2018 August week 1

As we start the 5th month in living in our new home we are near the coast in Burlington, Washington. My nephew and his family live in Oak Harbor in the Chief Navy housing area. It is a beautiful area. The week end was spent visiting them and seeing their island. They took us to Fort Casey which also included a light house. The fort dates back to the late 1800’s and was continually upgrade until the end of WWII. We then went for some pizza before going to Coupeville. An old seaport village. Do not remember the tavern but the bar is original and arrived in this town after a trip around Cape Horn.

Sunday we went to the lake with the kids and a small walk to see Deception bridge from below. Both mornings we drove it was to foggy to see anything. On the way home it was to crowded to stop. So it was good to see.

My nephew Ray, cooked dinner and again on Wednesday when we drove over to say thank-you and good-bye for now.

Linda and I did take a day for a ferry trip to San Juan Island. Did not walk around Friday harbor, but took the trolley around the island. We  stopped at the whale watching spot but never did see the resident Orcas or whales. Linda did get some fresh lavender at the islands lavender farm that is on the tour. It was  a good day.

The week was special and a great stop. Now off to Seattle. made the trip but more about that next time.

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2018 July Week 3 and 4

Wow it has been a few weeks. Well not much happened in week two. We stayed at MarDon Resort. Nice camp site. Lake was a little disappointing as the temps were in the high 80’s to low 90’s and the algae was a little to much for me to go swimming but we did kayak for a couple of hours and then took a shower. We managed to make it to a winery Foxy Roxy owned buy a widow who was running a large apple orchard. The name was not selling so she was going to have to switch it at the request of some of here clients (restaurants). We picked up a six pack. Mostly kicked back.

We also took a day trip to Coulee Dam which supplies 60% of the power to the northwest. Great history behind the building of this dam. It is bigger than Hoover Dam though no as tall.

Week 3 saw us arrive in Leavenworth, Washington. A bavarian themed town. Population of 1965 residents but hundreds of tourists. It was a timber town for the railroad. When the railroad relocated (left town) the city came up with this after learning about Solvang in California. lots of food and drink on the main strip.

Our camp site was in phase two and provided no trees but a nice view of the mountains and trees.  We went to Cashmere to see the 9/11 memorial. They included all the war vets of all the foreign wars.

We enjoyed a day hike around the river in a national trail area. The FS7660 (forest road) was a little rough and we ended up blowing out a front seal. So after a day for tubing down another river we were off to Wenatchee for repairs. This provided the opportunity to stop at Ohme Gardens.

We did hit the shops one day to get a flavor of the town and enjoyed a German dinner.

Early one evening I got to see the fire helicopter fly over 5 or 6 time on their way to a wide part of the river to load up and fly back.

A day of cleaning and resting saw us preparing for a trip to the coast. It was time for some cool weather and to see family.

Note there are no pictures of the tubing as I lost my water proof camera of 10 years in the last 1/2 mile.20180720_16323920180720_16333120180721_12041220180724_11535320180724_11550220180727_15263220180721_13503720180727_14342620180722_12223220180727_15281720180723_06205520180727_18273220180723_20190720180724_09163020180728_09501320180728_10133920180728_11442020180728_11443420180728_19250220180728_19251320180729_09561320180729_09562920180729_10051720180729_10213320180729_11130720180729_11142420180731_09455520180731_13333620180731_13451620180731_15204920180801_11583820180801_11595020180801_12063420180801_12315920180801_12334920180801_13351720180802_13142220180803_13030220180803_13014320180803_130120

2018 July week 2

We traveled to Hungry Horse, Montana to spend 10 days at Mountain Meadow RV Resort. Not sure anymore on what they mean by resort. It was a campground next to the main road to Glacier National Park and reservations in February were hard  to come by.

We did enjoy our stay. The  first day we traveled the west side to Polebridge. Small spot on the road with a general store and a saloon. We hiked Hidden Meadows trail until it disappeared and then return to the car. The interior park road was closed so we had to travel back the same way.

Getting up early the next 2 days we managed to get parking at 4 of the trail heads we wanted. These were on the Going to the Sun Road. Beautiful drive and scenery. Elevation overall was lower than our home in Black Forest so not bad for oxygen.

Taking a break we went to Karispell and Whitefish to take in some local views. The following day we went to MacDonald Lodge and Apgar village to walk around. Then we finally made our way to Many Glacier Lodge on the east side. Did a hike around the lake and part of another trail.

