Around The World And Back

It all started one day sitting in high school not sure what in the heck I was going to do when I graduated. A Marine Corp. Recruiter came in to our class and I gave him an ear to talk to. Little did I know he would sell me on a trip of a life time. So three months down the road I was graduated from high school, sitting in sunny California, getting yelled at in boot camp. To flash forward a year or so, I was done with all my training and getting ready for what I really signed up for. To see the world of course!!!

So we set out on our deployment, The 13 MEU, and this hog right here was how we were getting around. Its a fine ship, a little crowded but damn it can do some damage if need be. The USS BOXER.

The first stop after leaving San Diego….you guessed it, Hawaii!! After spending three weeks on a boat I was much do for some R&R. I’ll tell you four days here wasn’t nearly enough though.

The second stop of the trip was beautiful GUAM. With its amazing sunsets and sunrises… I never wanted to leave. I’ve made it a point in my life to venture back to this fabulous place.

I guess if you need something fixed you better call on us. Taking a little break during the flight schedule while the jets launch.

Next up Phuket, Thailand. If I could get on a plane and truly leave any where in the world right now, this would be the spot I would head. The people are amazingly friendly. The weather is wonderful and the food is some of the best I’ve ever had.

Next stop Dubai. Here in this pic is the worlds tallest building, the Burj Khalifa @ 2,717 feet high. Being a Montana kid born and raised, when I stood at the base of this marvel I couldn’t help but stare up at it for hours. Its pure bliss, you can see it from 30 miles away. Its incredible!!ski-dubai_2406593kSkiing in the middle of the desert? Dubai is known for many things and yes this is one of them. They have an indoor ski slope there. Being thousands of miles away from home…of course I had to give this a shot!

Some more flight deck fun somewhere out in the middle of the ocean.

The next stop was in Jordan. During leave we were allowed to visit the ancient ruins of Petra. Above is the Treasury, standing at a staggering 40 meters tall, the view was breathtaking. Above is the the Monastery, another building carved into the red rocks of Petra.Deployment was quite an experience. Getting to travel the world with great people was something I always wanted to do. I would do it all again if I could, no regrets. Well maybe without the working part. The leave time was amazing. When the ship ported in places like Hawaii and Thailand, I was ecstatic with joy. Thanks for taking time to read my blog. I hope you enjoyed it.

 

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Montana’s Top 10 Natural Wonders

Did your favorite Montana natural wonder make the list?

10. Ch-paa-qn Peak west of Missoula, Montana

Ch-paa-qn Peak west of Missoula, Montana
Ch-paa-qn (pronounced “cha-pock-qwin”), is unique in that it is one of very few peaks in the state that possesses at least 4,000 feet of prominence.

9. Gunsight Pass in Glacier National Park

Gunsight Pass in Glacier National Park
The Gunsight Pass Trail is one of the most spectacular hikes in Glacier National Park, the diversity and variety of the landscapes, wildlife and vegetation are unbelievable.

8. Humbug Spires near Butte, Montana

Humbug Spires near Butte, Montana
The Humbug Spires are a grouping of over fifty granite spire formations that sit just a couple miles South and East of the hook in the continental divide, which makes its Westerly shift from the Boulder Mountains to the Anaconda Range just north the little town of Divide.

7. St. Mary Peak in Montana’s Bitterroot Mountains

Saint Mary Peak is one of the most accessible 9,000+ ft peaks in the Bitterroot Mountains and offers spectacular views.
Saint Mary Peak is one of the most accessible 9,000+ ft peaks in the Bitterroot Mountains and offers spectacular views.

6. Belly River Valley along the Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail in Glacier National Park

Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail is a tough trail, but it is worth it. Words cannot express the feeling you get after coming out of tunnel into the Belly River Valley.
Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail is a tough trail, but it is worth it. Words cannot express the feeling you get after coming out of tunnel into the Belly River Valley.

5. Flathead Lake in northwest Montana

Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River in the contiguous United States.
Flathead Lake is the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River in the contiguous United States.

4. Great Bear Wilderness near Glacier National Park

Great Bear Wilderness near Glacier National Park
The Great Bear Wilderness is on the west side of the Continental Divide, just south of Glacier National Park. In its 286,700 acres, it boasts some wonderful recreational opportunities for all ages.

3. Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area in Southeast Montana

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
A landscape of sheer cliffs towering 1,000 feet above a ribbon of blue water. An area sought the world over for magnificent fishing and as a place where wild horses still run free. A landscape overlaid with 10,000 years of human history.

2. Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park

Tripple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park
This spire is the three-faceted jewel in the Crown, dividing Rocky Mountain waters among the Columbia’s plunge to the Pacific Ocean, the Misssouri-Mississippi’s slide to the Gulf of Mexico, and the Saskatchewan River’s amble to the Arctic Ocean.

1. The Chinese Wall in Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness

Bob Marshall Wilderness
With no roads dissecting the area and no motor or mechanical vehicles allowed, the Bob Marshall Wilderness hails as one of the best preserved mountain ecosystems left in the world. This 1 million acre wilderness holds one of the most brilliant natural features of the Rockies- the Chinese Wall, a 1,000 ft deep limestone escarpment that continues on for miles.

Honorable Mention: Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park (Ron Niebrugge)
While not included here because so little of it lies in Montana, Yellowstone National Park is spectacular. It sits on top of a dormant volcano and is home to more geysers and hot springs than any other place on earth. Approximately 50 percent of the world’s hydrothermal features are at Yellowstone National Park.