29 June 2015


Today was kind of like a day of relaxation before we make the final push for home.

Kinsey did some straightening up n Clementine and the we made a junket out to the Missouri Headwaters State Park. On our way out we tried to find some baby owls we had been told about when we arrived. They were right where they were supposed to be. The owners of the park had taken some great photos but the owls had grown a lot since. They still wore some of there baby fuzz but they were getting pretty big. They were cool to watch. It's amazing how they can swivel their heads 180 degrees.

Horned Owl

Too bad we couldn't have been there yesterday when the clouds were so gorgeous. I got to stretch my legs a little as we hiked around. There are lots of trails and places to view the rivers that converge there. It's very picturesque.

On the way back we drove through Three Forks. The only other time Kinsey has been here was to pick me up in February 2012. Things look a lot different in winter. Three Forks is a quaint little town with the main edifice being the Sacajawea Hotel which has a nice restaurant or so says Kinsey.

Three Forks Wall Mural

We returned to the campground, had lunch and our daily nap. By around three o'clock it started to cloud up and we took off to see if we could find anything else interesting. We didn't get very far. Down towards Yellowstone were the biggest, blackest clouds I've ever seen. They were headed in our direction. It's absolutely amazing how fast a storm can close in. Before we knew it we were in it. The wind blew so hard the rain was going horizontal. It was all we could do to get back to the rv park. We got soaked to the bone just getting from the car into Clementine. The storm pretty much put a cap on our day.

Storm Clouds in Three Forks

By about six the storm had passed. Kinsey took me for a walk and then went out by herself. She wanted to see the owls one last time. This rv park is teaming with critters. It makes watching out the windows of the motorhome very much fun.

This will be our last day on the road. We are both getting a little road weary and ready to get back to the comforts of home. I'm ready to run free and play in my ponds and creeks. Traveling is lots of fun but I love to be free!

Ciao for now!

©Kinsey Barnard

26 June 2015


We were up bright and early to start our push for Three Forks. I was excited because Three Forks is where I was born and I was going to get to see my parents and other relatives.

Three Forks Landscape

With a couple of potty stops and a gas stop it took us about five hours. It was a pretty drive and Kinsey did her photo whilst driving trick. It's a darned good thing I have nerves of steel!

Big Horn Mountains

We're staying at Camp Three Forks and it is very nice. Lots of green grass and shade trees. After we got set up at the campgrounds we headed for Out West Aussies. That's the name of the kennel where I was born. It was really exciting to see my mom and dad. Although, I'm not sure I really remembered them. My dad is particularly handsome and I look a lot like him.

My Daddy

My Daddy

I had a lot of fun playing and romping and hope to be able to come back again. My personal photographer was supposed to take photos of the reunion but she was kind of asleep at the switch and too busy jawboning with Kelly, the owner of Out West Aussies.

Yea! Me having fun!

Kinsey had thawed out a steak to BBQ and once again she got rained out. It started to pour before her coals were ready. Our neighbors invited her to use their Jennair so all was not lost. She ended up spending the evening over there leaving me to languish alone in our motorhome. For a woman who spends most of her time alone, alone with me, she sure is a regular social butterfly when we are on the road.

Me Languishing

We'll spend two nights here so Kinsey can get Clem ready to get stored when we get back. Tonight will be our last night on the road. I'm glad and a little sad. I'm anxious to get back to the ranch where I am free to be me.

Ciao for now!

©Kinsey Barnard

25 June 2015


Today we packed ourselves up and headed north. Sad to leave South Dakota in our rear view mirror.

Clem seems to have developed a bit of a thing. She doesn't want to turnover after sitting for a couple of days. It's like the battery is dead but after a few turnoffs and retries she starts right up. This actually started right before we left but Kinsey made an executive decision to press ahead on schedule. Once were up and running there don't seem to be any further issues. It's like a cold start problem. Hopefully, we'll make it home and then we can have it checked out.

We headed north on 16 to Custer and took it all the way to 90. It was a beautiful drive. The prairies are so green now and before long we could see the snow capped Rockies in the distance. Kinsey forgot to charge the battery in the point and shoot so, well you know. Actually, just as well, Trying to take photos whilst going 70 down an Interstate is not real smart, IMO.

