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May 2010 – Greg and Bonnie’s RV Adventures

Archive for May, 2010

Greetings from Dillon Montana

May 31, 2010 - 4:33 pm 2 Comments

I meant to mention yesterday that a Winnebago View pulled in next to us last night. The tag was from Wyoming. Remember how I told you we belong to a forum on the internet for Winnebago View owners. We share information about our travels and things about our rigs. Remember we met “Bob from Virginia” at the Old Faithful parking lot? OK, so when the View pulled in next to us and it had a Wyoming tag on it, I told Greg to ask the guy if he was “Ken from Wyoming”, which is how he is known on the web site. Well low and behold, it was Ken, and we told him we were Bonnie and Greg. We see each other’s names on the entries on the web site, so you tend to get to know the folks by their signoff name. Nice guy and his wife. Well they are really into the wildlife in Yellowstone. So much so they get up at 4:00 a.m. in the morning and head into the park to look for wildlife. He showed us a lot of the most unbelieveable photos of bears, wolves feeding on bison, owls, every kind of wildlife imaginable. They know the bears so well they even name them!!! They were total experts on the wildlife of the park. No wonder Greg and I didn’t see anything much. We stayed in bed til 7:30 a.m., had a leisurely breakfast, and THEN headed to look for wildlife. You have to laugh!!

We started with a very welcome sunny day. After getting groceries and getting diesel we headed out. We had a great day driving through part of Idaho, following the Snake River. We had lunch right by the river as you can see in the first photo above. This portion of Idaho was in Lincoln County. So here’s a shout out to our friend from Lincoln County, Georgia. After crossing into Montana, you see the “big sky” the state is known for. Great dramatic spances of hills and fields full of cattle.

We found the nicest little gem of a park in Dillon Montana for the evening. Dillon is a small town but I found this park in my Good Sam book. Well it’s a small park but what a beautiful little park. We literally drove into town, turned left, and there it was. Very nice “pull through” spaces. A stream runs through the park and there are beautiful mountains all around us. The lady who owns it says she has camped near Chattanooga many times. The office area has a free video rental, and a book exchange which is wonderful for travelers. We just leave books that we’ve already read, and exchange for books that we haven’t read. Works well all around for all travelers.

We have driven 2500 miles so far. By the time we set up in the park a storm rolled through and we had lots of rain. The temperature dropped quickly but we are snug as a bug. I’m baking a peach cobbler for Greg tonight. He’s been a good boy today!

Tomorrow we will continue driving north through Montana and spend the evening in Great Falls. That will be our last evening in the United States for a while because we will cross the Canadian border Wednesday.

Stay tuned. Bonnie

BRRRRRRR……

May 30, 2010 - 4:39 pm 2 Comments

We’ve had an uneventful weekend in Jackson Wyoming. Specifically the weather has been less than wonderful. It has been cold, blustery, and dreary. We have spent the weekend reading, doing laundry, napping, and walking. We’ve seen many rigs come and go and it’s always fun to see what comes in next and where they are from.

I called one of our neighbors today and she said my day lilies are in full bloom. Our granddaughter is having her first day on the beach and we sure wish we were there to see it. But Allan and Catherine are so good at sending us photos every day we don’t feel we will miss anything (except hugs and kisses) while we are away.

We will head north in the morning, driving briefly through Idaho and on into Montana.

We will start seeing new territory tomorrow, and we are looking forward to the new sites.

Stay tuned. Bonnie

Majestic Tetons and Jackson, Wyoming

May 28, 2010 - 1:34 pm 5 Comments

We had a leisurely drive this morning through a scenic area of the Tetons on our way to Jackson. We passed by Jenny Lake, Moose Junction, etc and the scenery is just breathtaking. The temperature is moderate with a few clouds. This mountain range is not large but it is truly spectacular.

We arrived in Jackson and we are staying in the same RV Park that we stayed in a couple of years ago (The Virginian). Full hookups including cable TV and WIFI. This afternoon we’ve spent “housekeeping”; doing laundry and cleaning the RV. The weather report for tomorrow and Sunday is snow showers with lows in the 30s and highs in the 40s. By Monday the highs will be in the 50s again. No problem. We can get on a town shuttle at our campground and go into town whenever we want.

Tonight we are going to order pizza in. My how things have changed. I wish my Mom and Dad could see the changes in RV parks in the last 30 years since they RVd to Alaska. They just wouldn’t believe this.

