Friday, August 16, 2013

Post 7

Well I finally made it back to Memphis after a restful week in SoCal visiting family.  3 days in an RV park across I5 from Disneyland that provided spectacular views of nightly fireworks from my spot.
Michael had a great trip but wanted to spend at least a week with his buds and (girlfriendS) before school started so I acquiesced and sent him home with my wife.  I headed to Williams and stayed in the KOA en route to the Grand Canyon.  I signed up for a semi-private tour of the canyon and it was well worth the money.  My guide was extremely knowledgeable and showed us all the best vantage points on the southern rim.  After two day I set off on I-40 to see the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest NPs.  Santa Rosa, NM was the next stop and I  stayed in the Santa Rosa Lake SP and visited the Blue Hole, Johnny Comet's II cafe and Joseph's Bar and Grill.  Not much else to see in Santa Rosa.  Next I made it to Amarillo and on the advise of a ranger in NM I made my way south to Palo Duro Canyon SP.  Wow, what a impressive site.  I camped deep in the canyon and after exploring I came upon the Pioneer Amphitheater with numerous cars in the parking lot. Not knowing what was going on I parked and entered the gates to find that about 400 people had gathered to watch "Texas the musical" which apparently has been playing for almost 50 years each summer at this location.  With a troupe of over 40 singers and dancers it was a fantastic play set in a large open air stage with the 1000 foot canyon as a backdrop.  Cowboys, cowgirls, horses, trains, and Indians performed for over 2 hours with a rousing patriotic finale.  I thoroughly enjoyed the warm summer evening of good Texas entertainment.  Final stop before making it home was a layover in Eufala SP in OK.  Situated on the largest lake in OK it was a quiet respite after a long drive.  Made it home in time to re-provision and wash clothes for a small Egg Camping Club rally in Fall Creek Falls SP, TN.  Saw some old friends and made some new ones.  3 Casita's and 4 Scamps.  So ends the 7 weeks Great Northwest NP tour of over 8500 miles visiting 10 NPs and numerous SPs.  Truly a great trip in the Egg Bus Express with my buddy Hutch and my grandson Michael.  Some representative pix.
 Grand Canyon
 GC southern rim
 Enjoying the Tour
 Painted Desert
 Blue Hole, Santa Rosa, NM
 Palo Duro Canyon SP
Palo Duro Canyon over 100 miles long
Fall Creek Falls SP, Tn

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Post 6

Crater Lake turned out to be a real adventure.  We pulled the trailers around the rim that has 500 feet drop offs on a narrow winding road with no guard rails.  Scared the .... out of me but Michael thought it was "awesome!"  The lake is an incredible 1973' deep and the bluest blue that you can imagine.  A one night stay in the Mazama CG then off to the northern coast of California.  We traveled to Crescent City and entered the Mill Creek CG in the Del Norte State Park.  I had a little brake light problem but resolved it after several phone calls to local smart guys.  The redwoods run several hundred miles down the coast and are truly magnificent as they have been protected by the combined efforts of the US Forest and State Park systems.  Our next goal was to make it down 101 to SFO and maybe get past the city and onto Hwy 1 just below the golden gate bridge.  We made it to Half Moon Bay before discovering we had to do some stealth camping. (hiding out in any  place available.)  We found an empty office building parking lot and slipped in for a restless night always wondering if were going to get caught. Up early we hooked up and headed down the coast to San Simeon and took the tour of Hearst Castle.  The winding roads past Carmel by the Sea and Big Sur really tested our recently awarded winding road merit badges. I had done theHearst tour many many years ago but it was a first for Michael and Ron.  Around 4:30pm in the parking lot we discovered that with no reservations (most CG are reserved in CA 7 mos. in advance) we had no place to RON.  Soooo after some consultation with my brother-in-law we set a course for Quartz Hill, CA about 4 hours away. Reluctantly leaving the beautiful but foggy Ca. coast line we headed in land to I-5 and made it to Rick's about 10 pm last night.  He has plenty of room to accommodate out Casitas so we are here for a few days.  We picked up Suzanne this afternoon from LAX and will do some family business.  Ron plans on heading to Yosemite later this week so we say goodbye to our great companion until he and I hook up in a Casita rally in Ks. in September.  More to follow.
 Salmon BBQ at cousin John's
 Crater Lake

 Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, OR

Elephant Seals debating Obamacare
 Hearst Castle
 Movie night in the Redwoods
Surfing on the Big Sur

