Monday, November 05, 2012
We stopped in Kent Island for lunch at Annie's. Great crabcakes of lump crab meat- need I say more!! We were home about 3pm.
Friday Tom and I drove down to Ocean City and walked down the boardwalk. It was evident that the beach had been hit by a hurricane. Sand was packed up against the sea wall along the boardwalk and backhoes and bulldozers were being used to move the sand out on the beach. We noticed that some shops had water markings on the store front about 18 inches high. Friday evening again as a group we went to another local restaurant, Doyle's, for dinner.
Saturday started with a pancake breakfast provided by our hosts. After breakfast, Tom and I went to Salisbury to the mall. It was a cloudy, dreary day. In the evening we assembled for a pot luck supper with the hosts providing fried chicken for the entree and everyone else bringing sides and desserts.
Today Sunday we had a pot luck breakfast and then our weekend activities as a club ended. Some folks went home and others like us are staying until tomorrow and a few are staying until Thursday.
Tom and I took a ride to check out a campground in the area but were unsucessful in being able to get past the gates. The remainder of the day has been spent watching football games. We did go out to dinner later in the evening with 3 other couples.
Tomorrow we will pack up and go home.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Monday, October 29, 2012
Today, Monday, we awoke to steady rain but as yet no winds. Government offices and schools are closed. The television morning news had reports of grocery stores being bare due to people stocking up on food. In Baltimore the news showed a line at a liquor store. The news reports along the coastal areas are showing high tides and winds but at 8am the storm was reported as being 300 miles off the coast. Coastal areas are bein evacuated- Ocean City has a mandatory evacuation in effect. We needed milk so we went out to our local grocery store and found it to be well stocked with food- living in a smaller community does have its benefits. We have filled our bathtub with water to flush toilets if need be and purchased a case of 6 gallons of water for drinking. At this point we are as prepared as we will be for when the storm actually hits late tonight or early tomorrow morning.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Saturday, October 13, 2012
At 8:15am we were on the road going east on I-44 toward St. Louis, Missouri. In the vicinity of St. Louis we took I-255 around the city and then onto I-70 east across the Mississippi River into Illinois.
The weather forecast for last night was that there could be storms during the night in Oklahoma. Knowing the potential for severe weather in the area we were in Tom set up the weather radio to alert us if there was any such weather during the night. Thankfully, we did not get alerted to any thing. But we awoke this morning to the sound of thunder but it wasn’t until we were preparing to leave that it started to rain. As we continued our travels over Route 66 through Oklahoma the rain fell fairly steady. We stopped to eat lunch in Wyandote, Ok. before leaving Route 66 and then getting on I-44/Route 66 in Missouri. After lunch the rain tapered off. We stopped at a rest area along I-44 where the picnic table shelters resembled diners, garages and other businesses along Route 66.
|From Drop Box|
Thursday, October 11, 2012
We had been waiting for a call back from Tiffin today about replacing our windshield and after not getting that call we decided that we would not go toward Red Bay, Alabama but would go straight home. We left I-40 in Oklahoma City and continued our eastward trek on the famous Route 66. In Chandler, Oklahoma, we stopped for the night after 313 miles at Glen Oak Mobil and RV Park, a Passport American park, a nicely maintained park. We did get the call this evening from Tiffin saying that if we were there on Monday they could work us in Monday or Tuesday- so we made the right decision to go home as we need to be home by no later than Wednesday. We will get the crack repaired and deal with replacing the windshield at a later date.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
We quickly got the motorhome and Jeep ready for traveling and by 9:15am we were on the road heading east. It is time to head toward home. Shortly after getting on I-40 east, another motorhome came up a ramp to merge into traffic as Tom moved into the left hand lane. We heard a sharp crack and sure enough that motorhome unknowingly had thrown a stone that hit our windshield and left a sizable star. What a sick feeling. We know that in time the cracks will run and the only place to get the windshield replaced according to Tiffin is at Tiffin in Red Bay, Alabama. We are in the process of trying to find out if the windshield could be replaced on Monday. If we can be assured of that we will go to Red Bay. If no assurance can be given that it will be done on Monday then we will need to find another time to do it.
