Just home from almost a month in the North Country - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-10-2009, 10:52 PM   #1
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Name: Adrian
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We enjoyed some very nice weather in our two weeks plus stay at Minot AFB. Cool, but sunny most of the time. We enjoyed a day at the ND State Fair with nice cool weather. Did a lot walking, had a great time. Last day or two we have gotten some rain, but nothing serious, no fear of hail, or tornados. We did have to use the electric cube heater a time or two once it started to rain a little.

Our son was able to get his U-Haul Truck early, on Friday evening instead of Saturday morning. He was able to pick it up, get it weighted empty before the scales closed. He started loading it as soon as he got it home. He did not stop until it as nearly loaded, around mid-night. He finished up the next day. Man, it was packed solid, over 10,000 lbs. By having it loaded on Friday, A his wife was able to get to work cleaning the house for inspection. Otherwise, she would have been doing it Sunday. Of course, Grandma help with that as well.

Sunday, we bid them good bye after having lunch in Minot. They would be leaving the next morning. Aís mother & brother were flying in at 4 pm. Her brother is driving the U-Haul & her mom is helping A with the kids. Our son is driving his pickup towing his 5th Wheel Camper & A is driving their Dodge Durango & towing his motorcycle. We drove to Bismarck after we did some shopping at Wal-Mart, then to Theodore Roosevelt Natíl Park South Unit. We had a good drive. We just got into one of the last 3 spots, very small, just as you get into the campground and next to some garbage cans. But it proved a nice spot, because a small herd of Bison came through the upper campground & exited by our site. It was very neat seeing them up close. Also 3 horses came by as well.

The next morning, Monday, we drove to the north entrance to Yellowstone near Gardner, Montana. We got there around 5 pm. All campgrounds were full. A nice lady gave us a paper where one could find a place to camp outside of the park. We looked around, stopped at one commercial campground, full. But the man was friendly and gave some advice. I mentioned boon docking in leaving. He called to me & told me the town would not say anything if we just boon docked along the main road to the park. We did, but the small parking lot to the Forest Ranger Station was just there. We did an over night in it. A little traffic nose, but not too bad.

We got up at 6 am Tuesday, dressed & headed to Mammoth Campground. We got there by 6:30. We were the first in line. Linda cooked breakfast & made coffee. We took the manís advice on a nice sit. It was very nice, at the end of the campground, two nice trees. Very quite. After setting up & showering, we went on a drive to see the sights. We decided to drive the upper loop with a side trip toward the northeast entrance.

From Mammoth Campground we drove through Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris without stopping to visit anything. At Norris junction we turned toward Canyon Village area. We saw one lone bull Bison beside the road. He was in poor shape. We started visiting the over looks and did some hiking to see the Canyon & Falls. Then we did a U turn & went north toward Tower-Roosevelt Area. At Tower we hiked to see the falls there. Then we went into the large store & got ice cream, yum. It was good. It also rained very hard while we were there & was raining as we left. At Roosevelt we made a hard right turn to do the road out to the NE entrance. We began to see some Bison alone this route all out at a distance. Then we notice a black bear right off the road. It was raining again, the bear was wet, but he was very close. He was eating berries off bushes beside the road. It was a neat drive. After getting to a sign warning of road construction coming up, we turned around. At Roosevelt junction we turn north again, heading back to Mammoth Hot Springs. It is a very curvy road, goes up high, very pretty country. This Loop took us 7 hrs 19 min, we drove 141.5 miles, 4 hrs 48 min moving, 2 hrs 31 min stopped. 20.8 mpg on the trucks computer. Top speed in the park is 45 mph, some 35 mph and some 25 mph or slower.

After a good night sleeping, we did the lower loop on Wednesday. From Mammoth we drove to Norris stopping at a few attractions after getting past Norris, mainly geysers as we worked our way to the Old Faithful area. We lucked out, after a long search for a parking spot, as we walked up to the Old Faithful viewing area, it was going. After walking just a little we left. All the geysers & things just did not seem as active as we remember them from years ago. From there, we headed to West Thumb area, stopping to see some of the attractions. West Thumb is on Yellowstone Lake. Very pretty area. From there we headed north again toward the Canyon area. Very neat along the lake, then the road follows the Yellowstone River & through the Hayden Valley to the Canyon area & the Falls. There were a few Bison in the Hayden Valley, not as many as we remember from the other times we have been there. Five Bison along the road created a 5 miles traffic jam for the cars heading down, but not for us. At the Canyon area we turned west to Norris. We stopped at some of the attractions, mainly geysers around Norris, took a side tour to see a falls. At Norris, we turned north to Mammoth, taking a tour by the Upper Terraces. We also spotted a bear along the way, across a valley. A very large grizzly. This Loop took us 9 hrs 5 min, we drove 153.7 miles, 5 hrs 7 min moving, 3 hrs 58 stopped.