Enjoy the photos of the day. Stay tuned. Bonnie

Yellowstone – The Circle of Life

May 27, 2010 - 4:58 pm 7 Comments

We started out around 9:00 this morning after a good night’s sleep. We are especially looking for wildlife, since we’ve seen the geysers before. We toured the Upper and Lower Falls, drove through Haden Valley. We saw many bison and a couple of babies, but we did not see any moose or bear. The day was beautiful, and again, not so many tourists. We do see a lot of rental units and many tour buses. All the tourists are retirees; families with chidren won’t be here until summer.

I named this entry “circle of life” because this phrase came to mind as we were driving through the park today. We drove the lower route and saw many geysers and the Old Faithful geyser. As we drive through the park, it occurs to me that this park is a perfect example of the circle of life. When the big fire happened in 1988, many acres of woodlands were burned. Many burned trees are still standing, charred, but still standing. But in between the charred trees are the seedlings which have slowly taken soil and are growing tall and strong. We saw bison with babies, newly born this spring. When you see an old bison alone in a field, laying on the ground, he has probably left the herd to die alone. The circle of life—babies are born, old ones die. The park is continuously being reborn in so many ways. It is a very spiritual time being in Yellowstone. You don’t have all the things drawing you away from the beauty of the place—no phone service, no tv, etc. It’s a very quiet time.

I do have to tell you something funny. My girlfriends will appreciate this. We were standing at the Upper Falls and a group of German tourists were just getting off the bus. I wanted to get a photo of Greg and me together so I looked around to find someone I could communicate with. Walking toward me was such a GOOD LOOKING young man I did a double take. I think he was the tour guide for this group. He had on an Australian “cowboy” hat, khaki vest; he was tall, tan, and had a beautiful face. He just looked straight at me and I motioned with the camera. He immediately came over and said he would be glad to take our photo. I joked with Greg afterward that I should have had GREG take a photo of me with Mr. Wonderful. Then I was embarrassed to do so afterwards. Of course now I wish I had. Just to give you girls a thrill. I’m serious, he was some kind of wonderful. You’ll see the silly grin on my face in the photo with Greg at the waterfall. On second thought, Greg has a silly grin too! LOL

We also ran into a couple in a View who I have communicated with on our View Forum on the internet. I knew they were on this trip, going to be in Yellowstone during the same time as us. They also are on their way to Alaska. At any rate, we were walking back to the View after seeing Old Faithful, and we see a View behind ours looking at the tag. I walked over and said “are you Bob?” and he said “yes, and you are Bonnie and Greg?” We enjoyed talking with them and will probably see them again on this journey.

We will be in Jackson, Wyoming for the weekend.

Stay tuned. Bonnie

Entering Yellowstone Park

May 27, 2010 - 4:58 pm 2 Comments

We had breakfast with Pam and Werner before leaving Cody on Tuesday morning. We made a short visit to the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody. This is a world class museum with all sorts of memorabilia about the plains indians and their way of life, plus Buffalo Bill Cody’s life. We didn’t have enough time to do the museum justice, as we had to check out of our park by 11:00 a.m. We filled up with diesel, LP, and supplies before heading into Yellowstone. We had lunch by the Buffalo Bill Reservoir outside of Cody. We saw another moose near Wapiti, Wyoming. Some Big horn sheep, etc. There is hardly any traffic going into the park so we made a leisurely trip.

Our first look at Yellowstone Lake was a treat. The Lake is still completely frozen over. You can see some ice receding from the shore, a few feet out into the lake. It was quite a site to see that large a water mass completely frozen over.

We arrived at Fishing Bridge Campground inside Yellowstone Park around 2:00 p.m. Again, traffic is light. We got settled into our site and watched the other rigs come in during the afternoon. We have no electricity, but we do have water. We use the house battery for lighting, plus a Coleman lantern that Allan and Cat gave us. We stay warm by using the LP gas for heat, and I cook with the LP gas. We took a walk around the campground, but we had our eyes out for bears because upon check-in, the lady told us there are bears out and in the campground. We never saw a bear, but you can bet we had our eyes peeled and stayed inside most of the time. The temperature is moderate during the day and very cold at night. We also watched a DVD movie for the evening. So we have all the comforts of home.

Tomorrow we will drive the upper loop in the park and look for wildlife.

Stay tuned. Bonnie

Spoke too soon

May 24, 2010 - 7:16 am 5 Comments

Well guess I spoke too soon about me not getting sick. We had a great visit with Pam and Werner Saturday afternoon and evening. Greg and I watched a movie before turning in. When I laid down, I felt queasy. You know the rest of the story. So evidently he didn’t get sick from his food, but from a virus of some kind, which I then had two days later. So Sunday was spent with me in bed and Greg doing laundry, walking around, and sitting outside. It was a beautiful day. He had a “picnic” for lunch, which means he sat outside and had a pack of crackers and drink. Pam and Werner came by in the afternoon but didn’t come into the RV. Unfortunately we were going to have a cookout Sunday evening at Pam’s house but I was not able to go, and Greg didn’t want to leave me alone; plus we didn’t want them to get sick from us.

