2003 NORTHWEST TRAVELOGUE
July 24th (Thursday)Left about noon for North Point CG for family camp. We stopped at Loretta's south of Armour for about 45 minutes and then headed on to camp and arrived a little after 3 pm and got right into our spot. We found out a number of the family had came early. We had potluck supper and it worked out nice that we brought the firewood as we had nice fires everynight. Gilmar also brought some firewood. We were in site 79E. Tim and Valerie had to take Ethan to the Yankton hospital. They thought he had a heart problem but it turned out to be a false alarm
July 25th (Friday) It was very hot, got to about 104 degrees and the flies and bugs were bad. I took a bout ride and set up the KU band Dishnetwork. I had trouble at first because I was incorrect where south was so that was a good lesson. Once I used the GPS and determined south I got it on immediately. We gave lots of tours of the 5th and our map commanded a lot of repect. We had chicken brought in from Booms in Wagner.I got a great e-maile from Pam and Terry Swingle who we met at Gaspie giving us a lot of travel info.
July 26th (Saturday) It was a little cooler but the flies really bit bad, real bad. I cooked eggs on the grill for the group. Toward dinner everybody was packing up. I was surprised at how few were staying Saturday night. We split the wood up between Tim's site and Bud and Marlene's kids to the south. We had a great supper by Tim's trailer and Marv and I rode bikes while they and Von and Nicky went boating. We had a nice fire and when I sat down by the fire from then on there were no problems with bugs. Marv and Deloris who had stayed with us two nights headed home a little before dark. I was able to get e-mail all OK It was amazing how much food, clothes, shoes, etc that were left. We cleaned up the mess.
July 27th (Sunday) Douglas WY Riverside City Park-Free -I got the e-mail from ZF1GC as things were weak yet on 20 meters. The dish packed up in no time and we gave the night light and step to Von to take home. We got up about 7:30 am and took of about 8:45 am and was dumped, filled with water and on the road about 9:15 am. We noticed some breaks and trees east of Martin. After going west of Merriman we started to pick up the pines and buttes. They are to the south more and more and the Nebr. National forest is south of Hay Springs. Chadron is very nice and the pines and hills are right south and Chadron State Park as well. It continues through Ft Robinson a ways and then starts to thin out. Harrison NE is aboutg 11 miles from the border and is definitely western NE. We got fuel in Lusk, it was 1.37.9 for cash so should start carrying more cash so when gas it 6 cents cheaper like it was here we can use cash. Probably not worth doing unless at least 4 cents a a complete fill. We arrived in Douglas about 4:30 mountain time or 5:30 pm central so about an 8 hour day and over 400 miles. We eat dinner west of Meriman, NE
One needs to get off at the first exit and just follow Highway 20 city route, old hwy 20 and keep going until you get by the state fair grounds and chamber of commerce and just before the river is Riverside Park on the right, north side. It has a couple of lots you can park in with grass strips with trees and picnic tables so a real decent spot. They say overnight parking only and we found quite a few in the park. I can see where the Free Campgrounds of the west book is going to pay off!
July 28th (Monday) Colter Bay, Teton NP $12- We left Douglas a little after 8 am. We noted that Casper is really spread out and the main part of town is in a hole. The mountains are to the south and fairly close. Quite aways west might be a decent ham location or north. Out NW could have trouble with road closings in the winter. It was typical WY with sage brush and hills all the way to Shoeshoni but west of there were lakes and irrigation that really continued all the way to Dubouis where the mountains and trees and Shoeshoni National Forest starts. They called the main irrigated area the Missouri Valley and they were sugar beets, alfalfa and corn. It looked to be a pretty prosperous area. It lessened as we got toward Shoeshoni. The last 20 miles or so into Shoeshoni was along the Wind river. There was a 9000 foot pass west of Shoeshoni. Shoeshoni seemed to rely a lot on tourism. We got into Teton NP just after 2 pm and went right to the Colter Bay CG as it still had room. They made loops in the trees and campers parked on both sides in pull outs that you can pull through. It is pretty crowed but there is a tent across from us so we are OK. We set up the dish but had trouble as the GPS did not want to work well due to the trees. I finally got the GPS to show me south and got it right away. I will have to watch the GPS in the F-350 when approaching a campsite for direction.
We then toured the Tetons and went south of the park to Jackson and decided where to take pictures again tomorrow with the sun behind us. We checked out the Jenny Lake boat and trail to Hidden Falls and Inspiration point. We watched a nice video of park animals at the Colter Bay Visitors center. They have videos and programs all day long in the auditorium and several each day in the ampitheater. The most we have seen in the parks we have been to. It was $20 for the park so I believe we are up to $120 on our $50 annual pass.
I had noise on the radio just like last night. I believe it is people running generators. I moved to 30 meters and it was much better. I found K6IXA on 30 meters to be very strong so he is going to be a good choice out west.
July 29th (Tuesday) Colter Bay(second night) We toured the Tetons today and I hiked. We got some pictures of the Tetons with the sun at our back which were much, much better than yesterday. We then took the boat ride from South Jenny Lake Resort boat dock across Jenny Lake. It was $7.00 each round trip. Edith and I hiked to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point which is at elevation 7200 feet. I continued on and Edith took the boat back to the resort. I had my day pack with some food and the Camelback for water. I hiked up Cascade Canyon. It was not to bad, uphill but not bad. I seen two bull moose and got decent pictures of them. It was 4.3 miles to the fork plus another .5 miles to Inspiration Point. At the top of Cascade Canyon it splits into a north and south fork. I took the north fork for Solitude Lake which is 2.7 miles. I had told Edith I would be back at 4 pm and it looked like I had enough time. Going up the north fork was a lot tougher as the elevation rise was much, much greater. I crossed the beautiful fast flowing Cascade Creek on wooden bridges several time. There was lots of white water.
About 1.5 miles up it got a lot steeper and a lot harder walking with lots of loose rocks, and big rocks. I really started to get tired. So far I had not stopped once and no one had passed me. I was really shot from the fast pace, no rest and I thing the 8000 foot plus elevation was really taking a toll on me. I took my pack off, rested, ate a little and continued to drink water. I headed out again and it seemed like I only went a couple of hundred yards and I was exhausted again. I was above the timber line and it was tough going. The wild flowers were beautiful! I talked to some people coming down and they said it was less than a mile. I have to honestly admit I though about giving it up! That gave me some hope so I went on very, very slowly. The first fellow passed me. MAN HE WAS A HIKING MACHINE! He just strided on ahead with his day pack! He had long legs and reminded me of Tom. He was in his mid-30's I would say.
I talked to some more people and they said it was not far. I could see a waterfalls which looked like it could be coming from the lake and eventually I found out it was. Again the wild flowers were beautiful and I could see the canyon was coming to and end so hopefully the lake is on the high area beyond the waterfalls and this side of the canyon ridge. If it is over the ridge I just do not have enough horse power left to make it and get back anywhere near what I had told Edith.
I got to the bridge over the falls and got the word from some guys that it was just above so I knew I could make it. A couple passed me but just barely. They were in there 20's and I am sixty so I will chalk it up to age difference as they did not leave me in the dust. I will say I was not moving very fast as I was really tired!
I got to the lake and it is beautiful. Glaciers on the cliffs around it were feeding it and it was perfectly clear and a few hikers were sitting around it in different places. I seen camp spots all the way up but you can not camp here. I found a nice rock to sit on right by the lake and also where I had a back rest. I ate a little, took pictures, drank water and just rested. It would of been wonderful to take a nap as it was in the 80's and I was wet with sweat from all the effort in climbing. After about 15 minutes I decided to head down as I was about 1 hour behind schedule.
I was really wondering how much going down was going to help as I was so exhausted but it went pretty good. It was tough on the knees and feet as the effort was starting to take a toll. The big step downs were tough and all the loose rock and big rocks on the trail to step over and around were tough. Once in awhile I would stubb my toe and have to catch my balance. That really seemed to sapp what little energy I had. I was really tired but I did not seem to be getting worse so I pushed on. I now realized why I was so tired as going down one could really see how STEEP IT REALLY WAS! I moved along at a decent pace and as I got down the trail got better and of course I knew pretty much where I was at and how far I had to go. Eventually I got to the bottom part of the north fork trail and it was much smoother and I was able to pick up the pace a little. Again I was very tired but did not seem to be getting worse. No one had passed me from behind. I got to the main canyon which gave me encouragement as it was easier going up by far then the north fork. Much to my surprise it was steeper down than I expected or realized going up and it had a lot of steps and rock parts so was more work than I had expected. Once in a while there would be a brief UP IN THE TRAIL and immediately I could feel what little energy I had being drained. I kept plugging along and could tell I was getting more tired but was able to keep going. I never stopped to rest and passed lots of people. I again saw the moose that I had seen on the way up and got some more pictures. The canyon walls go up thousands of feet and there are glaciers on some of them so it was absolutely beautiful. You hike close to the creek all the way and see lots of great rapids and small falls.
I eventually got back to Inspiration point and figured I was only going to be 30 minutes late from what I had told Edith. I got down toward the boat dock and suddenly noticed people were stopped ahead of me. After a bit I realized that it was a line for the boat. Well I had to wait on hour as the boats eventually hauled enough that I was able to get on. It was during this hour that I realized how terribly tired I really was! My shoulders hurt from the pack, I was starting to get a blister on the bottom on my right foot, my legs were sore and I was so tired I did not really feel to great I was able to find some places to sit as the line slowly moved ahead each time a boat came. I did run out of water but on of the boat crew came up, along the line with a big water jug and I was able to get some more. While waiting a bald eagle came by really close, that was exciting. Eventually I got on the boat and had a seat with a back rest. I started to feel a little better. I got off the boat and did not have any trouble convincing them why I did not have a ticket for the return trip as Edith had used it earlier. I slowly walked up to the parking lot and found Edith patiently waiting. It was in the upper 80's so she had been plenty warm all day. She found various spots of shade but spent some time in the F-350 and it was plenty hot.
I let her drive as I was still exhausted. We went up Signal Mt. which is about 7400 feet high and looked out the the east and then on the way down was an observation point out over Jackson Lake. As yesterday, late in the day with some pollution, light waves and sun shining into your eyes the Teton are not nearly as nice as in the morning when it is clearer and the sun is to your back and the light waves are not bad as it is cool yet. We got to the campground and the 5th across from us had red flags on the bedroom slide and a chair rack on the inside of the ladder. The chairs went in from the side and were held in with a strap. The flags were held on with big black paper pinch clips so two new great ideas.
I rested, only eat a little, drank water, watched a little TV and got e-mail on 30 meters from K6IXA again! I then did this travelogue. I am taking a shower and going to bed. We did look over the Yellowstone stuff and have some camp grounds picked out and a tour plan.
July 30, 2003 (Wednesday) Indian Creek CG Yellowstone NP $10.00 nice pull through but not to many RV sites, more of a tenting CG but the price is good. They have pit toilets and good drinking water. Reasonable open site up on a little hill for the part we stayed in. I found south quite quickly with the GPS and got the dish aimed right away. I ended up putting up the dipole as band conditions were terrible. Had to use ZF1GC on 20 meters and eventually K4CJX on 30 meters.
After parking about 10:45 pm we set up and ate some lunch. We left Colter Bay about 8:30 am after dumping. It was a long slow drive with the narrow roads, slow speeds and traffic. We then went to Mammoth Hot Springs with the F-350 and fueled up. It was 1.93 a gallon, typical of park situations where they have a captive audience. The Yellowstone has had a tremendous amount of fires and I would say it seems about half of it has burned; although it all appears to have been a number of years ago so small evergreens up to about 10 feet high are growing. They are really thick. There is the thermal activity above Mammoth and we got some nice pictures with all the color in the warm water. East of Mammoth Hot Springs it is quite open and we did see a couple of nice waterfalls. Tower waterfalls was nice. It was pretty much trees and hills to the Canyon area. With artist point, lower falls and upper falls it is the crown jewel of Yellowstone. I hiked the south canyon rim trail from the upper falls down to Artist Point and you also get a good view of the Lower Falls. Also from the viewing point of the upper falls you can take the south Canyon trail upsteam about 1/4 mile and get an even better view of the upper falls.
