Extending Our Happily Ever After

"We do! Now let's live healthy and fit!"


Leave a comment

Not of this world… Craters of the Moon NP

When we tried leaving our campsite in Gallatin National Forest (Red Cliff campground) on Thursday morning (June 16th, 2015)… Our RV steps wouldn’t retract. We have been having issues with them this entire trip… Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t, but if we start the ignition, they always did. This time they did not… Although they sounded like they wanted to. Anyway, we had not had any Verizon signal or Wi-Fi for days, so we were kind of stuck. We, most certainly, are not mechanically minded, at all! We opted for heading the 41 miles into West Yellowstone, to get a signal and hope we could call someone to help us out.  We just got to the edge of town and made some calls and an RV repair guy came out to us, detached something, pulled the steps in, wired them up for us and we were on our way. We will get them fixed in California. We just wanted to get back on the road.
So, then, we were off. Headed west again. This time, to Arco, Idaho. That is where we were going to stay for the night while we explored Craters of the Moon National Monument. We passed an atomic museum… Quite an interesting place… This Arco, Idaho. If I had known this museum was out here, I definitely would have stopped… I think it was about 18 miles before you got to Arco.
We arrived around 1:30 and checked in. First off, what a super nice RV Park!

image

image

We just left a nice park with electric hook up, only. This one was water and electric… But it also had showers and laundry! Something the three of us were very much looking forward to! We nearly jumped out of our skins for joy when we checked out the facilities and they were the best we had ever seen on our travels! Clean, private, roomy! Just so very nice! Wasn’t super expensive, can’t remember how much… Well edit this post or comment the cost when I look it up (Sorry)… I am a few days behind in posting, ever since Yellowstone. Anyway…
Arco… First city in US powered by atomic power. Also, there is a hill that has numbers all over it… You can ask anyone in town, they are all happy to tell you that since 1920, the graduating class of Butte High School goes up there to paint their graduating year up on that hill… It is known as Number Hill.

image

image

image

image

image

We checked in… Decided to head to Craters before it got too late, then come back to shower and do laundry.
It was a great decision… Craters and Arco are situated in the middle of the desert and it can get extremely windy out there. So we ended up getting pretty dirty with dust blowing all around us.
We loved seeing all the sites that the park had to offer.

image

image

image

image

The craters, the cinder cones (one huge one that Christopher and I could climb up to and get some incredible photos of the views around it)…

image

image

image

image

We saw spatter cones and even got to walk through lava tubes and climb out of them! It was very amazing! What an amazing park! My family is quite geeky, and so this sort of thing is truly right up our alley!

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

After hours spent here, we headed back for showers and laundry. Then, it was a drive to Twin Falls the following day to visit a friend I haven’t seen in about 16 years!

Advertisements


4 Comments

Three and a half days in Yellowstone!

Wow! What a place Yellowstone is! Seriously, you have got to visit!
We left Townsend, Montana and our first stop before heading east to Bozeman, Mt was Wheat Montana bakery. My cousin told us about their cinnamon rolls and to get Ivan a coffee before a long drive is never a bad idea.

image

We headed to a Wal-Mart first for supplies (food and water) before heading to a camp with only electric for the next four nights.
When we left there, we almost had a horrible emergency! Ivan and Chris noticed that the emergency brake said it was released when it wasn’t… The brakes were smoking and we thought the RV was on fire! Thankfully, emergency caught and rectified! Thank God!!!!
We arrived at Red Cliff campground on highway 191, about 41 miles north of West Yellowstone entrance. Beautiful campground, very near a beautiful river… Also, without making reservations till two nights before, just about the last we could get in peak, summer time at the oldest national park in the country.
image
image

image

When we first arrived, Sunday night, the first place we drove to was Old Faithful. We just missed an eruption, so had to wait about an hour and a half for the next one. Got some postcards in the gift shop, saw a chipmunk, got our seats picked out for the “show” and waited. Then we walked over to look at the interior of the inn and then behind it for dinner at the general store… Awesome milkshakes!
image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image
image