We stopped in Sheridan, Wyoming for the night. We are at Peter D's. It's a nice rv park and the owners are real friendly. So, nice in fact Barb gave Kinsey a double discount for paying cash and later brought us some fresh spinach and radishes from her garden. Now That's hospitality! People have been so kind to her on this trip. The gal at Kevin Costner's The Story of the Buffalo Center gave her and a video for free.

The best thing about this place is it has an enclosed dog run and I got to play friss bee (that's how Kinsey says it) for the first time in two weeks! Golly was that fun. I miss my friss bee! I sure hope we stay here again!

After a friss bee session, a meal and a nap we decided to walk to town. Sheridan is definitely bigger than a wide spot in the road. The main street runs a fer piece as they say around here. There are sculptures all along the way and it looks like a western store paradise. Since it was after five on Saturday a lot of places were closing up. Yes, you city slickers, there are still places in this world where stores close early on Saturdays and stay closed on Sundays. Imagine that!

What was open was a Dairy Queen right on main street with a sidewalk window. Kinsey couldn't resist and got herself a Reese's Blizzard. There are benches to sit on so we did and watched the traffic go by. When Kinsey was a kid that's what one did on a Saturday afternoon. The best part for me was I got to lick the cup when she was done.

This evening a thunderstorm rolled in and it was a doozie! Clementine was rocking and rolling like a cork on heavy seas. The rain drops that fell were the size of pebbles.

If everything goes ok with Pearl's foaling we will be returning to The Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in the fall. I think will Sheridan definitely be on the itinerary for a return visit.

Ciao for now!

24 June 2015


Today was supposed to be my day to get a great hike in. So, what happened? It rained cats and dogs. JUST SHOOT ME! We only had six full days in the Black HIlls and we've been rained out on three. For the math challenged among you, that's 50%. And, it seemed as though the rainy days were all my hiking days! No fair!

Around noon it was still raining but we venture out anyway. We went up to the VA place. It's a really beautiful campus. There is also a national cemetery. In our travels of South Dakota we have seen numerous VA hospitals and national cemeteries. South Dakota people really care about those who have served.

Veterans Hospital Hot Springs, SD

But, I think, nowhere more than Hot Springs. We ran into the lady that runs the visitor center whilst she was locking up for the day. She was a lovely elderly lady and told us many things about the history of Hot Springs. She also told us the residents really cares about the Vets, many of whom suffer PTSD. She says when one of them has a melt down in town they don't call the police. They call the hospital.

She also said the yo-yos in Washington wanted to shut the place down and build a new facility in Rapid City. How stupid is that? Close a perfectly beautiful campus and spend the money to build a new one in a regular size city. Seems to me the Vets would be far better off in a beautiful, tranquil setting like Hot Springs. But then, when did the humans in Washington ever do anything sensible?

Victorian Home Hot Springs, SD

Victorian Home Hot Springs, SD

There are some really beautiful old Victorian homes on the bluff overlooking the town. We tried to get up there but musta missed the turn. We ended up driving through a beautiful canyon just on the other side of town.

Hot Springs Park

Next we tried to find the Cold Creek Recreation Area. Still hoping for a hike. SD signs.

We found the park and little lake and it was a very pretty spot but it was still raining and the roads and trails were mush. We went back to town and walked the Freedom Trail along Fall River again. Better than nothing.

Since  was cold, cloudy and rainy Kinsey went to The Mammoth Site and took the tour. Below are some of the photos she took of the mammoth bones. This is an active dig. It seems that a few years back there was this sink hole that had grass ringing it. The mammoths fell in whilst trying to get at that grass and couldn't get out so they drowned. And, would you believe, every last one of them they dug up so far was a male?

The Mammoth Site SD

The Mammoth Site SD

That pretty much did it for us. We went back to Clementine and hunkered down for the rest of the day and evening.

Ciao for now,

©Kinsey Barnard

23 June 2015


Today our goal was to visit the Crazy Horse Memorial. We decided to do that via the Custer State Park Wildlife Loop and Mt. Rushmore.

The Wildlife Loop, depending on how often you stop, takes a couple of hours and is worth every minute. To say this land is stunningly beautiful, in the spring when the grass is green, is a gross understatement. Although we didn't have time Kinsey says this has to be the best place to photograph buffalo. She says she's never seen so many and they seemed to be spread out in many pockets so one gets a variety of  beautiful backgrounds. Maybe we'll come back and give it a go one day.