We have continued on I-40 through New Mexico and into Texas where we lost an hour as we changed from Mountain to Central time. Tonight we are in Amarillo at the Amarillo Ranch RV Park- a very nice, conveniently located campground, 300 miles to the east of Albuquerque.
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
By 9am the activities for the morning were coming to an end so we hopped on the bus to return to the Fiesta campground. Since it was warming up we shed some of our outer clothing and then took off in the Jeep for Santa Fe about 40 miles north. In the Plaza area we visited the St. Francis Cathedral Basilica and then the Loretto Chapel. The Loretto Chapel is known for its miraculous stairway. This spiral stairway has two 360 degree turns with no visible means of support. It was built in the 1800's but not known by whom. Originally there was no railing but the railing was added later at the insistence of the nuns. We then walked about area stopping in the shops and outside vending areas. I found a torquoise necklace that I didn't think I could live without. We had lunch at the Burrito Factory before returning to the Albuquerque area.
This morning at the Balloon Fiesta there was a Hard Rock Cafe and Casino booth that we stopped by. A coupon for commemorative pins was given to us. So before returning to the motorhome we went to the Hard Rock Casino to get these pins in honor of the Balloon Fiesta. We also were given $25.00 promotional dollars for signing up for a Player's Card. Tom and I sought out the cheap slots and played on our promotional dollars for a couple hours and then we started cashing out our winnings. We ended up with $17.00 plus in winnings which we spent before getting back to the motorhome when we stopped at Fuddrucker's for supper. What a busy but fun day!
Monday, October 08, 2012
Today, started out being another “iffy'’ day of balloon flying with the wind being the problem. Before we committed to going into the Fiesta we waited to hear through TV reports that the balloons were preparing for flying. A little past 7am we did make our way to the field. There were some balloons in the air and more on the ground getting ready to go up. A flying competition was happening. There is a so-called Albuquerque box that the balloons can fly that takes them one direction at one altitude and the opposite direction at another altitude. It was interesting to see balloons flying in opposing directions. Then at some point the balloons cross the take-off field flying as close to the ground as possible without touching the ground and try to toss out a marker to hit the center of an “x” that is laid out on the field in a given time period. The mornings have been cold here with temperatures in the low 40’s but it does warm up to the upper 60’s/ lower 70’s by late afternoon.
By 11am we were back to the motorhome and the Balloon Fiesta activities were over for today as nothing is scheduled for this evening. Tom then made arrangements to have our waste tanks pumped out.
Sunday, October 07, 2012
This morning we were hesitant in getting to the Fiesta launch sites. The weathermen last night were thinking the wind could again be a factor. We listened to the TV this morning and when we heard that there was movement on the launch sites we made our way over there. A little past 6am we were on the grounds and the Dawn Patrol show was just beginning with about 10 balloons inflated. When these balloons took off for the skies more balloons were inflated and this continued until after 9am. The skies were filled with balloons. Those balloons of unusual shapes were the longest balloons inflating. It was just a wonderful morning.
And this evening was something, also. We went to the Fiesta about 6pm and saw 5 gas balloons inflated. Gas balloons were suppose to have been launched yesterday for a race but the wind prevented that from occurring at that time so they were going tonight. Gas balloons are filled with hydrogen and sand is used as a ballast. Three of the balloons were flown by USA pilots, one by Russian and one by Great Britain. Two of the USA balloons had female co-pilots. The race is to which balloon travels the furthest not the fastest. They will be flying for hours, possibly days. As these balloons were leaving the hot air balloons were getting prepared for Balloon Glow- inflating the balloons but not flying and then lighting with the burners the balloons that they seem to be glowing. Balloons were everywhere. Tom read that there are 584 total balloons. Never have we seen so many balloons at one time and most were one of a kind. We returned to the motorhome to watch fireworks from there.