Monday morning I am feeling much better and had a little breakfast. We are going to stay in Cody Monday, get my strength back, do some housecleaning, etc. before we move out in the morning for Yellowstone. We’ll stop by WalMart for a few supplies before we get into park. We are only about 50 miles away from the east gate of the park. We are following weather reports for the park, and today the high is going to be 38 and the low tonight will be 17 degrees. But it is supposed to warm up as the week progresses. We have a generator and gas for heat so we should be fine.

There will be no electricity in the park. No cell service. We will be out of touch for at least three days, but we’ll call the boys from a land line during our stay in the park. I’ll update my blog when we get back to civilization.

Thanks for following and commenting. Bonnie

Moose and snow covered Big Horn Mountain

May 22, 2010 - 6:02 pm 6 Comments

Greg woke feeling much better this morning. We stopped by a grocery store before leaving Sheridan, Wyoming to get Gatorade, soup, and crackers for the day. We left Sheridan around 9:30 a.m. and headed for Cody. Driving across Big Horn Mountain was fresh in my memory from 2008 when we crossed the mountain for the first time. I have some anxiety driving across bridges over water and mountains that are curvy and steep. But I decided to conquer my fears today by driving across the mountain. Since Greg was just sick yesterday, I thought it would be a good idea for him to be the passenger rather than the driver. I’m glad to say I drove the entire trip from Sheridan to Cody, across Big Horn Mountain. I kept my eyes directly on the road while Greg enjoyed the majestic views from the passenger side. As we climbed the mountain we started seeing snow on the sides of the roads, and when we reached the top, there was more snow than we’ve ever seen at one time, and this is the END of snow season for this area. We kept our eyes open for wildlife and we were not disappointed. We spotted two moose in a field and it just so happened there was a pulloff right in front of them. We sat quietly for a while watching them feed in the field. Then on down the road we saw two more moose in another field. What a sight!!

We arrived in Cody around 2 p.m. and Pam, Werner, and Dieter came to pick us up around 3. We are so glad Dieter was home from college because we always have fun with him and the entire family. We spent the afternoon at their home and enjoyed visiting with them. Then we went to a local favorite restaurant for dinner. We will spend the day with them tomorrow and head out to Yellowstone Monday. Pam will take me to a couple of local favorite shopping spots in town and we’ll grill out tomorrow evening. I’ll post some photos of our visit tomorrow night.

The wind is blowing hard here and it is very cool but absolutely beautiful. Our RV is warm and we will rest well tonight. We are thankful Greg is back to normal and we had a safe trip to Cody.

Stay tuned. Bonnie

What a difference a day makes!

May 21, 2010 - 2:09 pm 2 Comments

Greg woke up in the middle of the night not feeling well. We figured it was something he ate at dinner because we did not eat the same thing and I was feeling fine. We had a restless night. It rained during the night and the morning brought fog, dampness, and Greg still not feeling well.

We took our time getting ready to head out. Greg got outside to unplug the electricity and water and nearly fainted. Now I do not mean we were in any danger, but he was just feeling poorly. So he laid down and we waited a while until he felt like we could get on the road.

I drove the entire day so that he could doze. He did not eat again until mid-afternoon. As the day went on, he started feeling somewhat better, just weak because he was not eating.

When we crossed over into Wyoming we were greeted by beautiful snow covered mountains. It is very windy and very cold. The high today was 55 degrees, but I bet the wind chill is 40. We’ve already decided we need to buy a sweatshirt when we get a chance, possibly in Cody. We have all levels of coats but the sweatshirt would feel good as well.

We decided to spend tonight in a Hampton Inn in Sheridan Wyoming due to Greg not feeling well. I don’t want him to have to get outside in this weather and hook and unhook. I’m sure by tomorrow he will be fine. We are heading into some unsettled weather in Yellowstone. It seems the temperatures in Yellowstone early next week will be high’s in the 30’s and low’s in the teens. So we will have to track the weather carefully to determine if we can get into park, whether or not it will be snowing, and whether or not we will sleep in the RV or perhaps get into a hotel if any are open in the park. We could also stay put in Cody for a few days until the weather clears. No problem!

The photo today is the majestic snow covered mountains near Sheridan Wyoming.

Stay tuned! Bonnie and Greg

Rendevous with Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane

May 20, 2010 - 5:39 pm 6 Comments

What a fun day we had!! We had a great night’s sleep last night and were on the road by 9:00 a.m. We stopped at a little general store in the area to get bread and such. We have met such nice people on the trip. A good many folks we run into immediately ask where we are from. It seems they think we have an “accent”!! And they always ask where we are going, and when we mention Alaska, they are full of questions. It’s fun to talk with new folks every day.