Custer State Park

We also saw lots of pronghorn antelope and some wild burros. The burros had some of the cutest little babies you ever did see. I just wanted to dive right out that window and get me one. But, that wasn't going to happen. I do have an awful lot of pent up energy due to not being able to get out and run off some steam. Traveling is fun but this being on a leash all the time is tough on a little gal like me. Driving, driving, driving. It seems like it's all we do. Every time we think we are going to get a hike it rains! Darn, darn, darn!

Baby Wild Burro

Pronghorn Antelope

We approached Mt. Rushmore via 16A. Kinsey likened it to driving a car down a garden path. It's narrow and windy and has these tiny, one lane tunnels chipped out of solid rock. It's a great drive. But, in the high season it must be pretty slow going. The first view of Mt. Rushmore is at the Norbert Overlook.

Tunnel to Rushmore

When we got to Rushmore and Kinsey saw it cost $11.00 to park she said, "Not bloody likely". Kinsey has a bur under her blanket about Rushmore. She finds it in incredibly poor taste. Imagine someone coming into your church and putting up images of their leaders. Lucky for us no one else felt that way so we just stopped in the street and snapped off a few photos so I could have something for this blog.

Mt. Rushmore

And, away we went to the Crazy Horse Memorial. They also were asking for $11.00 and Kinsey happily forked it over. A beautiful visitors center has been built. The memorial has been under construction since 1948 and at the rate their going it's going to be a long time before it's finished. Apparently, many Sioux feel about this sculpture the same way Kinsey does about Rushmore but, like Kinsey, they are in the minority.

Crazy Horse Memorial

At the visitor center/museum they have some beautiful artifacts to look at. While in there, little miss bashful struck up a conversation with author Ed McGAA, Eagle Man. He was there autographing and selling his various books. Well, I guess you already know how that went. I sat in the car whilst she palavered. Apparently, the two hit it off and agreed to try and get together when we come back in the fall. Hopefully, we will be coming back to meet our little Choctaw baby at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. Meanwhile, they exchanged information and plan on keeping in touch. I'm sure Kinsey will have more to say about this chance meeting on her blog The Liberated Photographer. She purchased two of his books and is looking forward to reading them. Crazy Horse and Chief Red Cloud and Mother Earth Spirituality.

Crazy Horse Memorial

By the time Kinsey was done with her jaw boning it was time to head home. On the way the clouds darkened and the sky opened. It rained so hard you couldn't see a thing. The mountains spoke in a thunderous voice. It was pretty cool, if you weren't the driver.

Back at camp it was dry and Kinsey BBQ'd a rib eye steak the size of Texas. Lucky me she shared and we ate the whole thing! Now, if I could just get some exercise.

Ciao for now.

©Kinsey Barnard

18 June 2015


Today we went to visit Red Cloud's grave on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The main reason Kinsey was motivated to bring us to the Black Hills was because of a book she read this past winter. The book was called The Heart of Everything That Is aka The Black Hills. She found Red Cloud, an Oglala Sioux warrior chief, to be a very compelling character and after reading this history she just had to see where it had all happened. Me, I'm always up for a trip!

The cemetery where Red Cloud is buried is located just before the town of Pine Ridge at the Indian School, Heritage Center and Church. Red Cloud's grave is looking like it needs a little attention. The white picket fence that surrounds it is desperately in need of new paint.

Red Cloud's Grave Pine Ridge Reservation

After reading The Heart of Everything That Is, Kinsey felt Red Cloud to be a hero as he was the only Indian to ever wage war against the US Army and win. He was one of the few Indians that understood the concept of strategy and was able to out fox the US Army. The US government pretty much reneged on every treaty they signed with the Indians. The Treaty of Fort Laramie gave the Blacks Hills to the Sioux. But, as soon as it was rumored there was gold in those hills the treaty was broken. Sadly it seems the US policy was, if we don't want it you can have it. But, if they missed something they took it back and so they did. Geez, even dogs are more honorable than that.

