Wyoming to Pacific to Montana
Here's a pointer to a page of thumbnails if
you want to use two windows.
The day by day format is getting old. Who cares what happened on
a particular day in our trip? Of course we keep internal records
of places, dates, prices, etc. Latitudes, longitudes, mileages,
altitudes, ham radio contacts.....it's a long list!!! (We even
record our weights daily, sad to say---and those numbers tell their own
story, which we won't discuss at the moment. Or ever.)
I doubt I can choose pictures that really show what we experienced in
the western states since the first trip report. Stan will be
choosing the best of the best. Our camera has developed a
maddening dot just above center, and he, the technical wizard, may be
able to airbrush it out.
From Casper we took the Mormon Trail to Lander, seeing sights like
Split Rock and the Wind River Mts in the distance. Our spot for
the night was next to four little killdeer neighbors-to-be. We
watched the local cat get fooled by the watchful mother. Great
Worked our way (with a stop for RC
planes) through Shoshoni,
Thermopolis, the dizzying Wind River Canyon, and Cody, to Wapiti.
Wapiti is the word for elk. Just outside Yellowstone's east
entrance, Yellowstone Inn RV provided our first hot tub of this
trip. When we walked in there was one lone guy and a big black
dog. They left and we enjoyed a warm tub.
Yellowstone is not a cheap place to stay! Our priciest yet, and
worth every penny. We did the north loop (as much as was open) one day
and the south the next. We awoke to snow but it was never a
problem, just a nuisance.
After one night in Montana (West Yellowstone) we turned south to a
wonderful Idaho state park, Massacre Rocks, where we spent two nights
on the Snake River. Walked around a lot, saw all kinds of birds
and wild flowers. And a bunny.
In Burley, Idaho, I was scalped, not by hostiles, but by a very nice
woman who hypnotized me with conversation while the razor did its
work. Certainly cooled me off nicely.
In Boise/Nampa we visited Edith and Biscuit's old house, where we'd
visited on winter trips. Hiked through the Botanical Garden
downtown, made our first visit to a mall, ate food court food, naughty
Further into the country in Marsing, we passed Lizard Butte
and collapsed at a spot, again on the beautiful Snake River. It
was Very Hot and we just rested for a second night. Since we had
passable wi-fi, Stan downloaded lots of Oregon state park info.
Oh yes, and the French Open started, so I was a happy camper.
5/28--- out for 4 weeks.
Entering Oregon, we were ready for anything. Our experience to
date was coming up the coast to Portland, and then escaping as fast as
possible down I-5. Two main roads get you from eastern into
central Oregon, 20 and 26. We took the low road to Bend, much of
the way crisscrossing the Malheur River. Cooler here, in the 60's
and oh so welcome! This land is your land, this land is our
Oregon is a wonderful state, wild and wide open and
ever-changing. We thought Bend was a pretty nice place
(apparently it's "spendy" and next only to San Francisco---this we got
from Ron, an old geezer who'd crossed the country 45 times). The
surroundings are some of the most scenic mountains in the Cascade
Range. Brian, you MUST come out here!
The loop through McKenzie Pass in the Three Sisters Wilderness area was
still closed with deep snow, so we opted for the Century Drive past the
Cascade Lakes and Mt Bachelor ski area. Much volcanic action in
these parts, enormous piles of volcanic rock.
We headed south to Crater Lake, on the way getting cool views of Mt
Shasta. We waved hello for you, Vicki!
One state park had a logging museum where Stan shot about 100 pictures.
Crater Lake. The extremely steep approach gave us a chance to see
deep gorges and the basalt columns and plugs associated with volcanoes.
Deep snow, 12 ft and more, no warning of what's to come, and suddenly
there it is, and we need a new name for the color BLUE. I don't
think a picture can show it properly. Since it was so early in
the season there were few people. We ate at the lodge (very
fancy!) and drove around on the west side (east still closed).
Evan, we wish you could have been with us.
The drive down to the east along the wild and scenic Rogue River was
Stan spotted an interesting old grain mill.
We stayed again on the Rogue, but temperatures were in the mid
90s. Time to start up the coast, this time really taking it slow
We spent part of the day on I-5, and headed to the coast on Rt 42, a
precipitious bit of road. Cape Arago (air ago) was wild and
foggy, and we stumbled upon a botanical garden with rhododendrons and
roses glowing in the gloom.
We could not pass Tillamook without getting a little cheese snack.
Along the coast we had only brief glimpses of blue sky. Hard to
believe how we sweltered just over those mountains. Our
destination was Fort Stevens state park at the mouth of the Columbia
After a visit to the Maritime Museum in Astoria and poking around the
town, we crossed the big bridge into Washington and Cape Disappointment
A great park with campsites right on the water.
Onward to Portland, where we enjoyed much hilarity with family and
friends for several days. Here is some of what we did:
saw a 5th grade graduation
taught people to play mah jongg
went to an air museum
had manicure and pedicure
hiked and experienced the great Rose Garden (perfect timing)
Theo played with his new helicopter
visited old friends from MIT and Kiewit
watched granddaughters ice skate and do aerial acrobatics
saw Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer at the French Open
hot tub with Nita
dim sum with Nita and Colleen
brunch with Jeanne David Brud Grayson Sara Jane, yum!
drove all around town.
It was all so much fun that we are still recovering.
We cannot thank everyone enough for such fine hospitality. You know who
you are: Nita, Theo, Olivia, Rachel, Colleen, Dave, Jeanne, David,
Grayson, Sara Jane, Joanne, Jerry, Lou, Linda. I loved meeting Marie
and Matt, whom Stan had met several years ago.
Based on advice from various sources, we headed for the Wallowa
mountain area, touted as the Swiss Alps of Oregon. On the way:
along the Columbia River
Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center
windsurfers on the river, brrrr!
soft pillowy hills with basalt columns below
the Blue Mountains
and finally the surprising Wallowa Lake area.
Remember "Heidi"? The hills are alive with the sound of
music......well, not really. A spectacular place with snowy
mountains towering over a jewel of a glacial lake.
Exiting the area was very exciting, Rt 3 up the Joseph River, our first
major encounter with the tragic Nez Perce story. We went up up
up, down down down, and back up again.
Our first years out I could not have endured that much vertical
change. This was beautiful AND fun.
Back into Idaho after a stop in Asotin (aah sew tin, accent
penultimate). A lady there told me there was once a murder there
and "the television" kept calling it "ah sot tin", which bugged
her! Keeping up with how place names are pronounced is my
mission. I try hard!
Asotin is a bedroom community for Lewiston, on the Idaho side of,
yes....again, the Snake River. We spent the night in Winchester at a
state park. From there we toured through Nez Perce Reservation
land through tens of miles of greens and yellows, barely a soul to be
seen. This excursion, it turns out, is the Camas Prairie
area. The fields and hills are a dreamy patchwork of greens and
yellows; rye, wheat, oats, grasses, canola (the brilliant yellow).
We drifted along into the Nez Perce Reservation to Kamiah (pronounced
Cammy-eye) and then up the Lolo Trail. Route 12 follows the
Lochsa River, liberally spattered with kayakers and rafters, nearly to
Lolo Pass, at 5233 feet above sea level. From there into
Missoula, a new state and a new time zone.
It's hard to imagine scenery that can beat that of the last few weeks,
but we are ever hopeful. We are staying in good health and great
spirits. We miss home in so many ways, but are thrilled to be on
this new trip in a new season. May the vacationing hordes not
destroy our faith in being able to find a good time in almost any