Road Trips, Back to Back

If you checked for my usual Saturday post the last couple of weeks or follow me online, you’ll know that I was away, biking in Idaho and Montana with my husband and other great friends. A few days ago we returned home to mow lawn, wash clothes and again pack up, this time for our annual September trip to Washington’s Palouse—where Blake and I will roam canyons with our dogs, visit long-time friends, and gather more photos and info for my next book.

We’re headed there now. I’m typing this as we drive Highway 26 between Vantage and Royal City, Washington, while a semi full of newly harvested onions drives ahead of us, and where workers pick apples in roadside orchards. My phone’s hotspot will have cell access for awhile yet—until we weave our way into the remote Palouse and drop into our campsite on the Snake River.

I like the tech disconnect in the Palouse—a forced, and welcome, neural re-set, where my phone is mostly useless. Once there, I’ll step back to simpler, kinder days. We’ll cross wheat stubble fields, climb eyebrows of wild hawthorn and balsam root. I’ll lose myself in my imaginings for my new novel, currently slated for Fall 2023 release.

And yes, it’s a Sugar Birds sequel! 🙂

Join me in this peek at our Idaho-Montana trip—and watch for Palouse shots here next week. I’ll post them to SM from hilltops, when I can . . . .


Good morning from Lake Coeur d’Alene!



Sombered, we biked into this Idaho valley, one source of the smoky air in recent weeks.


Crossing hoses still spraying hot spots, we paused to feel the lingering heat, noting ash shadows and stump holes surrounding them . . . all that remained of incinerated trees along the creek.


“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me…”

—Psalm 23:4



Spent a couple of days biking through fabulous wetlands in the Coeur d’Alene WMA (Wildlife Management Area). Home sweet home, right here.

(Beaver dam.)


And then, MOOSE!


Blocking our bike trail, chewing cud . . .


Rubbing velvet off young antlers . . .

Browsing and cavorting with calves…

Turn your sound up to hear this mama :).


Glacier River.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen …”

—Roman 1:20



Red-soled boot?

“He will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth.”

—Micah 1:3


Going-to-the-Sun Road. Here: looking east, just past the continental divide at Logan Pass. (Glacier National Park)

Artist: I AM WHO I AM

Me: On my knees.




“Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep?”

—Job 38:16




I’d never seen this before: Beards of daddy longlegs, clustered here at Hungry Horse Dam in Montana.
Also called harvesters, these are Opiliones—neither spider nor insect. (Back in the day I played with these harmless, gangly little guys.)

Turns out they seek moisture and warmth, so create their own microclimate in these “congregations.”

“If two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

—Ecclesiastes 4:11-12



And then I looked over my shoulder and saw THIS:Clements Mountain at the top of Logan Pass, MT . . . with the waterfall still flowing. 😍 The scale and grandeur impossible to convey in a little square reproduction, but you get the drift. 🙂



Fun to travel with you friends. Thanks for stopping by.

Watching Nature, Seeing Life: Through His Creation, God Speaks.


P.S. Have you read Sugar Birds yet? Get an audiobook, ebook or paper copy HERE. 🙂

Posted by

Love the outdoors? I can take you there. Rural & wild PNW posts and photos from a naturalist, faith writer, and author of three books, including the award-winning novel Sugar Birds. Member of Redbud Writers Guild.

8 thoughts on “Road Trips, Back to Back

  1. What a lovely story and pictures of a great trip!
    Thank you Cheryl!
    And what beautiful scenery,love Montana,have only seen a bit of it.
    Have a wonderful time with your dogs,sounds like fun 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cheryl, you have an amazing eye for beauty, and you also have the ability to weave a distinct narrative through your photos and their accompanying captions. No wonder you are enjoying such success with Sugarbirds! I believe God is blessing you for exalting Him & His creation while blessing others through your abundant talents.
    Looking forward to enjoying the sequel to Sugarbirds as soon as it is released!.
    Enjoy your trip,
    Blessings to you both,
    Colleen Evans 😊

    Liked by 2 people

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