Thursday, May 5, 2011
We are finally on
the road again after nearly a week in Winnemucca, NV. Not much there to
see and do,
we did spend more time on planning our trip to Alaska. We had phone
service and Internet and the price was right. We were waiting for the
weather to warm up a little more. Leaving this morning we headed north
into Oregon and another BLM parking spot, Antelope Valley Reservoir. A
whopping 4 spaces, which in BLM parlance means 4 picnic tables, 4
firerings and pit toilets; works for us. Two 40í motorhomes out of
place there, but we didnít care as we were the only ones there.
Oregon takes Litter seriously. The fine for littering on their highways
is up to $6250.00
Friday, May 6, 2011 - Antelope Reservoir
Last night we were
able to hear the coyotes howling all around the reservoir. Really makes
you feel isolated. But we are on the move again so we can get phone
service. John and Tillie had their house broken into for the second
time and they need to be in contact with the police, neighbors and
insurance people. They are real troopers and definitely have the right
attitude. I would be on the first plane home. I would feel so
we have arrived in Nampa, Idaho. We are now back on Mountain Time. These
was a roadside sign telling us to set our clocks one hour ahead. Itís so
confusing; further up in Idaho we will go back to Pacific Time. So
weíre just going to stay on Pacific Time. We feel like we have reached
civilization. They have malls, Walmartsí and a Costco! The Samís Club
went out of business!! We are only spending a couple of nights here in
the parking lot before moving on. Since Samís is closed we found there
is a Costco located across town, so we headed over there to stock up on
supplies. We are bunked down in the empty parking lot of the closed
Saturday, May 7, 2011 - Nampa, Idaho
planned on doing our Motherís Day dinner this evening rather than face
the crowds tomorrow. A couple stopped by in their car; they have an
American Tradition, similar to Johnís RV and we got to talking. They
were able to give us the name of a very good local restaurant named
Kahootz! But we had to go to dinner at 4 pm, because it was really 5
pm. And itís a good thing we did, we got the last available table
before they started lining up out the door. Kahootz has 43 beers ON
TAP! Decisions, decisions. We all had the prime rib for dinner, it was
very good. I would recommend this restaurant definitely.
May 8, 2011
Happy Motherís Day
breakfast for me this morning, yum! We are moving up the road today,
one step closer to Alaska. Our original plan was to drive up to
Cascade and stay in a state park. We could have parked there, but
basically the campground didnít have any facilities turned on, and we
were all looking forward to some water and electric hookups, so we kept
on trucking up the road. This is beautiful country. We saw a sign that
said we had passed the 45th parallel, which said we were half
way between the equator and the North Pole. The landscape around here
reminds me of early March at home.
forsythia is blooming, tulips are out, daffodils and crocus. The grass
is green, but most trees still have not started to green up, depending
on the elevation, at any given time on the road. And then we passed
through the town of McColl, where the snow is still piled up by the
houses about 5 feet, and the lake was still frozen! We knew we still
had to move on; we weren't going to stay here.
We were following
Rte 55, which goes along the North Fork of the Payette River and the
Lower Salmon River. These rivers were rushing with white water rapids
for 40 miles at the very least. (We found out later, most of the rivers
are still closed to kayaking and rafting as they are still to dangerous
to ride.) I'm sure they were also very cold from the snow melt.
highway is the gateway to Hell's Canyon National Rec Area and the Snake
River, which is just over the mountains to the west. The Payette and
Lower Salmon Rivers were also the route that Lewis and Clark used on
their journey to the Pacific Ocean. It is also within the land of the
Nez Perce Indian Reservation. The Nez Perce National Historic Park has
38 different sites across Oregon, Idaho, and Montana giving the history
of the Nez Perce Indians. What a rugged land they lived in.
stopped for the night in Grangeville, Idaho, a town of about 2000
residents. We have full hook-ups here at Sundowner RV Park (a gravel
parking lot) and I immediately started doing laundry while preparing
dinner. We were going to grill steaks outside, but it was cold and
rainy, so I cooked mine on the grill over the stove burner. Pretty darn
good if I say so myself. We have cell phone service at least. Happy
Mother's Day everyone.!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Leaving Grangeville, ID, we took scenic Route 13. We finally had a
clear sky traveling day for the first time in a while. This time we
followed the Clearwater River. Came across a nice Rest Area where we
stopped to have lunch instread of eating on the road. Too bad we were
traveling; Tillie and I hated to get back into our coaches the weather
was so nice. We stopped for the night in the town of Bovill. John had
read where there was a bar in this town that had free parking for
campers. They used to have full hookups and had to take them out,
because people kept blowing fuses at his place.