Monday, July 15, 2013

Post 5

We ended up on the west coast of Washington in Kaloloch CG on the beach in Olympic NP.  Two days of enjoying incredible sunsets and visiting the ancient temperate rain forest of the Olympic peninsula gave way to our desire to end south and find some good smoked salmon.  We left early in the morning and made it to Forest Grove, OR where my first cousin John Lee set us up in the Elks lodge RV park for a 3 day stay. We enjoyed a great BBQ salmon feast at John's home and a good shower then we headed to he coast to visit my long time friend, George Mead who has a beautiful beach house on the bluff above Cannon Beach.  We enjoyed a great couple of days with George and Pat then headed back to Portland for the continuation of our journey heading toward Crater Lake NP.
First sight of Washington Coast
Kaloloch CG Olympic NP
Giant spruce tree in Olympic NP
Sunset at South Beach CG, Olympic NP
Monolith rocks on Cannon Beach.
More to follow.  We are having a great time.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Post 4

The trip from Glacier to North Cascades was wonderful but Ron and I got our "winding road" merit badge for endless turns.  We ended up RONing at Kettle Falls CG on the shore of Lake Roosevelt an extension of the Columbia river. First night in the Cascades was in Colonial Creek CG where we enjoyed a quiet serene night in an ancient forest. I discovered that my brakes were almost gone when we arrived at Newhalem on the West side of the mountains after a very long winding trip.  A nervous night figuring out what to do led me to take the truck down the hill to the nearest town Sedro-Woolley, a old time logging town and had a complete brake job done at Les Schwabs. ($$$$$) Back up the hill to get the trailer and then we headed West to the Olympic NP.  We are camping in a KOA in Port Angeles after cutting off more than 80 miles by taking a ferry from Coupville to Port Townsend...a first for Ron and Michael.  Now we are headed around the park on Hwy 101 with no set plans but to see this amazing temperate rain forest.  Off to Portland and the Oregon coast next.
Northern Cascades NP
Northern Cascades
Colonial Creek CG in N. Cascades
Kettle Falls CG on Roosevelt Lake
Port Townsend ferry

Post 3

Arriving in St. Mary's CG on the East side of Glacier we set up camp near each other and made plans for the 6 day's we'd spend there including celebrating Michael's 18th Bday. The first day we traveled to the top of  Logan Pass on the famous "Going to the Sun Road" an engineering miracle.  The next day we took a boat cruise on Lake St. Mary that was just stupendous.  The superlatives for the sights and vistas are endless.Of course we spent a couple of evenings enjoying Huckleberry everything (hand made milkshakes, pie, syrup, etc.) at the Park Cafe. We made a short side trip up to Many Glacier lake with it's beautiful chalet and emerald green lake. We packed up and headed for the West side and spend a couple of nights in Fish Creek CG and then Mike and I had to go to Whitefish RV park for the 4th and 5th.  We celebrated Michael's Bday at the Tupelo Grill.  This grill was started 18 years ago by a newly married Memphis couple that Ron had seen their wedding announcement in the Commercial Appeal. He said if he ever got to Whitefish he'd try to find them. Well we found the grill, no owners present, but had a fantastic dinner.  Next day we went to Polebridge about 25 mile north on an unpaved road to check out the Northern Lights Saloon where they say "this isn't the end of the world but you can see it from here." The last day we took the free park shuttle to Logan Pass from the West and saw some exquisite sights including a moose cow and her calf.  Next we headed NW on a very scenic path to North Cascades NP.
Goat Island Glacier NP
Boat tour on Lake St. Marys
Going to the Sun Mountain
Moose Cow and calf
Northern lights saloon, Polebridge, Mt.
One of many waterfalls in Glacier NP

Friday, July 5, 2013

Post 2

I hope I am getting this blog thing down. So here goes post number 2.  We left Cody and entered Yellowstone NP for a 6 day stay.  3 days in Fish Bridge CG and then 3 days in Madison CG.  We saw all the sights including Old Faithful and the Lodge plus drove the entire loop around the park. Saw lots of animals including Elk, Deer, Bear (both Black and Grizzly) and lots of Bison.  We fished the Fire Hole River mostly because the Yellowstone is closed to fishing.  Large lake trout are ruining the native cutthroat population and they have a kill program going to rid Yellowstone lake of these predators. Left YS via the West entrance and did some much needed laundry and showers since all week was dry camping in YS.  North to Glacier NP with a midway overnight at a forest campground called Many Pines.  Just a few pix.
Yellowstone Falls
Buffalo in Hayden Valley
Petrified Tree
Dragon's Breath

First Post

Well we finally have found a place where I can start the blog and let you know what we’ve been up to in the last 2 ½ weeks.  First we left Memphis on June 17th and traveled to St. Joseph, MO. RON’d in an RV park near the Jesse James House, where the famous outlaw was shot.  Next morning we pushed hard to the Black Hills of S.D. and stayed in Hill City.  First on our agenda was to visit Mount Rushmore.  Quite spectacular. Then on to Crazy Horse large that the busts at Mt. Rushmore would fit in Crazy Horse's nose. Then on to Cody, Wy and the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum and  it's unprecedented gun collection. More to follow.
Ron (Hutch), Michael, Dennis Mt. Rushmore
Crazy Horse
Buffalo Bill Cody Museum