New Friends, 5.19.19

We woke up this morning to the wind and one amazing view!After making a quick breakfast of soyrizo and egg burritos and coffee I went outside to chat with our new friends.Wiskey, Rachel and Matthew.Rachel, Matthew & their View.Lea, Holmes and Chris.

We chatted for a bit this morning and then everyone went their separate ways. Matthew, Rachel and Whiskey Colorado bound; Craig and I to Arches National Park and Lea, Chris and Holmes homeward (Utah) bound.

Matthew, Rachel, Chris and Lea, THANK YOU. Thank you for being so kind, trasparent and just super cool people! We TRULY enjoyed our time with you four around the campfire under the stars and the moonlight. Blessings and travelling mercies to you all.

Matthew and Rachel, we will see you on Facebook! And YES, If you are ever in Southern California, the Long Beach area PLEASE stop by!! Even if it’s just to take a hot shower, a bath or to do some laundry!๐Ÿ˜ You have our numbers!๐Ÿฅฐ Peace.โœŒ๐ŸŒน

Chris and Lea thanks for the invite, if we are ever back in Utah we will look u up!โœŒ

All of us!๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ•๐Ÿ• Happy Trails!

IDAHO

Idaho…we’re baaack!

We left cold ๐ŸŒง rainy, wet Wyoming for cold ๐ŸŒงrainy, wet Idaho. ๐Ÿฅถ

Beautiful sights though between the showers.

We stopped for lunch today at O’Brady’s family restaurant in Idaho Falls. Friendly server, reasonable prices and good food. Since we’re in Idaho, (land of potatoes) we indulged in some fries. They were crispity-crunchity just the way Craig likes them!๐Ÿ˜

Some things you just can’t get away from; laundry. Our clothes got dirty and wet in this weather. We stopped at the local Walmart in Pocatello ID, got some laundry detergent and headed to the local laundromat. JAG’s laundromat caught our eye. (Hum…JAG our youngest daughter’s initials. ๐Ÿ‘)

I don’t remember the last time I needed to use the laundromat, but it’s been YEARS. This one was very well kept. ๐Ÿ˜

Anyway, while there we met a couple washing sleeping bags from a recent camping trip. Lenny was a paper map guy (like me). So we looked at the Idaho map and he suggested a few places to visit on our next trip. We talked about Yellowstone and shared a couple of stories. Nice people. We finished our laundry and bid them farewell.

It’s about 7pm and I was ready to find us a spot for the night, but Craig wanted to continue driving. So we hit the highway heading toward Brigham City, Utah.

We passed this pretty Idaho Farm Bureau building.

The Speed limit is 80 mph!!๐Ÿ˜ณOH MY!!

Beautiful Landscape

Such a dramatic sky!

That skyline. ๐Ÿ‘€

We just can’t get over these postcard views and dramatic skylines. Wow!

The photos just don’t do the landscape justice.

Here are some from Utah.

So pretty and green.

This is Utah about 8:45 p.m. still dusky out. NO FILTER. The sky was actually this blue. It was AMAZING!!!

We hit Utah just before dusk. We were met with more rain. ๐ŸŒง Oh, I missed the “Welcome to Utah” sign because I was looking at the map and down at my phone for someplace to sleep for the night. That’s my job as navigator; select the destination, routes, and places to park and sleep. Craig drives. I was a little perturbed๐Ÿคจ becaused I missed the sign. Hopefully I’ll see one when we leave Utah.

Sidebar: Just thought I’d mention that I DO drive. Just not at night, not if it’s too windy, not if it’s foggy, not when the road is too narrow or there is too much traffic, not in the city, not on twisty turney mountain roads, not if it’s raining, not if I’m tired.. hum ๐Ÿค” I hardly drive.๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿš

Anyway…LOL.

Well, we found “Shorty” a spot at the Walmart parking lot in Brigham City, UT. He is resting now.

Sidebar: Since we left California the weather has been in the 60’s, 50’s and 40’s. It is 45 degrees tonight. I miss CA weather.๐Ÿ˜” As BEAUTIFUL as these states are…they are too cold for our comfort.

