TWENTY THREE YEARS! that's how long it had been since my husband and I had taken a road trip together without young'uns in tow.

The Wild West was calling, luring us toward Big Sky country.

And we happily obliged. Just the two of us.

He drove. I navigated. No GPS for us. We still read good old fashioned paper maps, until I get woozy, then we just pretend we know where we're going. Anyway, it's vacation and sometimes not knowing exactly where you're going to end up is half the fun. That's why it's called 'the wanderin'' west'.

Magic happens when you wander.We pulled off a random exit in North Dakota simply to find a patch of grass to make a picnic lunch.The exit led us to downtown Mandan, and serendipitously to a little park, connected to a little antique and handmade goods shop, where I met SusieQ, the lovely and talented proprietor pictured above.... aaaaaaand found THIS !!!!!

 It's a FULL SET of VINTAGE RUBBER LETTERPRESS STAMPS, complete with upper & lowercase and symbols!!!!!!! In a nifty wooden case!!!!

You could not erase the ear-to-ear smile on my face. In fact, it's still there.

It was a good day.

Wandered our way further to Miles City and Bozeman, collecting sage and soaking up the sun, relaxing  with our nightly Moscow Mules at Ted's Montana Grill.

Scored a vintage sparkly cowgirl party skirt for  $16.00 at 'Head West' in Bozeman, the kind of boutique that I would BEG to franchise if I ever contemplated retail again. Just the coolest mix of western, retro, vintage and resale clothes and accessories!!!

Bought an awesome cowgirl hat in Big Sky, which promptly blew out the window just out of Big Sky. Oh well....some tumbleweed is sporting a beauty of a hat.

It was still a good day.

Wandered south to laugh with friends in Driggs Idaho. Cruised Jackson Wyoming on the bike trails - definitely the way to travel there! Quite a bike-friendly city - mostly trails but when on the streets, we experienced patience and courtesy from motorists.( That's our friend's pup Lulu, riding shotgun.)

Our Jackson friend knew I would love this boutique! I mean, just look at the sign!  Queenie & Co. is loaded with chic but reasonably priced consigned goods, merchandised with great style, and everyone inside, including the employees, seems so HAPPY to be there, how could anyone not love it?  Queenie & Co. in Jackson.    LOVE.

It was a good day.

Meandered down to Utah, spent 3 days in a cabin by river. Did I mention the cabin had a screen porch overlooking the river? With comfy chairs? And I had Sue Grafton's new 'V is for Vengeance' book with me? and tea?

Uh huh. It was a good day. Even though I locked myself out of the cabin while there alone. Didn't matter. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and not 3 feet away, a rainbow trout graced me with a lesson on how it spends it's day.

                                                       Me & Hubby at cabin in Utah.

While in Ogden, we popped into a local coffeeshop/bookstore, "Grounds for Coffee' and 'Wisebird Bookery. There we met the delightful Jennifer, who made me a PERFECT cup of tea- and I mean PERFECT! ( her mother is British)  while teasing us about our 'Minnesota accents',( C'mon, just say the word 'bag' eh? ) and Amber, a fellow mixed-media artist. If I could only transport them, and their establishment back to Minnesota with me...

It was a good day.

   Mountains, Meditation, Moscow Mules...I don't know if this vacation can be topped.


  1. Thanks for sharing... so fun to read about all of your adventures - losing the hat, getting locked out of the cabin. Envious of your book and tea day - sounds like heaven! All in all, it sounds like you had an amazing time - just what I would expect from a Sparkly Girl like you! xo Colleen

    1. Thanks Colleen! Now revved up for new artwork after all the inspiration from traveling. You know what I mean!!! Glad to hear you are back safe and sound from your jaunt to the Garrity home. You had to feel like a kid in a candy store, right? xoxo

  2. Sounds like a fun and eventful trip!
    Love your vintage stamp find!
    I love paper maps, too! :)

    So nice to meet you through FB’s Magically Mixed Art Community.
    I am your newest blog follower! :)

    Wishing you all the best,
    Mixed-Media Map Art

    1. Thank you Mary! I just love your artwork!!!!!

    2. Thanks for writing in such an encouraging post. I had a glimpse of it and couldn’t stop reading till I finished. I have already bookmarked you.