Wednesday, July 30, 2014

White Water

In the middle of the river.
It was another awesome day in Glacier National Park.  Here are more photos.

A little Ranger art added to Glacier National Park.
Next was a forest hike.
Tall Cedars.
Squeezing a creek between the rocks.
Kicking up a mist.

Black and white.
McDonald Falls.
Glacier transportation... vintage style.
Thanks for looking at a few of yesterdays photos.  It was another awesome day, make that "totally awesome".

Inspired by all the whitewater we will be river rafting this morning.  Class II and III rapids are calling.  Life is very good.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Glacier is Awesome !!!

Our first day in Glacier National Park was awesome to say the least.  I had read about the park and it is everything I hoped for.  Hundreds of waterfalls, an amazing road, vistas that take your breath away and more.  Here comes a bunch of photos to back-up what we saw today.

We entered from the West side.
McDonald Creek is one rapid or falls after another.

Avalanche Creek
We stopped at the junction of Avalanche Creek and McDonald Creek and had our picnic lunch overlooking the water and mountains.  It was a nice day starting in the low 70's and reaching the 90's by the end of the day.

We enjoyed several small hikes but considering it's only 5 days since my heart surgery we kept our walks short.  We didn't have to walk far to see amazing sights.

We walked a little ways up Avalanche Creek to see an old log cabin.  It was rustic but had a billion dollar view.

This several hundred foot waterfall is the billion dollar view.

At times the roads are barely the width of two sedan sized vehicles.  The 25MPH speed limit seems high because there is usually a cliff on one side and a rock wall on the other.  Combined with hairpin turns and at times no centerline it's every person for themselves.

Between a rock and a hard spot.
Eva standing on a snow field looking over the valley

By afternoon it was hot and Eva wanted to stand in the river.

The roads are lined with a flat top stone walls.  At every stop Eva had to hop up to get a better view.  We hold on tight but there is no stopping a confident puppy, so we let her have her way.

These falls continue right under the road.

Wild flowers with a glacier for a backdrop.
I end by saying my very sincere.... Life is good.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Missoula, Montana

We will start our four days in Glacier National Park on Sunday morning.  We are staying outside the West entrance in Kalispell, Montana because Glaciers' 70 year old roads aren't made for modern day motorhomes.  They have a 21 foot length limitation which rules out even some pick-up trucks.  Our in-park travel will be in our Honda Fit, just the right size for the amazing roads through the park.

Today we arrived in Missoula and had a great day visiting the town.  They were having an outdoor music festival in the downtown park on the river.  After taking Eva to the dog park which is on an island in the middle of the river we spent the afternoon and evening sitting on the lawn listening to good music. 

They have created a man-made reef in the river that is designed for surfing.  I can now say, "The surfing is awesome in downtown Missoula, dude."  There were 8 or 9 surfers both young and old enjoying the surf in 95 degree weather.

For those wondering how my heart is doing, the answer is great.  Terri and I have been sharing the driving and that has made it easy for both of us.  She'll be doing all the driving when we are in Glacier, so I'll sit back and enjoy.

Life is good in the Rockies.

Baby Mountain Goat we saw last week.
I hope to see many while in Glacier.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

It's a Fine Hobby

I've been out of touch a few days while I worked on one of my hobbies.  I don't collect many "things" because there is not room in the motorhome for unnecessary stuff.  But I felt that it was time to acquire another "Stent" for my heart.  Although I already have 4 stents and a mechanical valve in my heart it was time for just one more.

I couldn't turn down the offer to get another stent and keep on living.  Great offer.

We found ourselves staying 1.6 miles from the Regional Medical Center in Rapid City, South Dakota and when I "felt" the need.  It was time to run down the hill.  I was in luck, they have a bunch of cardiologists to pick from and they offered next day service.

After three days of fine hospital food, all night poking and blood draws I was sent home today with my complete (hopefully) collection of 5 stents.  It would be selfish to want more.

As a bonus I was able to add to my "old Man" pill collection so that I now have become my father.  I have enough bottles to confuse a genius, but I sat down and color coded and numbered them all for quick reference. We'll see if I can remember my new system.

It may be time to look for a new hobby.

I'm fine and life is good.

One day I'm with the Presidents,
The next day a Cardiologist.
I enjoyed Lincoln more.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Mount Rushmore

We're in Rapid City, South Dakota for a few days being tourist.  It's nice and warm so anytime we can find a little air conditioning it is a pleasant break from the heat.  Below is a picture of my indoor/outdoor thermometer.  101 outside and 85 in the air conditioned motorhome.  Toasty for 8:44 in the morning.

Late in the afternoon we took off to see Mt. Rushmore.  We wanted to see the 9:00pm lighting and show.  We hiked the Presidential loop trail to the base of the mountain to get a close-up view.

It was a nice little walk through the forest at the base of the mountain.  We walked slow and stopped often because we were in no hurry.

Four great presidents and one regular guy.
After our warm little walk we sat around in the amphitheater and waited for the night show to begin.

They do a very nice program followed by a short outdoor movie.  At the end of the movie the sculpture is slowly lit.  Very impressive.  To close out the presentation they ask all veterans to come down on stage for the lowering of the flag.

It was a moving way to end our day.  Life is good.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Heat Is On

We've spent the last two days in Wall, South Dakota.  Wall probably would not exist if not for Wall Drug.  Wall Drug is an extraordinary tourist trap that is on the border of the Badlands National Park.

I think she likes me?
The store covers one very big square block of a small downtown area.  It has many different sections and is a somewhat enjoyable two hour wander amongst lots of tourist trinkets and t-shirts.  To give you an idea of the size of the place, their cafĂ© seats 530 people.

The best part about town is it's proximity to the entrance to the Badlands.

Badland as far as the eye could see.  Just amazing.
We drove the complete loop and I have to say I was impressed.  I kept muttering, "Wow" over and over all day.  This was another one of those places that is impossible to describe, so I'll just show you pictures.

Wild flowers by the 10,000 acres, many times over.

Vast is the word.

We stopped and walked out on a vista to have our picnic lunch.  It was a comfortable 95 in the sun and we sat with our backs to the sun and enjoyed an amazing view as far as we could see.  Eva was a little warm but loves being out walking with us.

Nice colors.
Fuzzy focus of a fuzzy flower.
Say that three times fast.
Erosion at work.  For a few years or 10,000 centuries.
Look quick, a Prairie Dog just poked up its' head.
We're off to see Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills in the morning.  We'll move about 60 miles West to stay at Lazy J for a few days while exploring that area of Western South Dakota.  We'll be near Rapid City until we move to Wyoming in a few days.

It will be 98 tomorrow followed by 100 with thunder storms on Monday.  A little heat and lightening won't even slow us down.  I like hot rain.

Eva's in the drivers seat and ready to go.
The heat is on.... Life is good.... even in the sun.