Saturday, July 4, 2015

June 23 to July 4, 2015

June 23 to July 4
We really enjoyed Jackson Hole and the Grand Tetons.  From there we moved on to Island Park, Id, just outside Yellowestone National Park.  We spent four days touring Yellowstone.  Muriel got a good picture of a Grizzly Bear, from much too close. Saw lots of wildlife, geysers, and amazing scenery.  We have moved on east to Cody, Wy, where we have been to the Cody Stampede Rodeo, and the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum and the fourth of July Parade.  The museum is another very well done museum.  We plan to move on from here going east toward western South Dakota.  From there we will continue east, generally toward NC.  The first photo is Muriel's bear picture, the second is two buffalo who just passed the bull's genes on to the cow in the middle of the road while traffic stopped and waited for them to clear out of the road.  Our arrival day at Yellowstone was quite eventful, visited the head waters of the Snake River, some nice waterfalls, and then had a plane land over our heads onto the highway.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

June 6 to June 23. 2015

Since my last post we have done a lot.   We spent a couple of nights at Valley of Five State Park in southern Nevada.  Lots of red rock formations, we were parked in the middle of them.  From Valley of Fire we drove to the Hoover dam and Lake Meade.  Our next destination was Beatty, Nv.  On the way we stopped for lunch and fuel and unhooked the car and drove the 'strip' through Las Vegas.  Muriel was disappointed that she did not get to pull the handle on any slots.
From Beatty we spent a day touring Death Valley.  We went to the lowest point, 282 feet below sea level and walked out on the salt flats.
Our next stop was Lee Vining, Calif.  From there we drove into Yosemite National Park.  This was the most beautiful spot we have seen.  We walked among the giant Sequoia trees and saw the best water falls we have ever seen.  Muriel and I happened upon a small lake back several miles on dirt roads in the park.  Saddlebag Lake was at 10,000 elevation and had been frozen over just a week before.  They ferry backpackers out to trail heads on the far end of the lake.  Muriel and I got to ride the ferry, a pontoon boat, out to pick-up a family from their hike.
From Lee Vining we drove to Carson City, Nv just for a stop-over.  We found the city, the capitol of Nevada, so interesting we spent several nights and also drove to Lake Tahoe.  There was a very nice railroad museum at Carson City.
Our next stop was Elko, Nv.  Again just intended as a stop over but we spent a couple on nights.  The California Train Interpretive Center was very well done and Muriel and I both were quite moved by the presentation and explanation of the hardships endured by the people traveling the trail.
Next stop, Salt Lake City, Ut.
We traveled Interstate ?  along side the Bonneville Salt Flats on the way to SLC.   We toured around the Mormon churches and temples and the state capitol.  Our tour of the Confrence center, guided by a young man of the church was very informative.
On Sunday morning we got to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  Later that day we drove to Antelope Island, the largest island in the Great Salt Lake.  The island is 15 miles by 5 miles.  We got to view deer, a coyote, and numerous bison. The old homestead on the island is now open to viewing by visitors.
Next stop,  Blackfoot, Id.  I wanted to stop here because several years ago when Bay State negotiated to buy a flour mill at Blackfoot I through my name in the pot to go there to manage the plant.  We just drove by, it is a very nice looking, new plant.  We visited the Idaho potato museum in Blackfoot and learned that there is quite a bit involved in raising good quality potatoes.
Today we moved on Irwin, Id.  From here we will visit Jackson, Wy and Great Tetons National Park
for the next several days.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