The next day, Thursday, we drove from Mammoth, to Norris to Canon to Fishing Bridge and on out of the park to Cody, WY. We had entered from there the last time, but I did not remember how steep and high one goes to do so. In Cody we stopped at a visitor center to get a WY map then after eating a late lunch we went to the Buffalo Bill Museums. There are five different one there. We did 3 of them before it closed. We spent the night in a very nice Wal-Mart parking lot with a great view of the mountains. Also spent cash getting supplies there.

Friday, we finished the other 2 Museums. Then drove to Thermopolis, plus a few miles to the first campground along the Wind River, after setting up the camper, we went for a soak in the free hot spring pool at Thermopolis Hot Springs State Park. We found out why the river is called the Wind. We had a good blow from a small thunderstorm during the night. Very nice night over all.

Saturday, we drove to Wheatland, WY, taking advantage of there free campground in the city park. Had a very nice stay, got there a little early, therefore did a few chores.

Drove from Wheatland to Trinidad, no problems getting through Denver & Colorado Springs. Spent the night a Wal-Mart, a nice one, fairly quite. Got a few things for the egg at Wal-Mart.

Today, drove from Trinidad, CO to Las Cruces, NM our home. My wife noticed a very low tire as we were parking it in the Scamport. About 20 psi. Now I need to see about that.
Our son made it to Alaska before we got home. All safe & sound. The U-Haul got tagged overnight at the White Horse Wal-Mart. They later saw a 5th Wheel with NM plates go by with the same tag on the back of it as well.

A very good trip. We had a blast. We would have done more at Yellowstone & perhaps stayed out longer, but while helping my son & A unloading their camper shell; I pulled my back. It is still giving me some problems, but seems to be getting better. Lifting anything, even my computer & its stuff in it's bag hurts it. I could not get wi-fi while on the road or at my son's, but it is working now. Not sure what was up or is up.
We put in 480 miles or so today, I a little tired. Ha! Photos later. On the Trip back we may have put in 1,800 miles, but I did not check the milage yet.

Site 48 Mammoth CG - one of the nices if not the nices for a Scamp

Berry eating Black Bear
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DSC00785.JPG   DSC00814.JPG  

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Old 08-11-2009, 12:20 AM   #2
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The next day, Thursday, we drove from Mammoth, to Norris to Canon to Fishing Bridge and on out of the park to Cody, WY. We had entered from there the last time, but I did not remember how steep and high one goes to do so.
How could you forget that road? LOL................... That's the scariest road I have driven pulling a trailer. It will be etched in my memory bank for eternity. Certainly might not think that bad of it entering from it, other than knowing if I climb it I most likely have to descend it, but the downside, let's just say I call it the Our Father Prayer Road. Cause you could say the whole prayer before you hit the bottom if you didn't make a curve correctly. I can honestly say, if I ever get on another road like that pulling I will stop and turn around and go another direction. (call me chicken, but I would rather be a chicken then a dead duck!) Glad you guys survived it!


Sounds like your trip was a great one. Did you stop in Chugwater for the famous Chugwater Chili? Thanks for shareing your trip with all us.
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:17 AM   #3
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How could you forget that road? LOL................... That's the scariest road I have driven pulling a trailer. It will be etched in my memory bank for eternity. Certainly might not think that bad of it entering from it, other than knowing if I climb it I most likely have to descend it, but the downside, let's just say I call it the Our Father Prayer Road. Cause you could say the whole prayer before you hit the bottom if you didn't make a curve correctly. I can honestly say, if I ever get on another road like that pulling I will stop and turn around and go another direction. (call me chicken, but I would rather be a chicken then a dead duck!) Glad you guys survived it!


Sounds like your trip was a great one. Did you stop in Chugwater for the famous Chugwater Chili? Thanks for shareing your trip with all us.
The scariest road for us was the day before getting to Cody (not this trip but in '89 or '90) on Route 14A, it is much more fearce of a desent. No, on the Chili, did not know it was Famous, nor they had any. Ha!

I just put the F-150 into first gear for the steep parts and it just easied us around the curves at a very modest speed, no scare to it.

My US 14A experence:
US 14A after the split off of US 14 from Ranchchester heading down hill to Lovell, pulling a 1983 20' Komfort Lite Travel Trailer with a '83 Ford F250 4 speed manual with granny gear. I had to hold granny in gear and ask my wife to manually apply the trailer brakes now and then. They had a sign warning of the steep down grade, I should have taken the fork to Shell/Greybull. Most of the route was neat, all very pretty execpt for the 14 miles with 10% grade and sharp curves which I am sure was also pretty but I was to occupied to really notice the scenery.
http://www.rockymountainroads.com/us-014alt_wy.html


Photos are from this trip on the section in Yellowstone going to Cody I believe, we left the camper at a campground in '89/'90 and drove into the park all the way to the Mud Pots viewing Bison & things, then went back, spent the night and pulled the trailer to Grant Village, but the road did not stick in my memory banks, my daughter ripping her shorts getting out at an attrictions did, stopping at Fishing Bridge for some snacks to put off eating supper but not the road, funny how things get put in long term and some don't.
Attached Thumbnails
DSC00923.JPG   DSC00922.JPG  

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Old 08-11-2009, 06:38 PM   #4
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Red face

More photos:
Grizzly across the valley - but we got to see one!

