Meandering through Montana

June 8, 2014 - 3:34 pm No Comments
Lost in Montana

Lost in Montana

Lunch spot today

Lunch spot today

Actually we are meandering because we made a wrong turn and added 70 miles to our trip today.   We blinked and missed a turn, and decided to just go on and in a round about way get back on track.   Unfortunately, the track had lots of graded roads, all gravel, for miles and miles.  Actually we haven’t been on any worse roads in Alaska.   But we got to Great Falls around 2:30 pm so all is well.

We are at Dicks RV Park, which is really the jump off campground for those traveling into Canada.  It’s a zoo here today.  There is a 25 rig caravan traveling to Alaska.  Plus the campground is full of folks like us.  No telling how many are going to Alaska.

Just so happens the couple who checked in after us parked next to us, and they are going to Alaska for the first time.  They are from Louisiana.   So I put on my schoolteacher hat and got to work explaining things to them.  They didn’t do much research so they are winging it.

We all stay in Great Falls because we are 100 miles from the Canadian border.  It’s not a good idea to wait late in the day to cross so we should get to the border before noon.   We will drive another 100 miles or so to the Daisy May campground in Fort MacLeod, Alberta, Canada.  We’ll also have to stop somewhere and get our Canadian currency before we get farther up the road.

The only photo today is at our lunch spot of the day, somewhere lost in Montana.

Cody and Yellowstone

June 7, 2014 - 4:16 pm 3 Comments
Hello Yellowstone

Hello Yellowstone

Bison in Yellowstone

Bison in Yellowstone

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake

Bison and geyser

Bison and geyser

Lunchtime view Yellowstone

Lunchtime view Yellowstone

SNOW

SNOW

Raging Yellowstone River

Raging Yellowstone River

Elk at Mamouth Springs

Elk at Mamouth Springs

We has such a fun visit with Pam and Werner in Cody!   Their life is so interesting and full of adventure!   They work a couple of days a week at the Shoshone Lodge right outside the gate of Yellowstone, and they are very involved with a biking association, being the coaches for several young boys.  They train them and they ride bikes miles and miles into Yellowstone.  What an adventure! While we visited them, we enjoyed a little shopping, a wine tasting, had lunch out and shopped for groceries.   We enjoyed long talks over the dinner table.  I did laundry.  They have a wonderful home with mountain views that are mesmerizing.  Honestly I don’t know how they get anything done at the house—the views are just beautiful, from all the windows. We left Cody this morning while Werner headed out to pick up the boys for a 40 mile bike ride into the park.  We ran into them a few times and it was interesting to see all their bikes and gear.   We enjoyed the day in Yellowstone.  The temperatures started at 46 degrees, and by the end of the day it was a beautiful 74 degrees.  We enjoyed lunch by the Yellowstone River, we saw bison and elk, and thoroughly enjoyed the day.  We are spending the night in Livingston, Montana and will head toward Great Falls tomorrow.  if all goes well, we should cross the Canadian border on Monday.

Visiting with Pam and Werner

June 5, 2014 - 4:06 pm 1 Comment

imageBig Horn MountainWe drove over Big Horn Mountain today and will spend a couple of nights with Greg’s sister and husband, Pam and Werner.  We love visiting with them, because they are very cool!  They mountain bike, snow ski, etc, and live in Cody Wyoming and enjoy all the beautiful things Yellowstone has to offer.

This will be a short post as I think I can get the photos straight rather than sideways.  let’s see!

 

Wacky Wyoming Weather

June 4, 2014 - 5:25 pm 2 Comments
Wacky Wyoming weather

Wacky Wyoming weather

It occurred to me after a couple of days of posting photos they are sideways.  Don’t know how to fix it, but we are visiting family in Cody tomorrow and he is a computer expert, so hope he can help me turn the photos.  I apologize for the aggravation.