Red Cloud made a journey to Washington and after seeing the ocean of whites he realized that to continue fighting would only mean annihilation for his people. In the end he led his people to the Pine Ridge Reservation where he lived out the rest of his long life. Kinsey saw this as a wise choice. Red Cloud was no coward. Great leaders make the hard choices. She has since found out that, among the Sioux, there are two camps. One camp honors his memory and the other feels he was a traitor to his people.

From the Pine Ridge we headed over to Wounded Knee, site of a major massacre. There really isn't much to see. It's a spot where Indians set out there arts and crafts for the tourists. It is still too early for the tourist season so there wasn't any of that either. But, there was one Oglala man there that, wonder of wonders, Kinsey talked to for an hour. I tell you that woman is a talker and strangely enough people like to talk to her. As always, she learned some things that she could not have other wise known. I'm sure she will write about it on her blog The Liberated Photographer. There was another younger man there that wanted to take my leash and Kinsey let him. The man took me out of sight of Kinsey and I nearly had a heart attack. This man probably weight 250 pounds but I drug him right back to her. Yikes! What was she thinking?!

Wounded Knee Pine Ridge Reservation

Across the road on a hill over looking Wounded Knee is a cemetery with a mass grave site where many who died here were buried in a mass grave.

Wounded Knee Pine Ridge Reservation

Kinsey has visited many reservations and in her opinion Pine Ridge is the nicest she's seen. The landscape is gorgeous and, although we know there is plenty of poverty, the towns and homes were of a much nicer quality than any she has seen. Compared to what our neighbors the Blackfeet have it is paradise. Still, a reservation is a reservation.

Paint Horses at Pine Ridge Reservation

We had wanted to try and get into the Badlands on the reservation but all the heavy rains had closed the road. So we drove around some and Kinsey tried to get some pictures of the beautiful landscape. Hard to do because the side roads were mud pits and the paved roads had no turn outs.

Pine Ridge Reservation
This afternoon we spent two hours walking around Hot Springs, South Dakota. I'm going to make that a separate blog post. It's a pretty interesting little town.

Ciao for now.

©Kinsey Barnard

17 June 2015


Well, would not you know it? We wake up this morning to sunny skies and we are pulling up stakes for Hot Springs. Bah humbug!

Hot Springs is only about 100 miles from Spearfish. We went around the Black Hills to get down here taking 90 east and then 79 south. All along our trip we have tried to take the little green dot roads and highways. The green dots indicate scenic routes. Well, here's a tip. In our opinion 79 from Rapid City to Hot Springs is the most beautiful route we have driven since leaving home some 1,000 miles ago. This road has nary a green dot.

As we got closer to Hot Springs it got darker and darker with clouds and we thought "Oh, no!". We pulled into the KOA campground around eleven am. Not usually a KOA fan we think this one is nice. We like our spot and we can get good internet connectivity. Which is very handy when trying to write my daily blogs.

When Kinsey was in the information place at Deadwood she happened to see a brochure for a wild horse sanctuary near Hot Springs. She snapped up the info cuz she is a horse lover. When we checked-in we learned the sanctuary was only about 20 miles away so we decided to make that our first order of business after lunch.

Driving south out of Hot Springs on 71 it got brighter and brighter. The landscape was crowned by bright blue skies and fluffy white clouds. They looked a lot like those clouds we love so much in Montana. You can't miss the turn off 71, there's a large monument. It's a well maintained dirt road and heads west into a canyon with the Cheyenne River running through it. The road dead ends at the sanctuary.

Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary

What an absolutely gorgeous location for mustangs to run free. The sanctuary is over 14,000 acres and has about 600 mustangs. I've also read 11,000 acres and 500 mustangs. Which ever it's a bunch of both. I'm not going to go into all the details if you're interested just Google The Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary or better yet check them out on Facebook.

Kinsey went dippy for this photo because she saw it as symbolizing what the Black Hills Wild horse Sanctuary is all about FREEDOM
They took pity on this poor doggie and let Kinsey pull up under a tree whilst she wandered. Mercifully she did not take the two hour bus tour they offer. On her wander she saw this little pinto pony that was closely watching three mares across the way. One who already had a foal and two others that looked that were very pregnant. The pony was friendly and gentle and Kinsey liked him right away. I'm sure this is because he let her love on him.

Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary

She eventually ended up in the old homestead which has been converted into an information center, gift shop and restaurant. As usual, Kinsey got to jaw boning and before she knew it Cori offered to take her on a tour of the grounds. Turned out that sweet paint pony was a stud and those mares were his harem.  She also learned they were Choctaw ponies which were all but exterminated by the US government. The wisdom of our government being, take away the horses, take away the Indian spirit. There are less than 300 in existence I'll leave it to Kinsey to tell the whole story on her blog The Liberated Photographer. At the end of the walkabout Cory let Kinsey know about the sponsoring programs they have for the horses. If you sponsor one young enough you get to name it. Cory sent Kinsey off to look a group of yearlings that needed sponsoring. Whilst she was looking she thought about those Choctaw mares about to foal and she knew what she wanted to do.

Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary

Kinsey went back to the center and asked if she could sponsor the foal of the Choctaw paint. Kinsey chose the bay and white paint named Pearl. Pearl was Kinsey's paternal grandmother's name. She died before Kinsey was born. So, now we are kind of expectant parents. And, the gods willing, we will have a Choctaw Pony in our family for the rest of our lives. Kinsey will get to name it and the pony will live free at the sanctuary, we will provide for it every year. We say for the rest of our lives because there is one of the original mustangs still alive and she is in her thirties. Neither Kinsey nor I are likely to out live it. Maybe Kinsey will make a provision in her will that funds be set aside to take care of it for the rest of its life. But, that's getting ahead of ourselves. First we have to focus on Pearl having a successful delivery.

Choctaw Pony Pearl

WOW! What a day!

PS: We visited The Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary on May 26, 2015. As far as we know, Pearl still has not given birth. We continue to send out good vibes that she will produce a happy, healthy baby.

Ciao for now,

©Kinsey Barnard

16 June 2015


Much to our disappointment it was still raining this morning and the clouds were still socked in. We decided to go to Bear Butte even though we probably wouldn't be able to see anything. We couldn't spend another minute in Clementine or we'd go crackers.

To get to Bear Butte you drive through Sturgis, SD. For those who may not know, Sturgis is a biker's mecca. They have an annual event that draws well over 400,000 peeple. Kinsey would never be able to do this event. Crowds give her the heebee jeebees. I borrowed the below photo from Google photos.

It's still pretty quiet at this time of year but I bet it's a lot of fun when things get hopping.

When we got to Bear Butte it was raining and, much as we had suspected, the mountain was all but covered in clouds. In good news, we had the whole place to ourselves. In other good news, even though this is a state park it is managed as a sacred site and there are certain hours reserved exclusively for Native Americans. Very nice to see.

Bear Butte

There is a two mile trail up the mountain. Kinsey left me in the car as dogs are not allowed. I was able to keep an eye on her because there was not much point in going too far. Not only could you not see the mountain the trail was a muddy mess. As far along as she got the trees along the trail were covered with prayer cloths. The offerings were more colorful and elaborate than those we have found on the Blackfeet Reservation where we have spent a lot of time.

Bear Butte

Bear Butte - Prayer Cloths

Kinsey was very disappointed she couldn't see the mountain but what are you going to do? It is what it is.

Bear Butte

On the way back to Spearfish we saw signs for all kinds of trails we would like to hike but it was raining too hard and the trails were too muddy. I think we have to come back here. Even if the weather hadn't been the pits we would not have been able to do all the things we would like to do. This area is a hikers paradise!

Back at the RV park we had lunch and a nap. After our repose and even though it was still raining we took off on a walk. There are walk ways and paths all over. We headed out along Spearfish Creek. They have mailboxes with poop bags and trash cans all over. And, we never saw a piece of trash on the ground. Other cities could take a page out of Spearfish's play book. If you make it easy for people to do the right thing they are more likely to do it.

Spearfish Poop Station
 Even the "graffiti" in spearfish is in good taste.

Spearfish graffiti (aka wall painting)
Honestly, I think if we weren't so happy in Montana we might just pack our bags and move down here. It's beautiful, the people are friendly and for two walking/hiking fanatics such as ourselves, it just doesn't get any better. Kinsey is already talking about coming back in the Fall. I sure hope we do!

If you haven't already, you can read the story of why we ventured to the Black Hills here.

Ciao for now.
#Molly Montana

©Kinsey Barnard

15 June 2015


Well phooey! We today got well and truly rained out. It started in the early hours and never stopped all day.

