Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sturgis, SD to Jackson, Minnesota - Sunday July 25th, 2010

We left Sturgis around 8:00AM this morning and drove the scenic byway from Rapid City on highway 44 thru the Badlands'. Originally we were going to drive the Needles Highway but then saw the scenic byway on the map and decided to drive this route as we were on the Needles Highway when we went and met up with Matt & Shelly in June. Well, we should of went on the Needles Highway as Highway 44 was okay but nothing like the Needles Highway. Oh well! We really can not complain because we have seen such amazing scenery over the last 10 weeks.

We originally had planned to drive as far as Sioux Falls, SD but arrived there at 3:00PM and so we decided to drive to Jackson, Minnesota before checking into a Earth Home Motel! This is a first as we have never stayed in a earth home before.

We should arrive in Dorchester tomorrow evening - wow, it will be nice to sleep in our own bed but we are not looking forward to going over 10 weeks of mail. Oh well, life is good - we have no complaints and we cannot wait to see our family and friends!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Greybull, Wyoming to Sturgis, South Dakota, Saturday, July 24th, 2010

We left Greybull around 8:00 this morning and headed towards Devils Tower. We had figured we were pretty well out of the mountains but were surprised to find that we had the Big Horn Mountains to get to Buffalo, Wyoming and then on to Devil's Tower in Northeast corner of Wyoming. We spent about two hours at Devil's Tower and then headed to Sturgis, SD where we decided to spend the evening. After checking into our hotel we took our truck and went downtown. We were surprised to see that although Sturgis Motorcycle Rally does not start until August 9th vendors already have displays set up and there are a lot of motorcycles in the area. Now picture all these motorcycles and everyone wearing leather and here comes two old people driving a little pick up truck and cruising the main street with a tandem bike on the back. Yes, we got a lot of looks and we stopped at a bar/grill and sat out on the patio and had discussions about our bike with a number of people. It was really fun!

Tomorrow we are planning on driving on the Needles Highway and in the Black Hills and then driving as far as Sioux Falls.

Happy Trails!

Ashton, Idaho to Jackson, WY, Grand Teton's, Yellowstone, Cody, WY to Greybull, WY - Friday, July 23rd, 2010

John and I talked about our drive on the west side of the Grand Teton's range and decided it just didn't do it justice so we back tracked thru Driggs to Jackson, WY via the 8,429ft Teton Pass. What a beautiful drive - 10% grade going down into Jackson. Now keep in mind we are in our pickup truck. We would have loved to turn the Screamer loose on that downhill grade but being that our drum brake broke while we were biking in the Cascade Mountains we left the Screamer on the back of the pick up truck.

We stopped at Albertson's grocery store in Jackson and picked up a breakfast/lunch picnic fixing and went to a park just outside of Jackson to eat. What a beautiful view of the land surrounding Jackson. From there we entered into the Grand Teton National Park (once again thank you to WTS for the park pass - we have made very good use of it). We stopped at the visitor center and watched a film and walked around the displays. Once we got back out to the truck we drove about 2 miles and we both decided that we had to stop the truck, unload the bike and pedal, pedal, pedal. There is a paved bike trail from Jackson to Jenny Lake that is absolutely beautiful and mountains in every direction including the Tetons to the west and the Rocky Mountains to the east. This is an amazing park and we definitely want to come back here - this is also a national Elk refuge but we didn't see any of them but we did see a prong horn which we ended racing along the trail with for 2-1/2 miles.

We only put on 10 miles due to our front rim being cracked but it was so pretty. After that we loaded up the bike and headed to Yellowstone to stop and see Old Faithful erupt at about 4:45PM. We still had a long way to drive because we were going to go to Cody, Wyoming and spend the evening. About half way thru the park we encountered a buffalo and Kathi was all excited and took a number of pictures of that one buffalo. As we were driving along there were a number of cars stopped in the road a head of us and slowly moving forward. When we got up closer here was a entire herd of 300 or more buffalo that were on the side of the road, some on the road and winding between the vehicles. It is really something to be sitting in a little pick up truck and have one of those big old buffalo's wander across the road in front of it and dare you to move.

What a great day of siteseeing - yes, it is another wonderful day however, we have a number of miles to make and we were just leaving Yellowstone at about 7:30PM and we wanted to drive to Cody. Upon arriving in Cody we saw that the Rodeo was going on and there were a lot of vehicles which means we are going to have trouble finding a reasonable hotel. Yep that is right, we stopped at 4 or 5 different hotels and if they did have a room they wanted an arm and a leg for it so we decided to drive another 50 miles to Greybull where we finally got a hotel at 11:00PM for $84.00. Oh well, just another day in the life of John and Kathi.

