A simpler life

by cheri sabraw

Ordering a cup of coffee and a latte in Montana is an intimate experience.


Billings, Montana. We are in the grey car. Why ever go to Starbucks after this experience?

Driving off the highway and taking a conference call can be intimate as well.


Twenty miles from Cody, Wyoming.

Old cottonwood trees stand like sentries on deserted rural roads.


Rocks, sagebrush, grasses, cottonwoods and mountains remind we harried city-dwellers that a different way of life does exist in Wyoming.


We spot a huge nest built by a Charles Dickens’ architect atop a power pole. Upon closer examination, we see an osprey mother and her two chicks, seafarers looking for fish on the Shoshone River.



On the way to Cody, Wyoming, we are surprised to see a red rock bear paw on the side of the mountain, holding up the carpet of sage.


It’s windy in Wyoming and Montana. Here in Cody, the locals prepare for a nightly rodeo. We decide against attending; instead, we watch the flags ripple and wind swirl from a dusty deck.


We arrive at the iconic Murray Hotel in Livingston, Montana, where we understand personalities such as Sam Peckinpah, Robert Redford, the Queen of Denmark, and others have stayed. The rooms are quaint but small. The elevator hails from 1905 so in order to ride it, one of the employees must take you up.


From the Murray, we drive through the Paradise Valley, Montana. From this location, Yellowstone National Park is very close.

We leave Montana and head to Colorado.

After a long two days of driving, we arrive in Eagle Colorado, just in time to appreciate our friends’ glorious aspen trees and a marvelous concert at Bravo! Vail.


About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
This entry was posted in My photography, Nature photography, Places and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to A simpler life

  1. ShimonZ says:

    What a pleasure to see that the old west has survived. I particularly liked the shot of the car and tree 20 miles from Cody, but also that of the aspen trees. Oh how sweet is the simple life…

    • Cheri says:

      The Old West, parts of it outside of California, Arizona, and Nevada, have survived but they are dwindling away as more people enter this country. It’s a factor of over-population here in California. Arizona is right behind us. Oregon isn’t such a big draw because of the rain. The arid high desert of parts of Nevada and Southern Idaho deter people as well. Montana and Wyoming are just too frigid in the winter which is one reason, I suppose, their populations are way down.

  2. Annie Van Es says:

    Thank you for this wonderful travel story. An amazing wonderful journey in a beautiful landscape. Especially the red rock intrigues me. Also the wonderful trees and the nest of the osprey. A nice holiday.

  3. shoreacres says:

    The “conference call” photo reminds me of a favorite spot: Concan, Texas, on the Rio Frio. The last time I was there, the only place to get a cell connection (other than the top of the hill north of town) is the cemetery. You can park in the drive, in front of the gate, and talk away.

    I’ve seen a few of those osprey platforms, but never with a family at home. Wonderful!

    • Cheri says:

      It was a real bonus to look up at that disheveled “nest” and see a mother with her chicks. The cell service from Cody, Wy to Eagle, Colorado was horrible. We drove 3 hours without any service. Of course, this is what we did all through most of our driving lives. How dependent we have become on connectivity.

  4. CINDY USEDOM says:

    gorgeous! Love the chicks!! Cindy

    Cindy Block Usedom Graphic Design and Art Direction Office/Mobile: 510-501-4140 Portfolio: cpartner.wixsite.com/cindyblockusedom

    > WordPress.com

  5. Thank you for bringing back memories of our travels through that part of the country. Too bad we have compromised the simple life.

  6. Carol McCann says:

    Beautiful pictures. The quiet rural life is tempting, isn’t it?

    • Cheri says:

      Yes. Very tempting.

      • Cheri says:

        By the way, Carol, I thought of you as we left Riverton, Wyoming, a forgettable spot, and headed east and then south on our way to CO. We passed a historic Mormon site where Mormon pioneers used handcarts. I am not sure of the reference but there were campers there.

        • Carol McCann says:

          Sometimes people try to redo the trek that the pioneers did years before. Of course they want some modern conveniences. Not quite the same. It is not something that I would like to do.

  7. Richard says:

    One longs for the hush of such raw, beautiful places. Survival, though, is still a struggle.

    • Cheri says:

      This video is absolutely amazing, amazing, amazing–especially her third catch, almost bigger than she. Thank you so much for posting this!

    • manofroma says:

      Absolutely amazing, yes, Richard. And survival is a struggle not only there, but here in big cities too, with this heatwave.
      Cheri, I much prefer your old gravatar picture, the one with you and your lovely hat. But in any case.
      All the best,
      from Roman West

  8. Bogard says:

    Great photos and captions Cheri. Did you guys fly to Montana and then drive? Great road trip, I am sure. Never been to Montana (on the list) but have driven through Wyoming. Ever stopped in Rock Springs? Quite the experience. If you get the chance, head to Leadville, CO for a day, about an hour from Vail. Stunning views of Mt. Elba (highest in CO) and one of the quietest places I’ve ever been (of course it’s a more popular destination than when I was there in the 80s). Hey to the Judge. Talk to you guys soon.

    • Cheri says:

      Hi Bill,
      We flew to Billings and rented a car. Good plan with all the driving we did. We had a destination and time to make so did not stop at Leadville but our hosts took us to Aspen, Basalt and Carbondale (where fires still are burning) and to Vail for the music festival. Gorgeous scenery at every turn. Lots of people vacationing in Aspen and Vail and oh….those prices. Wow.

  9. Lue Perrine says:

    Looks like a wonderful trip you two had!! Very nice photos too! I agree! There’s a whole different world out there apart from our Bay Area!
    👢’s & 🤠 hats!
    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Bruce Brown says:

    Cheri as requested Ida was noticed today of her acceptance to the fall term for Hillsdale College. Please also let Ron know as well. Bruce and Arlene

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