Father and Son US Road Trip- 9 States, 12 National Parks, 2 Months, 6500 Miles!

Discussion in 'Global Trip Reports' started by TonyBKK, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    I was very impressed that Kristhawee could accomplish a 4-5 mile hike like that! Rewarded him with ice cream at the Jenny Lake General Store and then we went to check out the visitor center-
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    The Jenny Lake Visitor Center is particularly nice- it's in a beautiful old CCC building and there are sofas around a big stone fireplace where you can sit and read books.

    Headed back to camp-
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    I thought (hoped?) that Kristhawee would be tired from the hike and that maybe we could take a nap.... He looks a bit tired, sitting on the bear box in our campsite-
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    Nope! He met some nice kids from New York and wanted to play play play! clap.gif Good lord he has mad energy!

    There was a ranger talk about wolves that evening-
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    Kristhawee was hanging with his new friends from New York- really nice family!
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    The kids found a baby robin that had fallen out of its nest. They were so concerned and fascinated by it and wanted one of us adults to put it back in the nest, which, as I understand it, you're not supposed to do.

    Just then the nice Ranger who had given the wolf talk came by and I asked her what we should do. Her sage advice: "Let it be". So with the Ranger's backing we insisted that the kids leave the baby bird where it was. They took it upon themselves to build the baby bird a nest of sorts and covered him up with grass to keep him warm. In the morning the baby bird was gone and a quick thinking parent told the kids that the mommy Robin had come down in the night and picked up the baby and put it back in the nest. Ah, don't you just love happy endings? naughty.gif

    The temperature dropped quickly when the sun went down- a big fire kept us nice and warm kumbaya.gif
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    Once we were snug in our sleeping bags we started Kipling's story "Toomai of the Elephants". What a fantastic story- check out the first paragraph:

    "Kala Nag (Black Snake), a wise old elephant, has been taken up to the Garo hills to help in the yearly drive to catch wild elephants and break them in. His driver, Big Toomai, takes no pleasure in the work, but Little Toomai, his ten year old son, delights in the camp life. When the wild tuskers are being driven into the Keddah (the stockade) Little Toomai sits high on a post shouting and waving, and when a driver drops the end of a rope, he slips down among the feet of the elephants at peril of his life and throws it up to him. "

    My son loves this story (and so do I), but he only lasts a few pages before he passes out. Sweet dreams my beautiful boy- I'll see you in the morning! ricky.gif
     
  2. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Wednesday, July 25th

    Good morning from Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park! Gee, does somebody need to pee?? lol8.gif
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    It was so nice having the General Store walking distance from our campground- fresh milk, bacon, cereal and coffee for breakfast!
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    Bacon!! DukeGirl.gif
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    Yet another beautiful day!
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    Northface Nebula- our home for the summer. Big thanks to my good friend Jeremy who lent us his tent, stove, and a sleeping bag icon10.gif
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    Map of Jenny Lake Campground-
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    If memory serves, we were in site 13. Fantastic campground- one of my favorites on this trip.

    I needed to print and send a fax so we rode to Jackson and hit the beautiful Teton County Library-
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    Kristhawee LOVES libraries- he picks the books and I read them.

    They had some toys too- he was definitely enjoying himself-
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    Then, for something completely different, we went and saw a movie. Kristhawee got to choose from Ice Age, Spiderman and Batman. He chose the bat-
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    I quite liked the movie, but it really wasn't a kids flick and was more violent than I would have liked. Still, my son seemed to enjoy it.

    After the movie we wandered around town a bit, did some shopping and had dinner at my son's favorite place-
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    Gotta say, that Southwest Chicken Salad was fekkin GOOD!

    We got back to camp just after dark, Kristhawee was passed out on the back of the bike. Man, I really would have like to have spent another day or two in Grand Teton, but we were supposed to hook up with friends at Glacier NP and if we didn't leave the next day we'd miss them... Turns out one summer just isn't enough time to see and do all the things we'd like.
     