Then home for the night.
Next day, we took my cousin’s advice and checked out Jackson, Mt. We knew it would be a long day, so we packed lunches and drinks. Headed out early and hit traffic in the park. People are notorious for stopping to get pictures of every animal they see! It delayed us quite a bit. But, onward. We stopped at the edge of a lake with a view of the Tetons for lunch. It took us over four hours to get to the cute town of Jackson. We stopped at Starbucks, then walked around a bit. The town has these statues for photo ops that we had fun with… But, if we were ever to get back to camp, we needed to head back.
We got back to West Yellowstone and had dinner under a covered wagon. I had a buffalo burger. Didn’t taste very different from beef. The guys had fish and chips. Would we do Jackson again? Well, it was lovely and quaint… But, for the distance, we would have opted out of this excursion, had we known. If we were closer to it, definitely! For us… Being from Pennsylvania… We equated out to Jim Thorpe… A must see, but not after a four hour drive.
image

image

image

image
image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Next day in Yellowstone was spent doing the thermal activity tour…Stop one… Upper geyser basin, where the world’s largest concentration of geysers are found, including Old Faithful. We saw it go off twice more. We also saw three more geysers erupt… Daisy, beehive and grotto. Other little ones, too. Lots of springs and pools. We were there for a couple of hours, walked a lot!
image

image

image

image

image

image

Then we went to the biscuit basin to see the Sapphire pool… So blue! Gorgeous!
image
image

image

Then, it was off to the Midway Geyser Basin to see the Grand Prismatic Spring… This area was breathtaking! Other worldly, in fact. A must see!
image

image

image
image

Off northern route to see the Gibbons Falls.
image

Then the Artist’s Paintpots.
image

Then northward on a dirt road for over seven miles, major road construction… To the Mammoth Hot Springs. Beautiful terraces!
image

image

image

image

image

Also, the scenery was lovely… Then the drive back to camp… Another long day for us!
Our last day in Yellowstone was spent with a huge delay because of a buffalo in the road on the way in… Uggh! Bumper to bumper traffic! Then it was over to the canyon and Falls area… And rain! We got lots of lovely photos anyway. Christopher and I walked down to the brink of the lower falls… Probably the steepest climb I have ever done. I think it trumped Neushwanstein… Unless that was so long ago, it pales in memory. This was pretty steep. But, I survived! Gorgeous view!
image
image

image
image

image

image

image

image

image
image

Drove down to Fishing Bridge after for views of Lake Yellowstone before calling it a day, then headed back through Hayden Valley into West Yellowstone for dinner at an all you can eat spaghetti place for dinner.
That wraps up our visit to Yellowstone! We won’t soon forget it… Wonderful memories here!


Leave a comment

Wyoming and Billings, Montana…

Next couple of days were just simple stops on our way to my cousin’s ranch/farm in Townsend, Montana.  We stayed at Sheridan, Wyoming at a Wal-Mart there, where we proceeded to just go to bed early and rest up!  We have been not feeling well on our journey, even though we’ve been sight-seeing like crazy, so we just wanted to rest up and try to recuperate and get ourselves feeling better.

Our next day, we headed further west to Billings, Montana where we stayed at a Cracker Barrel.  We are definitely trying to make this trip not too costly and places like this really help us out.  We did stop for a lunch there, knowing it’d be less costly than dinner.  We asked our server if there was anything to do in his city and he suggested we go to Pompey’s Pillar for a great view of the area.  We hadn’t read up on the area, so we were game, and we jumped in the Prius and headed there.  We had no idea of the historical relevance of the site and were very excited to find out that William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition had carved his initials on a large rock there, making it a historical site.  It was the only known proof of the entire expedition.
image

image

There was a visitor’s center there with paintings and things to show of their expedition that were quite interesting.  Then, we walked outside to the rock and climbed up many steps to the carving that has since been protected… you can climb higher for a spectacular view of the area and the Yellowstone River.  It ended up being a very nice visit!
image

image
image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

We headed back to the RV for a nap and to check on the cats, then headed back out to check out a movie “Inside Out” at the Carmike Shiloh 14 and then up to the Lookout Drive over Billings for some fantastic views of the city and to see the sunset before calling an end to our day in Billings.
image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

We headed to McDonalds to catch some free Wi-Fi to do an upload of photos to Facebook and then it was to the RV to rest up before our drive to Townsend the following day.
image