(some pictures link to related but different material)
On May fifth we left our friends in Texas and began our northward trek. As has become our habit, we first traveled to the Wichita, Ks. area to spend some time parked with our good friends the Hollingsworth's, and to visit my sister and my mother. Mother is now nearing 89 and her memory is failing badly, but she does still know us and seems to be happy, so we just count our blessings. We spent two weeks here visiting and also doing some maintenance on the motorhome and CR-V, with Neil's assistance. From Wichita we headed north again to visit the Pioneer Village in Minden, Nebraska. The road, US81, is a very good highway with light traffic and friendly people. Kansas seems to be a state that takes good care of their highways.
If you stay in the associated RV park, you will be less than a block from the museum entrance and you will receive one free admission to the museum. Each admission is good for two days and it can easily take that long to see everything. The RV park is nice, although not very modern. We would stay there again. From Minden we traveled to Kearney, Nebraska to visit the Great Platte River Road, arch. The arch is worth a stop, but do not buy fuel in Kearney because we paid forty cents per gallon more there than it had been in Minden and when we got to Flying J in North Platte we found gasoline for 65 cents less! So plan your fuel stop for North Platte. We next followed I-80 to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where we lived for 18 years. We spent about a week there visiting friends and a nephew in Loveland, Co.
We continued west on I-80, after having been snowed on once and having had a great visit with friends. The pass between Cheyenne & Laramie has a visitor area that is worth a short stop but most of this trip is rather lacking in scenery. There are many antelope along the road, so keep a sharp eye out. The trip across I-80 was very challenging as the winds were blowing very hard with gusts well above 60 mph. We were at times traveling at only 45 mph, and only a few trucks were passing us. If you have never been across this stretch, be very careful when the wind is high! Rawlins is not a pretty place, although it does have some history worth checking out. Since we have been in Rawlins many times we contented ourselves with just a few hours of exploring. The next morning is was back to I-80.
We stopped at Flying J in Evanston, WY for fuel, paying $1.85 and then went on to a rest area in Utah for lunch. We then took I-84 north into Brigham City, where we spent the night. Since we have spent time in this area before, we were back on the road the next morning, heading up the road to Idaho and then west to Baker City, OR.
While checking into the very nice Mountain View Trav-L-Park, we discovered that there are many things to see in the area so we chose to spend a few days to see the sights. Two that are "must see" are the Oregon Trail Center, run by the BLM, and the Hell's Canyon Recreation Area. We were so taken with the Hell's Canyon area that we determined to locate the jet-boat tours from the lower end and take one as soon as we could do so. Since we were due back to Salt Creek Park for a tour as campground hosts, we returned to the road, traveling down I-84 to Portland where we turned north on I-5 to Washington.
From Kalama we continued north on I-5 to Tacoma, where we connected with WA16, across the Tacoma Narrows bridge, then crossed the Hood Canal bridge and joined US101 to Port Angeles and west to Salt Creek park. We spent the month of June as campground hosts and visiting our children & grandchildren in Sequim. At the end of June we moved to an RV park in Sequim for two weeks before once again heading down the road. Our next stop was Ellensburg, WA.
We spent several days parked in Ellensburg to explore the area, visiting the beautiful Bavarian town of Leavenworth and also touring the Grand Coulee and visiting Grand Coulee Dam. We also spent some money at the fruit stands on the west slope of the Cascade mountains, purchasing some of the very best cherries and peaches that we have ever eaten! We spent the next day in Walla Walla, where I failed to get a picture of our RV park. But we stayed in the Four Seasons Resort. I would stay there again if we should return as it was very nice and reasonably priced.
It was just a short day's drive on US12 from Walla Walla to Clarkston. The road is excellent and the trip is through very hilly wheat farms. We arrived in Clarkston early and spent the day exploring with a trip by jet boat up the Snake River in Hell's Canyon on the agenda for the following day. I will put up a page on this adventure, so lets just say that the RV park and the tour were both outstanding. If you go, take a full day trip with Beamers tours and stay at Granite Lake park!