  3. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Thursday, July 25th- As much as we'd both like to stay longer in Grand Teton National Park, we must move on it we're to catch up with our friends in Glacier National Park. Another beautiful day! A bit chilly in the morning- you'll notice Kristhawee is wearing daddy's vest-
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    We need to reach Glacier National Park on Friday so the plan today is to ride about half way and camp on Canyon Ferry Lake-
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    The John D Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway is just as good going north as it was going south icon10.gif
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    Leaving Grand Teton National Park-
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    The Grand Teton range stretches north quite a ways so we still get some amazing views-
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    Welcome back to Yellowstone National Park! (How many times have we re-entered the park already??)
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    Such a beautiful day!
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    Following the Lewis River north-
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    Fun road, not much traffic-
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    We'll exit the park via West Yellowstone US 191/20/287
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    I've never been to this part of Yellowstone- It's beautiful!
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    The road follows the Madison River-
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    Entering West Yellowstone! Welcome back to Montana!
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  4. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    We stopped for lunch in West Yellowstone and the nice gentleman who was running the place gave us a Montana state map and highlighted what he thought would be the best way for us to get to Glacier National Park.
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    On the road- headed north on US287
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    Approaching Quake Lake
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    Beautiful country- Hebgen Lake off to our left-
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    Zoomin'
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    The view across Hebgen Lake-
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    Our first glimpse of Quake Lake-
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    Off in the distance we can see where Sheep Mountain collapsed-
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    Wow, the whole mountain came down!
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    80 million tons of mountain collapsed in a huge landslide caused by the largest earthquake ever recorded in Montana-
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    What's left of Sheep Mountain-
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    Quake Lake is pretty interesting. From Wikipedia:

    Quake Lake (officially Earthquake Lake[1]) is a lake in southwestern Montana, United States. It was created after an earthquake struck on August 17, 1959, killing 28 people.[2] Today, Quake Lake is 190 feet (58 m) deep and 6 miles (9.7 km) long. US 287 follows the lake and offers glimpses of the effects of the earthquake and landslide and visitor center is just off the road. The lake is mostly within Gallatin National Forest.

    The earthquake The earthquake measured 7.5 on the Richter scale (revised by USGS to 7.3[2]) and caused an 80 million ton landslide which formed a landslide dam on the Madison River. The earthquake was the most powerful to hit the state of Montana in historic times. The landslide traveled down the south flank of Sheep Mountain, at an estimated 100 miles per hour (160 km/h), killing 28 people who were camping along the shores of Hebgen Lake and downstream along the Madison River. Upstream the faulting caused by the earthquake forced the waters of Hebgen Lake to shift violently. A seiche, a wave effect of both wind and water, crested over Hebgen Dam, causing cracks and erosion.
    The earthquake created fault scarps up to 20 ft (6.1 m) high in the area near Hebgen Lake and the lake bottom itself dropped the same distance. 32,000 acres (130 km2) of the area near Hebgen Lake subsided more than 10 ft (3.0 m). Several geysers in the northwestern sections in Yellowstone National Park erupted and numerous hot springs became temporarily muddied.[2]
    Hebgen Dam and creation of the lake

    Hebgen Dam, built in 1917, is a concrete core and rock fill faced structure that sustained severe damage but continued to hold. Repairs were completed on the dam spillway in a few weeks. The landslide, which occurred downstream from the dam, blocked almost all the flow of the Madison River which began to fill in the void upstream from the slide. In less than a month, the waters had created what is now known as Quake Lake. The lack of a reliable water outlet for this new lake forced one of the largest mobilizations of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ever commenced in the western U.S. Before the new landslide was breached by the quickly rising waters, a spillway was constructed to ensure erosion and potential failure of the natural dam would be minimized. Within the immediate vicinity of the earthquake and resultant landslide, a few dozen cabins and homes were destroyed. Overall damages to buildings and roads were minor with damage costs placed at 11 million dollars in 1959. Aftershocks up to 6.5 on the Richter scale continued for several months.
     
