I slowed down on the sketching as the week went on. Our next stop was Keyhole State Park in Wyoming. There was a nice looking trail running a long way around a deep blue lake, though our campsite was off a smaller bay. It had lovely red rock on the far side and geese the next morning at sunrise, but it was super hot when we got there. I turned the air conditioning on in Alice for the first and only time on the trip, and Mr. Darcy and I put the bed down and took a nap. Then I did the sketch above looking out toward the water from our spot. On a cooler day it would be a neat park to explore further, and we did enjoy a short walk the next morning with a lovely breeze. It had cooled off enough to sleep with the windows open, which is nice because the A/C is pretty loud. Here are a couple of photos from the morning.
The next day we got to Lewis and Clark Caverns state park in Montana. The landscape reminded me of the reddish hills and scruffy bushes in Turkey near Bergama where I got to stay and paint a decade ago. Very few trees, and an open campground with just circles of rvs, but some really nice trails. Again it was hottest, but we had a nice short hike after we got in. It’s another park that would be good to explore further in slightly cooler weather. I had thought I might need a full day off driving one of these two days, but each morning I woke up ready to go again, so I pushed on. I found that an average of 450 miles was very doable. I mostly got in about 3pm, and I’d have time for a bit of a walk, a little sketching, and a lie down if I needed one. I was going to bed early with the light failing instead of using lights in the camper, and then waking up early and enjoying the beauty of the morning and breakfast and tea before taking off again. I could easily have spent long and lingered on this trip, but Mr. Darcy was ok with the camper but still not that relaxed, and I was looking forward to seeing Jude for the first time since early January, so we just kept moving. I’ll definitely do some state park visits to just settle and paint when I’m not trying to make it solo across the country though.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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