Thus begins the travels of the Masked Mesdames

Years ago, someone in our family came up with the brainstorm to publish a newspaper to send to our friends who live hither and yon. Each participant had a regular column. And while the willingness of each participant varied some (ok who are we kidding, I had to hound my little sisters to get their articles in on time) the mail must go thru, and the paper HAD to be ready on time. Eventually there was a complete mutiny among the staff and even tho Mother still sweetly coughed up a recipe for her column, the paper reached a sad end.

Em’s column was written under the guise of a detective. “The Masked Muskrat” snuck around collecting stories.

And here we are however many years later: the legit Masked Muskrats, sneaking around thru the West, collecting stories. We also collected our little Covid Cow and whipped him up a little mask so that he can go with us wherever. Not sure what all our trip mascot will get into- but stay tuned…

We’ve challenged ourselves to #mericabysong Part 2, which is happening on our Instagram stories- if that interests you 🙂 Here CC is riding through the Smoky Mountains singing “Don’t let the Smoky Mountain smoke get in your eyes..”

Our random find of the day was “The Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid” along the Mississippi River in Memphis. The guys took the 300 ft freestanding glass elevator to the top to look out. I opted to stay on the ground, without regret.

We stopped among the rice paddies in Arkansas for BBQ and catfish. Apparently we know very little about the growing season of rice. But we do know good bbq when we taste it, and Nicks is highly recommended.

Currently we are hastening westward, anticipating a day full of adventures as God provides.

I hope your day is blessed as well,

See ya down the trail,

Kendra of the Masked Mesdames

Bonus Pics:

Managed to sneak in a celebration for my friends new daughter during the week I was home..

And my Benfriend managed to sneak my truck while I was babysitting the twins, and returned it detailed ❤️

And these little guys- 7 months old already 💙💙

A Colorado, Rocky Mountain High

“So you visited Colorado recently?” A friend asked “Did you tour around the state?”

“Not really” I said “just mainly stayed local..”

So if any of you, Dear Readers, live within 2-4 hours of the Shenandoah Valley, according to my Colorado measuring stick, I consider you “local”.

Since Nate is teaching school, he and Deb grabbed the chance over summer vacation to spend most of it with his family in CO.

And since tickets are cheaper, Ben and I grabbed the chance to travel out and experience Nate’s Colorado with the tour guide himself.

We were not disappointed.

Our week was packed to the brim with hairpin corners, treacherous mountain rides, breathtakingly beautiful views, good people, delicious food, and lots of good humor.

We camped under the stars and shivered in the brisk 47° air. Had we known, at that point, the bear history of the place where we camped; the guys in the hammocks may have shivered from more than just cold. 😂

We traveled into Silverton and enjoyed the town before catching a gravel road out of town and starting the 12 mile drive to the Animas Fork Ghost town.

I had discovered this place while I was researching for one of my western adventures and it’s been on my bucket list ever set since.

Animas Forks was founded in 1875. At an altitude of 11,200 ft, it’s 450 occupants made it the largest city, that high, in the west.

With the rise and fall of the mining industry, as well as 2 major fires, the town experienced a roller coaster of fluctuating number of residents until it became a ghost town around 1920.

And yet the legends remain.

I wonder who sipped their coffee as they stood and watched the men hurry off to the mines to work… or if these windows were completely covered when the town experienced a 23 day, 25 foot blizzard…

The remaining buildings are so well preserved… I just wish these walls could talk.

But they are silent, and leave us to our own musings and unanswered questions.

The Adobe Hills are such a vast marvel of wilderness. Ben and I spent some time exploring them, wondering at how many acres they are and how desolate.

Another highlight was a day on Grand Mesa. We loved all the different lakes. (Supposedly there are 200 up there, I’m guessing we didn’t see quite all of them. 😝

The views were excellent.

And the wildflowers splashing color everywhere were priceless.

Good thing I thought the flowers were so valuable, because when I knelt down to take this pic, my faithful Maui Jim sunglasses slipped off, and a very large elephant (me) stepped on them and broke them to bits. So please enjoy this pic for the $180 it’s going to cost me 🙄 still mad at my clumsy self.

But why stay mad when there’s hilarious little chipmunks to feed peanuts, and I’m enjoying such fun company?

Why stay mad when the sunset is on fire and lights up a rainbow on the other side of the sky?

Our final day in Delta, was jammed full. We enjoyed a farm tour, complete with watching crews of 30 workers efficiently harvesting the famous “Olathe Sweet” sweet corn

We made it from the Gunnison River at the bottom of the Black Canyon to the top of the Canyon were the river flows 2700 feet below.

And we finished off our exotic trip with a good ol rodeo. So much fun.

What a whirlwind, wonderful experience. Thanks Nate, Deb and the rest of the Kennell family who went above and beyond to make us feel at home (notice they remain unpictured because “we have to give you written permission if you’re gonna post a pic of us on the blog” so sorry for your loss after the sunglass incident, I couldn’t afford the lawyer fees 🤷🏻‍♀️ 😉) luv y’all

God is the best travel agent and He worked out some details for our trip beyond what I could’ve every dreamed up. Such a rich time. Praise Him.


Bonus Pic:

Deb and Nate bought the twins these outfits back in the early spring… the boys have long outgrown them… but since Nate’s waited to tell his family until they were in person ( 😅) I waited until now to share this pic.

We are all excited to meet Baby Kennell, Lord willing, October 2020 ❤️

Summer Sentiments

To our friends scattered to and fro,

Hello from the beautiful Shenandoah Valley!

We are all thoroughly enjoying a day of rest in the midst of beautiful summer harvest.

Here are a few pics from my last several weeks.

We are experimenting with some soybeans in West Virginia… this is my Ben friend pulling the tanker for our spray unit over the mountain.

Riv exemplifies how we all feel about summertime wheat harvest ❤️

As with every wheat harvest, we stood around on pins and needles waiting for the crop to ripen… and once it did, we flew across the acres and are hoping to be done the first part of this week.

I keep thinking of the verses from 1 Cor 3 that says “So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.”

This years crop reminded us once again how much everything comes from God. This crop was a pretty big disappointment for some of our farmers. He gives, He takes, He provides. Blessed be His name.

Carry out in the combine cab with one of our grain haulers 😉

This crazy hectic whirlwind season leaves me exhausted, but so so thankful.

One more farm of soybeans to plant, and I’ll be ready to sit back and pray for rain ☺️

May you see God at work in your summertime too,


Bonus Pics:

There’s full time boarders living at the cabin these days… They seem to think that if they are in charge of mosquito control, they don’t need to pay rent 🤷🏻‍♀️

Thoroughly enjoying being able to host at the pond this summer… let us know when you’re coming to visit 😉