Sunday, September 27, 2009


Maples at the bottom of Targhee Pass

We slowly packed up this morning. We had a good visit with several of our neighbours as we worked. Some of them were departing also. I found our original spare tire bracket was about to fall off so I removed the wheel and put it inside the trailer until I can buy a replacement. That would be pretty nasty for someone following behind, if the wheel fell off! The weather in Yellowstone has been so phenomenal for us but the forecast is saying that will change. They say 39/29 F on Wednesday with rain and snow. We’re getting out just in time!

We took Hwy 20 west from West Yellowstone over Targhee Pass. There were lots of yellow poplars glowing in the sun but the amazing thing was seeing red maples just as we approached the bottom of the pass. We made that our lunch stop so I could take some pictures. We didn’t see maples anywhere else. We only made it to Pocatello, Idaho today before looking for a spot for the night. I feel a little tired after my week in Yellowstone and we’re in no hurry for the next while.



Bison contemplation

Heading for the warmth

A little geyser

Hot spring draining into the Firehole River - colour is bacteria

Grand Prismatic - third largest hot spring in the world - other two are in New Zealand

Grand Prismatic from the hill I climbed - no one else on my tour got this

Beauty Spring near old Faithful

Castle Dome - Old Faithful erupting in the background

Bacterial mat in hotspring drainage into Yellowstone Lake which is the largest lake above 7,000 feet in North America

Yellowstone River

Madison River

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone opposite Artist's Point

Top of Upper Falls on the Yellowstone River

Any idea why this is called Artist's Point? The image of the canyon was taken from the far rim

Lower Falls of the Yellowstone taken from Artist's Point

There are more Yellowstone images posted below.


Bull elk resting after his exertions

Tetons from Jackson Lake Lodge

The picture that could have been if not for the fire

Oxbow Bend

Above Oxbow Bend

Oxbow Bend

Grand Teton

String Lake

Another view of the Arnica Creek fire through the back window of the tour bus

Liberty Cap - a dormant hot spring cone - Mammoth Hot Springs


Upper Mammoth

Upper Mammoth

Saturday, September 26, 2009


The Arnica Creek Fire in Yellowstone on Thursday taken across Lewis Lake

Various thermal features taken today in Yellowstone Park

Our week in West Yellowstone, Montana has come to the end. It’s been a very good week with beautiful blue skies all the time and while frosty in the morning, daytime temperatures have been in well into the 20’s C (70’s F). I really enjoyed my five days of day long tours to various parts of the National Park. In fact, on two of the days, I got way more than planned. Thursday’s ten hour trip was nearly twelve hours while Friday’s was 16.5 hours. I got home at 7:30 PM Thursday and left the trailer at 5:50 AM Friday. There had been a small forest fire west of Yellowstone Lake which really flared up on Thursday. On Friday we’d embarked on a 250 mile trip to Mammoth and were less than 40 miles from home when the road was closed because of the fire. We had to go all the way back to Mammoth then up to Livingstone where we got on I-90 west to Boseman, Montana where we turned south 90 miles to West Yellowstone. It was nearly 10:30 PM when we returned. The really unfortunate part of being so late was that four bus loads of us photographers missed seeing the feature presentation of the conference by Art Wolfe. Aileen did get to see it and reports that it was excellent. Oh well!

I think I managed to get some fairly good images on my tours. I see I have taken 2,063 images since arriving here September 19, 2009. Most nights I hardly had time to download my cards and recharge my batteries. I didn’t do so good recharging me as I had difficulty getting good sleep and most nights were pretty short. This has been the most tiring conference I have attended but it has also been the best for getting images. Many years Yellowstone is experiencing winter weather by now, not this great weather. Aileen and I took a little trip into the park today. We left Mitzy behind in the trailer since dogs aren’t allowed on the trails or boardwalks and it is too hot to leave her in the truck. We went as far as Old Faithful, which didn’t erupt for us although Castle Geyser did. I got some more great shots today and found some areas I hadn’t been to yet.