Time to hit the hay! Tomorrow is a new day!

Yellowstone

THURSDAY

At one of the pullouts as we were viewing the beauty of the hot springs, we met a couple who hit a deer with their Ford 1500 pick up truck.๐Ÿ˜ณ They patched their truck up with some duct tape and kept right on rolling (after they reported it, of course.) Poor deer.๐ŸฆŒ๐Ÿ˜”

We saw a spectacular waterfall today.

We also saw several bison in the fields and along side of the road. There were several warning signs to keep a safe distance from the wildlife, but some people just have to get THAT photo…smh. Cars were abruptly hitting their brakes and stopping on the road to get a better look. Some foolish folks were running across the roads trying to get closer, SMH…

There is snow here and there along side of the road and its about 40 degrees. Brrrrr! Cold!! Rain on and off all day today.

Some Shenanigans or as Craig’s dad Pete would say, “foolishness!” ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ

Craig is a phenomenal whistler…He was whistling “Moon River.” It sounded so pretty, I attempted to record him. ๐Ÿคญ๐ŸคซBusted! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚

Great day at Mammoth hot springs; beautiful and dangerous springs. It sure would have been nice to bask in one…but not these, the water is boiling.

Boiling mud pot

Breathaking landscapes.

It was a LONG but excellent day at Mammoth Park and Hot Springs.

Craig. My hunny. Look at that cool walk.๐Ÿ˜
Photographer in action.

It’s late, I’m sleepy. I’m lying in bed listening to the rain play a rhythm on the roof. It’s very soothing. Good night.

Friday

It rained ALL night long. We woke up to this.๐Ÿ˜ณ SNOW FALLING!Our original plans were to head south through Yellowstone, visit Old Faithful, and Jackson Hole, WY however, they were thwarted by snow. Beginning at Old Faithful Geyser chains were required. Well, we have no chains for our RV nor do we want to drive it in snow anyway.

After a cup of coffee, filling our fuel and propane tanks, filling our water bottles, and dumping our waste tank we said farewell to Yellowstone about 11:30.We have to have our Kangen water! ๐Ÿ’ง

We headed East on Highway 20, Idaho Falls bound. Craig will have to see Old Faithful on another trip.

Sidebar: 1) We both noticed that Oregon, Washington, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho are VERY CLEAN. We saw NO litter along the highways or towns. That really stood out to both of us.

Sidebar: 2) The though of getting a small dog to travel with us briefly crossed our minds…but after seeing pet owners have to make extra stops and getting up early in the cold and rain to walk their beloved pooches we agreed; NO dog ๐Ÿ•for us.๐Ÿ˜Stopping in Idaho Falls for lunch… I think potatoes are on the menu…๐Ÿฅ”๐Ÿ˜

Hopefully I’ll have better reception and my posts will upload daily.

Big Sky Country & Yellowstone

Wi-Fi is spotty at best. Sprint seems the least used carrier in the northwestern states. ๐Ÿ˜ฎโ˜Ž๏ธ I have been uable to post for two days. ๐Ÿ˜‘We are currently sitting at the Mammoth hotel lobby in Yellowstone. Got wifo!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘MONTANA Open plains and grasslands with mountains in the distance. Big Sky Country has the most spectacular panoramic views! They are Breathaking! Fabulous! Beautimus! Awe-inspiring! Fantastical! Awesome! There are just not enough words to describe God’s amazing handiwork. Perhaps heavenly sums it up.๐Ÿค”YELLOWSTONE – Day 1We arrived at the West entrance of Yellowstone about noon today, Wednesday, and headed straight to the Visitor’s Center. The ranger provided vital info about yellowstone and the camp grounds.Unfortunately for us only two camp grounds in the park were open AND they had a line of hopefuls wating to hear about cancellations.She shared that we arrived two days too soon as the remainder of the camp grounds won’t open for another couple of days. BUT, fortunately for us there was a campground close to town. The Baker’s Hole Campground (Madison River) had plenty of openings; they are 3 miles North of West Yellowstone on US 191.I purchased the annual America the Beautiful – National Parks & Federal Recreation Lands Pass for $20. This pass allows us entry to parks AND camping discounts! So, camping here at Baker’s Hole was only $18 a nigh as opposed to $25 a night. Whoo-hoo!! Savings and free – two of my favorite things.๐Ÿ˜BisonThermal pools…hot and colorful!