ended up parking beside the bar in what is now his backyard with some of
the prettiest grass. Looks like Oregon Rye. In exchange for free
parking we went in and patronized his bar (we found out it was HER
bar). Bill and Cheryl Hartman. The bar belongs to Cheryl, Bill runs
it. She is the assistant postmaster for the local post office. The
official head postmaster left 18 months ago, but they haven't filled the
position. It's a case of getting a lower paid worker to do the work of
the boss without being paid for doing someone else's job. He also
rebuilds motorcycles, and that Bill and John have a mutual good friend
in common. That was enough to start a party. After a while I was in no
mood to cook so we all ate the Day's Special, Tacos! While on the
subject of food, they ended up going mushroom picking up in a meadow. I
went home and took a nap. When they got back Tillie cleaned the
mushrooms and cooked them up with onions. All in all a pretty good
place to spend the night.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
We left fairly early this next morning.
By our standards anyway. We headed back to Rte 95, stopping along the
was at the Coeur D'Alene Casino and Resort to play a couple of one armed
bandits for a while. Before continuing on, we stopped at the
Reservation gas station where we were able to buy diesel for $3.97. We
haven't seen those prices in quite some time.
to write all this stuff down, so Sandy and I will remember all we've
seen and done on this trip. There is so much happening, sometimes we
can't even remember what days we have spent in what town.
...That being said, we are headed on to Post Falls, Idaho, where we
spent the night in another Walmart. It is located outside of Coeur
D'Alene, ID. We had to stop to pick up a part from an appliance store
to repair our microwave. It has been usable but only for a short time.
Hopefully this part will allow me to bake for longer periods. While
Sandy was in the appliance shop, there just happened to be a craft store
next door advertising fabric, gifts and crafts! Lucky me! It was
basically a quilt shop with some gifts items for quilters! They
apologized because they didn't have much fabric to select from. Their
boss had taken most of the fabric to a quilt show over in Spokane,
Washington, but I managed to find some; imagine that!
May 13, 2011
Friday the 13th....
up this morning to continue our northward trek about 80 miles to the
town of Sandpoint, ID. This is our last mail stop before we cross the
border into Canada, which we picked up on our way into town before
proceeding to a Walmart.
plans were to overnight there before proceeding to a Corps of Engineers
park and campground which doesn't open until tomorrow. After parking,
Tillie went on to Curves, and the rest of us drove out to the campground
to check it out. It's a beautiful campground located on Lake Pend
Oreille, (pronounced Ponderay). It's the deepest lake in Idaho at over
1100 ft. Absolutely beautiful. So is Sandpoint, which has a thriving
downtown. Very sophisticated and upwardly chic! We also found there is
a campgound located on the county fairgrounds much closer into town for
only $2 more a night. Not quite the view, but definitely a gas saver
for all the running around we will do while staying here.
will be staying here for 9 or 10 days waiting for the weather to warm up
before heading across to Canada. This is it, last stop, get'er done
now, whatever it is that needs doing.
couple RVing in another park, suggested we check out the Pend Oreille
Winery located downtown. That's where they were headed. So after dinner
we all rode downtown. What we discovered was it was a winery, yes, but
they don't grow any grapes themselves. It was basically a boutique
I mentioned I broke my small hand mirror in the bathroom today? Does
that double my bad luck? Am I superstitious? NOT!
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Moved to the county campground even
before we had breakfast. There had been a strange man sitting outside
of John and Tillie's RV last night. He was sitting there drinking. It
was weird. It was cold, windy and rainy last night.
slept the night at the base of their steps and when John started he
generator in the morning, he got up, went over to another camper parked
there, opened the door and went inside. Go figure.
at the fairgrounds, there was a horse training show going on. It was
classes for leaders and parents of 4-H kids who are working with
horses. The day was sunny and windy. You could hear the horses
a woman named Julie came over to the campground pavilion and started
cooking with cast iron pots. That was something we all had to
investigate. She was cooking dinner for all the horse people using
about 8 or 9 cast iron pots using the stacking method. Very
interesting. It was fun talking to her. We also ended up eating dinner
with her. BBQ chicken, baked beans, Marcy's cheesy potatoes, corn,
broccoli salad, garlic bread and peach cobbler and watermelon.
May 15, 2011
Happy Birthday Tillie!