We plan to leave West Yellowstone tomorrow but other than heading west and south, I haven’t determined a route yet. Hopefully the weather won’t be too hot down lower as we make our way to our next planned stop in Grand Junction, Colorado to visit friends, Ken and Marie, from Caliente. Beyond there our plan is to explore some of the canyon country in the fours corners area.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Lots of clearance when the quad is loaded

We leisurely hit the road yesterday morning. Dumped the tanks after giving them a good shake up on the way to town. Just as we finished that, our good friend Del was passing by on her scooter so we got to give her another hug before leaving. She really wanted to come with us though. She greatly misses winters in Arizona; she and Bill had gone for over 20 years and had lots of fun down there. Next stop was to add a little air to the trailer tires to bring them all up to max. Then we drove by the SPCA to say goodbye to Bev. We’re looking forward to seeing her and Kev down in Caliente just after Christmas.

We went to Grand Forks yesterday planning to stay in the city park. However, they have raised the rates way higher than any of the private parks so we ended up in the Victorian for just over half the cost. This morning we deviated from the Good Sam route and did some new to us roads ending up in Osburn, Idaho along I-90. We will spend all of tomorrow on I-90 and hope to get well over ¾ of the way to West Yellowstone. We are just under ½ today. It’s sunny with a few clouds and about 20-22C which is low 70s F. Just about perfect. Yesterday was in the low 30s C (over 90 F) which was a little much. About 3 AM this morning we had a thunder storm with quite a bit of rain. That storm seemed pretty general right down to Coeur d’Alene. However, on the east side of the pass here, they had none.

I have included one image of the quad and the clearance from the trailer for those who have been wondering how it is working. I’m pleased to report it is a great success so far. I did have to tighten up the spring bars one more chain link, which has actually had the benefit of reducing the porpoising even more. Otherwise handling is pretty much the same as before. We were able to make a really sharp turn in J&J’s yard as we left yesterday and the quad didn’t even come close.

While in the city park in Grand Forks, I talked to a couple of ladies from Armstrong and Kelowna. Because one of their friends had been displaced by a Casa Grande RV park closure, I gave them my card in case they wanted info on Caliente. Before we left, she came over and said one of their friends actually lives in our strata in Salmon Arm. He’s #5, we’re #12. Yup, small world.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


A hitch hiker on the truck cab

Not sure I would like to ride in this plane, read about it futher down

The cockpit including the machine gun!

A future farmer

September 13, 2009

I went to the Salmon Arm Fall Fair and parade yesterday while Aileen had a quiet day at the trailer. It was very warm and crowded. I met a few people I knew but not many. I came home and got Aileen and we went to her nephew Mike and Shawnee’s for supper along with our daughter Bev. Mike and Shawnee are moving back to Port Alberni on Vancouver Island next weekend.

Today while Aileen was at church, Mitzy and I went to the wharf for a walk. There were a few pelicans away out and a couple of ospreys closer. It seems like every time I leave my camera home, the pelicans are close to the wharf. This is the first time I have even seen one when I have my camera.

September 15

We did a few of the last minute things in town yesterday. Aileen got her hair cut. Mitzy and I walked until Aileen came and picked us up after her cut and we got quite a ways; Mitzy was getting tired. Aileen had tea with her friend Donna next, while I zipped around town doing the required errands. I got some US cash at a fairly good exchange rate, arranged for our cell phone plan to include US calls, had some repairs done to my glasses and also checked out the new camera/computer store that just opened. Some nice toys in there! We took our lunch down to the waterfront again. We visited our daughter Bev for a little while later in the afternoon. Stopped in and saw one of our neighbours and arranged for him to use our RV parking spot again this winter. Last night we went back to town with Jacquie and Jim where we had a lovely turkey supper at my aunt Eleanor and Ron’s house. Eleanor is one of Jacquie’s older sisters. My Mom is the oldest one. The gorgeous Indian Summer weather continues here. Temperatures in the high 20s C (that’s near 70 F)

We went to town again this morning to pick up our 32 stacking chairs that the strata borrowed for last year’s AGM. This year they decided to move the meeting outside the strata and could I please remove my chairs. Luckily we are able to store them at Jacquie and Jim’s. We had no sooner gotten home when the phone rang telling me that some papers we signed the other day required more signatures by both of us. So another drive back to town when Aileen should have been having a long nap. GRRRRR! Before going to town, we loaded the truck box then the quad on top of everything. Everything fits!