Yellowstone Lake West Thumb area - facing toward Grand Village

Elk on the lawns at Mammoth Hot Springs
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DSC00876.JPG   DSC00854.JPG  

DSC00907.JPG  
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:51 PM   #5
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How could you forget that road? LOL................... That's the scariest road I have driven pulling a trailer. It will be etched in my memory bank for eternity. Certainly might not think that bad of it entering from it, other than knowing if I climb it I most likely have to descend it, but the downside, let's just say I call it the Our Father Prayer Road. Cause you could say the whole prayer before you hit the bottom if you didn't make a curve correctly. I can honestly say, if I ever get on another road like that pulling I will stop and turn around and go another direction. (call me chicken, but I would rather be a chicken then a dead duck!) Glad you guys survived it!


Sounds like your trip was a great one. Did you stop in Chugwater for the famous Chugwater Chili? Thanks for shareing your trip with all us.
Yes, the wife and I replayed the Lucy and Desi routine from the long long trailer on that road. " so did you finish the book you were reading" Anything but look to the right OMG what a drop, miles down, very scary.
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:56 PM   #6
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Adrian, Thanks for sharing your travels with the rest of us! I don't know about everyone else, but I live these travels... vicariously.

Good story!
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:58 PM   #7
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Just curious, what does it mean to "get tagged" at Wal-Mart? At first I was thinking you meant a parking ticket, but then it sounded like it was on the back of the vehicle, so I'm confuzzled

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Old 08-11-2009, 07:00 PM   #8
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Just curious, what does it mean to "get tagged" at Wal-Mart? At first I was thinking you meant a parking ticket, but then it sounded like it was on the back of the vehicle, so I'm confuzzled

Raya
Raya, tagging is a term used when the gangs mark their territory... usually with spray paint.
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:08 PM   #9
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Aha... and.... creepy!

Thanks for the info,

Raya
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:10 PM   #10
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Adrian,

That is one or our favorite places we've been to date. Nothing like WY and MT as long as it's July or August.

Sounds and looks like you had a wonderful trip.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:37 PM   #11
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wow thanks for the post!

Me and my wife are planning that trip in Sept here to Teddy Roosevelt, Yellowstone, and Grand Tetons, and Badlands. It sounds like quite a trip you had!
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:13 PM   #12
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......planning that trip in Sept here to Teddy Roosevelt, Yellowstone, and Grand Tetons, and Badlands. It sounds like quite a trip you had!
We had a blast, we have been to the Tetons but not the Badlands of SD, T. Roosevelt have there form of badlands as well. Very neat. Tetons are very neat, a real must see for sure. We seem to be going back to Yellowstone next year & will do the Tetons then. Our son in law (from Minnisota) is planning on going, we may tag along. (Not spray paint this time.)

Sorry about the tagging term, tooo long in the public schools, I confess. We learn some terms not always used in polite company. Ha! Spray paint on the side of the U-Haul, on the rear of the 5th wheel. Tooo bad to be happening out in the middle of a wilderness.

Waking up Monday morning at the Trinidad, CO Wal-Mart, I noticed a smaller camper than our Scamp as I was up and doing some chores. See photos below.
Later, a guy with a small black doggie were getting ready to leave. The dog rides in a travel cage in the trailer, it seemed.
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:40 PM   #13
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I like it! A motorcycle and trailer camping in a Wal-Mart. And here I feel small "camping" there in my station wagon (sans egg).

No problem about the "tagging" term - I learned a new one. Kind of sucky to think that might happen as you slept though. Ugh.

Thanks for the trip report.

Raya
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Old 08-12-2009, 05:06 PM   #14
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To Y'all!

I've added a few more photos of our trip to ND & T. Roosevelt & Yellowstone here:
http://s286.photobucket.com/albums/ll120/D...mview=slideshow



PS on Tagging 101: Not all tagging is done by gang members, some are just taggers who get a kick out of doing it. Either way, it is costly to the ones who property has gotten tagged. Some are very good at it, artistly. But they should do it only where they have permission to do so, or on canvas or panels like other artistic.

My first real tagger I had as a student (many, many years ago) had moved to Las Cruces from NYC (his dad was a retired NYC policeman). He told stories of going down into areas & tagging subway cars, etc. He had a lot of photos of it, videos of graffiti art. His plans were to return to NY to be a cop. He was a Polish kid. Later tagging become a huge problem all over, mainly gang related. It still happens, but has gotten less active.


PPS: I just checked the trip milage, my guess was off....it was 2,360 miles on the return from Minot AFB.
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