Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Vegas?



A Short distance from or RV park is a working ranch that doubles as a summer camp for kids, giving them riding lessons and teaching them about cattle ranching. Two nights a week they put on a rodeo and dinner for the local tourist. So one night we went and enjoyed the rodeo and dinner. The little kids (not shown here) take part in the rodeo riding steers instead of bulls and competing in barrel races and the like. Not a bad show and the dinner, cooked over the fire and in Dutch ovens was pretty good too.

We started exploring Yellowstone, driving to the park each day. We saw the usual elk, deer, buffalo and grizzly bear. We took several hikes but had to cut them short because I was experiencing pain in my shoulder. I knew it was from paddling our kayak, and it was wasn't getting any better. Cathie was tired of my complaining and convinced me to seek medical help. We went to a clinic in Yellowstone and they agreed that it was probably from over my paddling, gave me some pain medicine and sent me on my way. We continued looking around Yellowstone but the pain wasn't going away. When we arrived in the Grand Tetons, I went the the E/R in Jackson and they took some x-rays and discovered that I had a separation in the A-C joint which appeared to be old. The doctor said the kayaking just aggravated it. They gave me stronger pain meds and put my arm in a sling. The shoulder seems to be getting better, but now my whole are hurts.
We decided to start heading home, but since we were passing through Las Vegas, we had to stop for a couple of days. (Hey, I only need one hand to play poker). We should be home by Friday.
All in all a pretty good trip, only too short.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


We spent several days in the McCall area. At the recommendation of John and Janet Smith we stayed in the Upper Payette Lake Campground about 10 miles north of McCall. Being on the lake, we were able to use our inflatable kayak. Very beautiful country surrounded by granite peaks. About 12 miles down the road is Burgdorf Hot Springs, which had been in operation since the middle of the 1800's. You can rent one of the original cabins and stay a while or just pay your 5 bucks and take a dip in the springs. There is a small pool which is 114 degrees if you desire to cook yourself, but the large pool is somewhat cooler and you only come out medium rare. We went a gave it a try but after about 30 minutes, due to rapid heart beats, we decided to get our butts out.
Later the same evening we were sitting in the trailer reading when some thunderstorms passed by. From my chair I could look out the window and watch the lightning. I saw lightning strike the mountain on the outer side of the lake and thought, wow, that looked neet and went back to reading my book. (If you want to know it was John Grisham's The Last Juror). After reading another page, I looked out the window and saw that the mountain side was on fire! We watched as is spread, sending flames high whenever it encountered a tall tree. We were soon notified by the campground host, that two fire crews were on the way and we were in no danger. In Southern California we would have been, but fires tend to move slower in this part of the country. We watched it burn for two days, but it never really got too big. They brought in bombers and water dropping helicopters, but by the time we left it was still going.
We are now in Island Park, Idaho, just outside of Yellowstone. We are in a nice little RV park out in the middle of nowhere and this will be our base for about a week while we explore the area. They have WiFi, so I am able to post to the blog. Check out their web site to see where we are. Will post more as information becomes available.
Dana and Cathie




Monday, August 07, 2006


Well, it's been awhile since we sent out a report, the last announcing our broken truck. The truck went to the dealer in Great Falls, Mt on a Monday with a promise that it would be ready on Thursday. Tuesday afternoon, they called and said it was ready. A new turbo and intercooler, on warranty plus a free car wash and we were back on the road.

We stayed at Cathie's brothers until Sunday the 30th and then headed west to Seeley Lake in northwest Montana. Did some hiking and just general looking about some real beautiful country. Stayed at Seeley Lake until Thrusday the 3rd and headed towards Idaho. We found a really nice National Forest campground on the Selway River. We got the last campsite available and decided to stay awhile. We have an inflatable kayak and gave it a try on the river. The water down river from camp was pretty shallow, but we managed to go about 3 miles. In order to get the raft back to camp, I drove the truck down three miles and rode my bycicle back to camp. After getting back the camp in the afternoon, we met John and Janet Smith, a retired couple from Spokane who had a couple of kayaks. They offered to help shuttle our kayak up river the next day. John, having floated this river before told us the water was deeper up steam. John and Janet it turns out has had lots of experience rafting the rivers of the west, including organizaing trips down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon and the Snake and Salmon rivers in Idaho. We figured with that kind of experance, we should probably follow them down the river through the rapids.

We floated down a little over six miles and the only person to fall out of their kayak was John. He informed us that there are two kind of river runners. Those who have been thrown into the water and those who will be. We had such a great time, that we repeated the trip the next day, only going up river a little further. We haven't been in the water yet, but as John pointed out after Janet had a spill, that we will be.

After exchanging addresses and phone number, we said goodby to the Smiths and we are now in McCall, Idaho. We are in a very expensive RV park, but it has all the amenities including wireless internet. This is the first time we have been on line since leaving Great Falls. We are here for two nights then we are going into the back country again near here for a couple of days to a campground recommended to us by the Smiths. On Saturday we start heading to Yellowstone.

Fell free to post your comments on the blog, or just drop us a line.

Till next report......