Find us on Google+ Rick and JoAnne's RV Travels: August 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Hike to Grinnell Glacier


Glacier National Park is a beautiful place and the hike to Grinnell Glacier provides a good sampling of the spectacular sights found in the park. 

Pam and John
I became motivated to do this hike thanks to Pam and John Wright from “Oh, The Places They Go!” They had been camping on the East side of Glacier and last Saturday made a rather harrowing journey over Logan Pass to pay us a visit. We had been following each other’s blogs and Facebook activity for a couple of years.  While traveling around the Southwest we came close a couple of times to being in the same place at the same time… so, finally an in person meeting. The afternoon flew by as we shared stories of our RV adventures.

Mt. Wilbur from boat ride on Swiftcurrent lake
What does this have to do with hiking to Grinnell Glacier? One of the items on Pam and John’s hit list while at Glacier National Park was the Grinnell Glacier Hike, which they planned on doing Sunday. That was enough motivation for me to commit to doing the hike as well. But I needed to wait until Tuesday – one of our “free” days from our volunteer camp hosting duties.

Boat dock at Lake Josephine
Pam and John did make the hike and Pam wrote a wonderful review, which you can read here.

Garden Wall and Grinnell Lake
My hike was different from theirs in two ways. I took the two boat rides across Swiftcurrent and Josephine lakes. That cut almost 5 miles – making my hike close to 8 miles vs. 13. I chose this option due to time. The round trip drive was close to 5 hours which when I tacked on a 13 mile hike was going to make a very long day. OK! OK! The real reason was I just didn’t want to hike 13 miles.

The other big difference was the weather – it was perfect the day I hiked.

There isn’t anything I can add about the hike that Pam didn’t cover. So, I will just leave you with some pictures of a hike that shouldn’t be missed.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

National Bison Range


Every year on our way to Glacier we stop for a few days in Ronan just to hang out in the Flathead Lake area and “gear-up” for our duties as volunteer camp hosts in Glacier National Park. Ronan is at the foot of the spectacular Mission Mountains in the beautiful Mission Valley. (Here are some links to our past stays in the area. One  Two).

Ronan is also just a few miles from the National Bison Range – which for some unknown reason we had never visited. So, this year it was on our list.

The plight of the American Bison is well documented and this range has played an important role in the recovery of the bison since being established by Theodore Roosevelt in 1908.

Ok, being from Colorado and traveling through Wyoming, South Dakota and Montana we have seen our share of Bison and we (make that Rick) has eaten his share of Buffalo burgers and steaks. So, seeing Bison was not the primary reason we decided to visit the range. Rather, we had heard that the 19-mile (2 hour) Red Sleep Mountain Drive was worth the price of admission ($5.00 and Free for Sr. Pass holders) – and indeed it was.

We did indeed see wildlife and were treated to some wonderful views of Mission Valley.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Some New Stuff for The RV


Over the past few months (before we headed to Glacier) we upgraded our home on wheels with a few new items.

Our first new purchase was a TST tire monitoring system. There are all kinds of reviews online. So, I am not going to write another one.

We had been talking about getting a monitoring system for a couple of years. I am not sure why we waited so long. This has turned out to be a really good “peace-of-mind” addition. No longer do I worry about checking tire pressure – especially the rear inside tires. Cleary, one of the biggest benefits of a monitoring system is safety. While a blowout would be obvious it is being alerted to a slow leak that makes this system worth the money.

Our next “big” addition was installing, with the help of Mike Farmer, Carefree of Colorado awnings over our coach windows. Again, we had wanted to do this for a couple of years. And again, I am not sure why we waited. Not only to the awnings shade the inside of the coach on sunny days they also allow us to keep the windows open on rainy days. Another added benefit is the added privacy they provide. We do have day/night shades inside the coach but are finding it nice to be able to keep the shades up and the windows open. This is JoAnne’s favorite addition.

I finally got around to doing some watercolors to help decorate the RV. JoAnne had asked me to do some paintings that would be representative of places we have visited. I did one from McDowell Mountain Park in AZ, one of Mesa Verde in CO, and one of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park.

We also added two new “gadgets”. First, we added an Induction Cook Top, which we love. Of course that also meant we needed all new Induction capable cookware.

A Soda Stream was gadget #2, which we also love. We now mix up a variety of sugar free bubbly drinks and no longer buy canned soda.

Hey, just because this is an RV doesn’t mean we can’t make it safe, comply and convenient.

What have you done to spruce up your home? What is your favorite gadget and or addition?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Detour On The Road to Glacier National Park


Yep…as you know, all detours are not good ones but this was a good and very special detour to see our grandkids Addison and David from St. Louis. Thanks to their mom and dad, we arranged for us all to meet at Lake of the Ozarks.

David, Addison, Jeff and JoAnne
We were so excited to see them, however weren’t sure if they were ready to spend an overnight in “the trailer” (the “trailer” is what they affectionately call our motor home) with us.  If you recall it was the very same St. Louis kids who witnessed, and went through the loss of their home to a devastating fire. Understandably that created a lot of anxiety for them.

But guess what? They did do a sleepover, and not just for one night but two!

It was such enormous fun... swimming, playing, talking, laughing, and sharing and of course the ever popular crafting.  To top it off, Addison made a delicious dinner for us one night. They were wonderful helpers, doing dishes and cleaning up after themselves!!!

Since we don’t see them as frequently as we do our Colorado grandchildren, it’s always an extra special treat!

You will be able to see from the pictures what the bulk of our time was spent doing! LOL

We truly enjoyed the visit with them, (and their mom and dad) and are already looking forward to seeing them again - hopefully soon!!! - JoAnne