  5. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Heading north on the 287 towards Ennis it looked like we might get wet-
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    Looking east towards Big Sky-
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    Somehow we got lucky and managed to get through without getting wet icon10.gif

    Ennis was a cute little town and I was tempted to stop, but wasn't sure how long it would take to get to Canyon Ferry Lake, so we pressed on.

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    North of Ennis it was rolling hills, dry grasslands and expansive views-
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    A long stretch of construction slowed us down some, but at least it was dry-
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    Woohoo! We reached Canyon Ferry Lake in the late afternoon. It wasn't a big ride, but for some reason I was beat! I originally thought we'd stay at the KOA there, but upon arrival realized that it was really set up pretty much exclusively for RV's. Not a nice place to pitch a tent, plus they didn't even have a pool. The really nice lady at the reception told us that there was a county campground just down the road, right on the lake. Cheap too! icon10.gif
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    The Land Yacht at Canyon Ferry Lake, Montana. Gee, wonder if it would float? naughty.gif
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    There was a store at the KOA so once we got our tent set up we walked back up the road to get some food-
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    Thanks for holding my beer while I snap a pic little man icon10.gif
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    The KOA didn't have much selection and I hadn't had a Bud in... well... long enough that I forgot what shyte beer it is! lol8.gif
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    Cheers!

    Kristhawee was in the mood to fish-
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    There was a really nice retired couple from Washington in an RV near us and they befriended my son and gave him some worms, and lo and behold, he caught his first fish!!
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    Check out the size of that Walleye! lol8.gif

    I haven't filleted a fish in years and didn't have a proper knife but the really nice couple invited us to dinner and we added our fish to theirs and enjoyed a fantastic Walleye dinner, of course with s'mores for desert DukeGirl.gif kumbaya.gif

    The Silos Canyon Ferry campground was wide open and very exposed- not a place you'd want to be in bad weather, but it certainly did make for a beautiful sunset-
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    Good night! Tomorrow we ride to Glacier National Park! clap.gif
     
  6. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Friday July 26th we woke up to some rain and threatening skies. I think this was the first time our whole trip that we bothered putting on rain gear- Kristhawee didn't seem to mind much :)
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    The weather gods were with us- shortly after we hit the road the clouds disappeared and the sun reappeared-
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    Beautiful roads all the way from Helena to Glacier National Park-
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    Despite the rain in the morning, it ended up another beautiful day!
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    Beef country, USA! Can't tell from the pic, but these were some good looking cows!
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    Nevada Lake, Montana-
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    Snow covered mountains way off in the distance!
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    Stoney's Kwik Stop was a fun place to stop for a drink and a snack-
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    Where's the beef? yelrotflmao.gif
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    Salmon Lake, Montana-
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    Would have like to have spent a night around here, but we needed to get to Glacier to catch up with our friends.
     
  7. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Riding past Salmon Lake State Park-
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    Montana was pretty green compared to Wyoming and South Dakota-
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    Gettin there! ricky.gif
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    Some nice twisties on Hwy 83 naughty.gif
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    Swan Lake-
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    Approaching Big Fork, Montana-
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    Entering West Glacier!
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    Glacier National Park and the Going to the Sun Road!
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    Yippee! We made it! Welcome to Glacier National Park!
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    We were meeting our friends at the Fish Creek Campground on the northwest shore of Lake McDonald. The view from the campground looking across the lake towards the southeast- Wow!
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  8. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    While waiting for our friends to return to camp we walked down to McDonald Lake to see if we could catch anything-
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    Kristhawee fishing on McDonald Lake, Glacier National Park-
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    We're developing a bit of a routine- if you can't catch em, swim with em! naughty.gif
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    I taught Kristhawee how to skip rocks- not as easy as it looks but he was getting the hang of it-
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    My silly happy boy thumb.gif
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    Back at camp my son took the camera and snapped some pics-
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    The campground hostess came by to check on us- 5 year olds have a funny perspective on the world lol8.gif
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    We found a nice secure place for my boy to sleep yelrotflmao.gif
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    Went off to explore the campground. Fish Creek, closed to fishing :think:
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    Some nice trails linking the different sections of the campground-
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    Nice healthy forest, seems the dreaded pine beetle hasn't arrived here yet-
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    Finally our friends arrived! Kristhawee was happy to have some kids to play with. After dinner we enjoyed a nice fire and smores for dessert kumbaya.gif
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    Good night my beloved boy! Sweet dreams and see you in the morning! wub.gif
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  9. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Good morning from Fish Creek Campground, Glacier Lake National Park, Montana!

