We have dropped off of the grid!!!!!

Well:  what do I say? We came off of the road back in the end of 2014 after picking up Emily. We are currently north of Atlanta about 30 miles up on Lake Lanier (a COE lake) at Duckett Mill Campground. We decided to come off of the road for a while and settle down and spend some time with our daughter, grandbabies, etc. We bid one of the gatehouse openings at Duckett Mill for 2015 camping season and got the bid so we worked the campground in 2015, stayed on at the Host site thru the winter of 2015 and again bid the park for a second year. So; we are hunkered down here in Georgia for another season, (2016). not sure what we will do after that. I am feeling fine, Phaeton is running well (when I drive it)….. not much to say when we are not visiting new places… Just wanted to bring those who were following us up to speed. Happy trails…

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Well – Barb is Expecting!!!

posted 11/17/2014

Well; Barb is expecting!!! she’s 5 weeks along as of today and is she ever excited. When is she due? Around December 10th.  OK…. explain yourself Maynard…. We have been planning all along to become parents again and get another puppy, but, were holding off until we finished our trip to Disney World the first couple of weeks of December, this year. Well; in looking around on the internet for Shih Tzu breeders in the Florida area we came across a very quality breeder out of the Beverly Hills, FL area. I called her and discussed what we were looking for and she just happened to have a new litter of chocolate brown babies that were born about 5 weeks ago and three of them were female’s (which Barb wanted). Well; bottom line, we picked one out and we are now the proud parents of a new baby girl. Haven’t picked her up yet; she will have to be 8 weeks old before they let her go to the new parents, so, after we leave Disney World, December 8th, we will head over to Beverly Hills, FL and pick up the pup before working our way back up to Atlanta, GA [Cumming, GA to be exact].

Gosh…we don’t post anything on our BLOG for almost 2 months and then we surprise you with this piece of information…..I will post another BLOG update in the next couple of days filling you in on what we have been doing this past couple of months, but, for now; here is our latest news….

Maynard

Fall Is Upon Us

Wow has the weather changed.  It was down in the 30’s at night and low 50’s during the day, with lots of wind and rain while we were at Henry’s Lake, Idaho.  We stopped there for about three weeks to enjoy Yellowstone National Park, and to pass the last large holiday of summer.

Barb outside Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone NP

Barb outside Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone NP

The massive fireplace inside the Old Faithful Inn

The massive fireplace inside the Old Faithful Inn

Some of the beautiful interior of the Inn which was built in 1903

Some of the beautiful interior of the Inn which was built in 1903

Old Faithful geyser as seen from the outer deck of the Inn

Old Faithful geyser as seen from the outer deck of the Inn

One of the restored old touring cars at Yellowstone NP

One of the restored old touring cars at Yellowstone NP

I never get tired of seeing these big guys. This one was at Yellowstone NP

I never get tired of seeing these big guys. This one was at Yellowstone NP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

None of the leaves have changed yet, but the cold weather has sure dropped in.  I understand they had snow in Yellowstone last night, so we may have a fast fall this year.  Currently we are in Branson, Missouri.  We have been here a couple of days, and the rain that came in ahead of us has just about cleared.  Even tho it is in the 50’s here early in the morning, the afternoons are warming into the 60’s and low 70’s.  Hark!  I even think I see a dab of sun.  Perhaps it will stay around awhile.  We will be here all of next week before moving further south.

We have traveled a lot of miles lately.  When we left Henry’s Lake, Idaho we went into Bozeman, Montana to do a couple days of antique shopping, and resupply after being out in the wilderness for several weeks.  After leaving Bozeman, about 45 minutes into our eastward trek on I-90, we heard a huge thud.  Upon investigation, we found the microwave, convection oven had simply pulled loose from the wall and dropped out from between our kitchen cabinets.

Our convection microwave unit after it came off of the wall.

Our convection microwave unit after it came off of the wall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had some boards in the Jeep we were going to burn as firewood, so we used them to prop the microwave up and we continued on our way.  Stopping in Sheridan, Wyoming that night, we called an appliance serviceman to come see if he would be willing to remount the microwave on the wall.  Bottom line, NOPE, he wasn’t touching it.  Mayn got on the phone and finally found a Tiffin dealer/service center in Lincoln, NE (Leach Camper Sales).  The next day we went through Rapid City, SD and then into Pender, Nebraska where we had an appointment to get our tow hitch worked on at Blue OX Products.  The following day found us in Lincoln, NE at the dealership early since they were going to work us in.  Mayn had made several calls in advance of our arrival discussing with the Service Manager just how he wanted it re-hung,  so when we checked in, believe me, they were very aware of who we were.   It was a nice group of people.  They remounted the appliance, and were all standing outside waving at us when we left their place.  (Not really, but I am sure they were glad to see us go.)  We haven’t had too many problems on our trips, but this was several days of what seemed nonstop inconvenience.  We were glad to arrive in Branson, MO where we could stop for awhile and be still, and enjoy the COE lake where we are currently camped.  Both of us are looking forward to exploring the area.