Today, Saturday, was the opening of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. We were up at 4:45am and shortly after 5am we were on a bus to the Fiesta. Ballooning activities were to begin at 5:45am. We got onto the grounds and made our way into the souvenir tent to buy a few things and then were in line for about 30 minutes waiting to purchase breakfast burritos. The line really wasn’t terribly long but the service was extremely slow. There was a gentle wind and about the time for the activities were to begin it was announced that the wind was more than 10mph so the activities were cancelled for this morning. So we paid admission into this fiesta in order to spend money and nothing else- bummer! When we left the motorhome it was 61 degrees but the temperature dropped several degrees and felt much colder. We caught a bus back to the Fiesta campgrounds and snuggled down for a nap. Before noon we got into the Jeep and went down to “Old Town Albuquerque” where we had lunch at “Little Anita’s” and then walked about the shops and by the street vendors. The stores were ready for the Balloon Fiesta crowd and the crowd was there. The Fiesta has sessions in the morning and then on certain days in the evening with each session requiring a new admission of $8.00. We did learn that packets of 5 tickets could be purchased for $35.00 but were unable until this morning to find where to purchase these tickets- the ticket booths did not sell them and said they didn’t know where they were being sold. We did stop to purchase these tickets before going for lunch.
This evening the wind was blowing stronger than this morning. We listened to the local television station to hear about this evenings activities and according to the wind strength we didn’t think it was worth going over to the Fiesta grounds. One activity had been cancelled this morning. At 7:30pm fireworks were set off and we were able to sit outside the motorhome and watch without the loud banging. The wind is to continue through the night and then taper off so it is up in the air what will take place in the morning.
Yesterday when we got into this campground area we noticed a strong aroma of caramel popcorn. We just knew that someone somewhere was making batches of caramel corn. Today we learned that there is a Cocoa Puffs cereal factory nearby that is responsible for that aroma in the air and not caramel corn being made.
This morning Tom filled the water tank and then had the propane and fuel tanks filled in preparation for today’s move to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta. Tom had made a reservation to stay on the Balloon Fiesta grounds but we would be dry camping. We left Gallup a little after 9am and after 155 miles a little past 12 noon we arrived at the Fiesta grounds in Albuquerque and were soon parked with hundreds other RV’s. The Fiesta officially starts tomorrow, Saturday. The pads on the nose rests on my sunglasses had come off so we needed to go to a Sam’s Club to get a repair done. But before going to Sam’s we stopped for lunch at brew pub. We then returned to the motorhome. And then Tom remembered that he had forgotten to empty the black tank this morning. We are only 1/3 full and maybe we will be okay-if not, there is a service on the grounds for emptying tanks that we might need to use.
A little about the weather – today it is warm in the mid 80’s with a breeze. The wind is expected to increase tonight and tomorrow and temperatures are to drop into the 60’s by Sunday. The wind could be a negative factor with the balloons tomorrow.
Thursday, October 04, 2012
This morning we drove northwest back to Arizona with the Jeep to Canyon de Chelly National Monument. We had been to this National Monument several years ago but it was wintertime and there was not much activity. We drove around the rim at that time but we wanted to take a tour into the Canyon. To enter the Canyon you must have an Indian guide except in one small area, the white house, where you can hike from the rim. Today we hoped to be able to take that tour into the Canyon. Stopping at the Visitor’s Center we inquired about Canyon tours and were given a list of tour operators but no recommendations and we would need to call the phone numbers provided and arrange the tour. The Thunderbird Lodge Tour, we were told, was a group tour on their vehicles at the cost of $57.22 per person for half day and we would need to go to the Lodge and purchase tickets. So we opted to do the tour through the Lodge. We got our tickets about 11:30am for the tour at 1pm. We did drive up along the rim and ate our lunch we had brought along. Then at 1pm we were back to the Lodge to board the the truck with an extended bed equipped with seats. There were 13 people on the tour. Our tour guide, Dave, drove us through the Canyon on very challenging terrain that consisted of 8-10 inches of sand, 4 wheel drive was needed and used most of the way. We were so glad that we didn’t arrange a tour taking our Jeep with a guide. Petroglyphs and pictographs and cliff ruins were pointed out along the way and an explanation of what the origins and meaning may have been- different Indian tribes living in this area left their markings. This area remains in the Navajo Nation Territory and is still inhabited by these people. In the summertime, people move down into the Canyon from up along the rim and farm the land raising vegetables. At several stops there were vendors selling jewelry, pottery and other Indian wares. After 4 hours and a rather exciting ride (Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride??) we returned back to the Lodge and our personal vehicles.