 

We had lots of rain last night and it was a sloppy morning trying to unhook and leave the campground.  The skies cleared as we drove across South Dakota and it was a lovely day.  By the time we crossed into Wyoming, we encountered wacky weather.   There was an ominous black cloud hanging over us, and before we knew it hail was coming down. Fast.  The temperature dropped in a minute from 73 degrees to 63 degrees!!  Then we had rain, then it cleared.   When we were setting up our camp in Buffalo, Wyoming at the Deer Park campground, the wind was howling, I mean high winds!!!  Then we had a rain shower, and now it’s quiet.

i took a photo out the window of the first snow covered mountains we have encountered.  Just beautiful.  We also are parked next to a nice couple, also in a View.  They are from England, but they live in Cyprus, and bought an RV to travel around the USA this summer.  We enjoyed swapping stories about our travels.  We looked at each other’s rigs, and although theirs is newer, we think ours still has the best layout.  We really enjoyed their company.  They are heading out tomorrow for Jackson Hole and the Tetons, and then Yellowstone.

 

Rockin and Rollin across South Dakota

June 3, 2014 - 3:55 pm 1 Comment
Mitchell south dakota

Mitchell south dakota

Perfect rainbow after the storm

Perfect rainbow after the storm

Both ends of the rainbow in Wall South Dakota

Both ends of the rainbow in Wall South Dakota

We spent last night in Mitchell South Dakota in a sweet little campground with lots of trees.  Very quiet night after the wild time at Winnebago yesterday.

We had lots and lots of rain today while driving through South Dakota but there is very menacing weather south of us in Nebraska.   We arrived in Wall, South Dakota around noon and had a buffalo burger at the Wall Drug Cafe.   We are in the Sleepy Hollow campground within walking distance of Wall Drug so we have enjoyed the afternoon strolling around Main Street.

Tomorrow we will continue toward Wyoming.

 

Retirees fun at the Winnebago Plant

June 2, 2014 - 3:42 pm No Comments
Full house at Winnebago

Full house at Winnebago

Telling tall tales

Winnebago service

Winnebago service

We arrived at the Winnebago plant Sunday around 11:00 am, thinking we would be the first ones there.  Winnebago offers a campsite to each rig having a service appointment.   Our appointment was today.   Much to our surprise, there were only 3 sites remaining when we arrived.   So we got set up just in time to listen to tornado warnings all afternoon.  Black ominous clouds filled the skies, and all afternoon we had periods of heavy rain, then total calm, then more rain.   So rather than meeting our neighbors, we were all hunkered down in our rigs.

This morning we all came out of our rigs and got in line at the front door to check in for service.  We enjoyed meeting others enjoying the same travel interests as us.  One couple is also on their way to Alaska so we enjoyed swapping stories, since this is their second trip as well.

Everyone was in a good mood and the service was quite organized.  We were able to be on our way by around 10:00 am.  We arrived in Mitchell, South Dakota for the evening and will be driving across South Dakota tomorrow.  Weather is nice and moderate, but winds are high, which is normal for this time of year.

A step back in time, Mansfield, Illinois

May 31, 2014 - 4:42 pm No Comments

We had a great nights sleep at Whittington Woods and took a walk in the early morning hours.  It was early morning because we went to sleep last night at 8:30 pm!!!

We stopped for fuel in a little town called Mansfield, Illinois.  I saw in a book that Mansfield has a very old General Store that has a lunch counter.  The gas station attendant said they make a very good roast beef sandwich.   So we made our way down the street, crossed a railroad track, turned right, then turned left, and came upon a little Main Street about 50 yards long.   We parked and walked into the Mansfield General Store, which has been part of this town continuously since 1896.   The family who owns it today is only the third family to own it, having purchased it in 1979.

The store was exactly as those of you around our age remembers them.  Creaky wooden floors, shelves all the way up to the second floor with a rolling ladder, a candy counter, and all the things you would expect.  We sat at the lunch counter, the only patrons in the store.  The owner made us a very good roast beef sandwich, which we shared.   Living in a large city does not give you the sense of small town America, but this town is certainly a good example of all that is good in the USA.  People walking everywhere, riding scooters, etc.   It was a nice experience.

We made it to Davenport Iowa, around 3 pm and set up camp in the Interstate RV park.   It’s still hot!!  We thought the weather would be cooler up here but it was 87 degrees when we stopped for the day.  Tomorrow we will make our way over to Forest City Iowa and spend the night at the Winnebago Service Center at their home plant.  We have a service appointment early Monday morning.