Guess that brings you up to date on us.  More later.

Bear Spray Is Golden

What a gorgeous morning.  It was 43 degrees when we got up this morning.  Mayn knows I love a morning fire, and when I got up coffee and a fire were waiting.  Hummmm, what a way to start a day.  We currently are in Henry’s Lake State Park located a few miles south of West Yellowstone, MT, and I will write about our Journey in this area in the next blog.

Today’s entertainment will, however, be about our stay at Seeley Lake, Montana.  We stayed at Salmon Lake State Park; a very pleasant place with lovely people and nice sites.  While we were there, a visit to the premier ghost town in the United States (according to the people at the state park) was in order.  So, we hitched up our buggy, and started out. Garnet Ghost Town was quite the treat.  It is a preservation site (not restoration), and the volunteers there were quite knowledgable about the town and area.  Established in 1898, and under the care of the BLM, the town sees about 500 visitors a day.

Overview of Garnet Ghost Town

Overview of Garnet Ghost Town

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The ranger in charge, told us it is hard to get volunteers, because they are way, way, back in the forest.  We told him we had done volunteer work before, and he was kind enough to show us a couple of the old cabins (not on public display) where, although very, very rustic,  volunteers are housed.  If being without electricity, carrying your own water, and using the “privy” are your thing, this is a really good deal.  They even pay!!  A fun thing to do.  I asked one of the volunteers if he had ever seen a ghost, and he said yes.  Ok , I’m ready to go — let’s move on.

Another day, while at Seeley Lake, Mayn decides to go the National Forest Ranger Station, and get an area map, in search of jeep trails to traverse.  He comes out with a big smile, and says there is an old forest fire road not too far away, and that might be fun.  OK, so we start out.  About seven miles deep (did I mention DEEP) into the forest, we come to a fork in the road.  A sign said up and to the left, nine more miles, was the lookout.  Up we go.  We got higher, and the road got narrower, and started with the switchbacks, so I closed my eyes.  Eventually, we got to the top.  By now, I am turning green, and a little wobbly, so I watched Mayn toddle off,  headed to talk to the ranger in the lookout tower (which was still out of sight).

Fire watchtower at Morrell Mountain, MT

Fire watchtower at Morrell Mountain, MT

Ridge at Morrell Mountain

Ridge at Morrell Mountain

As I’m sitting in the jeep, trying to get my stomach back in proper alignment, I hear a swooshing noise.  Opening my eyes, I see steam rolling out from under the radiator.  Now normally this would have panicked me, but I had experienced this same phenomena before with another car.  I thought, “Oh great, we’ve broken a radiator hose.  Oh well, Mayn used to sell the things, he can fix it when he gets back”.  After two hours, he opens the door, sits down and tells me what a lovely talk he has had with the ranger.  Finally, as he inserts the key, still talking, and I interrupt to tell him what happened.  He looks, and says, it probably overheated.   We have enough water and fluid to get us down the mountain though.

OK, you’re the expert.  Off we go.

our narrow pathway downward

our narrow pathway downward

This time faster down the narrow roads and switchbacks.  Eyes closed, with the dry heaves, crying hysterically, we finally get back to the fork in the road.  Mayn stops the car.  Seeing I am on the verge of “shock” comes around,  gets my feet out , and says  kind and gentle  words while I get myself together.  Now the steam is pouring out from under the hood, and Mayn declares we have a cracked radiator.  He takes his cell phone, and starts to walk down the road looking for a signal.  NO SIGNAL  So he goes the other way.  NO SIGNAL.  Alone, with an incapacitated vehicle in the middle of towering pine trees, DEEP in the forest, Mayn says somebody will eventually come along.  And, they did.  About an hour later (4:00pm) a very nice lady stops and offers to take Mayn back to town for a tow truck.