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Our Brake Buddy alarm sounded during our travels. Tom stopped and checked the problem and found the 12-volt accessory outlet to be the problem. The braking system was disengaged until Tom could research the problem. Nearing Winslow at noontime we stopped at the La Posada Hotel for lunch in the Turquoise Room. We have had lunch here previously and enjoy this old Santa Fe train hotel. It has a feel of stepping back in time. We were unsure as to how far we would travel today as we plan to be in Gallup, New Mexico on October 3rd. We did stop for the night in Holbrook, Arizona – 249 miles today. Tom was able to fix the problem with the braking system after getting a new accessory outlet from a parts store in Holbrook.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
So after getting set up and eating an early lunch we were off to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon which was about 45 miles away. Arriving at the Visitor’s Center/Lodge area we got our first views of the Canyon on this north side. We have been to the south rim twice before. This north rim is a higher altitude than the south rim and has harsher winters necessitating the closing of this section of the Grand Canyon about the middle of October. We took the trail out to the Bright Angel Point. Unfortunately, the smog was fairly heavy hanging in the Canyon. We, then, drove a road eastward that had several areas for viewing the canyon. Much of the drive was through pine and aspen forested regions. The aspen trees are just beautiful at this time of the year with the leaves turning a bright shade of yellow that the sun seems to reflect off. We saw several deer in the meadows along the way.
Returning to Jacob Lake later in the evening we stopped at the only restaurant in the vicinity at the Jacob Lake Lodge. We were pleasantly surprised with our meals. Tom had a breaded pork chop topped with crisp fried onions with baked potato, salad and zucchini. I had a chicken breast topped with a portabella mushroom, walnuts and dried cranberries in a very tasty sauce along with the salad, baked potato and zucchini. Tom and I shared a dessert of a slice of coconut custard pie in which the custard was a homemade cornstarch custard. A really memorable meal in a very positive way.
Monday, October 01, 2012
Saturday, September 29, 2012
We returned to the shuttle getting off and on the shuttle back toward the Visitor's Center. Prior to the Visitor's Center is a musuem of natural history and a 22 minute movie about Zion is shown that we watched before returning to our car at the Visitor's Center. On the east side of the park there is a long tunnel, a mile plus, that has several turns. Cars going in opposite directions are able to pass without problems but larger vehicles as RVs can only go through without passing opposing traffic.
Returning to the campground, we saw a restaurant a short distance from the campground, Buffalo Bistro, and thought we'd give it a try. We stopped and saw signs stating closed so we returned to the campground and while talking to the campground owner mentioned the restaurant being closed. She said that they should be open and then called to find out that indeed it was opened. So we returned for dinner at this unique restaurant. We were seated on the porch and the cooking was done in a corner of the porch. Tom had a ribeye steak and I had wild boar ribs- they were served with a salad, grilled potatoes and zucchini squash. The food was very good. We brought a dessert of apple cobbler back to the motorhome to eat later.
Friday, September 28, 2012
Thursday, September 27, 2012
We continued to Lee's Ferry, an area that was used by the Mormons when they moved into this territory. Today, rafts floating down the Colorado land here and other rafts going on more adventuresome raft trips take off from here. Fishermen also use this area to put their boats in the River. We were surrounded by beautiful Vermilion Cliffs.
Returning to Page, we grabbed a lunch at a barbeque restaurant before going on the Upper Antelope Canyon tour. Antelope Canyon is on Navaho Reservation and in order to see the canyon an Indian guide must be along. We were scheduled to go on the 1:30pm tour. There was a large group assembled to go on this tour but we were divided into groups of 14 or 15 and then we loaded into seats in the backs of pick-up trucks and took off on a 20 minute ride to the canyon (the last 10 minutes we were on a sandy road and felt like traveling through 8-10 inches of snow). Our tour guide, Rosie, was a real gem as she assisted all of us in taking pictures of this beautiful canyon. The canyon is a quarter of a mile in length.
After that tour we drove out to Antelope Point, the marina of Glen Canyon. There is a long paved downhill walkway to the marina. Golf carts also use the walkway and rides are available to the marina. We chose to walk down but we did ride up - an easier way to get to the top . The private marina had mostly huge houseboats and a few other power boats. There were no sailboats. As we drove from this area we saw another marina that had houseboats for rent.