We did get a good picture of a buffalo in the morning and seen some elk real close and got some good pictures. We then headed west of Canyon to Norris and north to our CG at Indian Creek. They are filled up and doubling up in some sites to get more in. I sent location e-mails and also on to Irene telling her we should be there Friday afternoon.
July 31, 2003 Thursday (Indian Creek same as yesterday) I got e-mail OK and then dropped antenna down for the day and we got headed out about 8:30 am. We went south to Norris and back across to Canyon where we had been yesterday and headed south. We did see some nice steaming pools, nice color and some boiling mud. We seen lots of Buffalo along the Yellowstone River in the open area before we got to Yellowstone Lake. We followed the Lake on around, nothing special just lots of trees but the road was good. We then got to West Thumb which we came by on the way in and went north to Old Faithful. We timed it about right and did not have to wait long. We then took the geyser walk about 1.8 miles each way which ended with Morning Glory Pool. The major geysers they had predicted estimates of eruptions. We seen some nice colored pools. I remember Morning Glory Pool when I was a kid but I did not remember walking so far to it but I am sure we must of. When we got back Old Faithful was ready to erupt again. I got much better pictures this time. We ate in the F-350 and drank some water and waited for the crowd to get out of the lots. It worked out good. We went north to Madison and west to West Yellowstone and seen two shows, Lewis and Clark and Yellowstone. Lewis and Clark was the best. I am going to have to get some books on that and read them. We got some sweet corn and cherries. The cherries were 99 cents a lb. I got the message from Irene off the cell phone and called my mom. We then headed for our CG at Indian Creek I put the dipole up to full height and got the e-mail and had one from Irene so we have things all set for that visit and have K7CAI posted on our ETA at his place. We had sweet corn for supper, very good and some turkey breast and some cherries. The 20 meter band is still very band and am still using ZF1GC as everyone else seems to not be there or very, very weak. I need to hunt for the second bug catcher coil as it is not in the F-350. I hope I did not forget it.
August 1, 203 (Friday) Irene Zwagerman Bozeman, MT (free) We waited until checkout time at Indian Creek, worked on the computer, did e-mail, WP and Excel mileage and worked on my Spanish. We talked to a ham as we were packing up. We headed out about 10:30 am and there was a pop up in the way at the check in and it finally moved over a bit and I tried to squeeze by and did not see a rock. We bent the bottom brace on the steps and could not get them out. I got a bar and with it and a pipe for more leverage and blocks I was able to bend it out and get the steps to come out again. I used the pipe wrench to finish straightening it. Ended up pretty good. One side one spot weld appeared to break so should weld it a bit when we get home. The camp ground host got a big bar which we ended up not needing. He was nice. We then headed for the North entrance and on up Hwy 89 along the Yellowstone. The river out of Gardner had a lot of rafting on it. The Rest area along the Yellowstone was nice. I made a poor contact with AC0M, had a nice relaxing dinner and worked on my Spanish. At 1 pm I tried Chris but instead Floyd MZB was there and we had a good contact. He is also checking our position. We then got to Interstate 90 and Edith called Irene. She gave good directions and Edith called her again when we got off I-90. She found out it would be awhile before she could get home. We got diesel and found her place and got the 5th set up along the street. We had to level but other campers on the street so we will be OK. We had to leave the slide in as it goes toward the street. I sent and got e-mail. Conditions were terrible, finally used W9GSS on 20 meters. I then worked on the computer. I did send out a position report. We had a great visit with Irene about her up coming trip to New England. She had some great travel magazines and after a great supper we went and had copies made of the pages I had marked for information for this trip, next summer out east and some in the southwest.
August 2, 2003 (Saturday) Stayed on the Street in front of Irene's. We decided to go tubing down the Madison River west of Bozeman. I got our e-mail before we left. We went about 30 miles west near Norris, MT and had a great time tubing. It was a very warm day but with our sun screen and a breeze on the water it was nice. At the end we were not able to get over to the landing spot so we had to get of the tubes and walk to shore in the swift current. At first it was about waist deep and extremely difficult to keep your balance and walk. We then hit a shallower area and it was much easier but toward shore it got deeper again and there were loose rocks so it did take some good exertion to make it to shore but it was all part of the adventure. We then went to the town of Norris to a Mexican café in an old school house and had a great meal. We then headed for 3 forks, MT. The was very interesting and there was a park of the history of the area. This is where Lewis and Clark came to the headwaters of the Missouri and had to decide how to proceed. At this point the Gallatin comes out of the mountains and past Bozeman to this spot northwest of Bozeman. The Madison comes out of the mountains west of Bozeman and flows north to this spot and the Jefferson comes from the west. These to rivers join and flow about 1 miles and the Gallatin dumps in. The Missouri is then the combination of these three rivers. Techinically the Missouri starts where the Madison and Jefferson come together. Lewis and Clark too the Jefferson to get west and they made the correct choice. This was very interesting. John Coulter a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedtion returned to do trapping in this area. It is quite a historic spot and if right of of I-90 northwest of Bozeman, Mt about 20 miles We had a nice evening visiting.
August 3, 2003 (Sunday) We got up and went to church with Irene. It is a fantastic, beautiful, growing church. It had screens for the songs, slides or video so it was great. We then had a great breakfast in the basement of a downtown hotel, got some pictures taken at Irene's and helped level her refridgerator and then headed for Ozzie-K7CAI qth and his wife Kathy. We had a good trip and were able to finally find a place to dump at Missoula, MT at the Exxon station but is was really tight to get in and out and got hung up and could not make a corner and Edith had to stand behind while I backed up. It was difficult but we pulled it off and went a different way and got lined up to dump. We got to Ozzie's about 7 pm and was talking to Curt on the telephone wishing him a happy birthday. I was not able to raise Ozzie on .52 as we had agreed on but was able to remember the road and headed to his place. We were finishing up with our son Curt on the telephone as we approached Ozzie's and Kathy's house and to my udder amazement I could see had been a serious fire and the house was badly burned inside and the metal roof was partly off and the rest badly burned. I parked and walked over and looked inside and seen it was completely gutted by the fire. I seen some lights on in the garage nearby and knocked and called out but no answer so checked the door and it was open and it was full of things that had been hauled out of the house and was badly smoke and water damaged. It was quite a shock as I had just gotten an e-mail from Ozzie so I knew the first had to of been Saturday or today. We sat and waited and pretty soon a couple of ladies came down the street and one was a lady named Donna Nelson who had lived here about 12 years and was one of the first in this sub-devision called deer lick. We found out the Ozzie and Kathy were OK and that it had burned this morning when they were in church. We had a nice visit and she said Ozzie and Kathy were going to stay in the trailer in the lot across from them. I remember from taking to Ozzie that the husband of the lady she was taking about had recently died. We had parked the 5th on this lot 2 years ago when we visited on our way back from AK. Eventually Ozzie and Kathy showed up and we visited and they got settled into the trailer and we got the 5th parked and set up. We made plans for the next day on getting things started toward getting the situation taken care of and went to bed.
August 4th, 2003 Monday, staying at lot east of Ozzies. We discussed things to considers with talking with the adjuster, etc. Ozzie made some calls and eventually it got set up that the adjuster would come at 10 am on Tuesday so that meant we were not going to be able to get the ball rolling on cleanup today. Ozzie did get a fire inspector lined up, and a lot of other things rolling and a lot of heads up so when the adjustor comes and gives the word people will have been informed so things should be able to move along more quickly. We went through the house and rescued a few items, took pictures and were pretty well convinced the fire started in the attic. Kathy and Edith went together for Kathy's doctors appointment. We had supper, put up the 20 meter dipole, I had changed oil in the morning and the fire inspector came and said it was not arson which was no surprise but officially that report is taken care of. I got the e-mail back I had sent out to Ozzie and my radio friends so resent it to a correct address that worked. Hopefully the adjustor will show as promised and things will go well there and later in the day we can get started cleaning. We are going out to supper tomorrow night. One of the persons going speaks Spanish so I am going to try my Spanish out.
August 5th 2003 Tuesday staying at lot east of Ozzie next to where they are staying. We had breakfast and then I went with Ozzie to get the mail. Haugan has a very small post office and it serves as a social spot as people visit when they get there mail. This county is Mineral and there are a lot of people on welfare as there are mostly minimum wage jobs. In fact it is the highest in MT. The only people other than the Lincolns who own the 10,000 Silver $ that have much money are some who have good retired incomes that have moved in. I am sure there are a few exceptions but apparently not many. The adjustor came and things look good. There will be another fire inspector the insurance company will send out. He should come tomorrow morning. Ozzie and Kathy have to list their personal property. He did total out the house so they should get the full insurance amount of their policy for their house. We also have to board up the house until the fire inspector gets here. They also need to get clean up bids. Ozzie and I went over to Wallace, ID to get materials for boarding up the house. We got back a little after noon hour and Big Ernie and his wife were there. The ladies were working on things the were in the garage that came out of the house. A lot of it will have to be thrown away but they are trying to salvage some things. It looks like the fire may of started in the ceiling and with the tin roof the fire was contained so things really got hot. All the side walls are standing due to the fact that the fire did not burn down into the walls but falling things from the roof burned all the contents or melted them. However things in cabinets, cupboards, drawers were protected and some of that survived with smoke damage but not to much water damage because of being inside. Some dishes, silverware, books, and a lot of pictures have survived so that is a blessing as some of those sort of things can not be replaced.
We got the house boarded up and secured, had a late lunch and went back over and cleaned up our tools and put things away and Ozzie was on the phone a lot getting things lined up. I had a great time with Ernie practicing my spanish! It was very, very encouraging that he could understand what I was saying in Spanish and I learned some new words form him and his wife.
I listened on .339 and everyone was really concerned and saddened to hear about the fire the Ozzie and Kathy had had.
Kathy and Ozzie like Arliss and Holly never let their disasters get them down but had very positive attitudes! It was very impressive how people came over with words and actions of support! Definitely a tribute to life in a small community.
We then cleaned up and got ready to go out the supper at Quinn which is northeast of here where there is a hot springs. I comes out of the ground at about 115 degrees and they have several pools that range from very hot to cold. We had a great supper with the group which were from Ozzie and Kathy's church and one family had visitors along like we were. We had a great visit, the food was great and it is an extremely pretty drive up there along camel hump road and the St. Regis River. I was surprised by the number of Verizon towers in the area. Coverage is still spotty due to the valleys and hills but I would of expected none and in fact there is a lot even as you get away from I-90. Ozzie told us many interesting stories about the wrecks along I-90.
I certainly is neat to feel and experience the sincere friendship of a small Mt. community where it is obvious they care for each other. Edith and I are impressed with the area.