Boiling mud pot. Fascinating!!YELLOWSTONE – Day 2It rained last night so the morning air is fresh and crisp. I made breakfast of bacon and eggs with onion and bell pepper, joined by a cup of coffee for me and tea for Craig.Sidebar: As far as meals go we either have breakfast and dinner or just lunch and lite snacks. With all of the driving that we do one doesn’t really work up too much of an appetite. So breakfast today will hold us until this evening. I’ll put some chicken on the grill and make a cucumber, avocado & tomato salad. Simple. More than likely tomorrow we will just have lunch. Sometimes we’ll try a local eatery or I’ll make sandwiches, a big salad๐Ÿฅ— or we’ll have leftovers if there are any. For snacks we typically have apples, avocado, cheese, almonds, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, beef jerkey and chips. If we happen upon a farmers markets we will pick up fresh fruit and veggies.๐Ÿฅ‘๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿฅ•๐Ÿ“๐Ÿฅฌ๐Ÿฅฆ๐Ÿ„We hung around and chilled until about noon. Today we set out to see the Mammoth Hot Springs.Mammoth hot springs pix.If you have not been to Montana and Yellowstone you owe it to yourself to visit this little piece of heaven!Ok, Gotta hit the road and head back to camp. Will post again when I get wifi again.Until next time…

MONTANA

Shorty loves Walmart! He gets to sleep here for FREE. Tell me, who doesn’t love free?!โ˜บ

Anyway before we hit the road we always fill up first. Yes, I’m one of those people who are ready to fill the tank when it’s half full. I get anxious if it gets below a half tank.๐Ÿ˜ณ I can tell you one thing I have NEVER run out of gas.๐Ÿ˜ I probably never will either.

So, the service station was our first stop and the post office our second. Fortunately for me a postman was there at the station. He was happy to take my mail. “DJ” said he moved from Orange County in the early 90’s to Spokane. It’s really surprising how many California transplants we have met on this journey. ๐Ÿ˜ณAt least 80% of the people we have engaged are from somewhere in California… Hum, ๐Ÿค” maybe they’re on to something!๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”

Actually, this journey is to explore the states to see where we may want to plant our feet. Yes, we will be transplants somewhere else too.๐Ÿคซ๐Ÿคญ As beautiful as Oregon, Washington and Montana are, we agree they are not for us. The snow, rain and cold are not on our desirable list. The more and more we talk and think about it, Arizona remains at the top of our list. ๐Ÿ‘ I have always favored dry heat AND Sunshine makes me happy. I am so over California. Although Northern Cali is nice…๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค—

Oh, I forgot to mention that I drove yesterday on the open highway for about an hour. However, I much prefer to be the passenger so I could take pix and make my notes.Ok, back to our journey…we left Spokane, Washington about 9:30 a.m.

IDAHO

In no time at all we were in Idaho, which was a blur. We zipped through the Northern tip via Interstate 90.We saw lakeside homes in Idaho looked that looked so peaceful and serene. We saw similar sights Oregon and Washington. Quaint and really cute.

Another Idaho sight; simply beautiful landscape. The photos don’t do the scene justice. We saw many more Cows grazing in lush green pastures.We stopped at the Idaho/Montana border at Lookout Pass.

Lookout pass history.
Border of Idaho and Montana. SNOW.๐Ÿ˜ฎ But it was warm.๐Ÿค—

As soon as we exited Lookout Pass there was the sign welcoming us to Montana.Montana was a surprising 81 degrees๐Ÿฅต when we entered and it remained very warm for the duration as we drove throught the many small towns and enjoyed the views.

BIG SKY COUNTRY is right! Montana is absolutely STUNNING! You know that airline commercial? “Wanna get away?” Well, Montana is the place! I now understand why it’s called big sky country.

Absolutely.

Stunning.

Landscape.