    Seems my son's friend Gabriel woke up on the wrong side of the bed... Something about the wrong kind of cereal I think... naughty.gif
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    Nice to see the kids getting along-
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    Kristhawee and Gabriel-
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    Laila and Kristhawee-
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    Happy Days! clap.gif
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  10. Changnoi1

    Changnoi1 Ol'Timer

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    Wow beautiful shots .... would almost thinking about an trip in the USA.
    I see you have another personality look.

    Chang Noi
     
  11. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    The kids played while the parents packed. Gabriel and Laila shared their bike with Kristhawee-
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    Laila waiting (patiently?) for her turn-
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    We've been on the road three weeks now and I figure any clothes that I haven't worn yet, I probably don't need, so I give my good friend Jeremy my Thai Ramasoon Black Magic Tattoo shirt and we mug a pose-
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    The plan today is to hit the Visitor Center at Apgar so that Kristhawee can pick up a Junior Ranger handbook, then follow our friends up the Going to the Sun Road as far as Logan Pass.

    We're packed up and ready to roll!
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    The visitor center at Apgar Village is awesome! So much to see and do!
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    The kids had a lot of fun playing with the puppets in the Huckleberry Theater-
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    My friend Jeremy had done a pretty tough hike with his brother Howard the day before- here I think he's recounting the adventure-
    248cfeded2d74c99a0f466862839dec1_zpsc962db11.

    Picked up the Junior Ranger book for Kristhawee- I regret not starting this sooner. I was under the impression that it's a lot more work than it really is and didn't think we had time to do these until now.

    Glacier_Jr_Ranger_Badge_smallest_1. Become a Glacier Junior Ranger!

    How Do I Become a Glacier Junior Ranger?
    Glacier Junior Ranger badges are awarded to children who visit the park and attend a ranger-led program along with correctly completing at least 5 of the activities in our Junior Ranger booklet. Booklets are available from the park visitor centers at Apgar, Logan Pass, and St. Mary. When children are finished with the booklet, they can take it to any of these visitor centers to have a ranger check their answers and to receive their badge.

    Laila and Kristhawee playing with the finger puppets in the gift shop-
    5f523134f53adaebf87a69ff779938e7_zps0d0939a8.

    I swear we could have spent the whole day just in Apgar Village, but I was really keen to ride the Going to the Sun Road and Kristhawee was looking forward to playing in snow again.
    394ad3a40e97ccc6ee2392118402b9d9_zps0e8a7260.

    A beautiful day- as we set off there was not a cloud in the sky!
    557b42a6f0a06d28a8c8355bbea34a98_zps9dadcbce.

    The Going To The Sun Road starts off good, and just gets better!

    The road officially received its name, "The Going-to-the-Sun Road," during the 1933 dedication at Logan Pass. The road borrowed its name from nearby Going-to-the-Sun Mountain. Local legend tell the story of the deity, Sour Spirit, who came down from the sun to teach Blackfeet braves the rudiments of the hunt. On his way back to the sun, Sour Spirit had his image reproduced on the top of the mountain for inspiration to the Blackfeet.
    575bb3cc5b314d19552f3280ab5e3697_zps40631d31.