Off they go — wait what about me??  Oh yeah, you stay with the jeep.  Got your bear spray?  Yes.  OK now off they go.  As I stood there, in the middle of the forest, watching Mayn drive off in a car without me, I looked down, and was standing in front of bear skat.  It was now starting to be about the time of day  animals come to the creeks and rivers for water.  (which was right behind me)  No way of communicating with anyone, flies and mosquitoes abuzzing, and I’m thinking about crying again.  BUT, I decide to try and be positive.  So, I find some shade, get my water out of the car, put my bear spray in my pocket, and open a candy bar, since it had been about 7 hours since we ate.  OOOOOPS — not a smart thing to do.  Bears have great noses.  What am I going to do with the wrapper??  About this time, someone comes along and stops.  I walk to their car, and tell them we have had car trouble, and Mayn has gone for a tow truck.  “Got bear spray?”  It was the only thing said, and when I replied showing the man the canister, he left.  About thirty minutes later, a second vehicle approaches.  They stop and say, “Got bear spray”?  After assuring them, not only do I have it, but I can use it, they proceed on their way as well.  As I am still contemplating where to put the candy wrapper, here comes the tow truck.  I am so relieved we didn’t have to spend the night in the forest hungry and thirsty, that a silent tear fell, and a prayer of thanks went up.

On the way back to town, I asked the tow truck driver if there were really bear in the area.  Oh yeah he says.  They are all over:  grizzly and black abound.

The moral of this story —  When your child asks you what you want for Christmas this year, say bear spray.  When you go into the national forest, or a deserted location, check your car first, and tell someone, (even a gate attendant) where you are going.  Eat regular meals.  Haul your garbage out when you go.  Take water with you at all times.  Say a prayer of thanks when you get out.

Barbara

 

 

Up, Up and Away

Our next stop was Glacier National Park’s “Going To The Sun Road”.  What can I say except:  “We came, We saw, We went.”  I’ve heard, although don’t always agree, that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Here you go:Img_5812a copyImg_5822a copyImg_5832a copyImg_5835a copyImg_5850a copyImg_5865a copy

Time To Go

Well, it’s been great here in Dolores, Co., but it’s time to move on. We have been here for 2 months.  We left Dolores, and after staying a night or so in a campground around Salt Lake, Utah,  arrived in Idaho Falls, Idaho.  We have long time friends there, and they have a new granddaughter, Korra.

Doug and his new granddaughter

Doug and his new granddaughter

It was so nice to see them again, and of course, we enjoyed cooooing at the baby.  While we were there Maynard was, with Doug’s help, able to solve his overheating problem with the bus.  They used a hot water pressure washer, and cleaned the rear radiator and charge air cooler assembly.

Mud, chunks of rock, plastic bag, pieces of rubber tire, etc. all came out.  It’s working fine now.  Thanks again Doug.  We ate wonderfully while there,  and were able to stock up on food and ready to move on.  Old friends are like fine wine, sweeter and better each time you are together.

From Idaho Falls, we  went to  Salmon, Idaho.  A nice little campground (Read Mayn’s review on Heald’s Haven Campground and RV) sitting right at the base of several mountains was what we called home for a few days.  It was  quiet, not crowded, and there were several deer in the park every day.  We met Brian and Annette, and together enjoyed  being with them and visited the Farmer’s Market in Salmon,

Barb at a nicely done fountain in Salmon, ID

Barb at a nicely done fountain in Salmon, ID

as well as the Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural Educational Center  .  Since it was the weekend, the center had a special guest who was giving a “living lecture” on Lewis and Clark and Sacajawea.

This guy really knew his stuff about Lewis and Clark

This guy really knew his stuff about Lewis and Clark

After the lecture, we went on the trail to the Indian Village, and saw more demonstrations, and a corral with wild horses. Img_5688a copy All in all very interesting and well done.  We were admitted free with our America the Beautiful senior pass.

 

 

 

After that we took a back road into the national forest.  Dirt roads high in the pines, primitive campsites and beautiful mountainscapes were a special treat for us all.  A full day.

a beautiful mountain lake nestled in the Salmon Mtns.

a beautiful mountain lake nestled in the Salmon Mtns.

Beautiful mountains and passes near our campground that we were able to enjoy

Beautiful mountains and passes near our campground that we were able to enjoy

one of the mountain roads we took

one of the mountain roads we took

a herd of pronghorn sheep we saw while up in the mountains

a herd of pronghorn sheep we saw while up in the mountains

After leaving Salmon, Idaho, we again headed north  towards Glacier National Park.  There, however, was one detour.  We went into the National Bison Range in Molese, Montana.  The tour drive they have in the park  is a 19 mile  trip over Red Sleep Mountain.  It has a few 10% grades, so we unhooked our jeep, and left the bus in the parking lot at the visitor’s center.  There were quite a few Bison,

a pair of bison taking a rest

a pair of bison taking a rest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

as well as Deer and Pronghorn Antelope.