August 6th 2003 Wednesday stayed by Ozzie- We had another great breakfast, the fire inspector showed up about one hour early and really was a nice guy and enthusiastic about his job. He has been at it for 40 years. He kept Ozzie and I informed and showed us stuff as he went about his investigation. One of the first big finds was that only two breakers were tripped in the main panel and they were lighting breakers and that fit the pattern that the fire started in the attic as the attic is where the fire really was at and then things feel into the rooms burning things in the rooms but the walls are intact although badly damaged with water, soot and broken plaster board. His next find was the general area where the fire started which was in the hall way off the living room. His next find after taking off a lot of roof tin was around a ventilation fan that runs about 20 hours a day an area that looked like where the fire started. He got that section out and found a where a wire under the insulation was burned from where a staple, wire one, held it up to the fan motor so it appears the staple caused the wire to get hot and burned the insulation on the wire and then started the wood on fire. Kathy had smelled smoke previous to the fire as early as Thursday and it is very common for this type of fire to smolder for a long time until it finally gets some oxygen and then bursts into flame. After he got the fan section out and showed us that he showed us the burn pattern inside which he said was classic Fire Investigation 101. It showed a vee pattern from the starting point and was the lowest point of the burned area. He was really excited as he zeroed in on the solution. Very impressive for a guy who had done this for 40 years. He difinitely loved his job and liked to share knowledge. He gave us the green light to go ahead and take the rest of the stuff out of the house so after he left we did exactly that. We got everything out, have a dumpster here now and have thrown a lot of stuff away. We found that the soot likely from plastic is oily and extremely difficult to get off. We find we have to throw a lot more away than we thought because it is just to time intensive to get the soot off. It is just not time effective with all the other things that need to be done and the adjustor has totalled out the house and basically said everything in the house for personal property can be replaced. Ernie and his wife came to help again today and another lade stopped by with things she had washed and Donna Nelson stopped with things she had washed. We went to Ernies for apple pie and I checked the Internet for our cell phone account and found on the pre-paid we have to use some minutes. I also checked my regular e-mail and bank balance. I got the radio e-mail and sent out an up date on Ozzie's situation to the fellows we talk to on .339
It looks like we will have some help tomorrow and can organize the things in the garage, throw away a lot and clean some. At that point I think Ozzie, Kathy and friends can work on it a little at a time finishing cleaning and throwing until it is done. There really is plenty of time for that as it will likely be 6 weeks before the new house is in place and there is a place to put the things. Obviously you don't want to put things that smell like smoke in the new house so ultimately a lot of the stuff may never go into the new house but need to be stored elsewhere We have managed to save a lot of pictures that may be scanned in. Only time will tell if the smoke smell will prevent them from going into the new house in there present form but at least they can be looked at and saved.
August 7th 2003-Thursday In lot across from Ozzie. We got up and had breakfast and went over and started working in the garage. Emily came and Big Ernie came and we got a lot done. Cathy went to the doctor and Edith went along. Emily and I went through things and Ernie wrote down what we threw away so we had a record. One could save more than we did but the reason we threw a lot was that is was impossible to get the soot off of a lot of stuff and they did not want to have things smelling up their new house when it came in.
It was a long, hard process but slowly we made progress. Eventually Edith and Kathy got back so we had more help. We took a dinner break about 1 pm and got back at it. By about 4 pm we had the floor cleared off and a lot of things sorted by box. Some of the stuff needs going through yet but it is along side the walls so the floor is clear so Ozzie can get the two Quads in as well as his lawn mower or can also get the vehicles in the garage. We then moved some stuff over to Ernies garage. I had a lot of fun during the day working on my Spanish with Ernie.
Tomorrow we are going to go to Glacier NP and Ozzie and Kathy are going to Spokane to look at at their house and see if if they want anything different. Right now they are planning to order one pretty much the way the one they had was
.August 8th 2003-Friday-Crandell Provincial park Waterton/Glacier NP near Waterton $12.07 Ozzie and Kathy took us out to breakfast at Lincolns and I made some calls about our insurance and, my FT-736R. We had decent cellular coverage today for the first time of the trip. We headed toward Glacier NP, it was like the Black Hills and then broke out into hilly praire with spotted pine trees. We got to Flathead Lake and it is very, very impressive. It is very pretty. We headed toward Kalespell and just south of town we headed east toward west glacier. We could see lots and lots of smoke from the fires. We got some cherries and headed into the park. It was very nice and there were some small fires, hot spots as we climbed Logan Pass. It looks a lot like Baniff but just not as high of mountains but maybe more color in the rock. On top of Logan Pass at the visitors center we had to drive around about 20 minutes until we finally got in position to get a place someone had backed out. Not and easy thing to get into this narrow spot with the big F-350. BTW the road was not nearly as narrow and dangerous as to what I thought it was going to be. I suppose all our travels on narrow roads on cliff have gotten us used to it. There is a decent two rock brick high wall which must be at least 2 foot high pretty much all the way on the outside. A number of places we have been there has been no retaining wall or guard rails of any type. You certainly could tell it has been dry by the level of the streams, flow on the falls and rapids and dryness of the plants and level of the lakes. We hiked to hidden lake and got some good pictures of Mountain goats and sheep. It is a pretty hike and it about 3 miles round trip. Back in the car we headed east and a much tamer portion of the going to the sun road. The St. Mary's lake area is one of the prettiest spots we have seen. Ranks close to Lake Louise, etc. but don't have the big glaciers like Louise and the water does not have the Tourquise color like the glacial lakes. We then went north and back into the park at Many Glaciers. The valley in was much flatter than I ever imagined but there is the most glaciers there of anywhere in the park that we seen but the have receded a long ways This would be a great area to camp and hike out of. The lodge on the lake is a very pretty setting.
We then went north into Canada to Waterton Lakes. The border crossing went very smooth and quickly. I was surprised that there is praire right up to Waterton Lakes but the upper lake runs south for several miles into the Glacier Park Mountains and is right south of the town site of Waterton. The Prince of Wales Hotel sits on a hill on the south end of the lake. WOW! This is a must to park in the hotel lot and go into the hotel lobby and look at the lake. Also go outside of the hote and to the east a little you can walk south and look out over the lake. Definitely in the top 10 views we have seen on all our travels. We stayed at the Crandell CG up Red Canyon road. We looked at the town sites for RV in Waterton and if you have an RV you should go there as Crandell is tight for any bigger RV say over 21 feet. We were tenting so no problem andt is a nice park. Sure is nice not having bugs, no bugs since we got to Montana. We drove around Waterton and found a lot of people were staying there. We eat in the hotel overlooking the Upper Waterton Lake, not that expensive and something I would definitely recommend doing. We eat in the lounge where the prices are a lot less than in the dining room and the view was better from what we could tell.
August 9th, 2003 Saturday stayed across from Ozzie. We left Waterton about 8:30 am. We found our new air mattress worked good. Next time we will pump it up a little harder. With no bugs, no wind, no rain sleeping in the tent was a snap because it was nice and cool. We retraced our steps to St. Mary's and then went south along the park. It was much more winding and narrow than I expected but is a scenic drive. We went to East Glacier and again this would be a good area to hike out of but not much to do from the car as you are right on the edge of the park. Here we picked up Hwy 2 and it is a good road all the way back to West Glacier around the south end of the park and back north. It is a nice scenic drive. Back at Hungry Jack we bought a chain saw carving of a bear and then went to Kalispell. I have not figured out why all the CA moved here. It is nice but seems a lot like Rapid City, Colorado Springs, etc. We then headed south along Flathead Lake and got more cherries. I now realize all the cherries are grown along the west side of the lake real close to the water, not more than 1/4 mile away and it is a micro-climate so that is why the cherries are here as it is a very large, long lake. One the way back to Ozzie's we seen the smoke from a forest fire north of Hot Springs. We got back about 3 pm and Ernie and his wife showed up so we had a nice visit and went out to eat and I practiced my Spanish with Ernie and learned some new words. When we got back we started packing up for leaving in the morning and Edith canned cherries. We have had a great place to park here and it certainly has been a bad deal for Ozzie and Kathy that their house and a lot of their personal property had been destroyed or damaged by the fire. They have handled it well and never got down about it so they can be proud of their faith. I hope the re-building process continues to go very well and very quickly.
August 10, 2003 Sunday-Claybank RV, Merrit, BC $16.33 full hook ups We left Ozzie's about 8 am and at Post Falls, ID we stopped at a Walmart and got some groceries and RV Supplies. Down the road a bit we dumped at the Flying J and got diesel. I got a brochure on their WIFI which looks good. We found Spokane to be a big town as we took Hwy 395 north and we went through town a long time. We stopped at the city park in Chewela, WA, you could park there with water and electricity for $10.00. We had a good road all the way to Canada but did not have much for shoulders and big drop off's so one needed to pay close attention as there would be no second chance if you got over to far. The border crossing was easy other than we had to give up some chicken, fruit and potatoes. We had just bought the potatoes so in the future we need to remember not to have those things when we go into the USA, Canada or Mexico. It was country similiar to around Ozzies with lots of pine trees and hills. We followed the river. There was a very nice lake on the Columbia River. The scenery in Canada was similiar. When we got the the Okanagan Valley there was a huge drop down into it and there were fruit trees all over. There was a big lake and as we went north more lakes. Lake Okanagan is absolutely huge. As you go north there is less fruit. The most was around Osoyoos up to Oliver. The town of Penticton, BC was large and the tourist activity was very, very heavy from there north to Peachland. The lake is huge and the campgrounds were packed. I watch for a place to get diesel but all I found was gas. We we got out of Peachland we to 97C west to Merrit. It was one of the longest, steep climbs I think we have ever been on and much to my surprise it is an isolated stretch of Interstate road with no fuel. We ended up putting in 5 gallons of the 10 we carry or we would not of made it. Going up the grade to the pass we passed a Dodge with a diesel cummings. He was pulling a low profile trailer with a bunch of pumping equipment on it. It certainly did not have the wind resistance I had and I doubt if it could of been heavier as the trailer was not very long. I walked right around him so the F-350 is pulling fine. We finally got to Merrit and filled with diesel and got into the town RV park. In Spokane Edith talked to Ron to let them know we were on schedule. Rick had to go to work and Carmin's Grandmother is critcally ill so we are to go to Ron and Delva's. Tomorrow is about 333 miles to Prince George and should be better going than today with all the hills, curves, small and large towns, and traffic. We can take our time getting going in the morning. If we are on the road by 9 am we should be in good shape.
I got the e-mail using K4CJX and sent a postion report in good shape using the bug catcher.
August 11, 2003, Monday, Blue Spruce CG Prince George. $15.39. Radio wise the CG was very quiet but in the morning it was to early and the band was not open on 20 meters. Later at a rest area I connected with KA6IQA and got my e-mail. The pull from Merrit to Ashcoft was a fairly hard up but not as drastic as yesterday on HWY 97C BUT going down into Ashcoft after getting by the Highland Copper Mine which is HUGE it is miles of 11% downgrade. I shifted to second and low at times to save on the brakes. I will rate this road from Peachland over to Ashcoft Hwy 97C as the hardest pull up and the biggest continous down of all our travels, bar none!
We got money at 100 Mile House. This is the first time I have run into the bank wanting to charge a fee to change US money into Canadian. They would do $200 with no fee so I did that and Edith also did $200 and then we went to another bank and did the rest to avoid the fee. It seems like someone is always trying to get into your pocket! We had dinner in a roadside park at 108 Mile where I got our e-mail. Hwy 97 north was real decent with a passing lane often enough to keep the traffic flowing I could go 55 -65 mph nearly all the time but there are some towns to go through which slows things down. One of the busiest to go through was Quesnel. I talked to the fellows on .339 in good shape. Dougs amplifier is definitely working and Doug has a winery tour and a tour of Mike Stahl's M2 antenna factory lined up for us. We found Husky gives a $1 discount on a tank called the Alaskan Hwy coupon so we are using those. It has a map of the husky stations so that helps. There is one in Terrace, BC. We got into the Blue Spruce CG where we looked 2 years ago but it was full. It was about $16-$17 US money after the Good Sams discount. The Good Sams Membership for 3 years is paying off with the 10% off and the certificate for one free night which has more than paid for the 3 year membership fee already in only 4 months so everything from now on is gravy. We have about 350 miles to get into Terrace by tomorrow night. I connected with K4CJX tonight and took care of some details via e-mail that need to be done. I will work on my Spanish tonight, already did my checkbook and will do the mileage book. The exchange rate today was 1.39980 for US to Canadian so gained but not like the past two years.