Returning to Page, again, we stopped for dinner at a Mexican restaurant before calling it a day and getting back to the motorhome for the night.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Leaving the park we returned to the Goulding Lodge for lunch. The Goulding property consists of a lodge, hotel, restaurant, gift shops, a museum and the campground we are in. In the 1930's the Gouldings- Harry and wife, "Mike"- were responsible for getting John Ford to film westerns in this valley. A building depicted as John Wayne's house in "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon" is also on the property. After lunch we stopped at the Navaho market. Little kids belonging to the merchants were playing outside the shops. Returning to the campground a herd of free-ranging horses were along side the road and a herd of goats being herded by dogs crossed over the road after we passed through.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Sunday, September 23, 2012
After returning to the motorhome, we drove into Moab for dinner at the Blue Pig- a barbeque restaurant. The food was good especially since I didn't have to cook!
Saturday, September 22, 2012
After returning to the campground and doing a few things around the motorhome we set off for Dead Horse Point State Park north of Moab and near the Island in the Sky part of Canyonlands. Like most Park visits our first stop was at the Visitor's Center but before going inside we walked around the outside taking in the views along a pathway. And the views were spectacular looking into a red stoned canyon that is half as deep and half as wide as the Grand Canyon and also like the "Grand" has the Colorado River flowing through it. Island in the Sky also has views into this canyon but none with the Colorado River and, I do not believe, are as breathtaking as the views here. We drove to the Dead Horse Point- this according to legend was where abandon mustangs had died after being corraled on this point- and admired the views. We were pleased that this park was highly suggested to us for it would have a mistake to have not visited it.
We had seen large evaporation ponds from the viewing areas in the state park that were part of a potash processing plant. The ponds were evaporation pools. We had seen signs just prior to Moab to a road that stated "Potash". So as we took the road on our return. The road traveled along sheer rock wall on one side and the Colorado River on the other for 16 miles. Petroglyphs were on the rocks 12-15 feet high making us ponder how this was accomplished. The maintained road ended at the potash plant where we u-turned and returned to the campground.
Our next stop was at the Windows area where there are 3 arches- North Window and South Window and Turret Arch but again there was a hike about a mile round trip. At this point we were feeling done in. We returned to the motorhome for lunch and a much needed rest.
Early evening we took off for Canyonlands National Park- Island in the Sky- which is north of Moab. Stopping at the Visitor’s Center we were given some pointers about stops in the Park. We did drive through the park making the Green River Overlook our last stop to view the sunset. The sunset views are to be spectacular at this overlook but the northern fires smoke interfered once again.
This morning we started out thinking that we were going to drive through a section of the Capitol Reef Park but plans sometimes change. We came to a pull-off that was for a natural bridge so we parked and found it was a mile hike to the bridge. A mile was not that far, so we thought, and so we started walking. The trail was well marked but there were hills to climb and it became warmer as the morning progressed. But we made it – a total of 2 miles in 2 hours. The natural bridge was worth seeing at 128 feet high and 130 feet wide, I believe I have those numbers right.
After the hike we were ready for lunch and it was after 12 noon. I had prepared a picnic lunch so we went to the area where we had seen the deer yesterday. The deer were not there but there were other folks picnicking in the area. There were 2 huge trees in this area with very knotty trunks that seemed unusual to us.
When lunch was finished we took a drive on Scenic Route 12 south to Boulder. This drive is through green mountains that had patches of bright yellow Aspen trees. There were overlooks in which the red cliffs of Capitol Reef National Park was visible. A very pretty drive. Free range cattle were the only “wild” life that we saw and they, like the buffalos in previous parks, didn’t hesitate to walk across the roads in front of cars. In Boulder there is the Anasazi State Park that we stopped at the Visitor’s Center. A good day but tonight we are feeling that bedtime may come a little earlier.
