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summer journey page 2

You are here because you are one of the fortunate, exclusive, and privileged few to be invited to see the summer adventure Lisa and I shared this past summer, an epic adventure across the American west. Or, possibly your just stumbled across this page. No matter, enjoy!

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Overlooking the mighty Columbia on a triple-digit-temp day

A panorama of what is not longer there, Indian fishing grounds

The very interesting town of Wallace, ID

We've found the center of the universe, Wallace, ID

Stopping for a bit, Wallace, ID

A little beach ball lost in Wallace, ID

I find these alleys very intriguing, Wallace, ID

On the road somewhere in Montana

It's still hot in Montana

You can buy almost anything here in northern Montana

A great campsite in Big Fork, MT

Through the Swan River National Wildlife Refuge, MT

Through the Mannix Family Ranch in Montana

We've found the road, yeah!

Darwin's soon-to-be-weeded-out wandering into the field to photograph a bear. Unfortunately, the bear had already eaten.

Our first stop in Yellowstone (bear sighting stops all)

Sunset over Yellowstone Lake, WY

A great little (grizzly-infested) camp site outside Cody, WY

Hairy cows running wild

Traffic jams long enough to have refreshments, Yellowstone, WY

Lisa photographed Old Faithful, my Instagram messed me up

Waiting for Old Faithful to blow

A less touristy location in Yellowstone, nice

An idiot near the "Do Not Swim" sign, fortunately he was eaten by a bear soon after this and spared humanity from his possible breeding
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© Amorteguy | Home

Below: Lisa's travel blog.
Also GPS data, for all you nerds.

Sunday 30th
Mark and Mom left at dark 30 in the morning to head back. We slept in some, had some very frozen milk with our cereal from our fridge that we were not sure was working. Showered and packed up and headed out to the east coast of Washington. Followed the Colombia River on the Washington side. Made it as far as Spokane and stayed at a KOA. Kinda like staying at the Disneyland of campgrounds. Pulled in late and left as early as we could. Figuring that KOA's may not be the favorite place to stay along the journey.
In the fascinating mining town of Wallace, ID
Monday 1st
On our way again we crossed into Idaho early morning. Scenery changed rather quickly. Eastern Washington was flat, dry and not many trees but Idaho had trees, and mountains. About 11:00 we found a small town tucked in the mountain side, Wallace Idaho. We decided to stop and check it out. It was like walking onto a movie set from a western telling the story of a miners life. Wallace was full of history and fun to walk around in. Who knew the "Center of the Universe" was in Wallace Idaho. Had lunch on the sidewalk downtown. I went into the jewelry story and found a beautiful pair of sliver hoop earrings made but a local artist and silver mined locally. Walked through an antique shop that was probably the local mercantile back in the mining boom 100 years ago. Picked up a Life magazine dated a week after President Kennedy was assassinated, 50 years ago, hard to believe I was alive at that time. Then it was back on the road. We were headed to Bigfork MT, in hopes of seeing my Aunt Nita who was there at her cabin. The drive was beautiful, but after numerous attempts to get in touch with her and find her house we finally settled into a small campground and went to explore the area. Bigfork really should be Smallfork. Not much of a town but cute none the less. We found a nice place on the marina to have a drink and then went to the grocery store to purchase dinner to make our first meal in the trailer. Chicken sandwiches and Mac'n'Cheese. Had to sit inside at the table since it was so hot and muggy but found out that the air conditioner works great. After it cooled down we sat outside and enjoyed the quiet and our Blue Bunny ice cream sandwiches. When the bugs started biting we headed inside and found that the wifi actually worked well. I researched some campsites in the Yellowstone area but decided that we'd take our chances and see what we can find.
Big Fork camping, MT
Mannix Family Ranch, MT (bad data connection)
Tuesday 2nd
Headed out to Yellowstone. Stopped in Bozeman and had lunch at a converted garage. Bozeman definitely had the college town feel with Montana State University located there. After a brief stop at a rural bus stop to use the restroom. Well not really a restroom but a bush located behind the bus stop we found our way to the North entrance of Yellowstone. There we passed through a giant rock arch at the entrance on our way through the park to head to Cody, WY on the East side of the park to our camp ground. We had called ahead for our spot and anticipated a 2 hour drive in our 100 mile trek but it to took close to 4 and a half hours. There were numerous bear and bison sightings and when that happens the traffic comes to a complete stop. I did see my first grizzly out in the wild 100 yards from me. That was exciting. When we arrived in Cody at our camp ground they had apparently given our site away but the nice man on duty gave us a site about the size of a parking space. It was late we didn't care. We had electricity and all was good.
Here's where the bear was located (for you hunters)
Wednesday 3rd
Slept in some until we heard the rain on the roof of our little trailer. It was a short lived rain but I am sure it was not welcome to the people in town who were about to start the 4th of July Parade. It didn't last long so we guessed the parade went off without delay. We stayed the morning at the campground and did some laundry and showered up. Our plan was to take the trailer about 1/2 way back up the mountain toward Yellowstone and drop it at a remote campsite and then head into Yellowstone for the day. We found a great site just off the road by the river. It had no hook ups but we were determined to rough it. As long as I had my little bathroom and we had gas to make coffee in the morning all was good. Headed into Yellowstone to go to see Old Faithful. That was about a 90 minute drive which again took much longer than anticipated. There is only one road through the park and when a horse trailer flips over the traffic once again comes to a complete stop. We were stopped on the road for about an hour. We arrived at Old Faithful about a 1/2 hour before it was scheduled to erupt. We waited for that amazing event and were not disappointed. It is amazing how they can predict within a 20 minute time frame that nature will do its wonders. As we walked through the museum detailing all the history of the park we read about how millions of years ago all this happened that lead to current day I couldn't help but think how amazing God is to create something like this. My amazement didn't end as we drove further north to the many "hot spots" in the park were we walked out on plank sidewalks to see the hundreds of other thermal areas where hot steaming water bubbles or shoots out from the ground. With the mineral deposits found in these thermals you see beautiful colors of water and amazing mounds of deposits that form the thermal pools. The sun was setting as we drove back to our little campground. We took some beautiful pictures of this amazing country God created. It was dark as we drove back and in a split second we saw a deer in the oncoming lane of traffic. He was headed across the street. We missed hitting him by seconds. My heart skipped a beat on that one. We arrived back at our campsite in the dark, ate some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and went to bed with the ax close by just in case the bears decided to pay us a visit. Tony apparently thinks I am Hansel and Gretel and leave crumbs out for the bears to find us.