Find us on Google+ Rick and JoAnne's RV Travels: August 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tomorrow…but first today

Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Today we had a “catch-up” day cleaning, throwing out, and resting…but…we did have time to fit in a short Geocaching quest. Rick led us on a short expedition to find a Geocache. What is Geocaching? Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called Geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment. We signed the log, and placed it in its secret hiding place for another Geocacher to discover. Lois & Hal were amazed with the process and the concept - This was their first adventure with Geocaching.
If you were wondering if our Anthem friends made it across the Going-to-the Sun Road - - - YES - - - they did and sent me a text saying
“We have conquered. Ty, Jane, Judi, Ken, Janis and Doug.”
Wahoooooooooo and congratulations to them!!!!!!!
Yep, tomorrow Thursday the 27th of August we will be heading home. We leave behind some marvelous surroundings, but we’re able to enjoy outstanding memories! Some of the memories Lois and Hal will take will be the Norris Geyser area in Yellowstone National Park, the beautiful waterfalls, enjoying lunch at the marina, JoAnne laughing so hard wine came out of her nose, and Lois trying to spit out a cherry pit with the car window still closed! LOL JoAnne and Rick will bring home memories of the bear sightings (Ahhhhhhhhh…TWO bear sightings), lots of laughs, good wine, the stunning sites, and fun times with good friends.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Glacier National Park…and more!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Rick & I made the decision not to take Sandy to Glacier National Park, and not feeling right about leaving her in the RV all day, we had checked out some kennels on Monday, finding the Lost Creek Kennel in Kalispell - A beautiful, caring, and neat as a new pin kennel for her to stay. After dropping her off at 8:00AM we headed towards the park.
Arriving at West Glacier, we had a light breakfast, and drove on to Going-to-the Sun Road (Factoid: the road is a National Civil Engineering and National Historic Landmark). Along the way there were so many exceptional picturesque vistas which gave us spectacular photo opportunities. In 2010 Glacier National Park will celebrate their 100th anniversary, and currently there is an 8-year, 14 million dollar construction project under way in the park so it led to some minor delays.
About 11:30AM, we arrived at the Rising Sun boat dock where we were met up with some of our Anthem friends, (Jane & Ty Fouchey, Janis Lievens and Doug Snyder, and Judi & Ken Besse), for a St. Mary’s Lake cruise. Our friends are there to ride the Going-to the-Sun Road on their bikes, along with their Denver Bicycle Club on Wednesday.
We had fun on the cruise and it was a magnificent way to see the park. Half way through the cruise we docked, and walked up to see Virginia Falls. After the cruise we went to lunch in St. Mary’s and started our trip back. Some of the views seemed even more spectacular due to the lighting and time if day…AND…as we were rounding a curve in the road…a black bear ran across the road!!! Of course we stopped and Rick ran out to take some phenomenal photos of the bear playing in the water, eating some huckleberry’s, and hanging around the lakes coastline until it decided to wander back into the forest.

Continuing on, we stopped at the Apgar Visitor Center, (which is on the foot of McDonald Lake), had some coffee, and then were back on the road to pickup Sandy. We ended our fun day sitting around camp, and talking about the adventures of the day along the shore of the Flathead River.

Relaxing today…

Monday, August 24, 2009
This morning we started our “down day” with a wonderful, delicious, and fun riverside breakfast at our campsite provided by Lois & Hal. Sandy has a new boyfriend – Max – the yellow lab. The only agenda item was to check out various kennels in the area for Sandy as we do not want to leave her an entire day alone in the RV or in the car when we are visiting Glacier National Park. Then we are going to “kick back” and just hang out and relax. We completed our mission!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Inaugural Cruise

Sunday, August 23, 2009
Remember the story from yesterday about stopping at the sports store? Well…the official launching and inaugural cruise of the Leslie & Morgan camping flotillas happened this afternoon at 1:30PM. The location couldn’t have been more perfect – White Fish Lake, Montana.
With a backdrop of forests, mountains, Glacier National Park, and the pristine glacial waters, with slightly overcast conditions –
the launch and cruise were flawless!
Upon return to our campsite our Anthem Ranch friends, Jane & Ty Fouchey, also members of the Denver Bicycle Club, stopped by for a celebratory glass of wine and some yummy appetizers. The biking group is going to ride Going to the Sun Road in the national park.
Just another fun day enjoying the beauty of this fabulous country!