It was  a fantastic stop. But the days have been warm. Seems where we go there  is record heat. Soon we will be on the coast of Washington.

Preparing to leave  we realized the next stop had given us a site with water and electric only so we canceled that and Linda found MarDon Resort in Othello, Washington. This meant not spending any time in Idaho as we transverse the northern portion for the 65 or so miles.

We are vacationing from our vacation outside a town with less  than 600 for a population. I think there were 600 people here this past weekend.

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2018 July week 1

On July 3rd we traveled up the road to Missoula. Back to a bigger city with traffic. The Fourth of July stared out with a river walk in the cool morning air. We wandered downtown to the San Xavier Church, the county Courthouse. Then it was off  to the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. Lots of different things to see and watch. A sawmill, Library train car used  to get books to the miners, a fire tower as well as going into the military museum.

We hiked Water Works hill for an overview of  the city (plus getting the 3 mile hike uphill). We also hit an mall to walk around and cool off.

Another day we went to the National Bison Reserve and a trip to Lolo with a verified camp site of Lewis and Clark on the Discovery Expedition (September 1805 and June 1806).

Running low on supplies we took a trip to a local grocery store, Orange Street market. We found all sorts of good looking fresh meats. We bought bacon, bison and assorted beefs. very thing was fresh and the butcher was a great person to converse with.

Saturday morning found us at the Farmers Market near the river walk. We supplied ourselves with fresh bread, fruit (huckleberries), vegetables, sheep cheese (two types) and fresh sausages.

Fully stocked up, Sunday was a cleaning laundry kind of day. Getting ready to “Get back on the road again”. Great town, great fun and a really nice campsite.

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2018 June week 3 & 4

After Westcliffe we took the trek through Denver, not as bad  as I thought for Denver traffic. We pulled into Ft. Collins Lakeside for the evening. this getting us off  the freeway and traveling the US 287 the next day to Laramie where once again we were on the interstate. Exiting in Rawlins Wyoming. This stop had to destinations for us to get on our list  of things to do.

Second, which we did first, was to get to Independence Rock. The history of which is on the Oregon trail. this landmark was  to be reached on or before July 4th to make it though the mountains to the coast before winter  set in. On out trip there we stopped at Martin’s Cove. This was a site of two Mormon handcart companies rescues.  Having left on their journey to late they encountered winter weather. the opening in the rock, you can see from Independence Rock is called Devils Gate. Very nice historical stop. A little crowded from the BLM hilltop overview (picture included). Then onto Independence Rock and a 2 mile hike around and up the rock. Also looking at some names  and dates carved into the rock.

Day two was a trip to Rock Springs to see our niece Dorothy. An important part of this trip. She is the manager of Boot Barn there. If passing through please stop by and say hello. She took us to Flaming Gorge Reservoir. The dam tour was closed so onto the restaurant we went. After lunch we completed the 90 mile trip around the reservoir.

Being in the west all these years and finding a hat in Tombstone we went to Boot Barn where I picked up a pair of boots. Finally getting cowboy upped. Then it was onto a microbrew for a quick one and to meet David.

Getting late Dorothy came back to our home for dinner and to be our overnight guest. It was a great visit. Super happy we had this time together, sad to say I did not take one picture of us together.

Back on the road and off the interstate we traveled north to Cody. The town founded by Buffalo Bill and who help create the east entrance to Yellowstone.

Again we stayed outside of town at a trout farm/camping spot. Did some tourist things, a little fishing and a trip to an Interment Camp site. They have a lot of stories and a couple of buildings. Sad part of American history. Having lived in San Diego and known some Nesei who as children spent some time in these camps, it was an honor to visit the site.

After 4 nights and three full days it was off to Helena. Actually it is a town of Townsend on the Canyon Ferry Lake. It is 38 miles outside of Helena.

Yesterday, June 30, was  spent in Helena. A train/trolley tour. A visit to the RC Cathedral, a short walk through downtown and a trip up an outdoor mall.

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stop light for bridge work

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Bill Cody had this built

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2018 June week 2 and 3

We arrive at Westcliffe, CO between the Wet Mountains on the east and  the Sangre de Christo Mountains to the west. The population on the sign reads 548. This is the county seat. A little crowded but we had  a campground about 3 miles out of town. The drought was evident as hay in the fields were short. Ranchers are not harvesting and letting Cattle ranchers come and graze in the fields. Small RV park with 34 sites. Beautiful views but with the Durango fire we did have a couple of smoky days.