August 12th, 2003 Tuesday, Ron and Delva Snider driveway.. We left Prince George and found the road to be very good to Terrace. The was about a 20 mile stretch that was a bit narrow and bumpy but other than that was great with a passing lane quite often. We were able to roll along at about 65 mph or 100 KPH. We arrived in Terrace about 3:30 pm and it was great to see Ron and Delva again. They are fun to be around. Delva had a great supper of Chowder soup and home made bread and Shelby and Carmen came over. Boy it was great to see them again. We had a wonderful visit. Rick had gotten on the logging crew and had been out about a week in a remote area nw of terrrace about 75 miles. We discussed our plans and decided we would spend Wednesday getting ready and it was Delva's birthday and she needed to be around to take care of Deb's and Jeff's boys Kyle and Bryce.
We got the 5th backed into their driveway. It is a great place to park.
August 13th, 2003, Wednesday, Rond and Delva Sniders driveway. We slept in after all the driving and it felt very good to do so. We had a great breakfast and went over our plans and went through our fishing gear to decide what we needed and decided to go ocean fishing first at Kitamat with 3 day licenses to get some Prown's and Crab and try for some ocean salmon. We then went shopping and got the fishing gear. We met Delva's sister and her husband. He is retired and does gold mining up toward the Nash river. That was all very interesting. We got the boat and Ron's camper ready and the gear. Carmin and Shelby came for supper and we had another great visit. We got word later from Carmin that Rick had called and the First Nation people were raising a fuss about needing to hire more of their people yet. As far as we know they have hired the required 50% already apparently the logging is on Indian Reserve land. Kyle and his dad and others are going hunting up north along the Cassiar Hwy.
Augush 14th, 2003 Thursday, About $9.00 at the MK Bay campground. It is nice place and Ron and Delva are right beside us. We got a good start from Terrace down to Kitimat and got to the CG about 10:30 am. We got parked and set up and Ron got the boat in the water. We headed off to set Prawn and Crab traps before dinner. That was exciting and we got lots of pictures. The Prawn traps went down about 300 feet so that was a lot of rope. The bait was Eulagan and fish that would remind you of Smelt. They are oily. One can look at the pictures on the web site to really understand how the traps worked. We dropped the traps down with the rope and a float on the end of the rope. The Crab traps are larger mesh as the crabs are bigger and the bait was fish heads and fish carcasses. These all had been frozen by Ron in his deep freeze and we brought the bait along in plastic tubs. The Crab traps were set in about 100 foot of water. We then went back to camp and had dinner. After dinner we got rigged up to troll for salmon and trolled along the south side of Douglas Channel.. We trolled for several hours with no success. It did get a little choppy on the water. Ron's trolling motor worked well. It got toward 5 pm and was time to check the traps. We did see a boat that caught a Chinook that was decent size. They were using a flasher. We had a good amount of Prawns so that was great. We had a lot of Crabs but they were nearly all female and were to small so we had to throw them back. We did end up with probably 6 or 7 male Crab. We then headed in and cooked some crab and Prawn for supper. Boy this is fresh seafood and it was great. We had a trouble with our camp stove wanting to build up pressure in the fuel tank. I finally ended up squirting liquid grease using the red spray straw into the pump and then the leathers would build up pressure and the stove lit and worked find. Ron brought his stove up from the boat so we used one for Prawns and the other for Crab. We stuffed ourselves with seafood.
I was able to get my e-mail. I had not been able to get it on Tueday as the bands were so bad on the day we traveled to Terrace and we were to close to Ron's garage and lines going into his house to use the antenna on Tuesday night and Wednesday. Because I forgot the other bug catcher coil I could not put it on the front bumper. We did meet VE7HI who stopped as he seen my ham radio call plates and said there was a gathering on Saturday morning of the hams and showed me some of the repeater freqencies and that they had an IRLP repeater. I was able to connect with KA6IQA so he is definitely a good choice from up here. I also used N0IA but he was not to strong. Tomorrow we go and check the traps first thing in the morning and then we will try more trolling.
We will trap and fish until Saturday and then go back and process our Prawn and Crabs.
August 15th, 2003, Friday, MK Bay Campground, About $9.00, near Kitimat.
Kitimat has a large Aluminum refinery with the ore brought in by ship. They get electricity from hydro nearby. There is also a pulp mill and methonol production. We went out about 8:30 am and pulled up our traps. We did well with 22 crabs and plenty of giant shrimp in the traps. It was pretty rough so we came in, took care of our catch and had dinner. After dinner Delva stayed at camp and we went out and tried fishing but it was very rough water and started to get worse so we came in. Ron's brother and wife showed up and we visited. We had supper and then Ron, Bryce and I went out and did the tra ps. The Prawn traps have nearly 400 feet of rope on them so with six traps that is nearly 2400 feet of rope and the 5 Crab traps have over 100 feet each. We did lose a Crab trap this morning. We don't know if a boat prop cut the rope our what happened anyway the float was gone. In the evening we got 7 more Crabs and the most Prawns yet so we got 29 crabs today and gave two to Jerry, Ron's brother so we still have 27 to process when we get home plus hopefully what we catch in the morning.
August 16, 2003, Saturday, Ron and Delva's Driveway in Terrace.
We got up about 7:30 am and Ron, Edith and I went out and checked our traps and packed them up to leave. We did real decent with 3/4 of a canner of Prawn and 17 crabs. When we got back in we put the rest of the crab in the cooler and finished icing them down and Edith and Delva finihsed ckeaning up the Prawn. We then packed up the campers and got the boat out of the water and headed back to Terrace. It worked real good to use the RV Dump at the visitors center. We started in processing the crabs. We got the crab meat parts off the crabs and got the water boiling. Once it came to a boil we filled the boiler with crabs and waited for it to boil again and then left them in for 7 more minutes. We the worked on cleaning up everything in the boat and flushing everything off because of the salt water. We rolled up all the rope and flushed out the motor. Edith picked black berries. We had supper and visited awhile and then Ron and Delva went to visit with Jerry and Marilyn and Edith and I went to our 5th. Carmin and Shelby were over this afternoon and stayed for supper so we had another great visit with them. Rick is still at logging camp so that is a good sign. Tomorrow we get the crab meat out of the legs and claws and then can it in ½ pint jars in the pressure cooker. We ended up wit 35 half pints. After that we plan to go out and visit Carmin and Shelby.
August 17, 2003, Sunday, Ron and Delva's Driveway in Terrace.
We got the crab meat out and got it canned. It took us until about 11 am to clean all the crabs. We then started canning it in ½ pints which Edith went down town and purchased since we did not have any half pints with us. We then went out to Carmins and spent most of the afternoon and evening there. Rick wanted us to have some fish he had caught so Carmin gave us 2 big Chinook, a silver and a pink that were frozen. We let them unthaw over night.
August 18, 2003, Monday, Ron and Delva's Driveway in Terrace. We fillet the fish and packed them in jars and started canning them. We made plans for our fishing trip to the Kitimat River for Salmon for Tuesday. We ended up with 19 quarts of canned Salmon.
August 19, 2003, Tuesday, Ron and Delva's Driveway in Terrace.. We got our freshwater licenses for 8 days along with Salmon tags and headed for Kitimat. The road in is a narrow, trail full of low spots that have water in them but there is a solid bottom. Not a good road for the 5th although there was a class A along the river. We were fishing by about 11 am and Edith caught the first fish, a pink Salmon. Through out the day everybody caught at least one fish. Carmin came about noon and we had a nice visit with her. I did not catch any until about supper time with I caught about a 10 pound Chum but had to release because the season ended August 15th. Shortly after that I caught a pink. Ron caught a medium sized silver, Coho Salmon about mid afternoon. As we were packing up to leave about 7:30 pm Ron's rod had a bite. Bryce grabbed it and set the hook and then Ron took over and landed a 11 pound silver. A very nice fish. It was nearly dark when we got home so we rough dressed the fish and put them in the freezer and Ron is going to smoke the Pink on Wednesday and filet out the silvers. We have decided to take the 5th wheel down to Kitimat and fish on Wednesday and Thursday. Ron and Delva had showed us another place to fish where we could park the 5th wheel. We will likely park there and drive to where we fished today. It was a beautiful, sunshine day. The second we have had that were perfect days since we got here a week ago this evening.
August 20, 2003 Wednesday Fish camp on Giant Spruce Road, Kitimat River, Kitimat.We picked up some more spin and glow for Coho as they are hitting blue, a dark blue band at the head then a lighter blue with mottled silver wings. They like blue or green sometimes pink rubber minnow like head with strings of plastic. We used a small bead in the head and then a bead for the spinner to turn against. Ron tired up some hooks for us in case I did not remember how. We also heard that Green and silver works for Coho. For casting a blue Coho or aligator works. We used about a 6 oz weight and 3 way swivel. The center of the three way has about 6 inches of line to the weight. The other end had the spin and glow and should be about 2 feet long. And the other end the line hooks to with a snap hook. We tried Radley Park but it was full so we went to the fishing spot on Giant Spruce road. We found a nice place to park. I was able to get e-mail.
Edith had the first fish but it got off. I then caught about a 12 lb. Coho. It came up out of the water completely 3 times and it took me quite awhile to tire it out. I was able to drag it up on the bank. About mid-morning I had a light hit and was barely able to set the hook. It was another Coho and put up a nice fight and I was able to drag it on shore. It weighed about 8 lbs. so a very pretty fish. I got a picture and then field dressed it. A local said a purple colored jig worked good for Coho when they get to running good. The rest of the day was a bust, no hits and it rained constantly and hard so the rain gear really paid off but eventually we did get somewhat wet. We had enough clothes on to keep warm. It was in the upper 50's so it was chilly.
A man and lady in a near by camper stopped over and found out they go to the Baha most years but last year had gone to NZ and Australia. They said the best was to go to Tasmania first and get used to driving on the other side of the road. The paid about $35 US to stay at cabins at RV parks and about $35 a day to rent a car from Ace Rental. They were used cars but were in good condition. They also stayed at Budget Motel. They also said in Alaska in mid August or slightly later they fished south of Denali off the Park road in Montana Creek right where another stream dumped into ti and in the whirlpool they caught a couple of kinds of Salmon.
We fished until 9 pm and then went to the 5th wheel, We had some trouble getting the furnace to run. We switched to the other propane bottle. It may have been air in the line as eventually we got it to keep running. At first it would run a little and shut off and do that a few times and then would not start so I had to shut it off and try again. After doing that a few times it finally took off. With our wet clothes and being about 56 degrees the heat felt good. We got the Coho filet and packaged and in the freezer. We can get two salmon each over 2 feet and the rest have to be between l and 2 feet. Another local mention a good fishing spot close to where we are parked so I will check that out in the morning before deciding if we want to go back where we were. I was able to get e-mail again.
August 21, 2003 Thursday, Giant Spruce Road, fish camp, Kitimat River, same as last night It rained all night and was really wet out. We got up about 7 am and headed out. It stopped raining and looked like it might clear up. We got to the same fishing spot about 8 am and no one was there so we settled in. It started raining but the sun was trying to show through and eventually it cleared up and was sunny most of the day and no rain. We fished until noon but with no luck. We talked to the same local and he suggested we go up stream. I did purchase some gear from the Kitimat tackle guy and found out from these two that the best time is and hour before until an hour after high tide which happens twice a day.