We crossed from central time to mountain time and we arrived at the famous Wall Drug at lunch time so we decided to have lunch there. We had a couple of burgers and Greg splurged and bought a couple of their delicious home made donuts. I found a sweet little turquoise and sterling silver ring. As you will see from one of the photos, Greg met a saloon girl (or so he thought). Bless his heart.

We arrived in Deadwood, South Dakota around 2:00 p.m. Actually we had a comedy of errors but by the end of the day it was all worth it. I selected the KOA campground in Deadwood because they advertised a free shuttle to take you into downtown Deadwood. When we arrived we were told the shuttle is not running yet (guess it’s early in the season). No problem, we just called a cab referred to us by the folks who run the campground. A nice guy who owns the cab company came by to take us to town. We asked about a tour in town that would take us to the grave sites of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. He stopped right in front of the booth that sold tickets for the tour. The sign on the booth said the next tour was 4:30 which was perfect for us. We looked around town because it was only 3:30, and then we sat on a bench near the tour stop. At around 4:15 the previous tour bus pulled up and said there would not be another tour today. So we jumped on a town shuttle and rode through town to kill some time before an early dinner.

We were told by several folks that the best dinner in town was at the Deadwood Social Club. We found this restaurant and it was very old west looking, but excellent food. Also the interesting thing was they had a complimentary glass of champagne before dinner. We were disappointed that we didn’t get to see the grave sites, but decided it was ok and we would head back to the campground. The same guy, Andy, came back to get us and he asked if we got to go on the tour. We explained what happened, and he said, well, I’ve got some extra time, so I’m going to take you to the grave sites without charge and give you a little tour. So off we go with the cab driver. He took us to the cemetery and took us to the grave sites of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. The cab driver is a retired fellow from New York. He also rides Harleys and when he retired he chose to live in this area. The cab company is just enough for him to live comfortably and do what he wants. At any rate we were totally thrilled that Andy (our friend the cab driver) was such a good guy. He went beyond the call of duty, but he said it was his pleasure. So although we thought we were going to miss the tour, we had a private tour anyway!!! Even better. And yes, boys, Dad gave him an extra tip!

We are in a great little campground in Deadwood. A nice couple from Montana are next to us in a rented rig, and they were so intrigued with our View they asked all sorts of questions. They are only touring the Badlands and then heading toward home. Nice people.

Well we’ve had a great day indeed. Meandering through South Dakota on a beautiful day without a care in the world. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

Tomorrow we’ll cross into Wyoming and spend the night in Buffalo, and then on to Cody on Saturday. We are looking forward to visiting with Greg’s sister and family. We always have fun with them and many laughs.

Stay tuned! Bonnie and Greg

The Corn Palace, Mitchell, South Dakota

May 19, 2010 - 2:55 pm 4 Comments

We awoke to a beautiful morning and temperature of 60 degrees. We had a great breakfast of those fresh eggs from Illinois. The difference in the fresh egg and the ones we buy in the grocery store is that the fresh eggs have VERY yellow yolks. The overall taste is more rich and we really enjoyed our hot breakfast. We drove through back roads of Iowa this morning with names such as Titonka, Lakota, and Pukwina. We drove through Elmore, Iowa, population 735, and it had a huge golf course and country club. We thought it was interesting that such a small town had such a big CLUB.

We hit interstate 90 mid-morning and the winds were rough going across Minnesota and into South Dakota. We stopped in Mitchell, South Dakota to visit the famous Corn Palace. This is a folk art wonder and the idea was hatched in 1892 by a local person thinking it would be a good idea to showcase the local crops grown in the area. This is a celebration of the fertility of the land and productivity of the local people. Each year a new decorating theme is chosen and the outside of the Corn Palace is stripped and redecorated with new corn and grains. Over the summer each year 3,000 bushels of milo, rye, oat heads, and sour dock are tied in bundles and attached. The corn murals have to wait until late summer when the corn crop is ready. Over a half million ears of corn are sawed in half and nailed to the building following patterns created by a local artist. And just imagine every year the theme is changed!!

The inside of the building has photos through history of the different themes used on the Corn Palace. It was very interesting!

We stopped for the day in Oacoma, South Dakota. Our dinner this evening was shrimp alfredo. Tomorrow we will drive across South Dakota and probably stop at Wall Drug and end the day in Deadwood, South Dakota, where we will spend some time sight seeing in the area.

Stay tuned! Bonnie and Greg

2008 - 2010