Monday, August 6, 2018

Heading Back to Washington

We didn't want to wear out our welcome in the beautiful state of Wyoming, so after 3 wonderful weeks we are headed home.  Slowly.  We passed through Yellowstone quickly.  Drove all day to get out of Montana.  And tonight we are on the shore of Moses Lake, in warm Eastern Washington.

Our plan is to go south around Mt Rainier and then work our way back north to Tacoma next week.

We haven't traveled Hwy 12 in a few years and we haven't camped there in years.  It's time to go look around.

Here are a few photos from this last week.  Most are from the area around Shoshone National Forest.  We had a wonderful campsite right on the Shoshone River.

The view out our front window.
One afternoon we could feel a sudden storm blowing in.  We picked up our chairs and secured everything knowing what was coming over the ridge in front of us.  First wind, next lightening, than thunder and last sheets of rain.  Mind you all of this time it was still brightly shining on our campsite.  Here's a photo out our front windshield.

It came down in buckets a few minutes later.  There was enough rain that it turned the crystal clear river to brown in a few hours with all the run off from the mountains.

Bright sunshine and rain?
We stopped and looked at Buffalo Bill Dam.  They had a vast collection of driftwood piled against the dam.

When it was built it was the tallest dam in the world.

Shell Falls
As usual we were able to find many falls and a few great hikes along our way.  The only drawback to hiking in these areas is oxygen.  The air gets pretty thin above 8,000 or 9,000 feet.  I just keep climbing and wheezing my way up.

Five Springs Falls
Here's my high climbing buddy.

Sunset at our last campsite in Wyoming.
Life is good..... we're heading home to see Grandkids.  Thus ends a 6,000+ mile trip that has taken 125 days.  It will be good to be back.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Home, Home on the Range....

Fifty years ago someone rolled up this barbed wire fence and hung it up on an old fence post. In 1968 the federal government purchased 35,000 acres of ranch land in the Pryor Mountains to protect the wild horses that roam this area.

Today we went hiking and once again found out how beautiful Wyoming is.  We began on an old ranch and drove 3 miles up a canyon on an old rutted path.  When we ran out of road we began hiking the winding path up a canyon between two mountain ranges.

After about a quarter of a mile we forded a small stream and had a constant sound of falling and tumbling water for the rest of the hike .  The canyon narrowed and I thought in was time to test for an echo.  I whistled loudly and was rewarded with 3 or 4 return whistles.  Cool!
Eva "the wonder dog" led the way up the trail.

Eva and Terri pose on a rock.

I think when the arrow points up they really mean it.  The elevation here is well over a mile high so I wheeze as I go.  It was a great hike, Eva loves her job as leader.

One side of the boundaries is the Big Horn Canyon.  The road follow the rim of the canyon as much as it can, but hiking a mile to the very edge was worth it.

This canyon led us into Montana.  The water/canyon is 56 miles long.  We only saw a hand full of other cars all day.  We felt like we owned a private canyon.  We Rangers must be rich (in experiences at least).

A big bend panorama.
If you climb high enough this is the reward.
It's named Big Horn Canyon for a reason.  We also saw wild horses, but at a great distance.

Momma and baby,  There were two babies in the group.

There were 9 Big Horn in this group.  I couldn't get them to cooperate and stand facing me in a nice line.  No group picture for these stubborn animals.

It was another warm day topping out at 91 degrees.  We had gotten up early and had our hiking done by noon, so we missed the hottest part of the day.

We are staying in a small town park in Lovell, Wyoming.  The town built a new park with 5 RV spaces and we can stay for three days FREE.

We hadn't  climbed to the top of the canyon yet.
We were still smiling.

Life is good in Lovell.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Captive in Wyoming

We don't seem to be able to leave Wyoming.  After being here for two weeks we still have a week or two of sites to see.  We both agree that Wyoming is beautiful and we are nowhere near Yellowstone yet.  There are still great things to be seen and done.

Ten Sleep Falls near our boondocking spot in the Big Horn Mountains.
We have spent the last 7 nights boondocking or dry camping at 3 different spots in the Big Horn National Forest in north central Wyoming.  Each day has been spent hiking and four wheeling through very amazing canyons.  The new Honda CRV is four wheel drive and we could not have done the dirt roads we traveled in our old Honda Fit.

It's hard to pick a favorite day, but the day spent in Crazy Woman Canyon may be it.  The dirt road/path was a challenge.  The river running through the canyon was beautiful.  And Eve loved it all.

One of our campsites was on this beautiful lake.

The view out our front window.
One morning a moose walked about 50' in front of us.  I was so excited I forgot to take a picture.  We've seen lots of different wildlife, but my favorites have been the various moose (or is that mice).

Another windshield shot as we squeezed between boulders.
Our last three nights were spent boondocking off a dirt road between Bear Lake and the Ten Sleep River.  We could listen to the water cascading down the river from our RV.

Ten Sleep Lake
We enjoyed our warm 3 mile hike beside this lake.

The next day we decided to change our scenery so we drove out of the mountains to see Castle Garden.  Again it was many miles of dirt road but well worth the effort.

Time to climb a Hoodoo.

We needed to do laundry after two weeks so we headed into the town of Ten Sleep (population 250).  We'll spend the day here getting water, dumping tanks and getting ready for another week in the northern portion of the Big Horn National Forest.  Next stop will be Lovell, Wyoming.

The reason we came to Wyoming was to attend the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) convention.  We both enjoyed picking our favorite seminars from a list of 150 classes.  There were over 1,600 motorhomes in attendance.  It was alot like a big county fair for RV'ers.

Great concerts every night.
We're loving life on the road this year.  The new-to-us motorhome is a pleasure to drive and we are getting to know all the different systems.  It has kept us cool on 100 degree days and warm through chilly nights.  This was the hail from a few nights ago up in the mountains.

Not snow, just large hail stones.
Life is good....driving down the road to somewhere unknown.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

South Dakota - North Dakota - Wyoming

Devils Tower - Wyoming
Since last I wrote we have visited 3 states, one of which was North Dakota, our 49th state visited.  That leaves only Alaska, which will be our destination for 3 months in the Summer of 2019.

Needles Highway through Custer State Park in South Dakota.
We dry camped in Wind Cave National Park for a week.  The wild life was abundant and every day we added to our list.  Custer State Park which is 70,000 acres borders Wind Cave NP became our favorite state park in the USA.  We hiked and drove for days to take in the amazing sights.

Next up was a week exploring Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.  We stayed in Cottonwood Campground in the South unit of the park and drove on a day trip to include the North unit.  Seeing herds of Bison was great.

We also enjoyed the burros and wild horses.

Our next stop was at Devils Tower in Wyoming.  The campground at this National Monument is right under the shadow of the Tower.  An amazing night sky and a great hike around the Tower were the highlights for us.

The view from our campground.
The view back down to our camp site from up on the Tower hike.
Not my friend.
Fortunately this guy did not visit our campsite.  As a Ranger I would have been obligated to beat him with a stick.  I hate snakes.

We are enjoying a very slow pace as we work our way West.  Our plans change every few days as we find new things to see,.

We have spent the last six days in Gillette, Wyoming at a Family Motor Coach Convention.  It's just us and 1,600 other RV's.  We've been attending great seminars on the RV'ing life.  It's hard to choose from the 150 classes, but we've both had a good week of learning.

Eva is loving life on the road.  She has learned to sit up like a Prairie Dog.  She would sit with her head out the window and listen to them talk.  Every time we would see a colony we would have to pull over so that she could listen.

Eva's new BFF.
Life is good for the wandering Ranger's.