Actually it was a quiet day here at camp. The day started out sunny and
windy and by dinner time, it was windy and rainy. We have been
expecting this rain for two days. So has all of northern Idaho. They
even drained the lakes around here. With the weather warming up so
quickly and with all the rain they have had lately, the snow pack is
melting too fast and they expect a lot of flooding. Thankfully we are
not located near any streams or rivers.
tonight's birthday dinner, we took Tillie to Trinity at Sandpoint,
affectionately known as TSP. Tillie and I had stuffed halibut, with
different sauces, Sandy had the same and John got calamari. Very nice
restaurant located lakeside in the downtown area. Our waitress and the
service were wonderful.
Side bar: One of the
nicest things about this trip is we have been able to celebrate all our
birthdays and wedding anniversaries. It's nice to have friends around
to celebrate with you.
May 16, 2011
Got mail today. The
guys registered for the 5K run (or walk) this weekend. There are trains
running by the back of the campground, they come through with
regularity. The whistle on the trains bothers Tillie, but Bob and I
enjoy the sound. We were able to sit out enjoy the fresh air for a
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
is starting to get nice Went into town to visit the Litehouse Blue
Cheese Factory and MickDuffs Brewery for a sample of their microbrews.
On the way back we stopped at a
market called Yoke's, and bought some Tillamook ice cream. They had so
many wonderful flavors, we ended up with Tillamook Mudslide. Try names
like Grandma's Apple Pie, Huckleberry Heaven, Chocolate Peanut Butter
Cookies, and the list goes on. Wonderful, wonderful.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Bob had an
appointment to get the RV serviced. Appt was for 8 am. When we got
there found out the parts hadn't arrived yet, so we went back home.
Will have to do it again tomorrow :( Went to Urgent Care for Carol.
Had urine infection, rash on arm, and itch skin. Found it was my
hidradenitis, and 2 bone spurs on my left foot that are killing me,
along with major arthritis. So I am hopped up on antibiotics for a
couple of days. Bob and John hiked up the mountain located directly
behind us. They figured they gained about 1000 ft in elevation on their
3 1/2 mile hike.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
transmission fluid changed. I stayed at the campground in the car until
John and Tillie woke up. We didn't want to lose our space to early
arrivals for the 50' bash weekend.
Motorhomes, trailers and 5th wheels have started arriving at the
campground, later in the afternoon, which we have previously had all to
are all participants in "Lost in the 50's Bash being held this weekend
in Sandpoint. This is their biggest event of the year and it is a VERY
BIG DEAL. These people are bringing in restored cars that are
absolutely fabulous! One man pulled in with a 45' King Aire by Newmar,
pulling a 3 axle trailer with a matching paint job as his RV In the
trailer was a multilift with 2 cars inside. One was a 56' Chevy that he
paid $100,000 for. (The longer we were here, the more we found out
that's a average price for some of these cars.
Drove up the mountain to Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort. There is still
a ton of snow up there. Back home we would still be skiing on this 5-6
ft of snow. The view from the top up here is awesome. It overlooks
Lake Pend Orielle, the largest lake in Idaho and also the deepest at
over 1100 feet.
May 20, 2011
Bob had to go back
one more time to get the lift pump fixed on the fuel line. Hopefully
that is the last of the fix-its. Friday evening was the car parade.
Over 550 cars driving two abreast for over an hour. We even saw Fred &
Wilma Flintstone! There was a doo-wop show and dance out at the fair
grounds where we are staying, but we decided not to spend $30 a ticket
to attend. There are many car fanatics staying here with us at the
fairgounds. It's been a lot of fun for Bob and John to walk around
talking with these guys about thier cars and rigs
May 21, 2011
and John went downtown to look at the car show They came back with lots
of pictures. They had a good time without the women tagging along.
Cooked spaghetti dinner in honor of Bob's birthday with John and Tillie
joining us. Tillie made Bob oatmeal cookies for his birthday, saying
they were off limits to me!
Sunday, May 22, 2011
was our last day here before heading into Canada. First thing in the
morning Bob and John participated in their first 5K race. Walkers were
were the last to start...and the last to finish, on purpose. Tillie and
I are very proud of them. It was supposed to rain the whole weekend,
but it held off for all the major events. There were lots of last
minute things to do, grocery shopping and such.
May 23, 2011
Entered Canada Today
Beautiful ride up to
Kootenay National Park and Radium Hot Springs. I thought we were going
to stop and jump in, but instead drove
on to MacLeod Meadows campground where we camped on the bank of the
Kootenay River. The Canadian Rockies are Awesome. Tonight is the final
show for "Dancing With The Stars". Bob promised me we would
it on the satellite. He had to work a lot but he got the job done.
