Author Archives: Nancy Yackel

Mountain Meadow Wool Mill

“To revitalize the American wool industry, preserve the West, and create American made high-quality products through eco-friendly operations and fair prices for Ranchers.” I love the mission of this family owned business in Buffalo, Wyoming.

My knitting friends and family members would love the multitude of yarns created on site. Fleece from quality Western growers is processed at the on-site mill producing 100% traceable natural wool products. Visitors can witness the many steps from sorting and cleaning through carding, dying and spinning on 45-minute mill tours offered daily during the summer.

We arrived late in the day after tours were completed but a helpful staff member offered to play a 5-minute video. The next time I’m passing through Buffalo I will definitely plan time for the tour, it all looks fascinating.

When You Go: Mountain Meadow Wool Mill is located at 22 Plains Drive, Buffalo, WY. For mill tours information and gift shop hours check or call 307-684-5775.

Day 1 – North to Alberta

From Centennial, Colorado to Buffalo, Wyoming – 445 miles from morning limited visibility to sun still high in the western sky at 8p.m.

Stops along the way:

Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center, I-25 exit 4

The Wyoming Rib & Chop House in Gillette, Wyoming

Mountain Meadow Wool Mill, Buffalo, Wyoming

Sightings of antelope with plenty of room to roam, brown cows, black cows and some really ugly spotted cows, horses, hawks, coal mines, long trains of empty coal cars headed north, trains of filled coal cars headed south, working oil fields, Crazy Woman Creek and miles of green, green grasses.

Mason City, Iowa

Two years ago today we explored Frank Lloyd Wright’s lasting connection to Mason City.

Tours provide an inside look of the Stockman House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

The Historic Park Inn Hotel in downtown Mason City is the last remaining hotel in the world designed and built by FLW. Extensive renovations keep the classic Wright design elements while offering guests modern comfort. Each of the 27 rooms are individually decorated.

We spent the night in a king specialty room with a park view – a wonderful choice.

I Will Return!


After a long hiatus of no activity I hope to return with numerous posts – some from new travels and some stemming from pass adventures and cherished memories. Is it a sign of aging that those memories become more cherished – whether with detailed accuracy or skewed with flaws and misinterpretation

For me, travel is rarely luxurious or restive but instead a long road of discovery. Discovery of new locations, historical context, natural wonders, arts, food and personal connections. I hope some will join me along the road.

In a week my husband and I plan to set off on a road trip to the northern Rockies and into Canada. It won’t be as extensive as our 50-day 2016 trip to Canada’s Maritime Provinces. We don’t know if it will be two weeks or five, depending on health and endurance. However, we are sure there will be discoveries and new memories created.

Hastings, NE to Amana, IA – North by Northeast – Day 2

Most of Day 2 of our journey to Eastern Canada was spent motoring  across Nebraska and of Iowa. As much as possible we avoided Interstate 80 plotting our course on secondary roads through this rich agricultural landscape.



A brief stop at the Nebraska state capitol grounds in Lincoln offers a chance to stretch our legs.



The day’s final destination finds us at Zuber’s Homestead Hotel in Iowa’s Amana Colonies.



Willa Cather Childhood Home


Long a fan of Willa Cather’s books, the perfect choice for a respite from driving was a stop in Red Cloud, Nebraska. The town of just over 1,000 residents feels cather-historical-markerlike a step back in time. Cather is recognized as one of the most important American writers of the first-half  of the 20th-century.


Since our visit came on the 4th of July the Cather Childhood Home and Foundation were closed; we were only able to experience the exterior of the home and grounds.


The hand pump and hollyhocks were a reminder of my grandparents farmhouse that I frequently visited when a little girl growing up in the Midwest – decades ago.


Red Cloud’s well preserved main street, Opera House, Cather Prairie, Cather’s Childhood Home, and Second Home (now a host-free guest house) will draw me back when there is time to explore the area that inspired so much of Cather’s writing.

Setting Off Across the USA – Destination: Canada’s Atlantic Maritime Provinces

Ready, Set, Go! – And, we’re off on a new adventure. Wanting to visit the Maritime Provinces of Eastern Canada we researched a number of travel options, finally deciding on making this a road trip. Our route across America will take us to many locations new to us before reaching the Canadian border. It seems appropriate that this is the Fourth of July – the holiday celebrating the birth of the United States.



Today we traveled across eastern Colorado, northwestern Kansas and southern Nebraska to Hastings. Even though it’s a holiday we see a great deal of agricultural activity. Wheat harvest is in full force. Red and green combines cut the ripened grain, filling truck after truck before they head to local elevators. “Wide Load Ahead”, we share the road with many harvesting crews moving to new locations.


We pass through rural communities displaying their patriotism with streets lined with American flags, baseball games and picnics in city parks. Fortunately we can observe Hastings, Nebraska’s fireworks display from the comfort of our hotel room – a nice start for our next adventure.


Smile for the Day: Lodging in Atwood, Kansas named the “It’ll Do Motel” and one in Franklin, Nebraska named “Drop Tyme Motel”.


Southwestern Colorado Jaunt – Day 5

San Juans

San Juan Skyway – North of Durango



Honeyville                                                                                                              Sweet Visit to Honeyville



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Historic Silverton


Durango Silverton Railroad


Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad


Mining Memories


Memories of Mining History along the Million Dollar Highway (US-550)