Saturday, July 16, 2011

Rolling Along

After our brief but fun time in Utah, it was necessary to move along.  I had a call from my Amarillo doctor’s office requesting a follow-up on one of my medical tests.  We decided to extend our planned visit to my nephew Bill and wife Rhonda in Idaho Falls, Idaho and get the follow-up done there. 

We made it a 2-day journey with an overnight stop in Springville, Utah, south of Salt Lake City. 

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Scenery along I-15:

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Once we arrived in Idaho Falls, we spent the first few days in town at the Snake River RV Park where we’d stayed before.  This year the Snake River was much more impressive with the amount of water flowing over the falls. 

The picture below was taken when we were here in early August of 2009:

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And this picture was taken this month, near the same spot as the one above:

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While we were there we had the opportunity to have lunch with one of Jim’s high school classmates, Sherri, who lives in Idaho Falls.  It was a treat to see them reconnect after 41 years!


We relocated to Bill and Rhonda’s huge back yard after a few days and spent about 10 days parked behind their barn:

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Activities included getting that test done (good news from that), playing in the backyard with the dogs, planning meals and catching up with Bill and Rhonda and their friends.

Jim bought himself an important new piece of equipment:

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And while Bill looked on, he tested it:

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By making one of his famous Shrimp Boils – success!

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One afternoon Bill navigated and we drove over to the Craters of the Moon National Monument.  Rhonda had her two adorable grandsons with her so she elected to stay home with them while we went on our tour.  Bill provided us with lots of interesting information about the area as we passed through the high desert area of Idaho.

An Idaho fixer-upper:

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These 2 young buck elk were having a bite to eat along side the road:

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This is a campground in the National Monument, the motorhome is nestled in a tiny spot surrounded by lava:

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A large lava field:

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Another day found us fishing on Ririe Reservoir near Idaho Falls.  That was a fun day until Bill’s boat nearly caught fire from some improperly installed wiring!  Good thing Bill is a firefighter/paramedic and kept a cool head as smoke was pouring out of the engine compartment!  A couple of other boating groups stopped by to ask if we needed help, but Bill was able to use his small trolling motor to get us back to the dock with no fire actually breaking out.

A visit to Jackson, Wyoming took another day of our visit.  The 4 of us went in our car and we had a fun day poking around town.  Rhonda and Bill enjoying their lunch at the Mangy Moose in Teton Village:

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Our time in Idaho Falls was great, we so enjoyed getting to spend time with Bill and Rhonda! Thanks for your hospitality!

Next stop was on the way to visit Janna & Mike in Montana.  We learned that Gerri and Larry Gustafson, previous owners of Broken Arrow Campground in Custer, SD, were in the area.  We made arrangements to stay overnight at the same park they were at – Ennis RV Village in Ennis, MT.  Also with them were their good friends Donlyn and Jim Vickers, whom we first met at Broken Arrow.  The ladies had prepared a wonderful crockpot roast, mashed potatoes, gravy and vegetables to share for dinner, what a fun evening!  Wish we could have spent more time with them, but we are on a timeline here!

Larry, Gerri, Donlyn, and Jim:

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Some interesting scenery on the way to Big Timber – I’m not sure what these boards are called – maybe paddle boards?  But these two brave folks were paddling along  the very high Madison River barely clothed, much less wearing life vests!

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Another view along the Madison River:

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We arrived at Spring Creek Campground in Big Timber on Tuesday for a 4-night stay.  We called Janna to let her know when we got settled and she said she’d stop by after an appointment in town. 

When we arrived at the campground I went in to the office to check in and pay.  I found out that our reservation hadn’t gotten written down, so they didn’t have the full hook-up site we’d requested.  Instead, they had to put us in this riverside site with water and electric:

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Just at the right edge of the picture below, you can see our chairs set up behind the motorhome, just right for sitting and watching the Boulder River flow by!

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When Janna arrived, we got our hugs and then followed her up the Boulder to their house.  She prepared a fabulous chicken dinner with corn on the cob and melon salad.  Hey, this getting fed along the way as we travel is pretty darn nice!

Here’s their house, located about 20 miles from the middle of the wilderness!

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After dinner, we took a drive up the road to the Natural Bridge State Park to check out the falls.  The last time we were here, there was no water flowing over the top:

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On the drive back to their house, this deer crossed the road in front of us:

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And we were reminded to watch out on the way back to our place.  We saw six more deer on the way home!

Janna & Mike had appointments in Billings on Wednesday and we knew they wouldn’t be back until late, so we just took that day to hang out.  On Thursday, they had one more appointment in Billings and then a Costco run, so they asked if we’d like to go along.  Of course we did, they picked us up at 8:00 and away we went in their truck.  While they were at the appointment we shopped.  They took us to lunch at Jakes, which was very good!

After our stop at Costco, it was back on the road and home for the evening.  Then yesterday Mike had more hay to cut, so Janna came and picked us up for some shopping and errands around Big Timber and Livingston.  We found a few items to purchase, we always try to do our part for the local economy!

Last night Janna & Mike joined us at our place for dinner.  Jim fixed a pork roast in the crockpot and we added beans and salad.  It was a fun visit, but way too short!

Somehow neither one of us managed to take a good picture of Janna or Mike this visit, so here they are when we climbed the mountain behind our desert hideaway last winter:

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We left our beautiful river spot a little reluctantly this morning and headed for tonight’s destination,

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An easy travel day, an easy in-easy-out RV park, a great late lunch at the Rib & Chop House in Sheridan, Wyoming and we’re settled in, ready for a restful night before another Wyoming travel day.

We’re rolling along towards the Denver area where we’ll spend a few days with the grandkids.  Then it’s on to Colorado Springs and final preparations for Robin’s wedding in August.


Debbie and Rod said...

Great blog, Ellie!! You guys have been busy, busy, busy!!

Deb & Rod

Donna McNicol said...

Great to get caught up with you guys and find someone else who was way behind in blogging. LOL! Hugs to you both....

Vickie Newkirk said...

Love this blog - you guys could make your own travel manual and photo "coffee table" book. Beautiful - thank you for sharing your fun adventures with the rest of us!

Donna K said...

Nice scenic shots along the way. the photo of the deer is great. Sounds like you have been very busy and I enjoyed reading about all you have been doing. I see you got a picture of my retirement cabin there in Idaho lol...

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Great pictures, I always like to get pictures of old, preferably poor condition buildings.

Peggy N David said...

Yaay - a blog post! I was gettin anxious to hear from you!

Sounds like you are having a wonderful time, as usual! This is just the best lifestyle :)