Montana: “Our Lady of the Rockies”

IMG_1284I told you in my last post I had stopped at another site on my “road trip.”  What I found interesting is that only 2 hours from the “Garden of One Thousand Buddhas,” I found another shrine. This was of the Virgin Mary called, “Our Lady of the Rockies.” If it weren’t for, I would not have known about these sites.

This is a wonderful story of a man who prayed to the Virgin Mary that if his wife survived her cancer, he would build a statue of the Virgin Mary and place it in his backyard. Well, his wife survived! In talking with his friends and people around town, his small statute became a BIG one 90 ft high. With the help of many volunteers and donations, they found a spot for the statue up in the mountain.

While I was there, I wanted to go up to the statue, but they said they did not have tours until the summer months.  At night, the statue is lit up, so that you can see and feel her presence watching over Butte, Montana.

I slept very well that night under the protection of “Our Lady of the Rockies!”

One thousand Buddhas in Montana! Where will your road trip take you?

IMG_1190America is full of amazing places to see. We don’t realize this until we decide to take a “road trip.”  I was planning a drive from Seattle to Chicago. My daughter told me about a website called, “”  I checked it out.

So glad I did, because I found this amazing place in Montana called, “The Garden of One Thousand Buddhas.”  I decided that I was going to make that a stop on my drive. It was beautiful and spiritual. The site was built to be a pilgrimage for people of all faiths. The statue you see is of Tara. The story of “why/who/how” it was built is interesting and a bit long for me to explain. Visit to read the story.  Here are some photos.



At the site, they had different stones with sayings on them. This was a good one, which we should ALL think about.


Stay tuned… I will share another site I visited soon.



African animals come to life in “Beast,” by John Banovich


© John Banovich, Giants of Kilimanjaro, 2016, oil on belgian linen, 24 x 24 in.                        Limited Edition Giclee on Canvas.

My father loves Africa, he has been there over 35 times. He was especially fascinated by elephants, lions and leopards. I believe they gave him strength to persevere, fight and drive himself to success. He is a self made man, ferocious reader and watches many documentaries. In fact, as we were growing up, he’d call us in to watch, “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” with Marlin Perkins. This show studied wild animals in their natural habitats, we learned the importance of conservation from Perkins’s stories.

Fast forward 35+ years and conservation efforts are stronger than ever. Years ago, my father and I came across an artist out of Montana named, “John Banovich.” We were immediately mesmerized by his larger than life paintings of African animals. Clearly, Banovich had the same passion for African animals as my father had with the ability to bring them to life. For example, take a look at this elephant painting by Banovich. It’s incredible, we can see the precision with which Banovich paints the wrinkles on the elephant’s skin, brings fierceness to his eyes, the tusks perfectly positioned with just the right color. What amazed my father and I was the “feeling” that we were facing the elephant “head on, eye to eye,” like a fight scene. He gives life to all of his paintings in this way. They are very powerful!

Banovich’s love of animals/nature runs deep. In 2007, he started the Banovich Wildscapes Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to conserve wildlife, wild places and the people who live there. Right now, he supports twelve projects in seven countries with a portion of artwork sales going to the Foundation. A few projects are saving lions in Africa, Siberian tigers in Russia Far East and brown bears in North America. On his Foundation’s website you can read specific information on each project.

In 2009, he published the book, “Beast.” This banovich-book-beastbook shares his life story and collection of paintings. It’s a beautiful book, one that should be put on a coffee table and shared with others.

Visit Banovich’s Facebook page for the latest news on his projects and events. His next event is in South Carolina. If you’d like to learn more about his work, this is your chance to meet him in person AND to support wildlife conservation!


Plantation Grille, Brays Island Plantation, SC
Guest Speaker: John Banovich, Artist/Conservationist
March 13, 2017, 3:30-5:00pm