By the way, did you know that Highway 90 in Montana is actually built on a fault line according to the Visitor Center in Missoula?! You can tell by the different colors and rock formations on the side of the highway. They vary in shades of tans, browns, and reds.

Shorty was tired so we took a little walk and let him rest. A “beast” parked next to him. Awww, look at our little guy!๐Ÿ˜‚ He almost looks like a toy!We stopped in Missoula for some fuel…you guessed it, we were down to about a half tank!๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ˜ (I know you are laughing at me Carle)๐Ÿ˜‚ This place “Mentzer’s used cow lot” was across the street from the service station. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a used COW lot. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜The drive thru Montana has been absolutely BEAUTIFUL! The following pix just don’t do it justice.I just LOVE riding down the highway next to a river. It is so peaceful and quite zen.๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™€๏ธLOOK AT THAT SKY! “BIG SKY COUNTRY” without a doubt!Well, Shorty needs his rest and Craig is tired of driving. Here we are in the Helena Walmart parking lot with many other weary travellers.Again, thanks Mr. Walton!๐Ÿค— On to Yellowstone in the morning.โ˜บ

Spokane Bound

We spent the night in a Cabella’s lot (Lacy, WA ) with several big rigs and a couple other RVers.

Shorty looks like a toy next to this big rig.๐Ÿ˜ฎ
It is considerate of Cabella’s to provide an area for horses๐Ÿดand dogs.๐Ÿ• We have neither but for those that do, heads up!๐Ÿ‘City Sights We passed passed the Tacoma Dome and Car museum.
Tacoma Dome
Car museum
BridgesThere is something about bridges that Craig and I admire. Their structure? The architecture? Their design? The colors or materials? Their strength and size? I don’t know. We just like bridges.๐Ÿ—๐ŸŒ We passed several bridges on our way to Spokane.A broken bridge!๐Ÿ˜ฎAs we cruised down the highway we saw a Military convoy.We thank you for your service.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ™As we continied on the 90 we noticed that the terraine had changed again. We passed some beautiful green pastures, some beautiful bodies of water and snow capped mountains.There is just so much to see that I can’t possibly document it all. It is all so beautiful. ๐ŸžHow blessed we are to have this opportunity to travel.Let me put a pin here. WE acknowledged today that Craig is a DESTINATION driver; so unlike me.๐Ÿ˜‘ But that’s OK.๐Ÿคซ๐Ÿคญ I am the navigator. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‰We both wanted some fruit so we stopped at a roadside fruit stand; Thorp Fruit. We parked next to a tan Winnebego View. After some shopping, we stopped and chatted with the owners of that View. Nice folks from WA who have done ALOT of travelling. We shared a couple of stories about our vehicles and went on our way.Manito ParkOK, so we made it to Spokane, WA late in the afternoon and decided to find a public park and set up our grill to make dinner. This was by far the BEST part of our day. With the help of a local we found a BEAUTIFUL Park. People are so FRIENDLY in Spokane. One local said it’s because the snow is gone and they finally get to go outside! ๐Ÿ˜Manito Park used to be a zoo, years ago, but it closed and was transformed into a beautiful park. After dinner we took a walk.Sidebar: Manito in Spanish is “little hand.” “Mano” is hand and “ito” at the end of a word indicates little.Some pix as we strolled around the park.
The Lilac Garden. SO FRAGRANT!!
There was a Japanese Garden, a Butterfly Garden, a Rose Garden and the Lilac Garden. The Lilac Garden was the MOST FRAGRANT garden I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. It was so very FRAGRANT. It was incredible! If you ever make it to Spokane, WA you must stop at this Park.๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘
Us, in the park.
We took that walk after dinner which consisted of a seasoned ribeye steak and potatoes with a side of asperagus in butter and garlic grilled in foil packs.
Dinner was DELISH!
Me attempting to take a selfie.
Go ahead and laugh. ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚ WE DID! CLEARLY Craig and I both need practice taking selfies. We were trying to show you our dinner.๐Ÿ˜‚๐ŸคฃAnyway, we are spending the night in a Walmart parking lot in Spokane Valley along side of a couple of big rigs and other RVers.THANK YOU SAM WALTON!!On to Idaho and Montana tomorrow.๐Ÿ˜ด๐Ÿ˜ด

Room with a view – Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day!๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธ

What an AWESOME way to spend Mother’s Day. On the road with my hunny waking up in OUR RV!๐Ÿฅฐ Retirememt is GOOD. #BLESSED.๐Ÿ˜ #GRATEFUL. #HAPPY.