So tomorrow it’s EASTBOUND AND DOWN! Yellowstone by Saturday.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


The new improved, spiffy and very tired Mitzy

The quad and it's new rack with the tailgate closed

We’re still busy, busy working down our list and we’re almost done! Bev took Aileen up to her jobsite at the SPCA on Sunday and Aileen gave Mitzy a haircut under Bev’s tutelage. Mitzy looks very spiffy again. However, the weather cooled off dramatically so now she spends some of her time shivering. Yesterday was very cool and quite wet. Today we are back to gorgeous weather and I think we are in for several days of it.

I went to Blind Bay this morning and got some good news. The welder had come up with an old rack he used to haul a skidoo on and did I want to use it for my quad. Since the length was exactly what we needed, I said yes and when he said it would be way cheaper, I said YES!!! It took us about 5 ½ hours to get it all together. I had to remove a zillion screws holding on plastic strips then wire brush the whole thing to clean it up so I expect some sore muscles tomorrow. I’m very satisfied with it as the slope on the ramp inside the box is less than the slope getting up to the tailgate. The good part is that the tailgate closes with the machine loaded so there should be no interference with the trailer when we’re traveling. There is also some storage space available under the rack for some totes of things seldom used. I took Jim, the welder, for lunch at a German deli after we had everything finished. Now we have a free day tomorrow because with Plan A, we would have been finishing the rack built from scratch.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


The morning sun through the smoke (the sun is overexposed)

By underexposing the image, the sun is closer to the actual colour it was

These eggs were attached to the side of our trailer (they were about 3/4 inch across)

This is what the smoke was like for several days

One of the views on our quad (ATV) trip looking over Shuswap Lake

The newest member of our team

September 5, 2009

We’ve been making good progress whittling our list down here in Salmon Arm. We even made time to add a new member to the team which is a 2008 CanAm ATV (quad) that seats two people one behind the other. It has a longer wheelbase than is standard so more stable going up hills with two riders. Now another item has been added to the list and that is to build some means of carrying the ATV in the truck while we’re towing the trailer. I went and got that started with a retired welder yesterday and it seems it will take part of three days next week. So far, the truck has new tires, a new windshield, a service and new insurance. Our storage locker rental has been renewed and covered by insurance. We also went by our house and spent part of a morning pruning and cleaning up the front flower beds. The trailer had the brakes adjusted and the bearings re-packed.

We went with my uncle Jim up the mountain near here today for a good ride. He took his motorbike. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t great so not many pictures were taken. Cloud and smoke made everything quite blah. We did get rained on for a time but didn’t actually get wet.

Aileen has managed to visit a couple friends and we had a good visit with our friends Martin and Myrtle one evening. We visited my aunt Diana and Jack in Enderby one afternoon. Last night we had supper at our daughter Bev’s house. Aileen had spent the afternoon with her picking out paint and buying some bookshelves. B, A and I put all four bookshelves together after supper.

The forest fire situation has eased greatly all around here with most evacuees allowed back home last night. There is still fire activity which could flare up again if the right conditions happen. The firefighters have used the opportunity to continue building fire guards so they have a head start should conditions worsen. I haven’t heard of any structures burning in this area although there were some close calls.

I had some excitement the other evening when I opened the fridge to see if I could guess what Aileen had planned for supper. I barely had the door ajar when the whole door went crashing to the floor. It landed right on the pets’ glass water dish which exploded. A piece of that poked a hole in the bottom of the door so it has been patched with silicone. I was able to have a guy in Enderby build a little plate to take the place of the part that broke so hopefully it is fixed long term. The chap was surprised it broke this early as it is less than two years old.

September 6th

Well didn’t get this posted yesterday as the cell service wasn’t working. Mitzy is getting a bath and haircut this afternoon so she’ll look pretty again for awhile. We received an email from Betty (and Jim) who we bought our Caliente property from and she was full of news of some of our friends from there. Sounds like they’ll be getting there about the same time as we hope to.