Other tips were to keep the weight line about 6 inches long at the most and to have about 30 inches on the hook line. We used a bait hook tie on the hook. The green and blues work good for Coho. The best lure for me was a bluish mennow head, then a bead and then a dark blue band and a navy blue with silver wings. It caught both my Coho and also one of Ron's. It also caught some pink today. According to what I read we are not supposed to catch Pink on the Kitimat. We did met Deb, Bryce and Jeff they were fishing right where we came into the area by the Methonex plant. We also seen the giant spruce tree, the biggest one in BC. This afternoon they blocked off a couple of roads because grizzly bears had been in those areas and they wanted to keep the fisherman away. We fished until it was totally dark for the fish to come in with the high tide and be able to get up the river to us. They say the fishing is best an hour before to and hour after high tide plus the time it will take them to get up the riverf to where you are at.
My best results was with a dark blue spinner with an Orange bead and a blueish mennow.
August 22, 2003 Friday, Ron and Delva. We got up before 7 am and got packed up and headed for Terrace. We seen a black bear and two cubs just past the big spruce tree. We stopped at Tim Hortons in Terrace for some rolls. It was raining a bit. We got to Ron and Delva's and started cleaning things up. Edith did a wonderful job with the 5th as a lot of sand had gotten tracked in. I had a nice time visiting with Ron and found out the Pinks were allowed on the Kitimat as the fisheries had changed things from the regulations. I got all my tackle sorted and stored and the rods broke down and all packed away. We then re-packed everything under the 5th. I got Ron some weights for the ones we lost. Edith went shopping with Delva. We cleaned up and all took our F-350 to Carmen's for supper. I forgot to open the tail gate as I pulled out from under the 5th but was going real slow so got stopped and backed up. Put a couple of marks in the plastic liner so I was blessed not to hurt anything. We had a great supper at Carmen's and visit. We tried to see Frank Halverson their neighbor who goes to Martzlan each winter but he was gone.
We got Carmen's Mon and Dads e-mail so should better be able to keep in touch. After we got back to Ron's Edith had some washing to do.
August 23, 2003 Saturday, Lac La Hacha Provincial Park, $10.
We gave Ron and Delva a Laundry basket like we use in the 5th that is real handy and they liked that. It was hard to say goodbye to such nice people like Carmen and Shelby last night and this morning to Ron and Delva. They were absolutely the greatest of hosts and not only the fishing and ocean trapping of Crabs and Jumbo Shrimp but all the wonderful visits about so many different things and meeting their relatives and friends. I certainly learned about a lot of new things. We were on the road before 7 am and made great time and the traffic wss not bad. We put on 562 miles today and are in a great Provincial Park. On .339 at 4 pm we got word to Bob N6RL that we should be there by 6 pm tomorrow night. I could not get E-mail on 20 meters but finally went to 30 meters and K6IXA was strong. With these terrible radio conditions I am going to have to use 30 meters rather than 20 meters. We ran the generator tonight and vaccumed the F-350. The generator is nice and quite. I took a walk and you could not hear it very far away. We only ran it for the time it took to vaccum. I worked on the check book on the computer, did a bunch of E-mail and brought the daily travelogue up to date.
August 24, 2003 Sunday, Bob N6RL yard-We got on the road about 8 am and things went well. Once we got beyond Cache Creek it was new road on the Trans-Canada. It was down a deep gorge along the Thompson River, great white water rafting, supposed to be the best in Canada and then the Thompson River dumps into the Frasier River with goes all the way to the Pacific by Vancouver. We seen the Frasier at Prince George. Along the Frasier there were 7 tunnels. It is down, down, down and some fruit along here as well. We did see some fires that they were mopping up but the main fires were east of us. We dumped the 5th near Boston Bar. We stopped a Chillawackatwick for a Chinese Buffet whic was very reasonable. The Senior discount started at 60. We called Bob while in line for the US Border. The line was about ½ mile long. Once we were at the border they waved us into the truck line. The asked very few questions and did not check our ID. They did X-ray the 5th wheel like they do trucks. I was shocked we did not have to show ID but I am sure they ran our license plates.
I got on the .339 schedule and got K7DZE attention and him and Al and Doug helped get us on the correct road to get to Bob's. Jack met us just past I-5 and lead us to Bob's place. Jack looked great and it was really good to see him again. We went in Bob's side gate and had a nice level place to park. We are plugged in and have water and are dumping the gray water on the lawn. We had a nice visit and supper and Bob taught me some Spanish.
August 25, 2003 Monday, Bob N6RL yard-We had breakfast and I checked out the furnace and hot water heater on Propane and both worked so will just keep checking them. Had a good shower so with dumping the gray water on the grass and being hooked up to water we can take as many showers as we want. We checked the cell phone and returned a voice mail from the bank on our credit card which was just checking on the Canadian charges. We set up the dish, started charging the 6 volt computer battery, got and sent a lot of e-mail with the 20 meter dipole we put up. We sprayed lubicant on the rubber seals for the big slide. I checked a broken shelf in the bedroom closet and decided it was fine until we got home. I worked on the bank account and some other computer work. We then started helping Bob with his tower he wanted to put up for 17 and 12 meters. We had dinner and kept working. From 3 to 4 pm we had Bible study that they are having with a couple of neighbors. We then went back to the antenna project. We had to build a new gin pole. We got it up and guyed off. Earlier Bob had showed us a number of day trips and they are going to take us to Mt. Baker Lodge and to the frozen fish market. I made a CD ROM of Ozzie's fire pictures and Bob took a look at them. Tomorrow we are going to Vancouver Is. and need to leave about 5:30 am to make the 7 am ferry.
August 26, 2003, Tuesday Bob N6RL yard. We got up at 5:20 am and was very shortly of for Vancouver Is. We had no problem with the border crossing and no line up. We got to the ferry about 7:40 am and was told we might have to wait for the 8 am ferry, they go once an hour but we made it on but not by much. It was very scenic and interesting as we first went across a fairly long stretch of open water toward the islands and I could not see a passageway through but when we got real close there was a narrow passage way. We met a ferry coming the other way both times so they were close by since it was narrow; especially in two places. It is about a 90 minute ferry. We got to Schartz Bay and headed down 17 and found the turn off for Butchart Garden. The garden is about 20 acres and has several themes to it. I liked the sunken garden the best. It was better than I expected and I can see why people come all over the world to see it.
From the gardens we went to Victoria the capital of BC. We seen the Parliament Building, looked over down town and eat dinner along the sea shore. From there we headed back, got on the ferry with about a 20 minute wait and got back to the border about 4 pm and had to wait about 30 minutes in line. The fellow who checked us asked about Eagle Butte and had been at the Sioux Falls cattle auction. Again they ran our license plate and asked a few questions but did not check our ID. It seemed to me they were profiling as every once in a while some one would have to pull into the parking stalls for a much more thorough check. This will be our last border crossing of the trip so it will be awhile before we need to cross again. We have been in Canada 3 times on this trip and each time was a breeze getting back and forth other than waiting in line quite a long time here both times to get back into the USA.
August 27, 2003 Wednesday Bob N6RL. We took a day trip with Bob and Zelda to Mt. Baker, had a picnic at Silver Lake and shopped in Bellingham and Lynden and also toured Lynden which was settled by Dutch people. Bob helped me with some Spanish phrases and we had a good time listening to the .339 schedule on Bob's radio. It will be interesting how Bob's 17 and 12 meter antenna we put up will work. Bob should know about that tomorrow. It looks like we will get together with Al and Jack this weekend. Hopefully we can drive up to Blaine and visit Jack at his campgrounds and look around Blaine. It will be good to see Al as well. Tomorrow and Friday we are going to take the Cascade loop the Bob has suggested. That will leave Saturday, Sunday afternoon and Monday to see K7DZE and K7CAI and get to the fish market and process the fish. We likely will leave on Tuesday morning and take the 5th on the ferry and head toward Port Angeles. I got e-mail and also got on the Internet at Bob's and checked our balance at the bank and on Edith's telephone and checked my e-mail. We had an e-mail from Bill VE1AAO. I will work on my travelogue tonight and my Spanish.
August 28, 2003, Thursday We got of about 7 am to do the Cascade Loop. Traffic on I-5 was not to bad but was getting pretty heavy by the time we were ready to turn east on Hwy 2. We got diesel and stopped at a Wells Fargo bank to get money. It certainly works good to write a check for cash against our Wells Fargo saving account. We then headed through the Cascade mountains and arrived at Leavenworth the town the has a Barvarian theme. All the business in town have that theme. There is quite a large shopping, eating, and lodging area. There is skiing near by so they are open the year around. We ate and I let Edith shop some more and I sat on a bench in the shade and worked on my Spanish. We then left for Wananchee which is the Apple Capital of the world. We stopped at a fruit stand on the way over to check prices. At Wanachee we got directions to more fruit stands and got a motel for $50 for the night. It took some looking as most were in the $90 category. We then went to the fruit stands but did not find apples or pears as cheap as they were near Leavenworth so we headed back that way and had not went very far and we spotted a stand so checked it out and they had apples for 39 cents a pound and pears for 40 cents a pound so we got 20 pounds of apples and 30 pounds of pears. Earlier we got 22 pound of peaches for 50 cents a pound. We ate at Royal Fork and tried to get trail mix at Wal-Mart but is was not a super store so no success. We watched some TV and went to bed.
August 29, 2003 Friday Bob N6RL. We headed north on 97 alternate along the Columbia and the fruit trees went for miles. We headed up a valley toward the western town of Winthrop and eventually ran out of apple trees. We shopped and ate at Winthrop. On the way we made some calls and got a box to mail a cell phone to Tom. We just have not been happy with the pre-paid phone and all the hassle so Tom can use up the minutes. We then went into the North Cascades and they are spectacular! Much better than the south, colors, massive mountains, snow, some glaciers and two high passes. We stopped at Diablo Lake which is the only glacier lake I have seen in the US mainland. The torquoise color is beautiful. It reminded me of lakes in the Canadian Rockies. We were on hwy 20 and as we came out of the Cascades the Labor Day weekend traffic headed for the mountains really picked up. We got about 11 pounds of Blueberries for about $2.75 a pound. If we would of had time we could of picked them ourselves for $2 a lb. We got back, unloaded and listen to the schedule with Bob. I then went out and started working on the black water tank spray kit which had started leaking. It turned into a major job and had to tear the undercoating off and found it was loose going into the tank. It also was plumbed poorly with the plastic pipe being bent drastically up to manage to get it through a hole into the basement of the 5th. I got directions from Bob on getting to a hardware store in Ferndale and went in and got some plumbing parts and came home and fixed it. We tried it and it did not leak. We had a great stir fry supper and I got back at the project. I got everything tight and put a board under the plumbing in the basement and some pipe holders so it was locked in place. I then caulked it and put the under coating back on. I need a little more caulk to water proof the under coating. We will have to be sure to use the pressure regulator when ever rinsing the tank so we don't create a leak. I caulked the connection going into the tank. Edith got the peaches done and the blue berries frozen. I got 2 more months on the free up phone and got it packed up to send to Tom. In the morning I will try and run into Ferndale, mail the box to Tom and get another tube of caulk and finish up the bottom of the 5th and then see about visiting Al and Jack. I also need to work on my Spanish.
August 30, 2003 Saturday, Bob N6RL. We will get the frozen fish on the way out, likely putting them in a cooler with ice and then canning them in the next day or two. I went into Ferndale to get another tube of silcone caulk and to mail the phone to Tom. The post office was closed on Saturday and you could not mail a package due to security reasons so it will have to wait until Tuesday when we can stop at a post office. When I got home I finished calking the undercovering on the 5th where I had to take it lose to fix the sprayer kit and then put it back on with the screws but it needed caulking so water from the road during a rain, etc. did not get in and soak the insulation.
