Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Odometer  34443 miles
Trip Meter  297 miles

We left West Yellowstone this morning under cloudy skies heading for Twin Falls, Idaho.  But before I continue, let me do a quick flashback to what we did yesterday.

Joan's brother, Roger and his wife Marcia were nearby, so we arranged to meet with them in West Yellowstone on Sunday evening when we got in, and again on Monday.

Here is a photo Joan took of "downtown" West Yellowstone, a nice little resort community just out side the Yellowstone National Park.
West Yellowstone is mostly tourist driven,  so it stands to reason that it closes down in the winter and blossoms again in the spring.  Most of the shops were open by now, but it was clear that a few were not yet in full swing.  Our worries about the Memorial Day weekend were groundless, we had no trouble at all getting an RV space and this morning a whole herd of us checked out leaving it mostly empty.

It was fantastic seeing Roger and his beautiful wife Marcia, and getting a chance to catch up on all the family news.

For one reason or another we have not seen Roger in a long time, and the reunion of brother and sister was warm and long overdue.

We decided to go to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center together and the sun broke out from behind the clouds that seem to plague us recently.
Joan snapped this photo of a wolf in the Discovery Center who took an interest in us, Marcia was pretty sure the wolf was looking direcly at her!

The Grizzlies had just been fed and decided to work it off with a little play.  Here brother and sister go at it- but all in fun.

The Center has just added a section dedicated to raptors, and Joan caught this picture of a rescued Bald Eagle.

We wandered around the small town of West Yellowstone, and discovered the Madison Hotel, built in 1912.
They let us look around at the oldest part of the Hotel and the log structure is still sturdy and you can rent one of these rooms

 Trust me, this is the real deal- all the joists and rafters are peeled poles the floor sways and creaks- it's cool!

Joan and Roger didn't get any farther than the 2nd story balcony that faced the street.  The wicker furniture was comfortable and inviting.  We sat and remenisced until we thought they would throw us out- besides it was getting chilly. (the high for today was only in the 50's)

Back to today-

We headed out the west side of  West Yellowstone on highway 20 which goes south and a little west down towards Ashton, Rexburg, and Idaho Falls. We descended from an elevation of 6,666 ft. at the town of West Yellowstone and crossed the continental divide for the third time in the past week.   When we got to the outskirts of Idaho Falls we pulled off the highway and fixed a quick lunch and got back on the road. We were breathing easier at the elevation of  4,700 ft. The clouds were intermittantly letting go with rain, sometimes heavy, but mostly just misting us, and even some periods of dry.  Joan and I passed the time remarking on the beautiful scenery and singing along with the sattelite radio tuned to Love Songs- Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion...

Pocatello held the promise of a Starbucks- so my CIO (Chief Information Officer) got on the iPad and found one not far from exit 61. What should have been a quick on-and-off was complicated by construction- but we finally made it to the store and found a place to park.   For our guilty pleasure, we both got a tall mocha for the road, and it didn't disappoint- Mmm!  We also found some K-cups of  DECAF Pikes Place coffee- Score!  Us decaffers have to strike when we can.  We have found House Blend decaf at Wal-Mart, but never any of the other decaf  K-cups put out by Starbucks. 

It was raining lightly all the time we were in Pocatello, and rained for about the next half hour as we motored west towards Twin Falls.  We looked over on lthe American Falls reservior and I asked my CIO why they call it "American Falls" and she obliged me by checking on Wikipedia.  There were falls there on the Snake river, which went away when the American Falls Dam was built in 1925 for hydro power.  What is interesting is that what also went away was the town of American Falls.  It was the first city in the US to be completely relocated.

Joan found a Passport America RV park on the west side of Twin Falls a little less than 150 miles west of Pocatello.  The skies started to show signs of light and before we'd gone 50 miles the sun broke through.  The rest of the way to Hagerman, ID, was sunny, and we enjoyed watching the temperature read-out on the dash climb from 57 to 64 degrees.  

We arrived at the High Adventure River Tours RV Park (H.A.R.T) and found a beautiful spot with full hook-ups which means we'll do laundry tonight.  We both got after the bus with hose and brush to loosen the grime that has accumulated over the past week. We were not huffing and puffing at the 2, 953 ft elevation here.    By 6:30 Joan had dinner on the table and we could sit back and relax.
Tomorrow we will head for Baker City, OR.  Our first time back in Oregon since November 2 of last year.  Seven months and 10,195 miles ago!

Your Traveling Friends,

Jeff and Joan

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