Happy trails!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mountain Home, Idaho to Ashton, Idaho - Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

We got to sleep in this morning as we had a conference call at 8:00AM and wanted to be at the hotel to take that call. Afterwards we packed up and headed down the road about 20 miles and then stopped for breakfast. The day was pretty uneventful as we spent the majority of the day driving. We are spending the night in Ashton and have rented an adorable little cabin to spend the night in. The only draw back is that it does not have Internet so I am at the library trying to update the blog. The library closes at 6:00 so I have to make this short and sweet.

I have not been able to post pictures for the last several days but will try to do that when we get to a hotel that has a high speed Internet service. (that could be a while).

We are planning that we should be home sometime next week on Tuesday or Wednesday. I know the kids are starting to think it is time for their parents and grandparents to get home. We are on our way! Miss you all!

Happy Trials!

Saying goodbye and heading East - Wednsday, July 21st, 2010

As anyone that knows me knows - I have a very tough time saying goodbye and always dread leaving. First thing this morning we got up said our good bye's and headed east. We had a very nice drive but we both agree that it is a lot more scenic and beautiful when you are on the bicycle and can hear the river, see the area so much better, and smell the fresh air. Around 3:00PM we stopped at a little bar and had the best cheeseburger and fries that we have had for a long time. They were really delicious.

We drove until around 7:30 or 8:00 and then booked a hotel in Mountain Home, Idaho. We will be driving by the Grand Tetons tomorrow on our way to Yellowstone.

Happy Trails!

Ashland - biking and visiting with Don & Cathy and picnic in the park - Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

John and I got up early today and drove down to the bike trail and unloaded the bike and did a 28 mile ride. The bike trail is paved all the way from Ashland to Medford, Oregon and winds up and along the river. The sun was shining and the views of the mountains, once again, are beautiful. We rode for a couple of hours and about 5 miles from our truck we ended up having a flat tire on the front tire. We just had a slow leak but John decided we might as well patch it right away and have it done with. Upon removing the tube he noticed that our front rim is cracked (we wonder how long that has been). He patched the tube and put air in the tire but kept it lower than what we would normally put in it and we limped back to the truck. Our poor bike is going to need a lot of tender loving care from the Hostel Shoppe when we get back to Wisconsin. It has been a faithful bike and has not let us down but we definitely have abused it over the last two and half months.
When we got back to the house Don took us on a tour of all of the beautiful landscaping he has done and then back by his food plots and land - what a beautiful and private area that they live in with all the trees and the mountainside. We then got cleaned up and we loaded up the cooler and went down to Lithia Park for a wonderful picnic on the grass near a duck pond. What a relaxing afternoon and exactly what John and I needed. We have been on the go so much and it has been wonderful having a place to stay for a few days with good food and good company.
We had originally planned on going back home and then coming back down into Ashland in the evening for a "Green Show Entertainment" but decided that it would be a lot more relaxing and enjoyable if we stayed at Don and Cathy's and grilled out. John and Don grilled chicken with Baby Ray Barbecue sauce and Cathy and I made twice baked potato's and corn on the cob. What a feast that was - it was finger licking good!
We then sat down and watched a movie and headed off to bed around midnight or later. What a wonderful day.
Don & Cathy, thank you both so much for the wonderful time that we had in Ashland and all the incredible adventures and site seeing that you took us on. The sailing was fantastic, site seeing was amazing, but the best part was spending it with the two of you. We always seem to be able to get together and have a good time.
Finally, I can say to our family and friends in Wisconsin - we will start heading home tomorrow. However, we do plan on site seeing the Grand Teton's, Yellowstone, and Devils Tower so it is still going to be a few days before we get there. It is also a very long way to drive - in fact, I can not imagine anyone biking it (oh that's right we did). lol

Happy Trails!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ashland, Oregon to Crater Lake, Monday, July 19th, 2010

After several discussions about what to go and see today we decided to go to Crater Lake. On our way we stopped at Natural Bridges and also Rogue River Gorge. We keep thinking that we have seen the most beautiful waterfalls, rivers, or streams and then we come upon another just as beautiful or more beautiful than the last. From there we headed to Crater Lake and upon our arrival taking a look at the beautiful Crater Lake is just breathtaking. The water is such an incredible beautiful blue and the views, once again, are fantastic. We also went to the lodge and looked around a bit before heading back to Ashland. On our way home we stopped at Betty's for an ice cream treat. Let me tell you that you definitely get your money's worth if you stop for ice cream there. It was delicious and very filling so once we arrived home everyone just snacked a little bit before we headed off to bed. Once again, fantastic day!