We looked at Bob's railroad setup. He has a huge room and lots of tracks, up to 3 levels he is going to have so it is going to take a long time to complete. Edith cooked and we had dinner in the 5th, a roast, fruit and corn and pickles so it was good. We had it set up to meet Jack-K7DZE at the Blaine Café where we had a nice visit while he ate. We learned about a lot of his experiences working for immigration and about when he, Bob and Roger all lived at Blaine. He told us about the cameras, sensors, rewards program, computer, and other procedures and the harbor procedures and an FM frequency you call in on to set up where you need to go to.
We then stopped up at the border station and Jack got us the info on the Washington State Ferry from Keystone to Port Townsend where we need to go on Tuesday to get over to Port Angeles. Jack then got in with us and we seen where he lived, Roger lived and Bob. Roger had a high location with a 90 foot tower and had a great shot in all directions. They all had good locations but I liked Rogers the best. Roger and Jack were both about 1/4 mile from the border or less. We got diesel and seen the Blaine Senior Citizen center where Jack plays a lot of pool and Bob and Zelda also go up there I believe once a week to eat. It was a great afternoon. On the way to Blaine we wanted to take the last exit and found traffic crossing the border was backed up nearly a ½ mile past the exit in both lanes so we ended up driving on the shoulder to get to the exit. I put my right blinker on so people knew I was trying to get to the exit to turn, not cut the line.
Jack stays southwest of Blaine along Blaine Road on the east side by some radio towers. He is not to far north of Birch Bay road. It is 3 or 4 miles from Blaine so it is handy for him to run into Blaine to the Sr. Center, etc. We drove down and took a look at Birch Bay. We got home at schedule time and got things lined up for a gathering of Al, Jack, us here at Bob and Zelda's so that will be great. Al's wife is Penny and Doug's wife down in Fresno is Mary Ann.
We had supper and then Bob helped me with Spanish most of the evening.
August 31, 2003 Sunday, Bob N6RL. Worked on e-mail and have found K6CYC is another good choice for 30 meters to connect. The antenna at 25 foot has worked out well. Yesterday we found 17 meters to be wide open and even DX coming in from Europe on the new antenna we had helped Bob put up. It is off resonance a little so he has to use a tuner. We went to church with Bob and Zelda. We came back through Ferndale to get a Sunday paper. Bob had a great dinner for us and then we relaxed and I studied the pronounciation of the letters in Spanish. I do need to learn how to say the letters in Spanish and First, Second, Third, etc. review the numbers and time. I then read the reading exercises with the Pemsuler tapes and got my e-mail We made the schedule and Doug and Jack were there.
September 1, 2003 Monday Bob, N6RL Edith got pictures of the flowers the the neighbors here have to the west. Today will be the gathering of the hams we talk to on .339 Al-K7IEY and his wife Penny and Jack-K7DZE. We worked in the 5th getting things ready for travel and worked on the computer and sent a letter of for Arliss that he needs and answered some questions he had on a mobile amplifier.
We then went in and were getting ready for the party. Bob went over the Pemsleur Reading with me. I listened to most of the reading lessons until Jack came at 12 noon. We showed him the 5th, the antenna setup, and battery setup. He told us about some of the difficulties he had with his 5th and now his new one. The problems in the new one are not as serious but never the less an evidence of careless work during constuction. We related we had run into the also. Al K7IEY and his wife Penny showed up. We had a good visit and then had dinner. It was a great dinner and a great visit. Bob had a fancy cake with cherries in it that he had decorated. After dinner we took pictures as Al and Penny had to leave. Jack stayed and we visited some more and made contact with Doug and Roger on the schedule. It looks like Jack needs to go to Winnipeg so he will miss us on his trip out east but there should be a good chance we can catch up with him next winter at San Antonio. Jack then left and we spent the evening visiting with Bob and Zelda. We are going to check into another frozen fish place in the morning as the one at Bow Hill no longer seems to be in business.
September 2, 2003, Tuesday Heart of the Hills Olympia NPS South of Port Angeles $10 Bob and Zelda took us to a nearby place that sells fish. We got about 80 lbs. of King Salmon and 20 lbs. of pink salmon at $3 AND $1 each. They filet them and filled our coolers with ice. We will can them when we get time. They should be good for a couple of days. We then got back home and were ready to go as we got all packed up and ready to go earlier. It was hard to say goodbye to such fine people. We had a wonderful time and they were wonderful hosts and had a great ham get together for us and took us a number of places and provided us with routes to wonderful places. We had a pray together which was very nice and got backed out the side gate and on the road. We got to the Keytone, Port Townsend ferry about 12:30 pm and left on the ferry about 1:30 pm and had a short ride over to the Olympia area. We got to Port Angeles and south to the Heart of the Hills CG about 4 pm and set up. We got back to town about 4:30 and asked for directions to the post office and got the cell phone mailed to Tom along with the letter Arliss needs. We then went back to Squomis and did the Dungeness Crab drive and found the 3 Crab Restaurant and had s sea platter. It is a good place. We then headed back, got oil for the F-350 at Walmart in Port Angeles and got back to the camp site. Radio conditions are terrible and it was really a struggle to send and receive e-mail. We have things reasonably laid out for tomorrow. We will have to get at the fish and pears before to long.
September 3, 2003, Wednesday, Sequi Coho RV Park $14. We toured Hurricane Ridge where we found Glaciers so now we know of two Parks in the USA that have Glaciers. It was smoky from all the fires in Canada but sure a spectacular place looking out over the ocean toward Victoria Is. and the high rugged peaks with the snow and glaciers you can see at the top looking to the Southwest. There would be no end to hiking trips that go many, many miles into the interior of the park. We got back to the RV and hooked up and found we could not dump as the host was using it but they told of us a place downtown so we went there. It was free with the purchase of fuel. We also go Propane. The water connection did not fit our hose so we could not rinse the black water tank like we wanted but did flush some water in it so it will agitate it. We found the right tail light was out again so after much, messing and moving out of the RV dump stall across the street to a lot we found the bulb had an intermittient in the base so we need to carry more bulbs with us as well as clip leads for testing. I started the generator and soldered the connections. We also need to get another tail light for backup. We then headed west and was going down along the coast and drive back to the Hoh Rain forest but when we got to the turn off for the NW corner of the state going up to Callum Bay, Seqiu and Cape of Flattery I decided to go up there as I wanted to go to the most northwest point in the USA. We went to Seqiu and found Coho RV park. Cost us $14 for a dry site but we could go way up on the third level and are by ourselves and can look out over the ocean. I had no problem getting and sending e-mail where last night I had a horrible time. We ate dinner and headed west along the coast to Cape Flattery. It was very scenic, much like the coast line at Arcadia NP and we seen lots of boats and big boats going to sea. We got some great pictures. When we got to Cape Flattery we found it to be an Indian Reservation. We took the Cape Flattery Road which turned into a gravel road. It was supposedly a loop but everybody seemed to be just going out and coming back. We expected to drive to the NW most point but found a parking area and trail. We talked to 2 young fellows and they said this was the place. The sign said ½ mile and we talked to some people coming out and it was indeed the place. It was down hill and through a rain forest type area with huge trees. We got to the point and it was beautiful and there are caves where the water crashes into. Beyond the point a bit is an island with navigational things on it. We seen sea lions on a rock and lots of big rocks were there with the waves crashing on them. We then hiked back to the F-350 and headed back. We bought some smoked king salmon for $6. Back at the 5th Edith started working on the pears and I worked on the computer and my spanish and got E-mail.
September 4, 2003 Thursday Tentatively Kalaloch Beach Olympia NP seashore, $12 We got up a little after 7 am and started working on the salmon. We got all the pinks but one in the deep freeze by canning the blackberries and taking out the hamburger we had left. We then started canning the King Salmon. The one cooler had a little ice left in it and the other had lots of ice in it so basically an ice packed cooler if not opened will stay good 2 to 2.5 days. E-mail was a little tougher this morning. It seemed like there was some aurora on the signals again which messed up the copy. We got done canning the first batch at 11:40 am and then let it cool down and ate and got ready to move. We put the rest in the refridgerator. I spent the morning working on my Spanish and finished all the tapes in Level I. We talked to a fellow who grew up at Lake Andes and now lives in Sequim, WA. He has relatives at Custer. He said this area was popular with fisherman and that the Coho were in the ocean. He recommended South Beach for camping as it is out in the open and you are right along the ocean. He said the marine life place in Oregon was worthwhile. We headed out and get two more pinks in Callum Bay so we can fill the jars for a full canner of 7 jars. If there is any extra we will have it fresh. We went on down to South Beach and it was a great recommendation. We like it here, parked right along the ocean just a few feet away and up maybe 20 feet. We then went back to the HOH Rain Forest. It was an extra 25 miles back or a total of 50 miles extra but the Hoh CG would not be good for rigs over 21 feet where here we have all kinds of room and it only cost us $8.00 here. One thing about the NPS parks and forest service is there is no tax where at private ones there is tax. The trail Hall of Moss was well worthwhile at the HOH Rain Forest. On the way back we stopped at Ruby Beach and Beach 4. Ruby beach has some big rocks so is very pretty. Some of the others are better sand beaches. We finished up canning the Salmon. We have to can some more Black Berries and Pears and maybe some apples. We talked to a local and he said the rest of the Washington coast is nothing special. This is the best area in Washington. I got E-mail no problem.
September 5, 2003 Friday Sunset Lake Resorts just into Oregon, Warrington $22.00 full hookup
We cleaned up from the Salmon processing and packed everything us. We took time for a bigger breakfast than normal. We got some pictures of the ocean before the fog started rolling in. We then headed south and the road was good. We checked for Steve at Raymond at the RV park but he was not parked there. Being it is into Sept. aways he may be on the road already. We got to Long Beach and checked at the visitors center and got the location of a couple of RV parks. The car show was happening and the traffic and people were unbelieveable. We stopped at one of the places but the manager was not around so we finally parked and left. We then went to Fort Clatsop the Fort Lewis and Clark Expedition spent the winter at. It was very interesting. We got in on the ranger tour of the fort which was extremely interesting. He really had the history down, there were two great films inside on Lewis and Clark and lots of great exhibits. I bought several Lewis and Clark books. I will have to see if I can get the book with the various persons expedition notes for the time they were in South Dakota on the way up the river. I need to see if just Lewis and Clarks notes are in the book or everybodies? We then got some groceries at Fred Meyers but it was a zoo. Back at the campgrounds the fellow would not let me park at his advertised $8 and $11 rate so we decided to move on. We checked Costco and all kinds of people were there but the sign said no parking so we tried and RV park, then the State Park and then a KOA but with the car show everything was full. We headed south and got a spot in an RV park for $22 for full hookups as that is all they had. Given all the places we could not get in I did think it was wise to go 30 miles south to the next state park as it might be full as well.
Despite all the troubles finding a spot for the night it was a great day. Of all the historic places we have been I will have to say the Vikings site in Newfoundland and this Lewis and Clark site are the two most interesting we have been to.
September 6, 2003 Saturday Beverly Beach State Park, near Newport, OR $21.00 full hookups
We got on the road by 8 am and the traffic was light but it got foggy and had light rain which hurt the visibility. We got some pictures of the coast but the visibility was limited. We seen Haystack Rock by Cannon Beach, several wayside pull outs, the Tillamook Cheese factory, The Oregon Coast Coast Aquarium, Yaquina Bay Lighthoue, the Yaquina Head Light house. The latter is a federal area so we got in with our federal annual park pass. We are now up to $155.00 entry fees that the card has gotten us into. We also stopped Wal-mart for some supplies and stopped at Agate Beach. The weather was the clearest all day at Yaquina Head. It is chilly with the temperature about 58 degrees at 7 pm.
