On The Road Again

horseheader1.jpeGood Morning!

It seems as though (typically American Indian) that I find myself traveling a good deal of the time.    Incredibly I’ve been driving all over the southeast and southwest.  And I thought I’d take a little time to tell you some of the things that I love most about traveling.page2d.jpeHere is a picture snapped a few years back of myself and a friend on the Blackfeet reservation.  I can’t imagine what it must have been like all those years ago when people traveled by horseback only.  It’s probably one of the few things that I do appreciate about the age we live in — cars.    Of course I could fly across the country, but think of all I’d miss along the way.  There are so many things to see and places to visit and history to learn — all conveniently advertised along the roadside.  On my trips across country (and I’ve probably driven across country now more than a dozen times) I’ve seen canyons that stretch on forever (the Grand Canyon comes to mind); I’ve seen caves — two enormous different ones — and have learned that the rocks in these caves are alive.  Did you know that?  They grow like any life thing and they can die if you touch them — thus, there are many, many signs in these caves not to touch the rocks.hubby.jpe

As part of these trips, I’ve been to pow-wows in Montana, climbed mountains in Vermont, swept down raging water streams in Nebraska — have witnessed glaciers in Montana and have visited Pueblo villages — in the southwest, and have visited and have lingered at battlefields — ones that took place between the cavalry and Indians.  When we were in Crow country in Montana, my husband and I visited Little Bighorn of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull fame.  For one book, War Clouds’ Passion, I visited the battlefield that took place — goodness, I can’t recall the name of that battle off the top of my head – but it took place in Kansas.  Also discovered in Kansas was a former Cavalry outpost, and again, forgive me for the name escapes me.  picturesforblog.jpg 

On one particular trip, I visited a waterfall, where George Washington carved his initals in a rock — there was also an Indian village there, which I went to visit, also.  There I learned how the Indians made flour and cakes from acorns — a very involved process, I must admit.  Sometimes I get lost.  But sometimes this is very good.   On one trip just last year at this very time of year, I was traveling to Vermont to attend my daughter’s wedding. 

img_6598Actually  I didn’t lose my way on this trip until I was well into Vermont, and then I took a wrong turn and ended up at the scene of a very beautiful statue of Ethan Allen.  Although I was very lost, I had driven into a spot where the trees were alive with autumn color and I really do mean live.  They were bright, bright yellow and gold.  So bright that an overcast day looked sunny.  And the trees were overlooking the road as I drove by them.  I’m not certain I’ve ever seen anything more beautiful in Nature.  The only thing that might even come close would be perhaps the Grand Teton area in Wyoming — and of course the Glacier Mountains in Montana.

phot0110The picture here was taken in Montana in the Glacier Mountains which set up against the Blackfeet reservation.  Once another author and myself visited a deserted train station — trying to envision the people who had once used it.  Another time we searched out a town in Louisana called Transylvania.  Nancy Richards Akers and I once skirted along the Choctaw trail and another author and I learned of a legend of a young Indian princess who threw herself off a mountain to avoid marrying a man she didn’t love.  (Her true lover followed her over the cliff, by the way).  And another time, fellow author, Heather Cullman, and I visited Sky City — I’m only calling it that because I can’t recall exactly the name of the town.  Here we were taken on a tour, learned the history of the town and learned that the town was used as a safe refuge in a time of uncertainty.phot0166

We also visited an old church which was again fascinating.  Indeed, there is much to see and visit here in America.  When I was very, very young, I seem to remember a commerical that went like this “See the USA, in your Cheverolet — American is asking you to call” — powwowend21.jpePerhaps I took that invitation a little too much to heart.

Another time, when my husband and I were attending yet another pow-wow in Montana, we visited  America’s edition of Stonehedge — the Medicine Wheel atop a 10,000 foot mountain in the Bighorn Mountains in Northern Wyoming.  Lone Arrow’s Pride goes into my experience atop this mountain at this particular spot.

51obnqdgasl_sl500_aa240_1I guess we Americans — or maybe I should just say we humans — love to travel.  And whatever the cause, I do enjoy my trips — even though it might take me longer to go from here to there.  I bet you’ve had some incredible adventures here in the heartland of America.  And I’d love to hear about your own trips.  Please however remember that today I am still on the road and so won’t be able to see your comments until I return home.  But I would love to hear from you.  So please come on in and tell me your thoughts.  And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Black Eagle and Seneca Surrender today.