    Cruising nice and slow as our friends are driving ahead of us- you can see Howards minivan off in the distance-
    2f6d908af73f3abc81cf55237815b470_zps35b974ee.

    Near Avalanche Creek-
    6e53f8062e45574bc66d76a3fb12db4f_zpsb799368e.

    The first of many waterfalls-
    06c209cc89169625fb11dc77338b7114_zps2e5c13c2.

    Wow! Following the McDonald River we get our first good look at the Livingston Range-
    29f22395e5e9c91e96215e6b9e56fea1_zps12411aa5.

    The Going to the Sun road gets quite narrow and twisty once it starts to climb and is off limit to large trucks, trailers and rv's
    7bfda6a28a52a003607f347df0e47784_zpsea36f3ec.

    Kristhawee is excited to see so much snow! I need to keep my eyes on the road!
    e8eae25a288e219bec8df7f2f730846f_zps5c446f14.

    We pass through some cool tunnels-
    8f4ccf4292974928299e6af04be2a053_zps44607b6e.

    I like to honk the horn for good luck when I go through tunnels but damn the horn on our Land Yacht is loud! eekers.gif
    2cdff92b380b93cb229283fb0bf5df72_zps1f8f2752.

    Wow that's a lot of dead trees- I guess the pine beetle has reached Glacier NP too bncry.gif
    e5b99476629d3ff4a32c6db588ed0f79_zps61b9df02.

    It was a very clear day, but for some reason many of my pics came out looking hazy...
    d4f3cd9438a7807aafe5795a6b040480_zpsd0641719.

    Looking down in the valley we can see the way we came along the McDonald River-
    c67c48ea665641e3868d6eb386a2d284_zps64b8b6d5.

    Breathtaking alpine scenery-
    a8062f9c6c9686a6388735e488bb0c5b_zpsaddbef09.

    It's a warm day and there's still a lot of snow to melt, so there are waterfalls everywhere-
    4ac9a8c24d397bd5818a5f6b9e294597_zps8e97c268.

    d58fb76e16b450bc65f273fd0a4e79c6_zpscfe88821.

    This Going to the Sun road is only open for 3-4 months in the summer and is very well built considering the tough environment it has to survive-
    a33d20b36dc9634227b2a242fd3e9bb4_zps053685fd.

    What a view!
    677a62ae91274f11ade6dd250c301989_zps1a1eb1af.

    There were a few sections of construction but nothing too bad-
    c1cad60611520e20a35aaf05fc40cf3a_zps0f407a14.

    A good view of the road cut into the mountainside-
    569f1faf8aa57d2b649ddc53d7a1eb67_zps91853010.

    Between avalanches, rock slides and the seasonal freezing and thawing it must take a lot of work to keep this road open-
    45b3873910e018822efb06a7a8160bf7_zps3c26c17b.

    Earlier in the summer a big landslide had completely blocked the Going to the Sun Road- They're still cleaning up the mess-
    93dfe9e467daad4942566543ff546ff5_zps01752710.

    Looking back the way we've come-
    57482968c9af8c6434bb61a8bd3f6040_zps38366e08.

    This section is called the Weeping Wall- Can you see the white car for scale? What an amazing road!
    d5c45a674e4d0875c87549a74b9afb4e_zpsd4500096.

    Approaching the Triple Arches-
    99fcc112da6b3a04e96c21630571df63_zpsf2436e84.

    These arches were built by hand way back in the 1930s!
    983aa29dd0c2a071039c5f3147a59289_zpsb41f5a03.

    5d8ce7487416b978768ef4c957f7fe70_zps064ea728.

    Approaching Logan Pass-
    4b8aec881790a7b6bfd907cf64478cd3_zps28ed7c02.

    a59a349c4d558a88692ea1cac6ef01c5_zps484b6a2c.

    d4c4ce66f27fb4f2fa80db49bed952e4_zpsc18deb5f.

    Woohoo! We made it to the top! Welcome to Logan Pass, elevation 6646ft (2025m)
    df75f97689d461785d7026407c0f7220_zpsab7bb3c2.
     