It has been so long I have to go back to look at notes to remember where we have been and what we did.
From New Mexico we went to Tucson, Az where we spent a couple of days visiting with Bill Maxwell and Eileen, the couple from the boat Blue Max.  We really enjoyed the visit with them.  Before we left Tucson we were able to have breakfast with John and Carolyn Ruland.  John was the man who hired me to work for Bay State Milling.  He was the best boss I ever had.  We did not know they were living in Tucson until we met a couple in a RV park in Texas.  They are neighbors of the Rulands.
From Tucson we moved up to Mesa, Az were we visited with friends who were neighbors during the the year we spent in Tempe.  We also toured around Tempe and got to see the now defunct mill where I worked during that year.  We also got to have dinner with my nephew and his wife and two sons.  We had never met his wife or sons.
From there we went on north to the Sedona, Az area where we were able to visit some of the places we enjoyed while we lived in Tempe.  As with Tempe, there has been a lot of change in the past 30+ years.
Our next stop was Williams, Az where we boarded the Grand Canyon Railway for a two hour train ride to the South Rim of the Canyon.  This only allowed for a brief visit so we drove back the the Canyon the next day for a more relaxed visit.
Next stop was Knab, Ut.  From here we have visited the North Rim of the Canyon which offers quite different views of the Canyon.  The next day we spent the day in Zion NP.  Again, beautiful in its own way.  Still a lot of rock formations but this time viewed from the bottom of the canyon so very different from looking into the Grand Canyon.   Yesterday we spent the day at Bryce Canyon NP.  This is more eroded rocks but again quite different and amazing because the rocks make all kinds of vertical formations.
We have gotten to see many different forms of wildlife, from chipmunks to elk, deer,  antelope, prairie dogs, and big horned sheep.  This is a vast area of  high dessert which changes frequently and is always amazingly beautiful.
Yesterday afternoon we got rain, hail, and snow in Bryce Canyon.  Today the thunder storms continue to move through Knab.  We are laying over a day to relax and catch-up a little.
We have taken many photos but I have been having trouble posting them so that may have to wait some more.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I am too slow about blogging!  We have covered so much ground and done so much, it is difficult to remember where we have been.  After Breaux Bridge we spent one night in a Texas state park, Steven F Austin.  From there we went to Fredericksburg, TX, where we spent three nights at Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park.  Fredricksburg is an interesting German community and home of Admiral Nimitz and the National Museum of the Pacific war.  We enjoyed a German dinner and visited the wildflower store.
Next stop was Alpine, TX for one night en route to Big Bend National Park. We stayed in Terlingua, TX for our Big Bend visit.  Spaces out here are so vast!  From Terlingua to the park headquarters is 30 miles, virtually all within the park.  The desert and the mountains are so magnificent.  The annual rainfall is about 9 inches. Then another 30 miles to the southwest corner and 30 miles back.  Then another 30 miles to the southeast corner and then back.  These roads were steep and winding, average speed probably 30 miles per hour.  They had received 2 inches the night before we arrived and 4 inches the day before that.   Needles to say,  some roads were washed out and/or flooded.  By our third day we were able to get to all of the parts of the park we wanted to visit.
We intended to leave Terlingua on Saturday but the winds were blowing 25 to 30 miles per hour with gusts upward of 50.  We decided not to attempt to travel and relaxed (not hardly, Muriel did laundry).
On Sunday we drove to Carlsbad, NM to visit the Carlsbad Caverns.  But first, on Sunday evening we drove to the Caverns to watch the bats leave the cavern.  Right at sundown they began to fill the skies.  They say there were tens of thousands which leave the cave each evening during the summer.  This is what lead the first man to the cave, he wanted to see what was turning the evening sky black.
Muriel and I walked into the cave from the natural entrance.  It is a steep walk along switchbacks until you are 750 feet below the surface.  Then we began the tour of the Big Room which has so many beautiful formations it is impossible to take it all in.
Today we drove from Carlsbad via El Paso, TX to another state park outside Las Cruces, NM.  We lived at Fort Bliss (El Paso)  for the two years I was in the army.  Nothing was recognizable from our time there.
Tomorrow we will visit White Sands Nationsl Monument and Las Cruces before we head on toward Tuscon, AZ.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

We finally got under way in "Sunshine 2",  our wheeled version of Sunshine,  on Wednesday, 4/29/15 It was about 2:20pm before we got away. We were determined to break away that day.  We only drove about two hours to an RV park near Greenville, SC.  The second day we met a couple from Hickory at a rest area in Georgia.  They were on their way to Gulf State Park near Gulf Shores, AL. We discussed our options and decided to stop at Montgomery and then Gulf State Park also.
The owner of the RV park and his son described places of interest in downtown Montgomery so we set-up quickly and headed into town.  We found Montgomery to be delightful.  It is clean and attractive downtown and along the waterfront on the Alabama River.
We spent two nights at Gulf State Park and enjoyed its mile of pristine beach, its pool, and great facilities.
On Sunday, May 3, we drove to Laurel, MS where we lived for several years and had a great visit with two couples we used to spend a lot of time with.  We did not get away  from Laurel until about two pm so we only got to Picayune, MS that night.  On Tuesday we drove through New Orleans to Houma, LA.  We set up and then went into town to wander around.  We were a little disappointed at first but after we found the visitor center and got advice form a young lady who was a native of the area we did mcuh better.  We got an excellent cajun dinner and then drove down bayou and back up. We enjoyed the ride along the bayou with all its boats.
The next morning we followed a scenic route along the Teche Breaux Bridge, LA.  We stopped for lunch at Brenda's Diner in New Ibera.  Muriel had found it mentioned in a book,  "Road Food", which Jeff and Anne had given us.  We had a great lunch and a great time.  Muriel declared that this will be one of the highlights of this trip.
We are laying over in Breaux Bridge today while Charlie and Evelyn catch up and Muriel can do laundry. The first picture is Brenda and her daughter.  I may only get the one picture this time.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Preparing to begin to travel again.

Sunshine the boat is history, in our lives, but the travel bug still lives in the form of the motorhome which took her place.  We have enjoyed numerous shorter trips but it is now time to get serious about the trip for which we purchased the coach.  We plan to leave this spring to travel the western US and see some of the national parks.  We hope to continue the blog posts to keep up with our travels by coach.

Sunshine's Wheeled sister prepares to depart.

I am trying to get re-aquainted with the blog.  Sunshine's wheeled sister is getting ready to start on a trip to visit some of the national parks in the western US.  We plan to leave in about a week, return indefinite.