Monday, September 1, 2014

Utah & Nevada

We decided to pull over and have lunch at the Fillmore, UT rest area and realized it had an amazing view of the mountains. Originally, we were going to do the 4 national parks throughout Utah, but changed our minds after going through the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming with the motorhome.    Now, we just wanted to get out of the mountains and onto level ground. Unfortunately, this was not going to happen in Utah!  Al decided to take route 15 through Utah and it was a good decision, we drove between the beautiful and colorful mountains at the distance that I was comfortable with.

As we drove into Nevada, we were flagged down by a passing car honking and waving at us.  When we pulled over, we found our tow dolly wheel smoking.  Thank god they stopped us, who knows what would have happened!  We headed to Camping World, where we bought the tow dolly but they were booked solid in there service department, so we knew we were going to be there for awhile.  I was able to gamble a bit while we were there on the Vegas strip at New York, New York and off the strip at the Sunset Station Casino where I lost a little money but had allot of fun.  Mt Charleston was a nice day trip, mostly to get out of the heat, and yes a mountain but in the car.  The motorhome air conditioner just couldn't keep up with the heat. After 10 long hot days(the temperature reached 105 degrees) our tow dolly was fixed(the axle was broken and the bearings needed to be repacked).  Lake Mead was a beautiful sight on our way out of Vegas knowing that we were heading to the Grand Canyon!

Fillmore, UT rest area w/Pahmont Mountains in the background.

We're just outside Cedar City in the valley of Zion
National Park.

Sunset Station Casino, outside the Las Vegas strip.

Mt. Charleston, 50 miles outside Las Vegas.

Al got this rainbow just after a storm at our
campground in Vegas.

Lake Mead as we leave Las Vegas.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Yellowstone & Thermopolis...........Part 3 of 3.....Yellowstone

Our last day into Yellowstone Nat'l Park was by far the best as far as scenery!  When you go into Yellowstone, there are 2 loops you can do, the lower loop and the upper loop.  Well, the upper loop is so beautiful, take a look at the pictures I posted today!  We took both the South Rim & North Rim Roads showing the amazing waterfalls and canyons.  I can't pick a favorite road, they were both worth seeing!  Take a look at the pictures of Artist Point(look at the different colors of the rocks) you can see why its called Artist Point. 

After seeing the waterfalls, we headed up Mt Washburn through winding roads with hairpin turns and came across a nice pull off where we decided to have lunch.  Al got a picture of the valley and mountain peaks but made the mistake of showing me another sign saying "Beware of Bears", it was time to go.  On our way toward the beginning of the upper loop we found the Yellowstone River rapids, Al got some pictures and we discussed that we would both love to do a white river rapid excursion some day(a moderate white river rafting, of course). 

We ended up leaving the Yellowstone campground a couple of days early because we thought the elevation was too much for us.  I didn't want to go over anymore big mountains so we took route 120 toward Utah, which turned out to be an amazing drive.  As we drove along the Longhorn River, on the other side of the river, a train drove with us(that was a nice treat, for Al).  I posted a few of the pictures of the tunnels we went through and if you look at one of the pictures you'll see the train went through a tunnel on the other side of the river!

South Rim Road: Upper Falls

South Rim Road: Lower Falls looking west

South Rim Road: Lower Falls at Artist Point

South Rim Road: Another view from Artist Point

North Rim Road: Upper Falls

North Rim Road: Lower Falls Canyon looking west
North Rim Road: Lower Falls

Yellowstone River flowing through the canyon

Mt Washburn where we stopped and had lunch

Yellowstone River rapids

Ranch between Yellowstone and our campground, the pile
of antlers represents allot of dead animals(so sad, isn't it).

Wind River Canyon(zoom in and you can see
both tunnels)

Wind River Canyon, Al turned and shot in the other direction.

Wind River Canyon across the Bighorn River, look toward
the middle of the picture.  You can see a railroad tunnel! Thought
you might like this picture, Bob!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Yellowstone & Cody, WY......Part 2 of 3

Or 2nd day at Yellowstone, the mission was to get to the "Old Faithful Geyser".  Mission accomplished, we made it, but waited about an hour for it to erupt.  While waiting, the storm clouds came in but held off long enough for us to see Old Faithful gush.  Al was a little disappointed, he thought it would go much higher then it was.  I like it, low expectations I guess!  I did read somewhere that Old Faithful doesn't have the biggest eruption, its just has the most consistent.  That was our only reason we went into Yellowstone that day but on the way back we stopped to get some pictures of Yellowstone Lake.  As you drive along the edge of the lake, there are geysers erupting and people getting out of there cars to watch. 

A day into the town of Cody proved to be enjoyable.  It's an old western style town named after Buffalo Bill Cody with staged gunfights in front of the Irma Hotel or you can go to the Stampede Rodeo.  We went to the nature trail and walked along the Shoshone River until I saw a sign stating there were Black Bears in the area.  On our way back to the camper, we stopped at the Buffalo Bill Dam where Al got some more great pictures. 

