Thursday, September 24, 2009

Glacier day 2,3 and 4

We could stretch this out for 2 postings but lets just get Glacier National Park behind us and this posting will cover 3 days traveling in the park. As we sit and work up this posting we just finished our first, over 300 mile day through Montana and will be spending our first night in North Dakota. Highway 2 across the north side of Montana was a great road with very little traffic so for most of the time we owned the road.

Lets get back and cover the remainder of our time in Glacier. Day 2 was another beautiful day with just some small clouds drifting in and out of our view. We moved to Summit National Forest Campground that is located on the Continental Divide at over 5,200' of elevation. We set up camp, got out our new Honda 2000I camo generator so we could keep our batteries charged up. Out came the lawn chairs and spent the afternoon enjoying the warm weather.

The next day we decided to try another less traveled road and headed for Two Medicine on of all places Two Medicine Lake. It was a windy day and there were lots of whitecaps on the lake. We checked out the campground. Lots of spaces that we could fit into except the warning signs on the road getting here says 21' max length. There were people camping there with rigs a lot longer than 21'. We may try it someday except if you come in via East Glacier you have to go under the train overpass that has a 13' clearance, and the top is arched.

There was some color in the underbrush.

This, and the one above, are the view from the campground.

We took a short hike to Running Eagle Falls, a very unique falls because the water runs through the side of the hill rather than over it. Notice the young lady on the right side of the falls to give an example of size.

Day 3 was a very interesting day because of the change in the weather. Jackie's birthday brought lots of rain and the first snow of the year in the park. This day we headed to the town of St. Mary and then continued north to Many Glacier entrance.
On the way up the east side of the park we ran across several rainbows and were able to find a spot off the side of the road to enjoy the view.

The weather continued to get worse and the cloud ceiling came down to the deck as we progressed west into the park. This was an interesting shot as Dick jumped out of the truck and ran up the hill to get this shot only to find that just over the first ridge was the roof of the lodge. He backed up 3 steps and was able to get this shot.

And this is the lodge looking back a little further up the road. What a neat place to stay and just admire the view out your window.

Just another view of the beauty of this area of the park.

Still at Summit camp where the snow came down to just a few feet above our elevation but it got cold that night with ice on the truck windows in the morning, happy birthday Jackie.

Our last day here we decided to make the trip back up to St. Mary and then take the Going-to-the sun road. The road was only open to the ranger station at Logan pass but there was lots to see. On the way into the park we got this shot showing the fresh snow in the Park.

We kept looking for black bear and I think we found 4 grazing on the side of the hill. We are sure these are bears, honest. Actually we did see one crossing the road and into the brush between the entrance and the St. Mary Campground, but it was too far away to get a picture.

Looking down onto Saint Mary Lake with a small island just to the left of the stump. Did we mention that now that Jackie's birthday is over the sun came out to give us lots of blue sky. Still cold and windy but nice clean air with lots of new snow.

About 10 years ago we took this same road but going the other way and when we got to Ranger Station at the top of Logan Pass it was socked-in with fog. Guess what folks...

On the way back down is this huge valley, surrounded with the mountains of the park with the river running down it's base.

Turning around and looking up the valley you can just see the visitors center just at the snow line and now that we are on our way down it looks nice and clear up there.

That's our four days at Glacier National Park and we hope to return some day and do it all over again. Maybe go Canada and check out the north end of the park.

To be continued...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Glacier National Park Montana, part 1

We left Washington and made it all the way to Coram Montana, near Glacier National Park. After a good night's sleep, with the weather still warm and sunny we headed to West Glacier entrance where we had decided rather than take the trip over the "Going-to-the Sun Road" we would see other parts of the park. Our first stop in the morning was just inside the park at Apgar Visitor Center at the south end of Lake McDonald where we got a shot of the lake before we headed northwest on the Inside North Fork Road.

We went through miles and miles of dusty road through the area of a HUGH forest fire in 2003 that devastated thousands and thousands of acres.

The road was barely a one-lane dirt road, 25 miles long with about 2" of soft dirt in places as you can see from the cloud we created in our rear-view mirror. When we got back, the truck was brown without any of the color showing through.

Some of the trees are starting to change color, but in this area it was just gold.