This ole guy posed real well for us

This ole guy posed real well for us

It took us about two hours, and was well worth the trip.  There are also Bear and Bighorn Sheep in the park, but they were unavailable to our eyes, that day.  We again got in to the park free with our America the Beautiful senior pass.

Most of our days in Idaho and Montana have been in the high 80’s and low 90’s, with night time temps in the 50’s and 60’s.  It was, however, 47 when I got up this morning up here in West Glacier, MT.  There is hope cooler temps are coming soon.  Guess that’s it for now.  Stay tuned.

Barbara

 

Last Days

We are still at Dolores RV Campground in Dolores, Colorado, just about ready to move on.  We have been here almost two months, and will leave this Wednesday.  Our stay here has been wonderful, and we plan to return on our next trip out west.  Before we left, however, we wanted to share part of our experience with family.  Our daughter,  Betsy and grandchildren,  Mikaylah and Caiden,  flew out from Atlanta for a visit.  We had a wonderful time.

In the short time they were here Caiden enjoyed the Dolores River which runs right behind the campground.  One of the owners children showed him his favorite swimming hole, and he took to it like a fish.

Of course, one of the areas largest destination attractions is Telluride, CO. (the high-end winter ski resort area), so, we all loaded into the jeep and headed up to the mountains again.  We stopped at Lizard Head Pass [elev. 12,500′], and snapped a photo or two, and then moved on into the town.

a view of Lizard Head Pass, elev 12, 500'

a view of Lizard Head Pass, elev 12, 500′

After riding the Gondola tram, we found several things for the children to do.  Rock climbing seems to have been at the top of the list.  Caiden and Mikaylah both had a wonderful time.  (Fortunately, no scrapes or bruises)

Caiden rock climbing

Caiden rock climbing

Mikaylah on top of the rock climbing hill

Mikaylah on top of the rock climbing hill

Then there was Bridal Veil Falls.  Last time we were there, the 1 mile 4WD jeep trail leading to underneath the falls was blocked by a rock slide that had rolled down the mountain side and blocked the road.  This time, however, the trail had been cleared, so we drove up to the bottom of  the falls in our Jeep.  We were able to stand almost directly under the falls and get pictures.  The children loved it:  all the mist  —  the chance to get wet on a hot day.  Well what could be better?

Barb & I under Bridal Veil Falls

Barb & I under Bridal Veil Falls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mikaylah & Caiden climbing rocks at Bridal Veil Falls

Mikaylah & Caiden climbing rocks at Bridal Veil Falls

Then, there was the horseback riding adventure.  Two hours on horseback at a ranch near Dolores.  Caiden got his own horse, and he was thrilled.  He did a great job.  (We put him right behind the guide, and he talked her ears off).  Several times Mayn and I said we were glad to be on the other end of the line.  Mikaylah had the horse that was odoriferous, and she was always holding her nose with one hand and the reigns with the other.  No one seemed the worse for wear at the end of the day.  We laughed a lot and enjoyed the ride in the national forest.

Alas, time went fast, and catching a flight home was on the top of the “to do list”.  A couple of days later, we ran into our old friends Dave and Linda.  The next day, we signed up for a tour of the Anasazi Heritage Center, outside Dolores.  A beautiful building archiving artifacts of the many Indian tribes in the area.  This was one of the best presentations we have experienced to date.  On Thursdays, if you sign up in advance, they will give you, free of charge, an extended tour into their vaults and working areas not usually open to the public.  All four of us really enjoyed the tour.  A few days later, we all went antiquing.  I bought a hat, and Linda bought some petrified wood.   A fun day.

Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores, CO

Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores, CO

a very old native indian Badger Canteen

a very old native indian Badger Canteen

Besides all of this fun, Maynard has been busy putting a kayak rack on top of the jeep.  You know, just in case we pass by and happen to see one for sale along the road and it should jump up on top the Jeep.  Well, we would definitely need something to hold it in place.  Right after that, he tells me we will be dry camping next week in Cabela’s parking lot in Salt Lake City, UT.  Ok, how much brain power does it take to add two and two?????

Hope you are all having a wonderful summer, amazing vacations, and laughing  a lot.  Be happy.

Barbara