Kinsey thought what the heck let's see what we can see. We wanted to go to the scared mountain Bear Butte. We headed that way. Here in the campground we are kind of closed off. Once we got out on the road we saw we weren't going to see much of anything. The clouds were socked in. The clouds were practically on the ground. Well, not more than a few hundred feet above it.

Australian Shepherd trying to sleep through the boredom
 We went east on 90 until we hit Whitewood and Kinsey said, "This is ridiculous!" At Whitewood we got off the freeway and turned back for home.  Also, ridiculous, South Dakota has just raised the speed limit to 80 miles per hour on some highways, 90 is one of them. With zero visibility the Dakotans were enjoying their new freedom to the max. It was scary.

On the way back we spotted a Super Wal-Mart. Kinsey went in and got some towels and rugs to help with the mess I'm making in Clementine. Somehow I seem to get very muddy.

As I already mentioned, Spearfish Campground is beautiful but it has one flaw which is particularly annoying when you are stuck inside, internet access is more or less useless. Pages load at the speed of molasses in January or it just disconnects. It's all I can do to write my daily blog entries, very frustrating. I'm going to have Kinsey look into getting our own internet connection for future travels. Kinsey doesn't have an iPhone. She was actually going to get one when she switched to Redot but was advised, for her purposes, the flip phone was better. The difference being it is more durable and has a better antennae.

Spearfish Campground Spearfish Creek really running

By three we were both about ready to go stir so we started out driving up Spearfish Canyon but it was the same story as earlier. Surprisingly, there were a lot of people on the road. I suppose it was because it was Sunday and Memorial weekend. Like us, people were determined to get out come hell or high water. Let me tell you the water was high in Speafish Creek. We got as far as Bridal Veil Falls and packed it in again.

Spearfish Creek up Spearfish Canyon

Back at the campground Kinsey decided to hook up to the cable. But, the cable outlet didn't work. Then she thought she'd maybe watch a DVD. No luck there either. She hadn't checked out the remote before we left and the batteries were dead. Nor had she removed them after last season so they had corroded in the unit. Turned out she hadn't thought to bring fresh batteries either. You can't play the DVD's without the remote. So, that was out too.

The weather channel says afternoon thunder showers. So, maybe tomorrow will be better. But, we aren't counting our chickens. The weather channel is wrong as often as it's right. We mighta got better info if we could have watched the local forecast. Now we know why it's so lush and green around here. It honestly never occurred to us that we might get rained out. Kinsey is reminded of her trip along the Oregon Coast but there it was to expected and the clouds were generally high enough you could work with it. Everybody needs moisture so we are happy for that but ..... FIDDLESTICKS!

We leave day after tomorrow for Hot Springs so if it doesn't stop we won't get to see much of anything in this part of the Black Hills.

If you haven't already, you can read the story of why we ventured to the Black Hills here.

Ciao for now.
#Molly Montana

©Kinsey Barnard

14 June 2015


I'm taking a little break from the Black Hills trip. Still have lots of stories and photos to share. But, I wanted to tell you my grooming GOOD story. Some of you may remember my Dog Grooming Nightmare at Petco last summer. To catch up read it.

This year Kinsey wanted to get me an early spring cut, cuz I was already jumping in the pond and my long hair was getting grungy. Not knowing where to go after PetCo she asked a neighbor for a referral. I don't think we will be asking that lady for anymore referrals. The place was filthy and so was the groomer. She even let her dog tinkle right on the floor. It was pretty awful. The kicker was when Kinsey saw "industrial strength" on the shampoo label.

We were beside ourselves. How was I going to get a good summer cut? Then just before we left on the Black Hills trip we were in the new PetSmart store in Kalispell looking for some stuff. The manager wandered by and asked if he could help us with anything. Somehow the subject of grooming came up (You know Kinsey Blah, blah, blah, blah). Kinsey said "Oh, no thanks. No more corporate cuts for us". Kinsey proceeded to tell him our Dog Grooming Nightmare at Petco. She explained that it was a particular woman that was awful but there had been a guy there we liked but not enough to ever go back.

