Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thursday July 28, 2011

Thursday we planned for a light travel day so we slept in; it was about 10:00 by the time we began traveling toward Oklahoma. Our goal was to get to Edwin and Melissa’s house this evening. After traveling 208 miles we arrived at their house about 5:15pm. It was hot day traveling; thank God for air conditioning; as we passed through Weatherford, Ok. a reader board showed 107 degrees (too hot for comfort). This evening we all enjoyed a cook-out down in the canyon next to the creek that flows through the canyon. Today marks the end of our Alaska trip; Stanley’s will be leaving to spend some time with their daughter Sandi and family in Tx. and then on to their home in Va. We will be here in Ok. for a few days before we head out to our home in Tallahassee, Fl.  

 Our Entrance into Oklahoma
Merrill & Marie "The End" Stanley & Mary Jane
 "Cook Out" in the Canyon
 "Cook Out" in the Canyon

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wednesday July 27, 2011

Wednesday our travels took us from Pueblo, Co. to Amarillo, Tx. a total of 309 miles. Yesterday we experienced 98 degrees as we traveled south and today we saw 105 degrees as we passed through Dalhart, Tx. As we are approaching the end of our Alaska travels together I want to publicly thank Marie and Mary Jane for their housekeeping and cooking and Mary Jane for her bookkeeping skills. Many thanks to Stanley for his help with connecting and disconnecting the car and R.V. Stanley was also our map reader and guide as we traveled unfamiliar roads; thank you, Stanley, for all your help. “Susan” in our GPS was a good help however there is no substitute to good old map reading. We discovered that even though the GPS was helpful sometimes it had a difficult time leading us the way we wanted to go. Tonight is the last night that we will be camping at a campground together as we plan to arrive at Edwin and Melissa’s place in Oklahoma tomorrow. Yesterday and today we finished with the accounting of the cost of our trip and Mary Jane informed us that our trip actually is concluding under the amount that we estimated. This evening Stanley and Mary Jane treated us to a meal of our choice to show their appreciation for the trip. We had a delightful treat at Braum’s here in Amarillo, TX. We will miss the travel experiences we had during the last two months; however we are looking forward to getting home soon and back into our normal routines.
Marie, Stanley, & Mary Jane at Rest Area

One of many trains that we saw in the west and NW  

 Old Wind Mill along the way
 Marie, Merrill, Stanley, & Mary Jane at Braum's 
 Our last stay at an R.V. Park
    Marie at our campsite in Amarillo, Tx.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tuesday July 26, 2011 Posted by Merrill

Tuesday morning we left our campsite at Casper Wy. about 8:45 and went to an Exxon service station and filled up both the R.V. and car with regular unleaded for $3.329 per gallon; the cheapest so far on this trip. As we travelled Mary Jane (our bookkeeper) spent a good portion of the day figuring out our expenses and who paid what so we can reconcile the total expenses of the trip to be certain both couples pay 50% of the cost.  On our way up to Alaska when we stopped for fuel in Cheyenne, Wy. the “Corner Store” had “Jamaica Hot Patties” for sale and we had already eaten lunch that day so we decided we would stop on the way back. Sure enough two months later we found the same the same “Corner Store” and purchased Jamaica Hot Patties for lunch. Our travel today was along I-25 with ranches along both sides of the interstate most of the way. We did however go through a few urban areas; much different than what we found in Alaska. While traveling south of Colorado Springs a truck driver passed us with a semi-truck and was weaving; seemed to have trouble keeping his truck in the driving lane. We kept a safe distance behind him just in case of an unpleasant incident.  A few minutes later a state trooper passed us and pulled the truck over so surely he took care of whatever the problem was. That was the extent of our excitement for the day. Since we had so many exciting experiences in Alaska we are now trying to “wind down” toward normalcy so we will be ready to handle our normal duties when we get home. I do not have any pictures to post today; however you may go to Facebook and see pictures the Stanley Shirk has posted of our trip; just click on photos.      

