"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Madness of it All

 We departed Vedauwoo campground around 8:30 AM on Sunday morning.  Stopped by the Territorial prison in Laramie for a dump and water.  They ask for a contribution of $10.00 with an iron ranger.  From there we traveled I-80 westward to Rawlins, then northwest up 287 toward Lander, Wyoming.  We had word that the city park in Lander was ok for an overnight.  We arrived around 1 PM and found a couple of rv's already there.  A gravel parking lot between a nice park with green grass, and the Popo Agie river.  A few picnic tables scatted around.  We picked a spot close to one of the tables with grass for Sally to roll around in.  Later,  Wanda said we should order a pizza, and that's what we did.  It took a few minutes to convince the young man at Pizza Hut that we were in a camper in the park, but he finally came on board.  Forty five minutes later the driver arrives with a fresh hot pizza.  She departed a happier person, and we enjoyed every bite. 

 We were early leaving Lander on Monday morning.  On the road by 6 AM.  We wanted to get a USFS campsite somewhere along the Shoshone River  between Cody, WY and the East gate of Yellowstone. A quick stop at McDonalds in Lander for coffee and biscuits,  and a longer stop at Walmart in Cody, had us traveling along the Shoshone River Westward around noon.  I had picked Wapiti campground as a target because it was about halfway between Cody and the park, and it had some sites with electric hookups.  We pulled into the campground and took a right onto the electric loop. Appeared all sites were taken when we noticed a guy trying to flag us down.  He said that he was scheduled to leave the next day, but was departing early, and we could have his site if we could wait about 10 minutes.  He said it was already paid for and we would have it for free.  We thanked him profusely, and were so grateful for our luck that we went and paid for the site again for the night.  

 

 

We were really glad we had electric hookups as it was very warm during the afternoon and early evening.  Actually ran the air conditioner till around midnight or so.  After a quick breakfast we entered the park around 9 AM.  Traffic through the East gate wasn't too bad and we quickly made our way to Fishing Bridge, and the junction with the Loop Road.  That's where things really picked up.  Lots and lots of traffic.  Every wayside we passed was overflowing with cars, trucks, and rv's of different sizes and shapes.  People, some masked, some not, were everywhere.  Reminded me of ants scrambling around.  With a buffalo jam or two, it took us over two hours from Fishing Bridge to Canyon, then to Madison campground.

 

Now here's a really wierd thing.  One doesn't reserve a particular site in Yellowstone.  You input the size of whatever you're camping in, along with your vehicle, when making a reservation, and you get assigned a site when you arrive.  This is our third time in 11 years to be in Madison campground, and have had the same site assigned all three times.  A wonderful little pull-thru at the back of C loop.  Out of nearly two hundred rv sites in the campground, what do you think the odds are of that happening?
With the crowds like they were, we decided that we wouldn't even attempt to ride around the park.  We've been here numerous times before, with and without the Casita,  and seen and done the normal tourist things.  

On Wednesday we made a day trip over into Montana, and the town of Virginia City.  A beautiful drive down the Madison River gorge, and out into the wide open Madison River Valley.  We stumbled upon Earthquake Lake and the USFS visitor center dedicated to the site.  Back in August of 1959, around 11 PM, there was an earthquake underneath Hebgen Lake near West Yellowstone.  This triggered a massive landslide near the very end of the gorge. Half a mountain on the move.  Millions and millions of tons of earth and rock came tumbling down into the river gorge,  wiping away farms, camps, and campgrounds.  If memory serves me correctly, there  were fourteen people buried in the rubble whose bodies were never recovered.  One information board said that enough material was moved that night to build a highway 30 feet wide and three feet thick from there to New York City.  Very interesting, though sad.

 

 

 

 

The town of Virginia City appears frozen in time from the 1870's.  Most every building still looks the same on the outside, and has historical displays of the area inside.  The entire town is a national Historic site.  There were a couple of small restaurants and ice cream parlors but for the most part it all was "old".  I took a few pictures, but it was midday, and hot.  Sally wasn't enjoying the wooden sidewalks, so we only spent a short time there.  The ride there and back made the trip worthwhile.









 

Back to Yellowstone, itself.  Lots and lots of people.  We can hear the traffic from and to West Yellowstone from the campground.  You'll hear the first vehicles entering the park around 5 AM.  It builds all morning till by 9 AM, it's a constant sound.  It slows around noon, and then about 3 PM it reverses.  We;ve made two early morning excursions; one toward the Lamar Valley, and another toward the Old Faithful area.  We were out of the campground by 6:30 AM and never made it past halfway of the Lamar Valley before giving up and turning around. Took us till noon to get back to the campground.  Another day we did the same toward Old Faithful.  We walked a couple of the geyser basins, checked email and phone calls, and were back at the campground by 10 or so.  
Tomorrow, Saturday, we're doing laundry and packing up.  Though we were scheduled to stay here till Tuesday, it's no fun.  Sunday, we're on the road.   The most entertaining thing we've found so far in the park is watching all the folks arriving at the campground each evening.  Most stay only one night, many can't back their car, much less an RV, into a back-in site, and they have waayyy too much "stuff".  The campground ranger spends most of her time telling them to park on the asphalt, put away their clothes and dish's, and turn off that darn generator after 8 PM. 


          






Saturday, August 1, 2020

A phone blog?

 Can I  do a blog from my phone. Let's see. Without Livewriter working anymore, it's almost impossible to stay online with my laptop long enough to do a blog live. 
We left home Monday morning, traveling through Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado; before settling at Vedauwoo USFS campground near Laramie, Wyoming. A beautiful place with cool temperatures. 
We've been here since Thursday, moving on tomorrow toward Yellowstone.

Following are a few pictures of our campsites in Kansas and Vedauwoo, along with some of a hike around Turtle Mountain.




























Thanks for looking.....jc





Sunday, July 19, 2020

Go,or not Go!! Therein lies the question.

  
Most of the places we've spent a night, or more, in the Casita. Excluding Canada and Alaska.
Way back last Fall, before anyone had even dreamed of a pandemic, demonstrations, riots, etc; which make up all the news today, we planned a trip.  Friends were picking up their new Escape trailer in British Columbia and we were going to meet them in Montana.  Reservations were first made in Yellowstone, then Glacier, Rocky Mountain, Black Canyon, Ouray, Durango, and Pagosa Springs.  This was the first time we were to travel with a schedule, but our friends like knowing in advance where they're going to be and we were fine with that.  We were going to spend part of our long hot Summer in the Rockies.  What a treat.

Now we are faced with the reality of today.  The virus appears to have the Country in major turmoil.  One doesn't know what, or whom, to believe.  Stay home, don't travel; but send the kids to school so they can bring it home to mom and dad, or worse Grandma and Gramps?   Way too complicated for me to figure out.  Wanda and I believe we are in good health for our age.  No major medical issues to speak of, but we sure don't want the virus.

That brings me to the question(s) that keeps popping up in my head.  Glacier has already been cancelled due to most of the park still closed down, especially the East side.  Reservations for a week in Yellowstone, and all the rest, are still valid as of today.  Should we go?  What if we get within a hundred miles of the park and they shut it down.  What about Colorado, where we plan to spend most of August?  What's their plan? 

I retired in 2008, and this is the longest period of time since then that we've been home.  I'm itching to get on the road again.

Should we go? That's the question.....jc