Monday, October 11, 2010

Mountain Weekend

Since Shannon did not have any classes Friday she invited us up to Maryville so she could check out the new camper.  It was good to get away again since we have not been camping since the Alaska trip.  We could not find a dog sitter so we also took Copper with us, only his second camping trip.  We were kind of apprehensive about taking him since we have never camped with a large dog before but he did fine.
When we drove up on Thursday we saw very little color in the trees but the weather was warm and clear.
We stayed at Misty River campground in Walland, TN since it is close to Maryville and is a very nice campground. Friday we drove down to Ft. Loudon State Historical Park and went on a short hike and walked around the fort.

Shannon and Copper

Ft. Loudon and Tellico Lake

Trees were just starting to turn

The fort site was raised 20 ft when the lake was built.

Saturday we went back to Ft. Loudon for living history demonstrations and to nearby Sequoya Museum.

On the way back we stopped in Maryville for art festival.
Sunday we drove up to Sugarland visitor center in Smoky Mtn National Park for a short hike.  

 Shannon wanted to show off her rolling ability which she executed perfectly.
I was just impressed she could tolerate the frigid water.

A very nice weekend retreat.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Home Again, Home Again Jiggedty Jig

Captain's Log; star date August 9th, 2010: It was a long, fantastic voyage but today we saw the greatest sight of all, home! 
 The trip to Alaska was everything we hoped it would be and more despite the fires and floods.

Some final notes:
Days away from home 57
Miles traveled 10,559 (approx. 925 gal of gas)
Photos taken; over 3,000 (many hours of editing to do)
Animals sighted; bears, elk, deer, caribou, bison, moose, eagles, puffins, sea lions, seals, otters, fox, wolves, whales and many more.
Memories and friends made...Priceless!!!

Thanks for the kind comments, hope you all have enjoyed riding along the Alcan Highway with us.
See you next trip (it will be somewhere closer to home).

Shannon and Copper were glad to see us

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Looking for the pot of gold Sat Aug 7

Last night in Hardin, MT we had a terrible storm with lightning and winds so strong we thought the camper was going to flip. After the storm there was a beautiful double rainbow.
Storm's a coming

This morning was nice and clear with temps in the 60s as we continued our trek east across eastern Montana, northeast Wyoming and South Dakota.


As we approached South Dakota we saw more and more motorcyclists headed for the big rally in Sturgis next week. From the South Dakota border to Rapid City we saw campers and motorcyclists parked everywhere there was space. There was a steady stream of motorcycles and trucks and campers pulling trailers full of motorcycles all the way across South Dakota. We tried to go to Wall, SD and Badlands but there were so many motorcyclists the traffic was terrible and all the gas stations were packed. The roar on the interstate was unbelievable.
Yoda gets a ride

We are spending tonight in Mitchell, SD KOA and there are lots of cyclists here also.

It is hot here, temps in the mid 90s. Hard to adjust to when we have gotten use to 50s and 60s.
Nancy, Yoda and world's biggest groundhog

Gas prices ranged from $2.84 to $3.00 per gallon today. Hope to be home Monday but still have over 1,000 miles to go.
Mitchell SD KOA

Friday, August 6, 2010

Montana on my mind

Billings, MT
Lots and lots of hay

Wind farm

Had a nice drive across Montana today, from Shelby in northwest to Hardin in the southeast. Mostly farms and ranches from plains to hills. Can tell we are going south, temps in the 70s this morning and 90s this afternoon before a ferocious storm struck that we thought was going to roll the camper.
Gas today was $2.75/gal at Sams in Great Falls, it was great to be below $3/gal again!!
Paid $2.89/gal for gas along the way.
Camping was $30 with water, elec, cable and wifi.

Hardin MT KOA

For amber waves of grain

Jasper NP and southward Aug 5 2010

Had a beautiful morning to drive through Jasper and Banff National Park. The sun just breaking over the mountains gave us some breathtaking views.

We then said goodbye to the Rockies and headed south. We saw fields of this bright yellow crop all through Alberta. Someone said it might be canola but I am not sure.

We put in long day so we could spend the night in U.S.A. Nancy was anxious to talk to the kids on the phone and we are tired of high Canadian gas and food prices although gas was lower here, $0.99/liter in Canmore and $0.95/liter south of Calgary.
We are spending the night in Shelby, MT , $32 for full hookups, cable TV ,WiFi and a pretty sunset.

Temps were in high 40s in Jasper this morning and low 80s in Montana. It is going to be hard to adjust to the heat.

Prince George to Jasper Aug 4th

After a goodbye breakfast this morning we headed for one of my favorite places, Jasper National Park. It was a pretty drive through farmland, foothills and finally the Canadian Rockies.

This is Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.

We camped in the Honeymoon Lake campground in Jasper NP. $15.70 for no hookups, our first night of dry camping. Felt more like camping with quiet treed lots rather than the parking lots in Alaska.

Gas was $1.079/liter.
Nice weather today with low around 50 and high in the 70s.
We have now driven over 9000 miles on this trip.