Leaving the Visitor’s Center we rode up to an area called Buffalo Point that had a trail to climb higher up. We walked up a short distance but there was thick smoke from forest fires in Idaho that impaired viewing. We then drove down to the Fielding Garr Ranch. The ranch house is the oldest standing Anglo building in Utah. In 1848 Fielding Garr, a Mormon, had been assigned to establish a ranch on the island for managing the church tithing herds. The ranch was operated by the Mormon until the mid-1870’s. A businessman, John Dooly, Sr. bought the island and brought 12 bison on the land. Sheep ranching was also set up and became one of the largest in the western states with more than 10,000 sheep. A failing wool market in the 1950s caused a change to cattle ranching was continued until 1981 when the island became a state park.
The ranch is now a museum for the public to wander through. The bison herd has grown to over 600 and are rounded up yearly with some being sold off in order to control the size of the herd.
This evening we went into Salt Lake City. We could see the capitol from quite a distance and after driving up some steep hills we were able to park and take some pictures. From there we went to Temple Square where the Mormon Temple, Tabernacle and Assembly are located. The monument dedicated to the seagulls that saved the crops from the locust or grasshoppers is also located in this Square. Quite an impressive group of buildings with beautiful flower beds everywhere.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
We left Jackson, Wyoming a little after 8am this morning after saying good-bye to Larry and Joanne. We would be going separate ways and do not expect to meet up again until we get home. Shortly after pulling out of the campground we were in Idaho. The hillsides were really pretty as there were lots of red trees among the green pine trees. I thought the only color out here was the yellow of the Aspens at this time of the year. We later came into some farming areas that had acres of newly harvested fields of grain. As we came to the town of Soda Springs we passed a large phosphate mining operation of Monsanto. Eventually, we got on I-15 that took us into Utah and south to North Salt Lake City, 279 miles. The campground, Pony Express Resort, is a extremely nice campground and compared to The Virginian in Jackson, Wy. a real bargain. Jackson was $63.00 a night, Pony Express is $40.00- same hook-ups only Pony Express has much better internet accesss.
Today, being Sunday, football games were on the television and after the continuous going for sometime we just kicked back and laid low. Tomorrow we plan to get out and explore this area.
Tom and I decided to cancel a day of our time here as the smokiness of the area affects the beauty of this environment. The campground refunded our money without any problem.
Later in the afternoon Tom and I drove over to Teton Village to take a gondola ride up the mountain to find that was not running anymore today. We then drove up through the National Park. In the Moose area we saw a black bear and then a moose. We saw a dirt road and decided to take that road. What a mistake! The road was very primitive with rocks, ruts, and extremely rough road. There were some pretty views of the Snake River. When we finally got on the main road through the park it was late evening. We drove up Signal Mountain, saw deer and the saw beautiful sunset views on the Tetons from the summit. Returning to Jackson we stopped at a Wendy’s for a late supper before returning to the motorhome.
Well, what a bummer of a day. Last night Tom started complaining of back pain and had a real uncomfortable night trying to sleep. Advil was barely touching his pain. So this morning after eating breakfast we decided we should see someone about the pain. There are several clinics in the park with the closest one being in the Lake area which is a short distance from Fishing Bridge. The clinic was not busy and Tom was seen after filling out the paperwork. After an exam by a physician’s assistant it was determined that Tom probably had a kidney stone. Pain medication was given and directions to drink lots of liquids. So we spent the remainder of the day in the motorhome with Tom drinking (water, mostly) and me cooking and reading. We did take a walk about the campground this evening. The pain medication seems to be reducing the discomfort. No pictures today to tell the story.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
We traveled the 79 miles and got into our campsite. After a little rest we got in the Jeep and started exploring this unique park. The pictures tell much of the story.
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
We did take a break for lunch going to the downtown area of Cody to The Irma, a restaurant in a old hotel. We all had the buffet lunch which we found to be quite tasty, including the buffalo sloppy joe's and spinach lasgne. A bread pudding with whiskey sauce was the dessert and there sure was whiskey in that sauce.
Before returning back to the campground we drove to the Buffalo Bill Dam and visitor center. We watched a film about the construction of the dam in the early 1900's. The dam was constructed during the winter months often with temperatures below freezing since the flow of water was so heavy due to the melting snow in the mountains.
A beautiful day with the temperatures in the low 80's but this morning it was 49 degrees when we got out of bed. Tomorrow we are going into Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone park.