September 7, 2003, Sunday Mills Casino at Coos Bay Free. We got out of the RV spot OK and got dumped. It was rainy and foggy. We got south to Heceta Head Light House and Sea Lion Cave. We got picture of the light house but it was very foggy. There was only one Stellar Sea Lion in the cave but the cave was huge. You go down 200 feet in an elevator. The cave opens out to the sea. It supposedly is the biggest cave of its kind. We then went to Oregan Dunes National Recreation area and ate dinner and talked with some of the people who were riding on the dunes. We unhooked and did some driving around and got some pictures of the dunes and also the beach by the dunes. The dunes run from Florence to Coos Bay. We got a northwest pass for 5 days for $10 to get into the parks. We got to Coos Bay and got parked at the Mill Casino. There are all kinds of Rvs here. We then went out the Charles and out on Cape Arago, the sun shined and we seen some rocky coast line and at Simpson Reef we hit the jackpot and found all kinds of Calif. Sea Lions a few Stellar Sea Lions and some gray seals. The made all kinds of barking noise you could hear for a long ways. I had enough light and used the telephoto lens for some closeups. We then went back to town and went to a super Wal-Mart which allowed RV Parking. We got diesel and some money at Wells Fargo. We ate at the Casino. When we got back to the 5th it was getting dark but changed the oil in the dark since we had 80,000 miles on the F-350 so it was time. I have found driving it up on the 5th blocks makes it much easier to get underneath and using a tarp works great. It makes it easy to slide under and also if we spill a little it goes on the tarp not the ground. We got it changed in good shape. On the way back to the 5th I seen a used oil recyling place at one of the harbors so I will drop the oil off in the morning. The plan is to make it about 120 miles tomorrow and get into California. If we can get at a Passport America member campground we can stay for half price. If so we will stay two nights and on day after tomorrow go up to Crator Lake NP and Cliff Caves National Monument before heading south to Redwoods NP and on to Redding, CA
The area from Newport down to Coos Bay is the nicest we have been on and 101 follows the Ocean a lot more. Around Coos Bay is some of the nicest we have seen. We have heard south of here to past Brandon is also very nice.
September 8, 2003 Monday, $13.50 Salmon Harbor RV, Smith City, CA Passport America. If tried to recycle the oil but the tank I seen was on Federal Government Property and not available to the public. We headed south and came to Brandon. The scenery here is excellent. Take the beach loop, go through the old town, tourist stuff, and the road goes left, south don't turn right to the jetty but go up the hill and follow the signs. I believe they call it discovery road. There are a couple of beach accesses. A GOOD ONE is at Face Rock viewpoint. It is the second rock out, not the close big one and it is a slightly behind side profile and is on the right side of the rock. It is a nice walk along the beach and some beautiful pictures. We then headed south. The is a lot of nice scenery all the way to California and the highway follows the coast most of the way and if it leaves the coast it gets right back to it. There are a lot of rocks in the ocean along her and some nice sandy beaches. We crossed over into CA and parked at Salmon Harbor RV. It is a Passport America Park which means as members we get it for half price approximately. In this case it is $25.00 a night plus tax normally and we got it for $13.50 a night but they ate the tax. This saved us $9.50 a night. We are going to stay two nights and do a day trip to Crater Lake NP and Cave Jct. National Monument. I am going to keep a running total of what we save with our Passport America and what the total park fees would of been without our annual NP Pass. We are at $155 with the NP Pass and the savings for the two nights here will total $19.00 for Passport America.
We sewer, electric, water and cable and laundry, showers and bathrooms are available. This is the best deal we have gotten in all the RV parks we have been in.
September 9, 2003, Tuesday, Salmon Harbor PA $13.50 We are at $185 park fees and $27 Passport America fees.
We headed out at 7 am and made it to Oregon Caves National Monument for the 9 am tour. It is a great cave, about a 90 minute tour and a great tour guide. I really liked it better the Carlsbad even the the rooms are not nearly as big but we seen a lot of neat formations. Definitely worth the effort. A great story on how the cave we discovered.
As his last match flickered out, 24 year old hunter Elijah Davidson found himself in the total blackness of the cave. Davidson was chasing after his dog Bruno, who was in turn was pursuing a bear. One following the other the bear entered a dark hole high on the mountainside. Davidson stopped a the mysterious dark entrance. He could see nothing but an agonizing howl drew him into the cave to save his dog. Now the matchers were gone and Davidson was in total darkness. Fortunately , he was able to wade down a grueling , ice cold stream and find his way back into the daylight. Bruno soon followed. It was 1874. It is a marble cave and is called the marble halls of Oregon.
We then headed for Crater Lake NP, a total of 200 miles one way. As we were traveling Edith says it sure seems silly to drive this far to just drive around a lake that we might not be able to see due to the clouds and fog and drive back. We got to the Lake and the clouds were very low, just above the trees. When we got to the crater edge all we could see was clouds. We stopped at Discovery Point where the first report was made of seeing the lake. We could not even see the water for the longest time and then finally way down below we could just see a little bit of water for a moment and then it fogged up.
I earlier had told Edith I was believing it would clear up. I re-affirmed my prayer that we would be able to see the lake and drove on. As we started around on the northwest corner we had a clearing and was able to see a section of the lake which was an answer to prayer. We talked to a couple who had been there three times and seen it once. We then drove around to the east side and suddenly the clouds had lifed a bit and you could see the whole lake, absolutely the whole lake with the cloud ceiling up above the lake. It is beautiful, the deepest lake in NA at 1943 feet and it pristine and is very blue with some spots even more blue. You can only get there is July to October, the rest of the time it is snowed in. We seen a picture with snow on the crater. That would also be beautiful to see. We are very thankful for the blessing of being able to see such beauty of God's Creation. BTW as we drove away from the lake it immediately fogged over again.
We got back about 7 pm so it was a 12 hour day.
September 10, 2003 Wednesday, $8, Burnt Ranch NFS on Hwy 229 going to Redding, CA We left about 8:30 am and headed south on HWY 101. We ended up seeing everything we wanted pulling the 5th other than about 4 miles of coast road but we got a good picture of that part of the California coast. South of Orick on Hwy 10l we could of parked right near the road along the ocean at what is called Fresh Water Lagoon. Unfortunately it has went up from $5.00 to $10 and worse yet the last camping allowed there will be January 12th 2004. It seems like it is getting tougher and tougher to find nice, cheap places to camp. We then got down to HWY 229 and headed east for Redding. So far we have had 3 hard pulls up and 3 steep downs. I shifted to 2nd gear a lot to save the brakes. This CG was supposed to be free but now costs $8.00 but it does have some decent RV sites and does have water available. We have the CG to ourselves, it is a 16 site CG. I worked on the computer, got E-mail and got the FTD ready to be mailed. I will work on my Spanish.
September 11, 2003, Thursday, Walmart at Susanville, CA Free. $10 for Lassen so now at $195.00 total for park fees. So far for September we are averaging $10 a night. The road was still very windy and hard up and down to Redding. From Redding to Lassen Volcanic NP it was not bad. We got permission to leave the 5th in the parking lot at the visitors center and went through the park and back with the F-350 It worked out good and it is a pretty park and has some thermal activity toward the south end. We then headed for Susanville which again was a good road. As we were coming through Susanville which is at the edge of the mountains more in the open we spotted a Walmart sign and see several campers parked here so we will stay the night here. We stocked up at Walmart. Tomorrow we will head for Lake Tahoe and Saturday on into Doug's place at Fresno.
September 12, 2003, Friday, Doug WA6YYY near Fresno, CA. About 420 miles today from Susanville to here but we made good time. It was pretty tight along Lake Tahoe and after Lake Tahoe the down was steep coming out of the Sierra/Nevada range. There was a lot of traffic on Hwy 50 by Sacremento and south on CA 99. We got off to get diesel and we just could not get in and out so had to go to another exit and again could not make the turn and had to go around but finally got in. Boy I wish stations would put up a big sign where there diesel pump is at!!!! A few do and what a HELP! We got ahold of Doug on the cell phone so he knew we would be coming in a day early and got it lined up so he would be on 2 meters and that worked great. He was also on .339 on 20 meters so talked us right in. To get to Doug's you take the second exit past San Jouquin River called Grantland to the right. The Shell station there is a good place to buy fuel. You then go left or south 2 miles to Heartland. There is a chuch off to the west. Then 3 miles south on Shaw to Dickerson and the ½ mile south and 200 feet and Doug is on the west down a driveway. His son had a new house across the road. You can see Dougs tower as you start south on Dickerson. He had complete hookups for an RV including sewer. It is 97 degrees so we are using the AC. They had company so we worked on the computer, did the mileage book and check book
September 13, 2003, Saturday, Doug WA6YYY near Fresno, CA We spent the day visiting with Doug and Mary Ann and they told us many interesting stories about the area, there farming and other activities they have been involved with over the years. I went with Doug the check the irrigation water and we went up to the San Joquin and he showed me the valves that are used to get the water to his place. He explained how the grapes vines are started and how they make there own root stock. He showed how they pick the grapes, put them on paper trays, roll them, and the pick them up into trays and eventually get to the plant. Next week we should get a tour of the plant. I got to see his equipment, shop, and their house which has many unusual things in it. The wood floor made out of 3.5" wood blocks is a one of a kind. We talked with the fellows on .339 and Ozzie was on frequency and we had a great visit with them. Doug and I looked at the map for going to Sequoia and Yosemite NP.
September 14, 2003, Sunday, Doug WA6YY near Fresno, CA. We went to Sequoia and Kings National Parks today. It took about 90 minutes to get there. We seen Grant's Grove and the General Grant Sequoia which is the third largest in the world but the thickest in diameter close to the ground. We then went from Kings NP to Sequoia NP to the Giant Grove and seen the largest tree in the world and also the largest living thing in the world the General Sherman Tree. It is 275 feet tall, circumference is 104 feet near the ground and it 2300-2700 years old and weights about 1, 385 tons. We also did the Congress Trail here and seen many big trees and also a bear.
We then went to the car tree tunnel which was through a fallen tree and then climbed Mora rock which gives you a beautiful view toward the Sierra-Nevada ridge and back down the valley toward the San Joquin Valley. The road down has many curves and is steep. We stopped at the picnic area to the trail head to hospital rock. There was an old Indian village in this area. During the day and on the way home at McDonalds we certainly heard a lot of Spanish. It really motivates me to learn more Spanish so I can understand what they are saying. We got some pictures of drying the raisons on paper trays and rolling them. When we got home I studied my Spanish. I have one tape to go to have the Spanish I series completed and then I can move on to Spanish II. I may work on the rules, pronunciation and tense a few days before moving on to the II series.
September 15, 2003, Monday, Doug WA6YYY near Fresno, CA, We toured the plant where Doug delivered his grapes that he had picked for growers, we looked at their previous ranches and some of their relatives and neighbors and went to an estate winery. After dinner we went to the cooperative that Doug sells to. It is the only independent cooperative in California and in both places we seen the USDA grading and we got some raisens. We then visited, made the schedule and had a great supper and some great pineapple pie and I looked through a couple of books Doug had on early railroads and logging of the Sugar Pine up in the mountains and some of the experiences they had had up in the Sierra Mountains. We discussed the trip up to Yosemite and that now it is best to leave the car and take the bus ride.
September 16, 2003, Tuesday, Doug WA6YYY near Fresno, CA. We went to Yosemite NP. It was $20 for the park so that brings us to $210 park fees We went north of Fresno and came in from the south. The park is like most from the south except you can go to the Sequoia Trees to the east just after you get into the park. Once you start to come to Yosemite Canyon you see the characteristics and color to the west. You come through a long tunnel going east and then stop at the lookout just out of the tunnel and you can see El Capatan, North Dome and Half Dome. The Yosemite Waterfalls were dried up so the spring would be a better time to go. We dropped down in the valley and got lot of nice pictures. It was smokey; otherwise going to Glacier Point would of been a good idea or doing the hike from the bottom of the canyon would be a good idea but it is a streneous hike. We did hike to Mirror Lake which really is not a lake but just the creek. A better but more streneous hike would be to the two waterfalls to the Southeast. We then went to. the visitors center and watched the video on the park which was good and we seen what the Yosemite Falls can look like and learned about other parts of the park. We had a picnic by what is called the 3 Brothers and headed out of the park to the west. Here you follow the Merced River out and it would be a nice way to come in. We got back about 5 pm and visited. We got two big boxes of grapes and some raisons from Doug and Mary Ann and had a nice visit. Doug showed me some of his machinery. I worked on the computer checking the maps for the trip home.