We had to tour the area so with the sun shining we took the top down and went to a country backroad drive. Slightly dusty and windy but beautiful ranches and Deweese Lake.

While here we traveled to Mission: Wolf which is a rescue sanctuary for wolfs and wolf/dogs. Currently home to 34 or35 animals. We got to site in an enclosure with a couple of the ambassadors. They greet accept and move on. While the visit is free we did adopt one of the wolfs, Aria, for the next year.

Another trip included Bishops Castle. This has been worked on since I believe the late 70’s. I had not been  there for about 8 -10 years. What progress has been made. From there we traveled on the last unpaved state highway (72) into the town of Beulah Lunch at the Beulah Inn. wonderful conversation with the owner/cook. The food was excellent as well.

Westcliffe is one of the 14 dark sky communities in the world. The small observatory hosted a public event one evening while we where there. Besides  the craters of the moon there was a viewing of Saturn rings and some of the stars. It was a partially cloudy evening so not as much viewing as they had hoped for.

It was a great place  to recover and get  ready for the next few months. Planning and reservations where made. Mostly in the morning and evenings when internet and cell service was not so spotty.

Two weeks of rest and relaxation. Now recuperated and ready to travel north we packed it up and hit the road.

Did I forget to mention the farm fresh eggs? Delicious

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wolf/dogs. Currently home to 34 or35 animals. We got to site in an enclosure with a couple of the ambassadors. They greet accept and move on. While the visit is free we did adopt one for the next year.

Another trip included Bishops Castle. This has been worked on since I believe the late 70’s. I had not been  there for about 8 -10 years. What progress has been made. From there we traveled on the last unpaved state highway (72) into the town of Beulah Lunch at the Beulah Inn. wonderful conversation with the owner/cook. The food was excellent as well.

Westcliffe is one of the 14 dark sky communities in the world. The small observatory hosted a public event one evening while we where there. Besides  the craters of the moon there was a viewing of Saturn rings and some of the stars. It was a partially cloudy evening so not as much viewing as they had hoped for.

It was a great place  to recover and get  ready for the next few months. Planning and reservations where made. Mostly in the morning and evenings when internet and cell service was not so spotty.

Two weeks of rest and relaxation. Now recuperated and ready to travel north we packed it up and hit the road.

2018 June week 1

Life on the road. We are at a site with good internet. For the last 3 weeks we have had spotty and dropped coverage.

We arrived back in Colorado Springs (Fountain) KOA on Thursday May 31st. Dinner that night with the Morris  family. It was a great visit. Celebrations included a late Mothers Day and an early Fathers Day.  Friday was a stop at DMV for Jeep License plates then back to the Morris house  to pick up the kiddos for a 4 night stay with us. The KOA had a water park and activities on Saturday so we did not venture far.

Sunday was Cave of  the Winds, lunch out and back to water park the water park. Monday was a little water park and a visit from Si’Mona, Merrissere and the boys. It was a fun filled afternoon. then came the repairman for the awning. It works great if the wind is not blowing. Tuesday we took the grandkids home and had dental appointments. Wednesday I went fishing with Paul, a church buddy, and Thursday we were back on the road.

20180601_13353220180601_13392020180601_13392520180601_16550220180601_17033620180601_17100820180601_17164320180602_13145220180602_13164920180602_13171020180602_11512020180602_11512720180603_08081420180602_08371820180603_10342820180603_10585420180603_11100020180604_133727We arrived back in Colorado Springs (Fountain) KOA on Thursday May 31st. Dinner that night with the Morris  family. It was a great visit. Celebrations included a late Mothers Day and an early Fathers Day.  Friday was a stop at DMV for Jeep License plates then back to the Morris house  to pick up the kiddos for a 4 night stay with us. The KOA had a water park and activities on Saturday so we did not venture far.

Sunday was Cave of  the Winds, lunch out and back to water park the water park. Monday was a little water park and a visit from Si’Mona, Merrissere and the boys. It was a fun filled afternoon. then came the repairman for the awning. It works great if the wind is not blowing. Tuesday we took the grandkids home and had dental appointments. Wednesday I went fishing with Paul, a church buddy and Thursday we were back on the road.