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday July 25, 2011 Posted by Merrill

Monday we left our campsite about 9:45; took more pictures as we were leaving the Grand Tetons since it was late in the day yesterday when we drove all the way through the Tetons and dark by the time we got back to our camper. We traveled 264 miles today reaching Casper Wy. about 5:45 in the evening.  Route US 26 eastbound was good except for some road construction as we were about to go through the mountain pass. The mountain pass with mountains all around us offered an awesome view; many miles of upward climbing and then down we came into hot dry weather. As we passed by a time and temperature sign it registered 98 degrees at 3:10pm so I guess we are going to have hot traveling from now on.
 The Grand Tetons
Notice the reflection in the water

Events of Sunday July 24, 2011 Posted by Merrill on Monday

Sunday at Yellowstone National Park some employees volunteer their time and conduct worship services at the amphitheater. We had difficulty finding the amphitheater in time to make the 9:00 service so we went back to the R.V. ate breakfast and made it a point to attend the 10:30 service.  It was a very meaningful service providing a worship experience in God’s magnificent creation as displayed here at Yellowstone National Park. After the service we packed a lunch, left the R.V. at the post office parking lot and drive the 17 miles or more with the car to see Old Faithful. When we got their the estimate time for the next eruption was in about 25 minutes; as it turned out the eruption happened about an hour after we arrived.  Old Faithful geyser was well worth the wait; it was amazing how people lined up around the sight to watch the hot water and steam shoot up in the air. Following the Old Faithful visit we drove further north to see several other smaller geysers and boiling water places. Late in the afternoon we left the Yellowstone National Park and drove about 15 miles to The Great Tetons National Park. We were able to camp at Colter Bay Campground. As soon as we got the R.V. parked we ate supper than drove the car to view the Great Tetons, magnificent mountains with rock formations all their own. We also enjoyed seeing wildlife along the 40 miles drive down and back.
Merrill and Marie
 Old Faithful Completing its Geyser Cycle
 Another Smaller Geyser
Entering The Grand Tetons

Events of Saturday July 23, 2011 posted by Merrill on Monday

Saturday morning Marie and Mary Jane did some laundry while Stanley and I made a trip into town, (Livingston, Montana) to purchase two lug nuts to secure the wheel cover on the R.V.  Last evening after we parked Stanley noticed that the chrome wheel cover was loose and brought it to my attention. Both of the lug nuts that fasten the wheel cover had come loose and were gone, fortunately we were able to purchase replacement lug nuts and we were not delayed too much. We traveled about an hour south until we entered Yellowstone National Park. The park is so big that you really need about a week or more not just two days to see it all so we spent most of the day driving around looking at the various “Hot Spots”. While we were at one of the water falls view site my niece, Amy spotted us so we got to visit with her and her family even before we went the campground. After a short visit they went back to their camp site and we joined them later and roasted marsh mellows at their camp site. It turned out to be a long day driving around in the park. We plan to go and see “Old Faithful” tomorrow. It was a long but good day by the time we settled in at Grant Village Campground. It was so nice to see Amy, Jay, Ayla, Amy’s sister Susan, and her twin brother, Andrew, his wife Dorcas, and their son Lane.
   Merrill, Marie, Mary Jane, & Stanley
White mineral reside from from hot geyser

Events of Friday July 22, 2011 Posted by Merrill on Monday

After spending over a week traveling through Canada we were indeed ready to find a U.S. Wal-Mart.  We literally spent the night at Wal-Mart in Great Falls, Montana; shopping and dry camping in their parking lot. In addition to purchasing groceries and basic supplies I was able to get them to replace the camera that I purchased in Montana on our way up to Alaska; it failed after about a month. Friday morning we left good ole Wal-Mart and we were on our way by 9:15 heading toward Livingston, Mt. Our travels included a stop at “Wheat Montana” a retail shop with a slogan of: We Sow It, Grow It, and Dough It. We were able to use their Wi-Fi and purchased some goodies from their bakery. This is where we made reservations for a campsite at Yellowstone National Park for Saturday night. Our plan is to meet my niece, Amy, her two children, and her brother and family in the Park on Saturday. We traveled to Livingston, Mt where we got a campsite at Osens R.V. Park, a nice park about 100 miles north of Yellowstone National Park.
  Wheat Montana Bakery & Deli
Marie making a purchase at wheat Montana