Thursday, May 10, 2018

'18/#13 Settling In

It has been a week since we arrived in West Yellowstone and today is day four of work. Everyone has been real nice and it looks like we will have a great summer. Our schedule is still in flux until training is completed so days off are kind of random. We will have one day off, work one day and have two more days off before we are in our regular schedule.

Saturday we will head into Idaho Falls to do some shopping and try and see some waterfalls along the way. Then during the week we will head into Yellowstone National Park. Our current location is just 5 minutes outside the park's West gate. In fact just over the fence behind our trailer is Yellowstone National Park.
Our guests have been coming back from the park telling us about buffalo, elk, and bear sightings. There have been quite a few babies with their mothers in the buffalo and bear sightings. We have seen baby buffalo before but not bear cubs with their least not in the wild. 

Some of the roads in Yellowstone are still closed and there has been an avalanche or two reported on the east side of the park. The northern side of the park is reporting 8-12 feet of snow off the roadways. The roads themselves are clear but hiking any of the trails is not possible at this time. We will check in with the park rangers when we head into the park. 

Well I will sign off for now since we are at work in the RV park we are calling home for the summer because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Sunday, May 6, 2018

'18/#12 Welcome To Our New Home

The trek is over. We made it to West Yellowstone and will be here for the rest of the summer. The weather has been clear and cool but the temperature still drops below freezing at night on occasion.That means we still have to keep an eye on our water lines. There is quite a bit of snow still piled up on the side of the roads and at higher elevations but it is melting. The rivers in Yellowstone are running heavy with all the snow run-off.

We went into Yellowstone our first full day here looking for wildlife. Of course we found buffalo everywhere there was grass not covered with snow and we came across an elk munching on the grass along side a river. Mary is determined to find a moose this year but none on this trip. At the Old Faithful visitors center we saw snow piled up all around the parking lot and there was a snow bank that reached up to the eaves of the building and beyond. There were not a lot of people here but the season is just getting started.

The next day we decided to take a drive into Bozeman MT since that is where all the bigger stores, malls, and restaurants are. This summer that will be a scheduled trip to get supplies that are not as readily available here in West Yellowstone. The population here in town is only about 1300 so the big stores aren't found anywhere nearby. There are couple of independent grocery stores, a hardware store, gas stations, and a few other small businesses for the locals to shop. As for the tourists there is an abundance of small restaurants and souvenir shops. A number of them aren't even open yet but that will change soon.

Speaking of tourist shops and attractions....we start work  this Monday. Our duties will be in the RV park, gift shop, and I-Max theater. The day we got here they had just gotten a delivery and I'm sure the empty shelves will be full of t-shirts and souvenirs in no time. Several tour buses have been here the past few days and from what we understand that is our "bread and butter" for the gift shop. The theater shows a movie about Yellowstone and then the buses head into the park. Of course to get in and out of the theater you have to go through the gift shop. This layout is no accident as anyone who has traveled to a tourist destination knows. I'm sure we will have fun and stay busy during the season.

Anyway, today is our last day before we start work. We will put the final touches on setting up the trailer for our stay for the summer so it feels like home here in our rig in West Yellowstone Montana because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

'18/#11 Another Day To Relax

Our home has moved again and we are in the east end of Idaho, just outside of Idaho Falls. We could have kept on going into West Yellowstone and arrived at our final destination on this trip, but why? We still have time before we have to start work, we have been doing better on the road not pushing ourselves, and we had some things to take care of here in Idaho Falls.

We found a nice county campground and decided to just relax before moving on. The weather has turned a little for the worse so we will stay here for a couple of days. Right now there is a mix of snow and rain with the temperature just below 40 degrees. A cold wet day is perfect for just hunkering down and keeping warm.

The weather cleared up some so we took a drive just to see the area a little. A brief trip into Idaho Falls for some business and a rise out into the mountains to find a waterfall. The roads were pretty muddy so we didn't get as close to the waterfalls as I had hoped but it was a nice drive. The weather started to take a downward turn  so we headed home. Shortly thereafter hail started to come down. Nothing too big or anything to worry about. Just enough to make it miserable outside.

Today we plan on heading out and getting to West Yellowstone by this afternoon. That will be our home for the next five months. So goodbye for the last time from our home in Ririe Idaho because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Monday, April 30, 2018

"18/#10 Last Days In Utah

One of the things Mary wanted to see while we were in the Salt Lake City area was the Mormon Temple and Temple Square. Her family had connections with the Mormon religion many years ago. This is like going to the Vatican for Catholics and a point of interest for us regular tourists. I, as a non-believer, am considered a tourist at any church we see in our travels. It doesn't mean I can't appreciate the art and architecture.