Saturday, August 22, 2009
Today was a perfect day to reconnoiter the area. Hal drove us for a tour around Flathead Lake (factoid: which is the largest fresh water lake west of the Mississippi). Along the east bank our first stop was Bigfork an absolutely charming little village. The small boutique stores helped to make it a wonderful place to stop and shop, and just sit with, and enjoy with a cup of coffee.
The Flathead Lake area is filled with cherry orchards, so we had to stop and buy 2lbs of totally amazing, wonderful, spectacular, delicious cherries. Continuing our tour around the lake, we went to the west side which provided us with beautiful vistas. Lunch was at Lakeside Village where they were having an antique boat show packed with mahogany hulled lake boats – Really beautiful!
Upon arriving back at Kalispell, and “according to Hal”, not having spent enough money today, and “according to Lois” we still had room in the RV’s, and “according to Rick” we needed more toys…we stopped at a sporting goods place and purchased two inflatable kayaks. That wasn’t too bad…until we needed all of the accessories; such as paddles, life vests, pumps, and a duffle bags to carry it all. LOL
To complete our fun and adventurous day Lois prepared her famous Cioppino dinner stuffed with shrimp, scallops, clams, cod, and lots of wonderful spices. Rick made a salad, and after having very, very FULL tummies, we played a game of Dominos and called it another magnificent day!

Travel Day

Friday, August 21, 2009
Today we traveled to our final destination - Kalispell and Glacier National Park, while we had anticipated a rather mundane trip - what a surprise -
The scenery was absolutely breath-taking!
We traveled through several beautiful valleys that were home to many of Montana’s wheat farmers and ranchers.
Then hit "lake" country - the mountain lakes were spectacular, as were the snow covered mountains and the backdrops...whew
truly a drive filled with sensory overload.
We arrived in Kalispell in mid-afternoon. While we are camping in a commercial campground (our home for the next 6 days) it is right on the Flathead River with million dollar views. (Rick is also happy because we have good cell and Wi-Fi service for the first time.)
The rest of the afternoon was hitting the local Wal-Mart and grocery stores replenishing our supplies.
Hal and Rick shopped some local sports store…and even washed the Jeep!! :-)
After a very relaxing dinner on the bank of the Flathead River, we are all looking forward to a week of exploring Glacier National Park and driving the Highway to the Sun, fishing, hiking, kayaking and just kicking back.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A visit to the moon…

Thursday, August 20, 2009
Well…not really…Today was the day we regretfully headed out of Yellowstone. On our way out of the park we stopped at the Norris Geyser Basin which is the largest in the world and has an incredible “moonscape quality” about it.
Quite impressive!
We also stopped in Mammoth Springs, walked around, had a bite to eat, and then headed toward Glacier National Park. Right outside of Mammoth we again saw people stopped along the road – Big Horn Sheep and their babies on a steep hillside. Absolutely amazing!
We camped in Garrison, Montana for the night – but first had an interesting dinner at a local place called “The Ranch.”

A Bear! A Bear! A Bear! A Bear!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009
And not just any bear…but a grizzly!!!!
We decided to take a long drive over to Lamar Valley with the hope of seeing some wildlife, and then drive to Cooke City, Montana.
This area is so beautiful, and very different than the other parts of Yellowstone we had seen. We did see lots of bison, but really not much of anything else. We arrived at Cooke City, a place Lois & Hal had ridden through back in their biking days. It was a very charming, small town with a wonderful little museum of local “stuffed” wildlife. Rita & Jack had also driven in their car, and this was the place they decided to say good-bye, turn back to camp, and head back home to Anthem Ranch.
After a few photos in Cooke City, we also headed back towards camp admiring the most gorgeous scenery and as we were rounding a bend we saw lots of cars stopped and people looking up towards the hillside. So naturally we stopped, with one foot out of the car I was yelling – A BEAR!!!!! A BEAR!!!! And sure enough it was a grizzly just roaming around and eating the plants. We stayed there for some time admiring the wondrous sighting. We were all very excited and luckily Rick had his 300 telephoto lens.
After seeing this ideal and perfect sighting, we headed back to the campground and saw an elk. Kind of anticlimactic after the grizzly bear! We dropped Sandy off in the RV, went to the Canyon Lodge for a yummy dinner and drinks! Whew…what a glorious day!!!!

Let’s relax today…On our own!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Today we all decided to take it easy and just hang out – so of course that didn’t happen! LOL
Rick and Hal decided to go for a short exploratory hike which apparently turned into a longer one for one of them. Rick made the decision to continue moving forward on the hike, Hal turned back about 5 miles into it. Hal asked for directions and was given the wrong ones by a passer-by.
Lois and JoAnne went to the new Visitor Center, saw a movie, looked at the exhibits and all of a sudden I felt a pinch…it was Hal. He had made his way back to the service area, spotted the Jeep and thought we would be in that building. The three of us went to lunch.
We drove back to our campsite and Rick was already back, Lois & Hal decided to get a new battery for their rig as the old one was completely dead and they had been running their generator for a couple of days.
Rita and Jack took off for Mammoth, and reported back they saw a bear…ya…right!

Buffalo Jam…not the kind you eat!