  12. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Tons of bikes up at the Logan Pass Visitor Center-
    3d8f85101c5d24d62c944070da9317bb_zps0239e892.
    Kristhawee is getting so good at identifying the different brands and can read "Ducati", "Yamaha", "KTM" etc. Reading is fun!! naughty.gif

    The parking lot was full to cars so we had to say a hasty goodbye to our friends who continued east, while we packed a picnic lunch and hit the Hidden Lake Trail that climbs up from the Logan Pass Visitor Center.
    32db8216b2cff793d02a68fc6161d773_zpsd31ede7b.

    Kristhawee leads the way!
    98f60e53a3a23d94c048dfd036ef3b58_zps0427a6f5.

    But he runs out of gas pretty quickly today...
    a5d8439bad4f2e7533553fa77abfbc51_zps9e1e868a.

    No worries, we have all day- take a nap on the boardwalk if you like-
    df90848f091c59db027e13bec79bdcc7_zpsc40bd107.

    Proceed on all fours if you must...
    8e4d64a9f1a573ff0a1a2aae1966f846_zps1b9a43c5.

    He was really hamming it up- goofy boy!
    8b66eb78eb79cceb932eb0e3eb1de8a9_zps9b273e3a.

    Nice spot for a nap? yelrotflmao.gif
    b24d8661cc64d08d14846751c0f98d6b_zps19f377a1.

    Signs of life! clap.gif
    ec5b5ebb6e7a62e6a45bdf51694b746a_zps9a0c7ce1.

    Yeah! We reached the snow!
    c3612ad7d2e3867f9f43a76b1f28ae76_zpscd7234f6.
     
  13. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Somebody wants to battle!! lol8.gif
    0d224a5da6641b03b351817eaad8e744_zps49cb2ff5.

    We were told it would be cold and windy up here. Quite the opposite in fact!
    ede0b30c3f15ee95bb7a02dcfae5fef3_zpsd56c3c6f.

    What a view!!
    2cd8b6020a3a38c02e5d3766a1d31afd_zps868874c1.

    That big rock looked like the perfect place for a picnic-
    0e0d6c5a2890374f73bb9a91f9b9fb97_zps2682a2e6.

    Try and keep your feet dry Kristhawee!
    83e64da9ee5d65dec37a270a6e9dedfa_zps941754d4.

    Made it! Father and son on the Hidden Lake Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana, USA!
    220937e814d59d88afcba6538e1420e2_zps49a133b6.
     
  14. David Learmonth

    David Learmonth Ol'Timer

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    Still looking forward to the next installment! If I remember correctly I rode through Logan's Pass in June/July of 2005 from Revelstoke Canada to Whitefish Montana. We were'nt as hardy as you two - stayed in the Grouse Mountain Lodge. A very beautiful area - slightly spoiled by a shower of rain & some construction work.
     
  15. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Ya know, don't let the lunatic fringe that always steals the headlines scare you away from the US. The vast majority of Americans are good decent folk, and the country abounds in spectacular natural beauty. If you've never ridden there I highly recommend it!
     
  16. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Thanks David! I very much want to ride in Canada and would like to explore Alaska too! Maybe next year? Staying in hotels/motels/lodges for 7 weeks would have gotten pretty pricey. Camping was definitely the way to go, and with a good tent, sleeping mattresses and warm sleeping bags we were never cold or wet.
     
  17. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    You couldn't ask for a better spot for a picnic! :mrgreen:
    f7c5d76159f56c08b7eecea37fc7b096_zps1ee9789e.

    9b55a877797b5a08f74bfc0188ca4ce7_zps155ce5b4.

    Father and son above Logan Pass, Glacier National Park!
    f7af4b8d5d04f2e41cc5e654b15e9434_zpscedcfc70.

    After lunch Kristhawee was re-energized!
    042b934f8da9126514a71599c4adc1c7_zpsde9080db.