The buildings, paintings, and sculptures were something to see and the landscaping, gardens, and fountains made for a pleasant and peaceful setting. The Mormons are known for their missionary work and there were a number of missionaries around the complex to help and inform the guests about everything in Temple Square. Contrary to some of the rumors these missionaries were not trying to convert everyone who comes along. They were very pleasant and helpful. Of course they asked where you were from and did you belong to the church but those were just conversation starters. They treated everyone with kindness and respect regardless of ones beliefs. It was an interesting and worthwhile stop on our adventure.

The next two days we planned on getting ready to hit the road once more. Having stayed a week we had plenty of laundry and cleaning to do. I also decided to do a little modification on the rig to prevent a repeat of the gas line incident we had recently. That project took most of the day and while I was working on the rig I decided to change out an outlet that I had been meaning to do for some time. See, we are not on vacation. This is our lifestyle which includes cooking, cleaning, and home maintenance just like in any stick and brick home. Instead of going to Home Depot or Lowes we go to Camping World or another RV supply company. It is different but yet it is still the same.

This is my last blog from our home here in Ogden Utah because......

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Saturday, April 28, 2018

'18/#9 On to The Next Adventure

Southern Utah was pretty cool. We spent some time checking out Bryce Canyon and some of the other surrounding areas. Sights you see in pictures take on a whole different perspective in person. Mary has shared many pictures on Facebook but they do the canyon and rock formations no justice. After some snow in Panguitch we moved on down (up?) the road, north toward Salt Lake City.

We found a place to stay just north of Salt Lake City in Ogden and opted to stay for a whole week. As said in the movies, "it was an offer we couldn't refuse". One of my oldest and dearest friends, Linda, was following us on Facebook and sent us an OMG message. Her brother was living in Salt Lake City! You have to understand that I grew up with these two since I was 2 years old but haven't see Bill in between 30 and 40 years. We made plans and got together not knowing if we would have a lot to talk about. Well all I can say is 4 hours later we had to say our goodbyes. It was good to catch up and reminisce the good old days.

The next day we drove out to the Bonneville Salt Flats. I have read about it for years and knew it as the home of World Land Speed Records. It was quite drive and for some it might not seem worth it, but it is something to see. Acres and acres of flat hard packed salt makes you feel like you are on another planet. Spring time is the wet season so there was no racing on the "Flats" but maybe I will come back one year when they race late in the summer. I think that would be neat to see.

Well, that is all for now. There is more to see and I will share more later from our home in Ogden Utah because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Friday, April 20, 2018

'18/#9 Signs You Are A Traveler

There is no doubt that we are travelers or nomads or Gypsies. Just look back through our blogs. But signs that we are on the road are sometimes interesting to share. There are the usual stack of fuel receipts and receipts from various campgrounds. And then there are the signs that say "we're not in Kansas anymore!".

First there was the weather. Two weeks ago we had 90 degree weather and now I am looking out my window at 1 to 3 inches of snow. The terrain was another give-away. Leaving flat desert and now driving the red mountains of  Utah at elevations around 9000 feet is a different experience. Lastly there are the everyday things like going to the store. Hellman's mayonnaise is known as Best Foods west of the Rockies and what

do I find in the local market? As you can see we must be west of the Rockies!

Now that we are in the little town of Panguitch we took a ride and did some exploring in and around Bryce Canyon. A thousand pictures later we are once again amazed at the handiwork of Mother Nature. Being a quite a bit north of South Texas and at about 9000 feet the temps had dropped drastically and the winds had picked up. We were bundled up but still had enough of the cold. Today's weather is going to be nasty so we will be staying in and just relaxing for the day.

Tomorrow we will check out Zion National Park. After that we will head on north to Salt Lake City and the Bonneville Salt Flats. For now we are just staying warm in our home in Panguitch Utah because....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary

Monday, April 16, 2018

'18/#8 Same Jello, Different Flavor

The two days we spent in Congress AZ were much needed. Saw some friends and just relaxed after all the excitement of the past few days. We got up Monday morning and got on the road at the reasonable hour of 8am. While traveling Mary called ahead to check on the campground we were planning on staying at. Guess what? As they like to say, there was no room at the inn. So Mary started calling around and there were no places in the Page AZ area with openings. We did find a place for the next night but what about tonight. What to do, what to do?

Well we were near Flagstaff and looking for a place to fuel up and realized how close we were to Williams. It was only around lunch time so why not spend a night in Williams? And since it was early enough why not take a drive up the road and take a peek at the Grand Canyon? Well why not shake the jello for a good reason for a change?

We checked in at the Canyon Motel and RV Park, unhooked the truck, packed a lunch, and took off for the south rim of the Geand Canyon just 52 miles away. We've been here before but being this close it was worth the trip to see it again, even if only for a couple of hours. We walked around a little, took a bunch of pictures, and were once again amazed at the majestic sight that is the Grand Canyon.

Tomorrow we will head out for Utah and we will try to see as much as we can in the Bryce Canyon area before continuing our trek north. The weather is changing as we head north with temps tonight expectd in the mid 30's and winds around 25mph. We will try to stay warm in our home here in Williams because.....

Home is where we park it,
Frank and Mary