And every once in a while you could see some red mixed in with the gold.

What a combination of the remains of the fire, with rows of green and gold and then repeating the pattern with the mountains in the background.

Another area looking down onto a valley with the river running through it. If you want to see the mountains in full bloom you will just have to wait until another post from another part of the park.

We turned off the dirt road onto another one and headed toward Bowman Lake where we got the blanket out and stretched out for a short rest. We also met a wonderful man who let us "try out" his two-person inflatable, and we got hooked!

This and the next picture are the view we enjoyed while sitting there. When we got there a slight breeze was blowing, but before we departed it stopped and gave us a beautiful view of the reflections of the mountains. Wow, what a sight but it was time to head back home as we have been on the road all day. The blue sky and water just popped in these pictures, and it really did look like that!

On the way down the hill we had to stop and get this shot of a lone gold tree with a stream and valley in the background.

A great day, with lots of dust for lunch but what a different area of the park to see. If you want to see more of the park, check back in a few days for parts 2, 3 and 4.
To be continued...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Leaving Washington "AGAIN"

We finally got over our colds but Dick still has a cough that wants to linger on and Jackie still has ear problems (that the dr. says will get better with time). We are glad to be back on the road after sitting around feeling punk.

It has been a great summer here in the NW. After spending time with the kids, it was time to get on the road again, but we needed to get back to Ephrata and do the Doctor and Dentist thing. All is well with both of us. We spent about 12 days in Soap Lake Washington and then moved to Crescent Bar, about 25 miles from Ephrata for another twelve days.

This is a view from our campsite looking south down the mighty Columbia River. The only problem was that for most of the time it got into the 90's with no wind.

One evening a storm rolled through and we got some interesting pictures of the sun shining under the clouds.
But before the sun set we got a great view of two complete rainbows from end to end. Not sure what way to go to find that pot of gold so just took the time to get some pictures.

We decided to take a (4 wheel drive) up into the Colockum mountains. The road was really rough so we decided not to go all the way over the top from Wenatchee to Ellensburg. We did find a nice place to stop for lunch with a view looking back down onto the Columbia River. This is all rock that we are parked on, or should I say the mountain was solid rock with just a few patches of trees here and there.

We are camping on the other side of the river in the distance just as it turns behind the hill. As you can see, this area of Washington is called "Desert Scab Land" and for the most part is void of most all vegetation. It will sure be great to get back into the trees and mountains again.
Did we mention that the strip along the edge is the road that we traveled on?

We finally hitched up and got out of town, from Ephrata on 28 to Hwy 2 to Spokane, then into Idaho, took a left and went north and then another left, going back into Washington for two nights near Newport and found a nice full hook-up site in the forest.
The night before leaving one of our neighbors came over and wanted to tell us that last week a bear came through our site and tried to climb the tree next to our rig. Some peoples timing is just great.

We spent one day checking out the town of Newport. It was a nice little town and just across the river was the town of Old Town Idaho. If you go through this area stop and take the time to visit this Museum. It's one of the better ones that we have seen while on the road.

Dick still is amazed at how small the covered wagons were that traveled west to settle this side of the Country.

Remember the plane-spotting towers that were later turned into mountain top fire spotting stations? Well, they even brought one down from the mountain top and have it on display here.
Or would you believe that we hiked all the way up the mountain just to visit an old site?

While sitting around the campfire we finally made the decision of where we wanted to go. So to all our fans, we are on the way to Minnesota and if the weather turns before we get there we will take a sharp right and head south, maybe into Texas, but time will tell where we end up for the early part of winter.

We went through Idaho and into Montana on highway 2. About 6 miles into the state while in the mountains we ran across a sign for a Forest Service Camp Ground. Past experience has told us that we are just too big for these parks. Well, with noone behind us we stopped on the highway, backed up and decided to give it a try. We pulled in and parked, got out and walked the park circle. We were both shocked to find a park with paved sites not only for tenting but several for large RV's. Not only back in sites but large pull-throughs. We found a spot, set up and spent the day just relaxing. Dick worked on his new hobby of wire wrapping and Jackie got to sit back and read.