The manager said he would be happy to take us over to the grooming shop and show us around. We had time so we went. When we walked in all the groomers were heads down busy with dogs. Then this one guy looked up and it was Jake! (Please read the Grooming Nightmare story to see how Jake fits into our story.) We were both really surprised and happy to see Jake. We asked if we could make an appointment with Jake specifically to do the clip and the answer was yes. Since we were leaving for the Black Hills we promised we would schedule a clip when we returned.

Well, yesterday I went in for that clip and it was great. Jake was as gentle and caring as I remembered. I still don't really like getting groomed all that much. I especially don't like those noisy hair blowers. And, as much as I hate to admit it, I kinda don't like being away from Kinsey. But, it was OK and I didn't panic at all. I really do like the free and breezy feeling I have with all that hair gone in this warm weather. Jumping in those ponds is going to be even more refreshing! Also, Jake found, removed, and reported a tick. That was a shot across the bow. We've never had a tick problem before so it was a much appreciated heads up.

Jake & Me at PetSmart
If you need a groomer in the Kalispell area, I'm not necessarily recommending PetSmart, but I am recommending Jake. If you make an appointment with him specifically I don't think you will be sorry. Certainly my experience has been really good. It's like Kinsey always says, "It's not about the company. It's about the people."

Ciao for now,
Molly Montana

©Kinsey Barnard

13 June 2015


Today we got our first opportunity to really get into the Black Hills. Nothing to be said for it but WOW! The road in the north follows along Spearfish Creek. Kinsey couldn't help but take a bunch of photos of it. Out on the plains there are rivers that aren't as big. I keep forgetting to get Kinsey to find out what's up with "spearfish". What the heck is a spearfish?

The Black Hills -Paha Sapa - The Heart of Everything That Is

It was sprinkling when we got up. And, I got news for you, it was "cloudy all day" on the range. We don't mind cloudy and we love cool.

There are many truly wonderful things about the Black Hills not the least of which is, it is managed by the US Forest Service which means I can use the trails. So, today was my day. We ended up on the Little Spearfish Trail. Their are so many trails out there it's hard to choose. We could spend months exploring them all. Little Spearfish Trail is a nice easy trail that goes along, of all things, Little Spearfish Creek. This creek is home to a whole bunch of beavers. There must have been a beaver dam every fifty feet. Darn but we didn't see any beavers.

Kinsey set me loose and I zipped around and splashed in that creek with reckless abandon. Got so muddy there wasn't much white left on me. Kinsey was completely out to lunch and didn't take any photos of my frolic. After awhile we saw someone coming up the trail so Kinsey called me in and I came a runnin' Kinsey just loves it when I do that. Turned out it was a man walking two beautiful Boxer dogs.

Kinsey really isn't much interested in tourist traps, like Deadwood, but after our hike we went over there anyway just to see. It's your typical western town with all the western bells and whistles. Gunfights, outlaws, gambling, and a hundred ways to spend your money. Kinsey says, If you've seen one you've seen them all." Being Memorial weekend the place was jumping.

Deadwood South Dakota

As it turned out it was a good decision to go over there if for only one reason. Kinsey has been complaining that all the history displayed for the tourists focuses on the white man. It's almost as if the Indians didn't exist. We came here to learn about the Native Americans. I guess when you are the victor it's all about you. But, Kinsey did stop in at the Visitor Center to check things out. Whilst she was looking around she heard one of the staff talking about "Tatanka" and The Story of the Bison. Turns out Kevin Costner built a place to tell the story. This was a place Kinsey wanted to see.

I can't tell you much about what happened as I wasn't allowed to go in. She was in there quite awhile and when Kinsey came back she was very excited. I'm sure she will write about it on her blog The Liberated Photographer. I can show you some pictures. The sculptures were amazing. Unfortunately, the sun was smack dab in Kinsey's face so it was a bit dicey on the photos. But I think you can get the idea.




By now the day was pretty well shot. So we headed back to Spearfish. We took a twenty minute nap and decided to visit the fish hatchery that is part of the city park where we are staying. Kinsey almost didn't take us here either because she's seen a lot of fish hatcheries. She's never seen one like this. The hatchery is named after the first superintendent D.C. Booth. Man, that guy lived the life of Riley! As fish hatcheries go Kinsey says this is one to see.

Spearfish Fish Hatchery

Ciao for now.
Molly Montana

©Kinsey Barnard