Al at the "Old Faithful Geyser" sign

Old Faithful erupting just beating the storm

Another pic of Old Faithful erupting(it was worth the wait).

Yellowstone Lake  and auto road

Yellowstone Lake, it's huge!

Downtown Cody

The "Irma Hotel", where they stage gunfights at night

We took a walk on this nature trail where Al took a picture.

This town is named after Buffalo Bill Cody and Al wanted
a picture depicting the old west.

We're at the Buffalo Bill Dam, if you look at the middle
of the picture, you'll see a tunnel.  We actually brought
the motorhome through that tunnel! 

Again we're at the Buffalo Bill Dam, Al just turned around
and took a picture in the opposite direction!  This is
the Shoshone River!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Devils Tower & Yellowstone, WY........Part 1 of 3

From Rapid City, SD we decided to check out Devils Tower in the Black Hills in Wyoming.  It was a nice little side trip before heading to Yellowstone.
Our trip over the Longhorn Mountains heading toward Yellowstone was a tough trip.  We took route 16(which was suppose to be the safest route) with hairpin turns, no guardrails, signs telling us to keep testing our brakes and truck runoffs.  It was around 8 o'clock when we arrived at Yellowstone Valley Inn & RV Resort, tired and anxious from the ride.  The campground elevation was 5,000 feet and we didn't feel quite right, it wasn't until later in the week when we realized the elevation was effecting us.
Yellowstone was everything we thought it would be with beautiful landscapes, lakes, rivers and allot of different wildlife.  Al got a good picture of a deer mule and buffalo.  We saw so many  canyons, falls, geysers and water bodies that we haven't seen anywhere else.  There are some many hot springs or geysers throughout the park but keep in mind they stink because they are made up of sulfur.   Still a must see, I'm breaking Yellowstone up into 3 sections because Al took so many great pictures, it hard to choose just a few!
With a heavy heart, I say goodbye to my little buddy Murph.  I will miss you & I love you!
Devils Tower in Wyoming
Yellowstone Valley Inn & RV Resort in
Cody, WY(elevation 5,000 feet)
Mule Deer(Al got within 50 feet for this pic)

Black Sand Basin w/boiling springs

Black Sand Basin w/rainbow colored sands

Kepler Cascades in the lower loop

Al took this picture of a hiker taking pictures of the falls.
He never looked up to see the Osprey(follow the tree above the
hiker to the left and zoom in).

I know another picture of a buffalo, but this one is awesome!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Rapid City & Black Hills of South Dakota

We arrived at Rapid City on the 21st of July and headed right for Mt Rushmore in the Black Hills.  The lines into the park were 5 lanes deep and backed up on the highway, but well worth the wait.  The Avenue of Flags looks nice in the picture with the presidents behind them and at night looks even better(didn't put the night pics up, should have brought the tripod). 

Keep in mind most of these pictures are in the Black Hills in South Dakota, I can't believe they're not mountains!  When we were driving to the top of the hill in Custer State Park and I looked down, it sure felt like we were in the White Mountains.  Take a look at the picture Al took of the tunnel in the park, you can see Mt Rushmore if you zoom in.  We both like looking for bison in the parks, so here is another picture of them.  What I didn't realize is, that the younger bison's look like cows, they don't take on the shape of the bison until they're older.  I put a couple more pictures of the park because I liked them and thought you might want to see them.

Off to Bear Country USA, a safari style park, where you travel through with your car as you look at the wild animals.  It was bumper to bumper moving at a snails pace while you looked at Mule Deer, wolves, bison and, of course, bears.  Even though it took allot longer then it should have, it was worth seeing.

Crazy Horse, also in the Black Hills, is a work in progress with no end date but a must see.  From Crazy Horse we headed to Belle Fourche, which is the geographic Center of the Nation, when Alaska and Hawaii were added.  Next stop, Spearfish Canyon, which had waterfalls and the Belle Fourche River. Janet & Roland, they were fly fishing in the river, do you want to come join us, I'd love to learn how to fly fish?

The "City of Presidents" tour was the last thing we did before we left Rapid City.  It was 12 blocks of life like statues of the first 42 presidents.  As we crossed the street, we tried to guess which president it was and didn't have a difficult time with the last 30 or so presidents but failed horribly with a small portion of the rest. 

Off to Yellowstone Nat'l Pk where we don't think you'll be able to reach us so email me if you need me at

Avenue of Flags, which features flags from all 50 states and 6 U.S. Territories  

Faces of Mount Rushmore

Carved granite tunnel in Custer State Park

A herd of bison in Custer State Park(there are 1,300 bison in this park)

A scenic shot of Custer State Park

Needles Highway tunnel(wouldn't fit the motorhome through here)

Bear Country USA(looks pretty relaxed considering there are hundreds of people watching him)

Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of SD 

Belle Fourche Monument

Spearfish Canyon waterfall

Spearfish Canyon river

Rapid City, City of Presidents