September 17, 2003 Wednesday, Pipe Springs National Monument Kiabab Indian RV Park $10.00 We got a nice start, got the wine for Edith from Tom where we had the tour a couple of days ago. He was pleased to make a sale. We then headed south on Hwy 99 to Bakersfield then on Hwy 58 to Barstow and then on Hwy 15. Along Hwy 99 at Delano we seen the towers for the VOA station when they were in use. At Tahachapi, CA we seen literally 100's of wind generators on the mountains. The greatest number faced west but there were also a lot on the east slope facing east. There were some big ones and lots that had medium sized blades. Everything went fine other than it seemed like a hassle finding diesel fuel. At Las Vegas we were moving along about 60 mph and all of a sudden the vehicles in front of us were coming to a sudden stop so we had to make an emergency stop. It looked tense for a moment and certainly abused the brakes but we had no choice. The lesson here is in a metro-area to really concentrate ahead watching for a slowing of traffic and leave some space which I had which helped us from having a close call. Given it was reasonably early I by-passed the possible spot by Overton, NV and headed from Indian Pipe. We had to get fuel so got it at Mesquite, NV and again had a hard time finding a station with diesel. Edith wanted to eat so we ate at McDonalds. We decided we did not have enough time to stop at Walmart in George City, Ut and it was dark for about 15 minutes before we got in so we had to set up in the dark but since we were here this spring and with the flashlight and light by the hitch it was no problem as these sites have a lot of room. We will hook up to electricity tomorrow and dump and fill with water before we leave. Tomorrow we will do a day trip to the north rim of the Grand Canyon which we were not able to do this spring because of snow and it will be on a new road. We then can head for Cedar Breaks National Monument. We listen to Spanish a lot today.
September 18, 2003 Thursday, Pipe Springs National Monument, Kiabab Indian RV Park, $10
It was $20 for the park fee so the total is now $230.
We headed for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We found the drive south of Jacob Lake to be a long one but the road is good but the speed limit is real slow and it is enforced as we seen a couple of cars pulled over by the Arizona HP. The campgrounds were full but you can make reservations ahead. Also just a mile or two north of the gate there is the Kiabab Lodge and they advertise RV parking so that would be a backup if one wanted to camp someplace and then hike down the North Kiabab. One could leave his vehicle in the parking lot and head down and come back. We took a road that goes to the east about 7 miles before the visitors center. We went to the most Northeast point called Point Imperial. This actually looks down into a huge part of the canyon but the Colorado is about 10 miles south. This is a big canyon off the Grand Canyon to the Northeast. From there one can see out into the desert and back toward Marble Canyon and Lee's Ferry and where you come out of Page. You can also see Navaho Peak which is beyond and southeast of Page. We then went to Roosevelt Point which is back to the south and then Cape Royal as far south as you can get. There is a window rock right there and from Cape Royal you are east of the Temple Rocks and East of the trails coming down from the south side. You can look across and see a view point on the south side and to the southeast you can see desert lookout the stone tower on the southside. You can see Humphrey Peaks by Flagstaff. We looked at the South Kiabab Trail and the Bright Angel Trail. We then went to the visitors center and walked out on Angels Landing. There are trails on the north rim but are along the rim or through the woods. The only one that goes to the bottom is the North Kiabab and it is steep. It is about 14 miles. For about $130 you can have an all day mule ride part way down to Roaring Springs the water source for the south side and come back. That is far as you can take the mules on the north side. She thought is was about $300 to take the mules down from the south side and stay over night at Phantom Ranch and go back up. They probably have partial rides as well. We visited with a couple from London, England as we met them several times and also talked to a couple from Australia a couple of times.
I stopped at the Back Country office and bought a map and found out I could hike to Cottonwood, then over to the Clear Creek Area but not down to Phantom Ranch. I also got the Back Country Newspaper which has information on hiking. I can see from learning from Tom the trick is to not stay at Phantom Ranch. We then headed back and Edith got some pottery at Freedonia and we went up to Kaneb, Ut to eat and got back to Pipe Springs before dark.
September 19, 2003 Friday, RV Corral $26.43 at Grand Jct. but we get a $25 rebate so it only cost $1.43. We had $6 at Cedar Breaks so the total for Park fees is now $230.00.
We left Pipe Spring in good time on Mountain Time so we have made the hour change. The Atomic Clock just goes ahead when you hit the Mt. Time zone button. We paid for two nights at the RV park at the Mobil Station as no one ever came by. They run a real loose outfit. We headed for Cedar Breaks, the road was fairly steep going into it but not bad. Cedar Breaks is very high at 10,400 feet and is an ampatheater and a lot like Bryce but possible a few more trees. We drove along it and stopped at the view points. It is really red soil and rock. We then got to Brian Head the ski resort and found a warning, not recommended for trailers and a 13% downgrade and some real switch backs. It was about 5 miles down and it is the steepest down we have ever been on. I had it in Drive 1 and the RPM would go to the red line so I still had to brake a lot and could smell the brakes but we made it OK. I would not recommend it, but rather go on farther on the Hwy that will take you back to HWY 89.
We had good going but I could not hear anything on the radio as I had skeds with Chris and Ole. I first thought the bands were that bad as I heard nothing but eventually I realized I had a problem and determined it must be a bad coax connection. We stopped at a Flying J for gas and then I parked in the lot and Edith got some dinner. I isolated the piece of coax having a problem and put in a different temporary coax but it was pretty tight for when I turn.
I made it with Chris than and when we got through Grand Jct. and were headed to a state park we seen a sign to the RV Corral which was a Good Sams Park and I need to stay at a Good Sams Park to get my free night as it has to be done before the first of the year and from here on home we should be able to stay at free places. It ended up being $26.43 after the 10% discount of which I will get $25.00 back. Tomorrow we will see Grand Meas and Black Canyon.
When I pulled into the park in making the turn I pulled the coax apart so worked at fixing it after we got parked. I though I had it but turned out I made an error with the VOM so was going to do a temporary fix and then discovered under the F-350 at my back panel the Right angle connector had broken off so I replaced the feed thru and hooked it up and re-did the jumper in the box and have it back to the original set up and the one that pulled off I also fixed. It was dark when we finished. Edith cooked outside as it was real nice.
September 20, 2004, Saturday, RV Corral Grand Junction CO. $26.43 but with the free night it is going to average out about $14.00 a night. Black Canyon of Gunnison NP $7.00 so total park fees are now $242.00.
We got a good start and took the road up the north side through the town of Mesa. It is quite a view as you climb. Up on top we found the road west to Land Ends. It is gravel for a ways but good gravel. Land Ends is definitely worth going to if the visibility is decent which it was. In fact we could see a mountain 80 miles away. You could see the San Luis Mountains to the south, the canyons to the west and the mountains and the mountains to the north and looked at the valley the Grand Junction is in and the Colorado River flows through. You can go down off the Mesa at Lands End on a gravel road over to Hwy 50 but it is a steep down and it would not be recommeded if you were pulling a trailer. This is the highest and largest flat top mountain in the world and of course the word for the flat top is Mesa. We then headed across the Mesa to go down the south side to Cedaredge. Aways before that there was a scenic pull off to Land O Lakes. Definitely take this and park and walk up the trail. It is a paved trail and not very far. You can notice you are over 10,000 feet in elevation but the trail is not very steep. We met a local couple who said they had been by the turn off many times and had never taken it. They were amazed how beautiful it was and just could not believe they had missed it all these years. It is a view of about 9 lakes. It is as pretty as anything we have seen on the trip with the evergreens and leaved trees changing color.
We then came down off the Mesa and it was not as steep as going up or nearly as steep as going off at Lands End. We seen a turn off for the old road up the Mesa. It appeared to be gravel. We seen a ham radio station and it may of been the station I talked to here one time which sparked my interest in Grand Mesa. There is a lot of fruit grown in the valley here and we stopped and got some. We then got to Hwy 50 and headed toward Black Canyon NP and went through Delta and Montrose. You can see the snow covered San Luis Mountains very plainly and Montrose would be a pretty place to live and lots of recreation things with the Mesa and mountains nearby. We had dinner at Arby's and enjoyed the sandwiches and then headed for the NP. It is a very deep canyon with the Gunnison River running through it. It was a National Monument until 1998 when it became a National Park. It is dark granite with stripes of white hot rock that was trapped in eruptions. We spotted some cliff rock climbers and I tried to get some telephoto shots. This has the highest straight up cliffs in the world. We have also seen them at Zion and Yosemite are probably the three most noted places to do vertical rock climbing. In the early 1900's an 8 mile tunnel was blasted to give a way to get water from the Gunnison out into the valley for irrigation. The visitors center in the park is log and beautiful and built by gifts from people and companies.
September 21, 2003, Sunday, Heaton Bay, National Forest Service CG, Frisco, $13.00 We made it into Frisco about noon but had trouble finding the campground and got into a couple of tough spots with the 5th but both times were blessed and able to back around and get turned around. It is a nice CG but was disappointed the price has went up to $13 but there were several sites with enough room and a lot of the CG is closed due to construction. One has to be careful with NF CG as they can be full; especially on week ends and during the peak season of the summer near a metro area such as Denver. Our experience certainly has been that we are much, much more crowed in commercial CG where in State Parks and Forest Service we have a lot more room between sites. Also with now electric hookups it is quiet and most people are not watching TV, etc. because of battery life. From now on we are going to do our best to stay at State Parks, National Parks, BLM and Forest Service or if we have to go commercial look for big rig sites. I got my e-mail and we had dinner and then we made a loop south toward Leadville and seen Mt Massive and Mt. Albert which the boys have hiked. We then took the road toward Aspen, up over Independence Pass which is 12091 feet. Aspen lays in the valley with Aspens turning color. It is similiar to Eagle, Edwards, Avon and Vail that we went through on I-90. Actually it would be the most similiar to Breckenridge which is south of Frisco on Hwy 9. We got some great autumn color change shots along with the evergreens, mountains and snow. We seen where the Arkansas River starts which goes thorough Royal Gorge and on to the Mississippi River. We then went down to Beuna Vista and as you look south it is very pretty that way. We then headed back for Frisco on Hwy 24. We really picked up the Sunday traffic headed back in for Denver. There was 50 cars in a line on the two lane road. I am sure people were out looking at the Aspens changing color and taking advantage of the last fall days before snow comes to the mountains. We got back a little after 5 pm, shopped at Walmart and ate out.
September 22, 2003, Heaton Bay NFS $13.00 near Frisco, CO. $15 Rocky Mt. NP for a total of park fees of $251.00.
We took Hwy 9 to Hwy 40 and took it over to Hwy 34 going into the park. It was a nice drive up broad valleys with mountains and Aspen trees. I was surprised by the arid nature of the valleys with lots of sagebrush. From our previous visit to the park I did not remember the Alpine region of several miles that you drive along. The road reaches 12, 183 elevation. We took a walk on the Alpine Trail that they had made. It was chilly, especially with the northerly wind. There was snow on top and no trees and very barren. On the way down we spotted some elk and got some great pictures of on with nice horns. We had to go over a pass on Hwy 40 and then on I-70 we went through the Eisenhower Tunnel and see we have a hard pull up in the morning and then down into Denver.