Bravo, Bob! ! He had to move the rig four times to get a spot for the
satellite. Cracked the fiberglass on the front of the rig trying to get
past a tree stump. He was not a happy camper about that.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
you know what time the sun comes up, this far north?? VERY EARLY.
There was cloud cover, but it was daylight at 4:30 am. That's what
happens when you get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.
We rode up the Icefields Parkway. Absolutely "Awesome". I now know why
that word was invented. It is so overused, but not in this case. We
saw a lot of deer on the side of the road late this morning, guess they
don't have to worry about getting shot in the park.
stopped at Lake Louise around noon. The sun was out, but the air was
chilly. I was able to walk up to Lake Louise; the lake is still frozen
and it's almost June! There is snow laying all over the ground, but it
is crusted over with dirt as it has been swept off the walkways and
such. We then continued on up the parkway until we came to the Columbia
Icefield and pulled into the parking lot for the night. We are across
the street from the glacier. You can either walk up to it or you can
buy tickets to go up and ride out onto the Athabasca Glacier. Tonight
is the finals for Dancing with the Stars. The clouds and storm came in
and the TV broke up a lot. Not sure we are going to get the results.
Bob had to record the East and West coast feeds. Will wait until
morning to get the results, I'm tired. Good night!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
What a day! We are waking up earlier
and earlier as the sun keeps rising earlier. I'm talking 6 AM folks.
is not me. We also thought we might wake up to the white stuff laying on
the ground because of the cold temps and rain, but we were okay. Dry
roads! First Bob and John walked over to the glacier. I would have gone
but this heel spur keeps me from doing much, bummer. There are only
certain areas that you can walk on, or else you could fall into a
crevase and not been seen again for 100 years after the glacier recedes.
The "toe" of the glacier is at 6500 ft.
After they got back, we took to the road
We had not gone very far before we saw
cars ahead. An animal jam; A GRIZZLEY BEAR!
was just munching and foraging just off the left side of the road. I
was able to get out and get pictures not 30 ft from where he was
Back on the road we were excited now!
Wildlife! Further down the road, more cars. A BLACK BEAR on the right
side of the road. I did not have to get out to get good pictures.
Amazing! These guys look at you and yawn; what are you people looking
at?, and go back to eating. When we pulled away, the sound of the
diesel engine scared it and took off for the woods. At least I got some
the road a little ways we saw a couple of female elk on the left side.
A little while later I saw a bird I thought had caught a fish, then I
realized it was a bald eagle! I got a picture of it flying but you
can't tell it's an eagle from the picture.
We stopped and ate lunch in Jasper in
our coaches. It's a quaint little town located within Jasper National
Park. As we left, on the outskirts of town, Tillie saw a coyote but we
missed it. But we were rewarded later on when we came upon a male elk
with his antlers already growing with the fuzz still on them.
we came across...we're not sure what they were. Either they are
mountain goats shedding their winter coats or they were Rocky Mountain
Sheep. We have got to get a book
and find out.
What a day! So much wildlife in one
day! The only thing we have not seen yet is a moose! Good things come
to those who wait. I can wait a little while longer. I surely can't
In the last three days we have been
though three Canadian National Parks; Kootenay, Banff and Jasper
National Parks. We traveled thru Banff in 1991, but in a different
direction and it was during July. The weather was a lot nicer then. So
much has changed since then.
are stopped here in Hinton for the night,
Walmart parking lot. Canada really likes their parks and they like for
you to pay $$$ even if they don't offer any facilities. Our destination
for tomorrow is either Grande Prairie, AB or Dawson Creek, BC. We'll
see how we do tomorrow. Weather today was cold and overcast all day,
with rain in the evening. It was light until after 9:30 pm.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Happy Birthday Kiera!
grilled pork chops on the grill last night with the last of his Carolina
Treet. He is so happy to have a new supply of his favorite barbecue
sauce! Thanks Mom and Dad!
morning we took off for Dawson Creek. It was a dreary sort of day,
through country that was pretty boring. We are out of the Rocky
Mountains now so there is not a lot to look at, and with the cloud cover
so low we couldn't see anything anyway. But we finally got lucky, A
momma moose ran across the road and into the woods, so fast we didn't
get a picture. And just as quickly we then saw a baby moose, again too
quickly to get a picture, darn! We were able to get diesel in Grande
Prairie for $1.179/L at a No Frills Station. For each litre we bought,
we got 3 1/2 cents free to spend in their grocery store. After lunch we
headed on to Dawson Creek
received word today, that Uncle Robert Passed away this morning. We are
so very sorry to hear that he is gone. It was not a good day.