The view from our room.๐ŸŒฒ

“SHORTY”๐ŸŒฒ

We are heading on over to Tillamook this morning.๐Ÿ˜ CHEESE!๐Ÿง€

Tillamook

We had to stop! After our tour of “cheeseville” we shared a scoop of rocky road ice cream; so rich, creamy and chocolaty,๐Ÿฆ a grilled cheese oozing with cheddar cheese-a bit much for us- and some razor clam chowder. Had to try it. Neither of us is really a clam chowder fan so we cannot say if it was good or not.๐Ÿค”

Cheese sampling.๐Ÿง€ Holding on tight to his camera.๐Ÿ“ท

Grilled cheese and razor clam chowder.

Glad we stopped! Donna and Larry, thanks for the tip!

Tillamook is a HUGE operation with an eatery, ice cream parlor, a souvenir store and the factory where all of that cheesy magic happens! What an ๐Ÿง€ operation, it is quite impressive!

Where the cheese magic happens and you can watch it happen below.
Loads of souvenirs! Shirts, hats, etc. and of course CHEESE๐Ÿง€.

We were particularly impressed with the story on the milking process and care the cows receive. I have Tillamook cheese in my fridge now and will look for Tillamook dairy products when I shop. Tillamook, great product, great marketing!

After our time at “cheese heaven” we continued our trek Northbound toward Washington. We passed some of the cutest little towns.

We kept seeing this rich yellow folage along the mountain roads and along the side of various highways. It really stood out after seeing so much green.๐ŸŒฒ

Once we entered Washington I began to see this bright reddish-pink flowering shrub. It was so pretty.

Bridges

As we approached the state of Washington we crossed a waterway and could see a LONG bridge in the distance (on the left). It appeared to be the bridge that we would cross over to enter into Washington.

YEP! We crossed that LONG HIGH bridge. I thought of a former coworker (GD) who DOESN’T like bridges. She would have cried going over this one! It was HIGH!

As we began to descend the tall portion of the bridge another LONG portion of concrete beckoned to us, as if to say “there is no turning back, come on down!”๐Ÿ˜ฎ

This bridge crossing over the bay from Oregon to Washington was the TALLEST and LONGEST that we have been on in our lifetimes! โ›ต๐Ÿ—

Just before we exited the bridge there was a little sign that said “Welcome to Washington.” Craig saw it. I missed it, so I didn’t get a pic.๐Ÿ˜‘ Shucks!

There were no other references to the state of Washington other than the highway signs with George’s image.

This is our first time in the state of Washington. We noticed that they have too their share of bridges.

…and here’s a tunnel.๐Ÿ˜

We thought this was a cool overpass.

As we continued to drive we saw more forests. I was saddened to see the patches of deforestation in South Bend.

We saw alot of muddy, empty lake like water beds. Don’t know what that is about, but it made me think “tsunami.”๐Ÿ˜ฃLike in Oregon we saw lots of tsunami zone signs.

Initially we were going to head all the way up the 101 to Port Angeles and take the ferry across to Canada, BUT quite frankly we had both seen enough forest and trees and twisty roads. Don’t get me wrong, I am the “Nature gurl” and even I was tiring of the same mountain twists and turns and trees and all of the tsunami signs. We thought let’s head inland. SO, we opted to change up the scenery and head East toward Olympia. We’ve got our sites set on Spokane, WA via the 90 tomorrow morning.

Oh, I didnt want to cook today so we stopped at Outback for Mother’s Day dinner. It was nice.๐Ÿฅฐ

We are tired and decided to hunker down for the night at a Cabella’s in Lacy, WA along with some other RVers and big rigs.

Until tomorrow..๐Ÿ˜ด