Remembering Western Travel Through Coloring

Have you heard about adult coloring? It’s the latest hobby for grownups. I discovered coloring when looking for a way to relax before bedtime. My mind tends to race, keeping me from sleeping. After reading that adult coloring quiets the mind, I gave it a try and my sleep quality improved.

When I color, my mind doesn’t wander to that ever-growing to-do list. The simple act of applying color to paper requires that I be in the moment. And have I mentioned how coloring has ignited my creativity? I can’t draw a straight line, but when I finish a coloring page, I feel like an artist. And that feeling comes with a rush of new ideas for writing, decorating the house, how the garden will look this summer and more.

painted rocks state park, montana
Painted Rocks State Park, Darby, Montana

I especially enjoy coloring scenes from places that I have traveled. Coloring in the deep blue shades of Painted Rocks Reservoir at Painted Rocks State Park takes me to this special spot near Darby, Montana. It’s just down the road from one of Nancy’s favorite horseback riding vacations, Triple Creek Ranch. You’ll find abundant wildlife—including moose—bird watching and fishing opportunities. The reservoir dries up by August so plan your trip accordingly.

horse, mackay bar ranch, idaho
Horse at Mackay Bar Ranch, Riggins, Idaho

As I colored this horse scene from Mackay Bar Ranch, memories of the fun I had at the secluded Idaho destination came flooding back. Even arriving at Mackay Bar is an adventure. The journey requires a thrilling speedboat journey on the main channel of the Salmon River. The ranch offers jet boat rides to explore Idaho silver mining history, a morning of fishing from the boat, or a refreshing swim in the river followed by an afternoon of relaxation on Mackay Bar’s sandy beach.

stagecoach, paso robles, california
Stagecoach, Harris Stage Lines, Paso Robles, California

Coloring the stagecoach from Harris Stage Lines sure brought back childhood memories of TV westerns. But it also reminded me of riding in the “Wurlitzer of the West” on a visit to Paso Robles, California. After all, you can’t spend your entire time in California drinking wine.

skyline arch, arches national park, moab, utah
Skyline Arch, Arches National Park, Moab, Utah

I could almost smell the bacon sizzling while coloring in the sky of Skyline Arch. On an early morning photo shoot at Arches National Park, my husband and I tromped around Skyline Arch, looking for the best photo angle. Nearby, someone in the campground was cooking up a delicious-smelling breakfast. We were so tempted to invite ourselves over for a bite.

Are you looking for a new way to relieve stress or relax before bedtime? Do what I do. Color a page from Coloring the West, An Adult Coloring Book for Travelers. It just might inspire your next trip.

Where to buy:
Coloring the West

Donna L. Hull writes about active travel for baby boomers at My Itchy Travel Feet, The Baby Boomer’s Guide to Travel. She’s also the author of Coloring the West, An Adult Coloring Book for Travelers. This is a guest post by my good friend Donna L. Hull.