Monday, August 17, 2009
We woke to a brisk morning with Hal knocking on our door. Trouble! Their house batteries had depleted and they had no heat. Rick and Hal filled the batteries with distilled water, got the generator going, and we were back on the road.
Heading out from Grant Village, we drove to Fishing Bridge, which is a picturesque morning drive along Yellowstone Lake. After Fishing Bridge we took a 16-mile drive along the Yellowstone River stopping at Mud Volcano. Again on the road we headed towards our final destination today, Canyon Village. Enjoying the magnificent scenery along the way we came upon an hour long traffic…or should I say…a Bison jam. The pictures tell the story!!
After arriving and setting up our campsites in Canyon Village, we drove along the South Rim to Artists Point, and then on the one-way North Rim drive, hiking and enjoying the powerful Upper and Lower falls.
Back at camp, Rita & Jack joined us for a campsite dinner. Hal built a fire and we sat around roasting marshmallows. Getting dark, Rick & Hal went for a short drive to see if there was any wildlife around. They saw a few elk, and the day ended.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bubbles, Gurgles, and Snorts


Sunday, August 16, 2009
After leaving the Grand Tetons, we drove about 80 miles over mostly gravel road due to yet more construction. We arrived at Yellowstone National Park about Noon. Tonight we are staying at Grant Village Campground; bad news – no hook-ups - good news within this last year there is ONE cell tower which gives us access to the Internet. Tomorrow we are changing campgrounds to the Canyons where we have been told it’s a “dead zone.”
Off we went to see Old Faithful – always a wondrous and amazing site! It was more fun for us because Lois, Hal, Rita and Jack had never seen it. We walked around the Old Faithful Inn which is also amazing and is on the list of National Historic places. After enjoying some ice cream in the equally frigid weather, we drove towards the Geyser sites and the very 1st one we stopped at – yep – bison. You have to see the photos to appreciate how close they were to us -then on to more fantastic scenery, and the Artist Paint Pots. Again the photos speak louder than words.
After a very long day we had dinner in our respective rigs, played some cards and off to bed!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lazy, Breathtaking Morning

Saturday - August 15, 2009
Today was a slow start to our day…hooray!! We all had a chance to sleep-in and take our time getting ready for an absolutely breathtaking cruise on Jackson Lake. The weather was a bit chilly with a few rays of sunshine now and then – but it was all worth it! The glaciers, the bald eagle, the laughter, the power of the mountains were just so unspoiled and picture perfect! Maybe someday we will come back and volunteer at this beautiful National Park.
This afternoon, Lois, Hal, Rita, Jack, Gizmo and Bear went for a tour of Jackson Hole. Rick, JoAnne and Sandy stayed at “home” to catch up on some work, blogging, photos, reading, and grocery shopping.
Tonight was “dinner out” at the John Colter Mexican Restaurant, then back to the rigs to plan our Sunday morning departure to Yellowstone National Park. You may not hear from us for a few days, as I doubt we will have any Internet service in Yellowstone.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Wonders of Nature

Friday, August 14, 2009
By: Hal Leslie
Today the expedition director (aka Rick) got us up at the crack of dawn to take a ferry ride across Jenny Lake to hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. We hiked uphill on a rocky trail for a couple of hours. Absolutely stunning!
In the afternoon the alternate expedition director (aka Hal), Jack and Rick took the Jeep and went 4-wheeling towards the Snake River. I say towards…because we never made it! The road was rough, kidney jarring yet exciting.
The boys all agreed…we had fun!
The girls, much more in tune with “themselves” and nature, knitted, went shopping, napped and generally enjoyed themselves - When you come right down to it, just another beautiful and fun day.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Getting from there to here!

Thursday – August 13, 2009
We arrived safely after an hour delay over the pass between the town of Dubois and Grand Teton National Park due to a massive road construction project. BUT…we did arrive at 3:30 in the afternoon. Lois, Hal, Rita and Jack had left Sleeping Bear RV Park earlier than we did. You are always in awe of the Teton Range and magnificent vistas.
We drove to Colter Bay Campground, where they all were waiting for us with drinks in hand! After setting up T2, relaxing, and enjoying a delicious shared dinner with everyone, some of us took a short walk down to the beach for sunset views of the majestic Tetons. We were lead by Ranger Rick. Little Gizmo enjoyed jumping into the cool glacier waters – coming out looking like a drowned rat. Very cute!
Still no bear or moose sightings…maybe tomorrow!!!
See today's photos

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A New August RV Adventure - Tetons, Yellowstone & Glacier National Parks

Wednesday – August 12, 2009
We had an early 8:00AM start on our journey to Tetons, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks! Lois & Hal Leslie, Rita & Jack Hay, plus Gizmo and Bear, JoAnne, Rick and Sandy Morgan headed out from the Sales Center at Anthem Ranch and began a very windy, LONG 6 ½ hour drive (yes, we did make a couple of stops) and arrived at the Sleeping Bear (noooooo…not a real one) RV Campground in Lander, WY at 3:30 PM. Looking forward to the Tetons tomorrow.
See today's photos