    He went off to explore-
    b9d6f4ed630b46e80ab174655bf673ae_zpse3baef9f.

    bd242457d74f407808a6845a90777436_zps0f9b630d.

    f5b5debf8687eae4f13d19236d37bb5e_zpsccc9897c.

    Trying to find a way across this mountain stream-
    adc0285eb187919c3e4a1fdc0f4ce0ed_zps860c23fa.

    2acbebcd4e84bc6d2b5bb4313dd9d9e0_zps30f4b72c.

    565f53d78bb196d46d84905d45266464_zps53a22062.

    Off he goes to play in the snow some more-
    06f1de44cff146d2609fb985d2b963b1_zps3dd4bd46.

    Dad takes the opportunity for a quick nap naughty.gif
    6b3fc3aed377ff445ef80afab20c8fb2_zpsb675cdb2.

    Don't go too far son!
    988c8b283b2535a16ed1c569ab004c32_zps208342cd.

    It's getting a bit late and we need to get back to the visitor center before it closes if Kristhawee is to earn his Junior Ranger badge.
    fe242462f8787d24f08a19eefa5b2921_zps0891ba1d.

    Back at the Logan Pass Visitor Center we stop to enjoy a Ranger singing nature songs-
    acbf85039c2f436ae5ec4f3fb3f781f0_zpsffd28c23.
     
  18. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    We continued East on the Going to the Sun Road as I wanted to check out the Jackson Glacier overlook.
    b423ad86d542862619bd69bdf0fe9d19_zps2372b9a1.

    July 2012 was the hottest month in the lower 48 states since they started keeping records in 1895. One of the places where it's easiest to see some of the effects of the extreme heat is Glacier National Park. The glaciers are melting fast and very few are still visible from the Going to the Sun Road.
    16a50b36c1bddef65959b6751941f240_zpsd8bab094.

    93ec8a9750fac9f91c4adfbcd1b90577_zpsf80c4308.

    With the rate they're melting it's quite possible that all of the glaciers in Glacier National Park will be gone soon in the next 10-20 years bncry.gif

    I'm glad that my son could see a glacier in Glacier National Park before they are gone. The view from the Jackson Glacier Overlook-
    180c0f42eeaef76b2f317db2a077a694_zpsa16000a1.
     
  19. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    From the Jackson Glacier Overlook we pulled a U-turn and headed back the way we came on the Going To The Sun Road-
    9cfe296d2e3c677a29c99081aaf76615_zps570807fc.

    Doesn't matter which way you go- the views are just as stunning heading West as they were going East-
    1fb348840e23ba43c20a16d18e0e410b_zps417efc25.

    39f231350c641bb2df2fbe6ffa3b3be4_zpsa5201d3d.

    Approaching Logan Pass-
    82c2c382856ca6be78876616f92c04a5_zps02516d80.

    2a65f63ca6ac5f17b1b3e882af2d7594_zps47bd43b1.

    Heading down from Logan Pass-
    1a3adf60861d18990377774debf2f5bc_zps945029d1.

    Fair bit of traffic, but then it's not really a road for riding fast-
    2e6914790170b52f54bddb6031054ef9_zpsfee758bb.

    I love these old-skool tour vans that you see all over the place-
    6af035427f45b68f742bfe879dfbba0b_zps1da0d1b9.

    Construction didn't help the traffic any, but with views like this, who cares?!
    2d85e3b55140450ded4cb6962c747569_zps98ef7c43.

    e48948e5a7dab7bcac9c1f015494896c_zps5e303568.

    16b1ec04eb18ba6f821e666801433a5d_zps5ae5679c.

    There were roadside waterfalls like this all over the place- amazing!
    02b73e746dcb53040ee7147ea12ba324_zpsd249949e.

