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Oregon to Oklahoma: A Photographic Update

July 16, 2014

A little over 2 weeks ago we launched the Rialta Coffee Tour in what you might call the fruition version.  We’d been planning it for 3 years, and had even done some mini tours, but now we are living completely on the road, working without a net, and no place to call home but the highway.

And we love it.

Our first leg has included a wedding in Oregon, a visit to Carissa’s family in Montana, a reconnection with some old friends in Yellowstone, a couple of coffee training stops, some great coffee shops in some unexpected places, and a visit with Don’s family in Oklahoma.  And since this is one of those situations where a picture is worth more than words, here’s the photo tour of our first leg!

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One final Portland coffee crawl on the morning of our departure with Nate and Dowry (new owners of Speedboat) and Michelle (Speedboat barista). This is at Heart Coffee Roasters.

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Then we returned to Speedboat where Alyssa and Andy were running the shop. This was shot right before we headed out.

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Our first stop was at the wedding of Sam and Christa. Sam is a former barista at Speedboat and one of our all time favorite people.

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One of our first consultation appointments was at Dobson Creek Coffee Roasters in Ronan, Montana.

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We spent several days at Glacier National Park with Carissa’s parents, who have a cabin near the park. It was an excellent time of rest and beauty.

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Lake McDonald was uncharacteristically serene that day

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Roasting marshmallows with Papa and Nanna Bartel

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The girls were alone on the playground when a black bear came running through! They alerted the authorities and the next day the bear was caught in this trap.

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This little guy will be back in the wild where he belongs in no time

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A stunning field of yellow blooms. We couldn’t resist getting a quick pic.

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This is the “M” on the side of the Mountain in Missoula near the University of Montana. We decided to hike up to it!

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The view of Missoula from the “M”

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You never dreamed that M was so big until you see it up close

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We stopped at Helena, MT to see Carissa’s Aunt Nellie and Uncle Glen. It was a great visit, and then we poked around downtown a bit.

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In Bozeman we found this fantastic shop, Rockford Coffee Roasters. They had some of the tastiest cold brew coffee we’d ever had and were delightful hosts. We met with Nathan, the roaster, and got a quick tour of the roastery.

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We got a rare treat at Old Faithful. As she started erupting, another geyser a couple hundred yards away started erupting as well. Two for the price of one!

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Roasting marshmallows with friends Rayna, Asher and Simon.

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A very friendly cow elk in Yellowstone

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This “waterfall” of steaming water cascades down the hill and creates these amazing formations and colors as it cools.

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A grand view of the sun setting behind the Grand Tetons

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Carissa and me at the Grand Tetons

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These sweet lady and her little fawns were hanging out right near the road

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One of the most awe-inspiring moments was looking down into what they call the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

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The Niemyers at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

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As we left the Grand Tetons we got a rare (and close!) sighting of a mother Grizzly with her cub!

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Wild Buffalo!

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Wild Buffalo!

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Our friends Brandon and Kelly. We knew them in Colorado, then we all ended up in Oregon, and now they’re back in Colorado where we’ll be by next year.

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We hadn’t seen these guys in over 2 years, but 5 minutes after being together again they had circled up the chairs and picked up right where they left off.

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Around the fire with Brandon and Kelly

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On the way to Colorado we accidentally discovered Old Town Coffee in Lander, Wyoming. These guys are using 49th Parallel Coffee and made the most delicious cappuccino I’d had since Portland. What a find!

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Headed to Oklahoma we checked out Palace Coffee and had a great visit with their owner. Great coffee, beautiful space, and very hospitable. The trifecta!

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Finally made it to Oklahoma, where my kids are getting in touch with their inner cowgirls.

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Meanwhile, I’m sitting on my parents back deck surrounded by horses, farm implements, and my RV in the yard, finally getting some updates posted! I hope you enjoyed this one. More to come!

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