We did take a short walk and got this picture of the Yaak river just where it flows into the Kootenai River. Lots of water for this late in the season.

And Dick got to spend some time checking out the rocks in the river. Found nothing great but did enjoy playing in the river. (No gold here John)

We pulled out from there today and headed east again, this time getting as far as Glacier National Park. Not sure how long we will spend here but maybe leave this area on Monday. We don't want to be traveling this Sunday as it's Jackie's birthday.

To be continued...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Some old photos to share...

Here we are sitting and looking over the Columbia river at Cresent Bar where there are scands of boats, big boats, running all over the river. This is a great place to spend the last summer weekend and there are lots of parties going on.

We are still trying to get over our colds and get back to 100% so we can get back on the road. As we lived in this area for over 5 years it was hard to get out and take pictures of the area that we have seen for years so Dick decided to share some of his photos with you. This is just a small sample of pictures that he liked.

The first is a sunset that was taken in Boardman Oregon during one of our camping trips with friends.

Here is an old truck that was in the corner of a field that was used to dump the farmer's junk. Most farms in the area have a place to keep all the old broken down junk incase any of it could be used again.

This was taken on the east coast and using a photo editing program the sunlight was added to the center of the photo. It's fun to try and edit photos to bring out the image.

Who can go to Las Vegs and go away without some night shots? We had a great time there and did get lots of shots that night.

Shortly after taking this picture in Death Valley a gentleman walked up to us and asked if that was our truck parked over there as one of the tires was leaking. No problem as we have roadside service and all we had to do was make a call and they would come out and change it for us. We pulled out the old cell phone to find that there was not any service for miles so guess who changed the tire in the very hot Death Valley.

Posted on our Blog was another picture of "the girl in red" on the brow of the hill. While traveling through Death Valley there standing on the top of a ridge was a very lovely young lady in a red dress. We figured when she saw Dick taking pictures that she started to pose. We did get several shots of her and later shared them with her.
While camping in Oregon this shell of a boat was just behind our back window and we thought it was interesting with all the pilings in the background.

Just another day on the ocean beach with lots of shore birds being chased up the beach by the incomming tide and waves.

Did Dick tell you that he loves the ocean and never misses a chance to get a picture of some of the light houses.

And the view from a light house with the ocean waves pounding on the beach and the glare of the sun on the water.

At low tide these rocks are reflected in the water with the ocean in the background. Notice the one tree on the one rock and the clam digger in the foreground trying to dig clams for his dinner.

Another beach and another shot with people searching for treasurers. Did Dick tell you that he loves the ocean?

It looks like Dick is not the only one who loves the ocean. If you look closely you can see a huge smile on the young ladies face sitting on the top of the log.

Before we left Ephrata we took the time to get some pictures of Jackie's rose garden. We loved this bright yellow with a rose color around the edge.

From the beach to a big hole in the ground. It's hard to see the size of this underground garden that is over 30' tall. It took a lot of work to get this picture without a tripod but we got the shot.

There are some very beautiful spots in Yellowstone but this was one area that we found late in the day with a waterfall and river running through the valley.

Wanting to get some shots of the fire that devastated Yellowstone years ago, this burnt out forest still stands as a stark reminder of what a forest fire can do.

We did get into some snow and wild flowers in the spring and while hiking in the mountains we found lots of lovely spots like this.

A cold day near Mount Shasta with the clouds sliding down the side of the mountain with part of this lake still frozen. Now where is our fishing pole?

From the mountains to the wheat field. How many stories can this old house tell us? The best we can do is preserve the history in a few photos. Listen close, what is it telling you?

Another derelict rusting away in a farmer's field. How many miles did it go before it was put to rest. Did some one get a first kiss on the front seat at a drive in movie? We will never know.

What can we say about this photo except she was really trying hard to get a drink and keep her feet dry. Right time at the right place. (Dick took this photo over 30 years ago.)

Debbie was looking and Michelle was waiting her turn. Looks like she was a little bored.

Both Debbie and MIchelle had to wait their turn and now it looks like Debbie is the one who is bored. We must share and take our turns.

And finally this parting shot of Jackie walking with Debbie and Michelle on the ocean beach.

For those that don't know both Debbie and Michelle are now married.

To be continued...