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
We noticed a lot of haze hanging over the mountains and had seen a fire burning in the distant mountains as we passed through Buffalo so we believe the haze is smoke. We saw a badger run across the road in front of us- something we had not seen before in the wild. I believe I enjoyed the 313 mile trip being able to sit back better than Tom did driving this route. We stopped in Greybull on a back street to eat lunch in the motorhome. We arrived in Cody at 2:30pm expecting to see Larry and Joanne but they were not here yet. It was almost 4pm when they finally arrived. They had taken another route plus stops had to be made periodically for their dog and for picture taking. We will be here until Thursday. This evening we all went out to dinner in Cody at La Comida restaurant. It was a pleasant evening so we ate on the restaurant patio but a chill is in the air.
Monday, September 03, 2012
The does were able to jump the fence but the fawn was having a frantic time trying to find a way through the fence and we were adding to his stress so we quickly moved on. Miles from Devil's Tower we were able to get views of it and the roadside pullouts allowed for picture taking.
Arriving at the Visitor's Center we saw that a ranger led walk around the tower was scheduled for 9:30am so we whiled away some time and then went along on the one and half hour walk.
Periodically, the ranger would stop and talk about the various aspects of the "Tower", the geology, the recreational, the spiritual and the flora and fauna. The "Tower" resulted from magma that cooled underground causing it to contract and fracture into columns. Erosion of the sedimentary rocks over millions of years exposed the "Tower". A horizontal cut through the "Tower" would appear as a bundle of pencils grouped together. There are hiking trails around the base of the "Tower" as well as over 200 trails to climb to the top. This is one of many sites in this country that has special meaning for Native Americans and throughout the surrounding area prayer cloths are seen tied to trees by Native Americans.
Ponderosa pine trees and an oak tree grow about the base of the "Tower"- the oak is seen from this elevation and lower and the ponderosa in higher elevations. In the grassy lower level near the park entrance prairie dogs abound. Porcupines live around the base of the "Tower" in the piles of rocks and in the winter eat the bark of the ponderosa trees. Rattlesnakes, coyote, cougars, deer and squirrels also frequent this area.
Leaving the "Tower" we continued on a circular route through scenic rural Wyoming. In the little town of Aladdin (population of 15) we stopped at Cindy B's restaurant for lunch of burgers that had been recommended by the campground personnel. The food was good. Their pie is supposedly very good but we were too full of the 1/2 pound burgers to partake.
Continuing on our next stop was at the Vore Buffalo Jump.
This archeological site was discovered when Interstate 90 was being built in the 1970's. The sink hole was used by the Native Americans to stampede the herds into the hole that resulted in the death of the animals and the butchering and processing of the meat in the hole. There are 7 layers of bones that are being uncovered by University students during the summer months.
A building has been erected over the dig area. It is overseen by a foundation set up ny the Vore family on whose property this area was found.
Tomorrow we will move on to Cody, Wyoming. We should meet up with Larry and Joanne there as we have been hopscotching across the country with one another. We will be going into Yellowstone on Thursday and should get together a time or so while there. We will be staying at Fishing Bridge in the park, Larry and Joanne in West Yellowstone at a private park.
The weather has been very pleasant here. The high today was 81 degrees with sunny skies. It was 59 degrees this morning- great for sleeping and no air conditioning needed. This sure beats the 100 degrees we saw in South Dakota 2 days ago.
Sunday, September 02, 2012
By 8am we were on the road once again and shortly after starting out we were in Mountain time so we gained an hour. We passed huge fields of sunflowers this morning in South Dakota as we had passed yesterday in Minnesota.
Leaving the interstate we drove the loop road through the Badlands. We had taken this drive before but the views continue to be amazing and beautiful to us.
Leaving the badlands we were immediately in the town of Wall, S. D., the home of the famous Wall Drug Store that has billboards all along the interstates.
We had been here once before but decided to stop again and, like before, found nothing to get overly excited about. Back on the road we stopped for fuel and a short while later at a rest area for lunch. Entering Wyoming we made a stop at the visitor’s center to pick up a state map and gather information about Yellowstone and Grand Tetons. Two hundred sixty-eight miles of travel, the last 20 miles into the state of Wyoming, and we made our stop at Sundance. We will be here for 2 nights- time to catch our breaths and get a side trip to Devil’s Tower tomorrow.