem to be depressed or in fear the way they move about in other areas of the country. Though most don’t wear masks, there are still some who choose to, but they can’t be mandated in Montana, nor can the Covid jab. That said, as with most locations across the country, they are having some staffing issues at restaurants and businesses. People are self-sufficient, hard working, appreciative of life and the land they get to explore and observe each day. It’s like a whole other world there. I also discovered huckleberries! Oh my gosh, I had to try it all after tasting the most delicious huckleberry jam, so I picked up some huckleberry honey, taffy, preserves, ice cream, lotion, and chapstick because it’s not something I can get in my neck of the woods.
After five relaxing, joyous days in Montana, I was sad to leave, but excited for our next stop. We were heading down to Bryce Canyon in Utah. I had heard that it is better than the Grand Canyon (which I’ve been to), but had to see it for myself. But first, we had to make a stop at an auto parts store, as we were having issues with the fridge in our RV, so we stopped off near Bigfork, MT. There, we met another nice gentleman who allowed us to cut in front of him, and then afterward came out and asked if we were ok and got our problem resolved. Another man noticed our license plate and said he just had a couple people from here move there recently to help him out with his auto business. I can understand why. It’s God’s country out there.
Along the way, we passed many cattle ranches, horse farms, and stunning rivers and lakes. We stopped off in Idaho Falls, ID to catch some sleep. I began wondering what the population was of these states we were going through. I knew that there is a lot of Federal land in these states and the populations are lower, but wanted to look it up for myself. When you combine Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Utah, the total population is only about 7 million, with Utah taking the lead. There are many small towns along the way throughout these states, and nature is bountiful. The fact that these are such low density population areas, makes them very desirable given our current situation. That said, when we drove through Salt Lake City, UT I felt like a sardine crammed into a sliver between two mountains. I’ve never seen so many homes and buildings packed into an area along a highway. It’s far too densely populated for my taste, though I’m currently in a densely populated area myself, with the hopes to relocate sooner than later.
When we rolled into the tiny town of Panguitch, UT, just 20 minutes from Bryce Canyon, it felt like we were entering a spec on the map in the middle of some of the most beautiful terrain I’ve ever seen. The people were super friendly, the little restaurant was packed, and we were ready to hit the canyon in the morning. The only problem was, we were still having issues with our fridge and a couple other things with the RV, so we set out to find a mechanic who might be able to assist us. After calls to all five locations that may have provided such a service, we discovered that “Chris” seemed to be the only one in town who could help us. We never got the opportunity to meet Chris – one can only imagine why. A busy man. We did however have a conversation on the phone with a very nice local mechanic who happened to have Covid, so he tried his best to help us out over the phone. Needless to say, we never did get the fridge fixed and just utilized the cooler instead.
This big guy has a future in modeling. He sat and posed for me, then carried on about his day for several minutes, as I stood just 2 feet away snapping photos of him.
When we arrived at Bryce Canyon the next morning, the ride to get up there was stunning enough. I couldn’t wait to see the “Amphitheater” itself. We quickly discovered that RV’s weren’t allowed in that specific area until after 6pm, otherwise you had to take their shuttle, which we weren’t going to do with my dog. So we enjoyed all of the overlooks, then went back out to a lodge, shops, and restaurant just outside the entrance – all of which had signs saying “masks not required.” That in itself made my day. At about 5:45pm we headed back in straight for the Amphitheater (it’s not a legit amphitheater – just the name of that section of the canyon). We parked at Inspiration Point, which was by far the most stunning of all spots throughout the Canyon. It took my breath away! There was just 5’ of surface between me and death, looking down over that canyon, and I’m not going to lie – it made my heart race. It was awe inspiring and definitely more impressive than the Grand Canyon in my opinion.
There was some overcast and fog, so we didn’t get the fire from the sun lighting up the red rocks, but it was still absolutely incredible! It was buzzing with people from all different states, as well as campers. It’s open 24/7 every day of the year. I would recommend anyone going there to plan on 3 days if you wish to hike the trails. There are lodges and hotels, and the small town we stayed in has RV parks, motels, and a handful of Airbnb’s. They also have campgrounds inside the park itself.
Between Utah and Colorado, on the stretch of Hwy 70, I can’t even begin to describe the exhilarating landscape we witnessed. After I took this photo, it made me think of an album cover I once saw. I could swear this same location/shot was used on an album. If anyone knows it, please let me know in the comments. Though I will say that whereas much of 70 and 76 through Colorado up into Nebraska, is a beautiful trip, the roads themselves need serious work. Good grief, it was like a bumpy rollercoaster ride for a few hours straight. At one point, we stopped off in Brighton, CO to stand on solid ground for a few minutes, and decided to grab some chocolate malts from Red Robin. They were hopping, and so was the Texas Roadhouse just across from it. This was a busy area, and I didn’t see a single person wearing a mask, not even the staff at Red Robin. I just saw a bunch of people smiling and going about their day. It was a nice little break.