Spent the night in a Walmart parking lot. We had Internet service
because we were parked so close to the Days Inn across the street. We
both managed to get a few notes out to people.
Friday, May 27, 2011
Creek - Start of the Alaska Highway
thing we did was move out to Northern Lights RV Park, set up, and
started a load of dirty laundry before we headed out for sight seeing.
We stopped at the Mile "0" sign to get our picture. It's the touristy
thing to do. We also stopped to see a movie on the making of the Alaska
Highway at the Visitors Center, it was well done and very interesting.
The Alaska Highway was originally 1528 miles long, but it is shorter
today (about 1450 some miles) because they have straightened the road in
places when making repairs to the road.
U.S.A. paid for the materials and supplied the men to build it, and
Canada gave the land for it with the provision that the road be turned
back over to the Canadian Government six months after the war ended. It
was built in a record breaking eight months and 12 days.
cleaned our windshield on the RV and discovered a chip in the top of the
driver's side of the window. Talked with the insurance people and
hopefully can get it taken care of tomorrow morning before leaving
town. And this is only mile "0". Hope this is not the sign of things
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Bob and I went back into town and got
the windshield fixed first thing this morning. No problems there, thank
goodness. So we started on our first leg of the Alaska Highway. It's a
beautiful day. Sunny and warm....the first time in a long time we have
seen a day like this. About 20 miles up the road we took our first
detour to cross Kiskatinow Wooden Bridge,
and it's curved no less. Amazing! It is still in great shape. A
beautiful day, but didn't see much in the way of wildlife, go figure.
stop for the night was in Fort Nelson. We were able to just park along
the side street of the main street running through town. It was like a
park setting. We had a row of trees with Christmas lights still strung
on them, there was a picnic table and trash can also. Another couple
stopped behind us, Bill and Margie Hicks from Ramona, CA, but they moved
on to the IGA store. They were afraid we would be asked to move on
during the middle of the night or be given a ticket for illegal parking.
C'est la vie! Right across the street was a Dominos Pizza place. Guess
what we had for dinner? The hardest part of this trip is
still....trying to get used to going to bed while it is still light
outside. I feel like a three year old.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Laird Hot Springs
Ran into Bill and
Margie again at a rest stop. Not too far after we left the rest stop,
Bill got on the horn and
he had lost all air line pressure. We all pulled off to see if we could
help diagnose the problem. His air pressure was okay but the gauge and
alarm were giving false indications. This is scary when that is
what operates your brakes. We put him in the rocking chair as we
moved on down the road to Laird Hot Springs Provincial Park Campground,
and he had no more problems. The sky looked kind of ominous, but we all
quick jumped into our swim suits and headed for the hot springs. They
were heavenly! There were two pools, Alpha and Beta, with Alpha being
the hotter pool. The further away from the one end we got, the cooler
it got. Twenty minutes was about all we could take. Headed back to the
RV's for dinner.
We saw more wildlife
today, including a Moose cow but the picture is not good, so you'll just
have to take my word for it.
May 30, 2011
took the lead and John covered the rear today. Drove just about 150
miles up to Watson Lake to see the Sign Post Forest. Bob and John
finished making our sign last night. After eating lunch, we took off
for a tour of the signs. Bob had to get down his ladder to get our sign
put high up on one of the poles. We did see one other sign from
Wilmington, NC, painted Carolina Blue, no less. We are spending the
night here also at another provincial park next to a lake.
After dinner we went to see the show at
the Northern Lights Centre on the Aurora Borealis. Well, half the show
was on that, the other half was on Astronauts and the Space Shuttles,
which I thought was very interesting, but the others felt they had been
duped and there wasn't much info on the Northern lights.
Across the lake there was a huge plane that was taking off and landing.
We had no idea what it was for. We thought maybe it was a supply plane
or loaded with tourists.
May 31, 2011
am having to put the names of places along with the dates because we are
traveling so fast now I can't remember what we did where. It's all
becoming a jumble. Thank
goodness I am keeping this blog. My memory is not as good as it used to
gave the lead to Bill today; each man taking a turn at leading our
caravan. We said our goodbyes to Bill and Margie late this afternoon,
who are continuing into Whitehorse today. We turned off to meet our
friends, Brenda and Laverne, who live in Whitehorse and winter in
Quartzsite, AZ. We parked in front of their house after assuring us
their neighbors won't mind. They didn't know exactly when we were going
to show up. We just stopped and blasted our air horns. HONK! HONK!
They live on Marsh Lake about 20 miles south of Whitehorse. It's
beautiful out here.