 

May 2018 week 4

This time we traveled a long ways away. A whole 25 miles to Kartchner Caverns State Park. Like every state park we have been to there is no sewer hookup so things change a little. Like showering in the facilities they provide. But the park is a joy to be at. Large spaces with plenty of room between sites and loaded with mesquite trees. The TV reception with our antenna picked up 5 channels. four from Mexico and one from the US. It was NBC so watched game 1 outside.

Our first venture in this new spot was to Patagonia State Park an a nature hike with bird viewing. We are not birders but saw plenty of them. It was a cool morning for a hike. Again I think Arizona has a lot of beautiful State parks. Well maintained. Tried to hit another winery on the circle back but it was closed with no hours on it. Lesson learned is for small wineries – call ahead.

We did take the Foothills loop trail together. It was about 4 miles around the caverns. I took the side trip up to the overview lookout.

Finally took a cave tour. No pictures allowed but it is a living cave in that it is for the most part sealed off and still growing. The discovery center is interesting. This is an amazing place to visit. Highly recommended is passing by. There a helmet and light hike on Saturday evenings. I enjoyed that just as much as it is more  informal and you travel in a smaller group and  chat along the way.

On morning was an early rise (nothing new) but wanted to take a longer hike inn the park. So I combined the Ocotillo trail with the foothills trail. Great eight mile hike with cooler weather.

We want to go to Fort Huachuca and  the Buffalo Soldiers Museum but it was a 2 hour wait for a background check. I made the decision to leave and come back the next time through. Maybe in December.

During our two weeks in the area we passed through the border checks about 6 times. A few of them being the same ones.

The rest of the month we made two one night stops while returning to Colorado Springs. there was  a stop at Las Cruces and an overnight in Las Vegas, NM. We past by White Sands but hope to be back in December of January.

At Las Vegas, the Albuquerque  boys choir was in town to sing at a Senior Center. So that evening we where there they preformed at the KOA.

The next day saw us on the road for a fun filled packed week in the Springs area.

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May 2018 week 3

Week 3 started us moving a couple of more hours down the road in the southern direction. To the high desert we traveled, destination Benson KOA.

First stop was an unimproved road to the Rancho Maria Winery. The claim to fame is the smallest licensed winery in Arizona. Family owned and run. Grapes are in his back yard and the operation is run by solar power and a container buried in a hillside for storage. Great dry fruitful wine. Notice the Adams State University shirt. Shannon went to college there.

Another trip was to Cochise Stronghold National Monument in the Dragoon Mountains. Did some hiking and enjoyed  the scenery. the return trip took us by Chiricahua National Monument but it was closed, so on to Fort Bowie.

Once at the Fort Bowie “site”, there we saw the Butterfield stagecoach crossing and in the distance could see some of the forts remains. It was a good place for lunch. The Apache Pass Road ten took us past the entrance to the trail was down hill 1 1/2 miles to the site.

Having already done our hike and  walk around  the top of the hill (Mountain) we passed on this stop.

We completed the circle by jumping on interstate 10 and passing through Wilcox. We hit Main Street where there where members and friends of the VFW standing in front of their building with American Flags. Down the road we were stopped at an intersection as numerous motorcycles past on their wall to the wall. It was a great site to see.

Another trip took us to Bisbee, another old mining town. After lunch Linda drove some of the narrow streets to look at the old and old/refurbished homes. Narrow roads to say the least. On the way back we stopped by Tombstone. Having been there a couple of times before, we just strolled up and down the main street before heading home.

We attended Peace in the Valley Lutheran Church. It was a warm welcome and a wonderful service.

Other days and times are filled with shopping, cleaning and other necessary household chores. It is home with 6 wheels and a 340 diesel engine. Of course our jeep is a dream for getting around.

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wine tasting room

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MAY 2018 week 2

Still surviving the heat we moved down the road to Picacho KOA. It is the site of a civil war battle (firefight). Also close to Coolidge where the Johnson clan grew up. We visited with Marge a little and spent the afternoon with Howard (step brother).

We hike a trail at Picacho State Park.

We traveled north to Goldfield Ghost Town in the Superstition Mountains. No we did not look for the “Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine”

We also took a drive to Green Valley to visit a Titan Missile Site Museum; There were 54 of these sites in 3 states that started in 1963 and ended in 1983 with the historic SALT treaty.

On the return venture we stopped at San Xavier Mission. It is still an active church that is being restored. Beautiful are the only words for it. It is on the Tohono O’Odham Nation reservation.

The nights were cool and the stars lit the sky. It was a great week.

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