The climb up from the Snake River valley was a very long easy grade and we made very good time. As we traveled south on US95 we passed through some of the prettiest farm country that I have ever seen. It is mostly wheat and barley and very rolling with mountains in the distance. As you approach the Salmon River you will have to descend what folks here call White Bird Hill. While that may be what the locals call this, in the road map of my memory it will always be known as Pucker Butt Pass! What the sign doesn't show is that it is very crooked, with short stretches that are much steeper than 7%. And you don't want to take any short cuts on this stretch of road. We made it down with no problems other than some very sweaty palms. The view is spectacular. We stopped for lunch in a rest area near a tributary of the Salmon River and then continued on south to the town of Fruitland, near Boise.
We chose to stop at Fruitland because we figured that we could restock our supply of fresh fruit as we were running out of what we purchased in Washington. That did turn out to be the case as there are several fruit stands and the park manager sent us to the one that local folks patronize. We got more peaches, apricots and some fresh veggies. The following day we traveled on to Twin Falls, where we stayed at Anderson Trav-L-Park. It is OK, but nothing to brag about. But there are not a lot of choices in this area.. Since we have visited here before we were back on the road the following day.
We spent the last night on the road at the Idaho Falls KOA. It was nothing to brag about and we left about 9:00am, arriving at Harriman park just before noon. Harriman will always be a special place in our hearts, but as always happens, fall came much to quickly and it was time to travel south.
From Harriman we traveled south, stopping in Idaho Falls for a minor repair to the motorhome, then traveled on to Salt Lake City, where we spent several days at the KOA there to see the sights. If you have not been, a tour of Temple Square is worth the time, even for we who are not Mormon.
After three days we traveled south to Hurricane, Utah where we stopped at the Brentwood RV Park. It wasn't great, but cost only $9.50 per day thanks to Passport America. We had planned to do some serious hiking at Zion National park and also explore the area.
We spent three days in Hurricane, visiting the park and also a trip to Pipe Springs National Monument. On our second day it began to rain pretty heavily so that was more than enough and our hiking will have to wait until next trip this way. Our next stop was Las Vegas to visit friends who live there and indulge in a few buffets. We visited Keith & Jeannie Allen from our days in Cheyenne, Wyoming. While there we also got to see Jim & Linda Asbury who were also friends from those days and who are now fulltime RV'ers. The three of us were Scout Masters together.
After a week, we traveled on to Laughlin to spend a few days. We stayed at the Indian owned Avi Resort. We visited Granite Canyon Monument to hike and see the petroglyphs and also made a visit to Oatman, Arizona. Our next stop was Imperial National Wildlife Refuge, our winter home!
We had a wonderful winter in Arizona. This was an outstanding year for flowers and we were also visited by several of our RV friends from all across the country and even by Keith & Marie from the United Kingdom. The staff were really a great bunch and we will miss them all as we continue our travels around this great country. But winter passed, as it always does and we were soon back on the road, heading out to visit new places.
From the refuge we traveled east to Gila Bend, AZ to attend a rally of Starband Manual Flyer dish internet users. We had three good days of learning and meeting our fellow users. We next visited Las Cruses, NM for a day before moving to Alpine, TX to spend some time visiting Big Bend National Park. From there we once again traveled east to stop at Langtry, the home of the infamous Judge Roy Bean.
After a few hours in Langtry, we continued on to spend the night in Del Rio, where we took time to get a new safety inspection for the CR-V, which had been expired for several months. Del Rio doesn't offer a great deal for visitors so the next morning it was on to San Antonio to spend a few days visiting our good friends there, Rosie & DD Williams. On March 11 we returned to our base in Granbury, the home of Bud & Dayl Davis. We also spent two weeks at Oak Creek Park, near far north Dallas to visit our son and to welcome our new grandson, Kirk Andrew Wood.
Once again we completed our year of travels back at the starting point, near Granbury, TX.
Last Updated on Monday, 31 December 2007 18:00