Karen Kay
KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
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Updated: August 27, 2010 — 11:00 am

10 Comments

  1. Hi Karen! I’ve driven cross-country once and made the flight from Wash DC to Los Angeles too many time to count. Car travel is the best! My family did it in old Dodge Ramcharger and we saw things I’ll never forget. The best moment was the Painted Desert right after a rainstorm. The colors glowed. We also saw the World’s Biggest McDonalds. With two hungry boys, it was a much needed stop!

  2. Traveling just to see what’s there is my favorite kind. Sounds like you’re having fun.

  3. oh karen it’s wonderful that you’ve had the chance to see so much of our beautiful country! i hope to travel is much more once the children are older.
    i long to see montana!

    i’ve seen some really beautiful places right here in good ol’ iowa along the mississippi river…and i believe that almost everywhere has amazing beauty to share if you look
    i’ve been to a half dozen or so places around the country but my favorite is always home
    walking down our back road in the fall with a valley of beautiful golden colors surrounding me and leaves crunching at my feet
    a hint of cool in the air that is so refreshing after a long hot summer

    ps–no–i never knew rocks were alive!

  4. Good morning, Kay. What a wonderful cross-section of our country you just described! We’re driving to Wyoming soon but our last real driving trip was to the Grand Canyon and Sedona. Fabulous.

    And I hear ya about those glowing leaves in autumn in Vermont. One of my favorite memories! I recall caves as a child when the ranger said if you touched the dripping stalactit it would die.

    Terrific post–have safe and wonderful travels! oxoxox

  5. Hi Kay, enjoyed your blog today. I love Vermont in the fall. Our friends who we meet in Florida every March live in Montpelier, so we love it there. You’ve sure visited some exciting and educational sites. Sorry we weren’t able to meet up yesterday when you traveled through Amarillo, but next time. Pray you’re safe and sound. Again, thanks for another informative and fun post. Hugs, Phyliss

  6. I don’t do a lot of traveling, but you sure have been to many places. I can remember when i was your flipping a coin to see which way to turn. We called it spending the day getting lost.

  7. I have not done alot of traveling, but would like to see a few places one day! Thanks for sharing your pics and trips with us!

  8. It all sounds wonderful. My husband and I did some traveling before having kids and his father lived in Arizona so although we flew to Phoenix we took a couple of road trips. It is so different from PA and I enjoyed all of it. We waited 15 years to have kids so we did as much traveling as we could. If we ever win the lottery I think I would spend a great deal of time visiting new places.

  9. Avatar

    Karen,
    We never get lost, those are just BONUS TOURS. There have been times when we have been on the interstate heading somewhere and we have just hade enough (usually in the midwest). We’ll take the next exit and head off in what looks like a promising direction. Crossing Iowa once, we got tired of the flat, turned right and ended up in Canada and headed west. Saw some nice country and ended up in St. Paul, MN. Lovely place that we will have to go back to some day. From there on our way to Omaha, Nebraska (which was where we were headed in the first place – via South Dakota, which we didn’t make), we found a wonderful museum in the middle of nowhere outside a small town. It has been 7 or 8 years ago and I don’t know the name of the artist. I’m not home either and can’t look it up in my journal. We were driving through the plains and came to a large 3 story brick building in the middle of the prairie. the artist did cover art ofd hunting, fishing, camping, etc. Lovely work. He buildt the museum with hi8s own money and I believe he is donating or has already donated it to the state.
    We have found some loively small towns, museums, parks, monuments, events in unexpected places. There is so much in this country to see, you just need to get off the beaten path, be adventurous, and take advantage of everything you can. Best of all, try not to be in a hurry. That way you can take advantage of BONUS TOURS when they present themselves.

  10. Hi Kay,

    How wonderful to get to travel like you do! I enjoy road trips so much. When I was a little girl, we always went somewhere on vacation–usually stayed with relatives, but when they came to OK they would stay with us–that was just the way the world was back then. I remember going to California a couple of times when I was little, and once to Florida–those were LONG trips back in the late 50’s, early 60’s! You always have such great descriptions of the places you are seeing. Love your post! (As always!)
    Love,
    Cheryl

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