Here we go again–Alaska 2014

May 30, 2014 - 3:50 pm 1 Comment

Mother always told us we MUST go to Alaska twice.  The first visit in 2010 was filled with all sorts of touristy things.  The second trip will be just for the pure joy of seeing the beautiful scenery, and taking turns in the road that we missed in 2010.

 

Getting the RV ready this year has been somewhat difficult and time consuming.  Because we store it for most of the year before using, it seems that every system has to be checked out by professionals.   The cab air conditioner needed refrigerant, we had oil change, fuel filter change, etc.   At any rate, here we are, finally on the road.

 

We stopped for our first night at one of our favorite campgrounds in Benton Illinois.  The campground is Whittington Woods.   Absolutely beautiful park with big tall trees, level sites, and clean restrooms.   The interesting thing about this park is the owners are avid gardeners and they own several chickens which they keep in a very clean coop.   Our experience here has been upon checkin, the owner gives us some fresh eggs from her hens.   This trip I remembered to bring an empty egg carton for her to fill.  Sure enough, she gave me a dozen of beautiful eggs.  I offered to pay her, but she would not accept.  So we will enjoy fresh eggs in the next week.

 

We had no sooner gotten set up and taken a quick walk, when it poured rain.  It was a nice gentle rain and really cooled things down.  We enjoyed honey baked ham and potato salad for dinner.   I’m sure we will sleep well this evening.

 

By the way,  Ben is currently traveling overseas.  Today around noon, my IPAD rang, and it was Ben calling us —  FROM THAILAND!!!  So we are driving down the interstate near Paducah, Kentucky, talking with Ben in real time.  He came through clear as a bell.  Amazing!

Fresh eggs from Whittington Woods Illinois

Fresh eggs from Whittington Woods Illinois

 

Home safely

June 13, 2013 - 4:29 pm No Comments

We awoke at 6 am and hit the road by 7 am.  You know how it is when you are anxious to get home.   We really did enjoy the trip, even though the weather was not the best.  But overall, we had a good trip and saw many beautiful sights.

We stopped by to see the grandbabies on our way in to town.   They were outside playing with Mommy and they dropped what they were doing and ran into our arms.  You just can’t get better than this.   To end this journey, I’ve attached some photos of our welcome home.

Stats:

6,300 miles

$1400 in fuel costs

$1200 in campground fees

$1000 miscellaneous

Hope you enjoyed our journey.  Safe travels to you all.

Olivia 2013Olivia 2013Olivia 2013Olivia 2013Grayson driving 2013Grayson and Olivia 2013Olivia and Grayson 2013

Back to Dixie

June 12, 2013 - 2:22 pm No Comments

We had a good night in a great little campground in Pine Cove, PA. We were awakened this morning by a whirring sound outside. It was constant, and it seemed to be birds or such. After walking outside, we spoke with a gentleman who said it was cicadas. They come out every 17 years or so and Pennsylvania had been warned of their arrival. Very interesting because the sound was so intense!

It was 70 degrees this morning so we finally put on shorts for the day. The sun shined most of the day and not a drop of rain fell. We stopped at McDonalds for coffee and were on the road by 7:30 am. Notice the closer we are to home the earlier we get started.

We crossed the Mason-Dixon Line before noon and the temperature soared to 85 degrees. We stopped at a rest stop for lunch, and we saw a hilarious sight. A rented RV pulled in in front of us, and out jumps a 30-something man, covered in tattoos, with all sorts of body piercings, including nipple piercings. On top of all that, he only had on shorts, no shirt of any kind! Yep, we are definitely back in the south.

Traffic on I-81 is terrible!!!There are so many 18 wheelers, you can hardly make a move on the interstate. They fill up the rest stops so there is hardly a place to stop. So driving all day is quite stressful. We’ve stopped for the evening in one of our favorite parks, fort Chiswell in Wytheville, Virginia. We arrived here early enough for me to bake Greg his favorite mixed berry cobbler. We also will have BBQ ribs which I brought in the freezer.

We should arrive home tomorrow by mid-afternoon if all goes well. Cannot WAIT to see those GRANDBABIES!!!!

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2008 - 2010