We had one quick night in Glenwood Springs, CO. I’ve been to several places in Colorado but never Glenwood Springs, and I’ve never experienced hot springs before, so of course I had to take a late night dip. If you’re anywhere near Iron Mountain Hot Springs, I highly recommend it. What a cool place. They have a dozen or so hot springs overlooking the Colorado River, as well as a swimming pool, jacuzzi, concessions, spring water to fill your drinking bottles with, and even a gazebo area for smokers. People bounce around from one hot spring pool to the next, and in the one with rocks on the bottom, we met a gal who worked in Denver at a Gentleman’s club. She was describing how insane it is because they have the strippers wearing full on face shields and dance behind plastic see-thru curtains that they are constantly spraying down and cleaning. This will likely become some new creepy fetish.
The Colorado landscape is always amazing, especially in the Fall. I shot this while driving past it because the contrast between the trees was fantastic, but unfortunately, the pic itself is a bit blurry.
Heading back home, we ran into a man at a gas station who was also traveling by RV. He began chatting with my dad about how they were both retired, where they were heading, and what’s happening in the world. The man said he had worked in auto parts for years and sees what’s happening with that industry, as well as others. He said, “We’re in deep shit. And, I still haven’t met a single person who voted for Biden!”
The rest of the trip home was uneventful and the landscape quickly changed to flat and boring. By the time we reached home, I was exhausted, so the following day I ran into the grocery store, and I was quickly reminded of the zombieland I live in, where I am the only one who doesn’t wear a mask. It can get a bit depressing when you live inside a zombie bubble of people in fear, all staring at their cell phones, never looking up at the stars, relying on big gov, and not very personable at all. Despite the fact that you can walk into establishments without a mask on and not get questioned, 98% of people are CHOOSING to wear them. It’s a mindset. It just goes to show that the masses follow the masses to fit in for fear of how others might perceive them.
But, when you travel to other locations, you realize that life goes on, some areas are thriving, others are struggling a bit but remain in a positive, happy state, and people are looking out for one another instead of into their tv’s or phones. There is a slower pace and peacefulness – people living in the moment, rather than racing to their next destination or phone call. It’s also easy to observe the areas that have people who are more self sufficient rather than relying on big gov or others to tell them how to live or to provide for them. These are people who cherish and respect the land, whether it be recreational, farming, or ranching.
One small highlight when I returned home: A couple weeks prior to leaving I had taped a sign to the front door of my home that says “No masks required here” so that any neighbors, delivery services, or my mailman would feel comfortable without a mask, and possibly post the same sign on their home. The day after I returned, I received a package in the mail, and my mailman who had always previously approached my door with a mask on, had removed it. It’s the little things that add up and can create a ripple effect.
I observed a lot of truckers on the road on this trip, not to mention the Amazon Prime fleets I spotted on every highway and nearly every rest stop. If I had the time, I would have spent a full day at a rest stop just speaking with some of the truck drivers and picking their brains. I have thoughts, theories, and questions, so if there are any truck drivers out there, please email me at [email protected] because I would love to talk with you.
I don’t recall the locations, but there were two gas stations we stopped at that capped us at 20 gallons, even though we had a 55 gallon tank. I wonder how many locations might be doing this? Somewhere along the way in Nebraska, we stopped off at a Dunkin Donuts to get some coffee. It was the largest stand-alone Dunkin’ I’d ever seen, and the drive-thru was busy as ever. When I entered the building I noticed a sign on the door that said that they only serviced people “inside” on Friday’s through Sunday’s, otherwise you had to go through the drive-thru, and the staff were wearing masks. I imagine they were too short staffed for the weekdays. I recall seeing “help wanted” signs at countless establishments along this 5,000 mile road trip.
Just today, I saw that 4.3 million people quit their jobs in August, many of whom worked at restaurants, but other industries as well of course. The many reasons are; mask requirements, jab requirement, fear of Covid, low pay, ongoing government handouts to destroy the economy. I sure hope that people are making calculated decisions when leaving their jobs and moving into wiser positions or creating new establishments together outside of the corrupt system, because the government handouts are exactly what they want everyone feeding from, which will serve no one in the end.
This was an incredible family adventure that I will always cherish. When it comes down to it, no matter how much tyranny is cast on us, the love and support between family and friends is what will get us all through. Taking the time to unwind, relax, explore together, and enjoy the beautiful land that surrounds us all, is vital for everyone right now. Overpopulation is a myth, as most of you know. Find that location that resonates with you and build up a community with food and energy security, and live your lives. There will be some tough times ahead, as this battle is real, but together we can thrive, build, explore, love, and support one another – all of the things they do not want us doing.
The reality is – they want to bankrupt and control us, when we have the power to bankrupt them and build our own future. Their 1980s slogan “just say no” to drugs seems so fitting right now. “Just say no” to their poison, their tyranny, their narrative, and their manipulations. Step outside their box, shift your perception, and fulfill your dreams.