    We made it to the Apgar Visitor Center just before they closed and Kristhawee gave his Junior Ranger workbook to the Ranger who went over it with him. It was pretty cute; my son can be very shy with strangers but the Ranger did a great job of busting him out of his shell. At the end Kristhawee had to raise his right hand and repeat the Junior Ranger Oath after the Ranger. He was so shy and said the oath in a whisper, but he got through it and was awarded his first Junior Ranger badge.
    3b9e6a372d2a2afa5bae7b1c3e8e5a70_zps41c88e93.
    Congratulations Kristhawee on becoming a Glacier National Park Junior Ranger!! clap.gif
     
  20. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    As much as I would have liked to have spent another day or week in Glacier National Park we had to keep moving. Had an appointment in Walla Walla to get the new tires installed and was looking forward to catching up with my old college friend and meeting his family.

    There was a KOA just outside of Glacier but it being a Sunday it was fully booked. Bummer... But the guy at the reception told me there was another KOA in nearby Whitefish some ~25 miles away that still had tent sites available. icon10.gif

    Great little KOA! Pool, paddleboats, hot tub, funky restaurant with cold beer on tap and an all you can eat breakfast- nice!
    aa2aebdd9fd814227f836faa6fcf2c58_zps5dc901a2.

    My son was loving the funny little paddleboats-
    db4afc09a90ff553ca0bab7553263034_zpsea1206e1.

    04a64d99693dfb540f2cd9d73a322730_zps5bf89e8a.

    Even after all the other kids had left he was still out there paddling around-
    3d36cf6da34cfb27dd6f22788a329c1b_zpsb2cf49f1.

    Tons of games in Buffalo Bob's Pizza-
    da4f80639ba72f58790053b86c853029_zps2950116b.
    The restaurant had an impressive collection of vintage pinball and video games. Classics like Centipede, Asteroids, Donkey Kong etc. Shame that at least half were out of order, but I wonder how one would find parts to keep such old machines working.

    My son got to work on his swimming some more-
    df91b94c85fe2bb02f44d62d7ea46bb0_zpsdea691f3.

    There were a lot of other kids at this KOA and he had a good time playing with them.
    1b6930ea1bf591f64af25e66f51a9323_zps702ff677.

    The hot tub was ridiculously hot-
    5de863d9655b7ef134ea7e3d57181179_zpsa78d4f1d.

    But he made it in eventually icon10.gif
    8f24c111ce3ddd5356a572934df98f8a_zpsd1b2fd96.

    I guess after the pizza and beers I quit taking pictures. I was a bit buzzed and Kristhawee was beat from all the swimming, paddleboats, hot tub, etc. We stumbled back to our tent and passed out.

    Good morning sleepy head! naughty.gif
    571a4f2ce64b944360eff60b803d6502_zps189bb0d4.

    The tent sites at the Whitefish KOA are nicely removed from the RV's, up a hill and in the trees-
    f9fa5efb83ff1c58650935f241c233d1_zps23454b79.
    Somebody doesn't want to get out of bed lol8.gif

    Enjoyed a substantial breakfast at Buffalo Bob's-
    c06f0ae1cf18dec68085808015aa2e9e_zps1bd38e9c.

    And I let Kristhawee have another go at the paddleboats and pool-
    3a087f8257d4d6725b0243270f568274_zpsc9c0d292.

    We ended up leaving later than planned, but what the heck, he really enjoyed this campground, and so did I!
    e9ce3c25c584731f688c8ad93d9d74af_zpsdede37d5.
     
  21. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    We're headed to Walla Walla, but it's pretty far to do it in one go. No worries- let's spend a night in Idaho!
    WhitefishT0WallaWallaMap_zpsa91e3a99.

    We take the 93 south through Kalispell and past Flathead Lake-
    ?action=view&current=e968ea74ae745f9a859250e406defeb7_zpsa8098e09.jpg

    e968ea74ae745f9a859250e406defeb7_zpsa8098e09.

    Gorgeous day and we're making good time-
    c47d947d70e7e2d37a3174ba2ef81680_zps4c2bc4c7.

    Flathead Lake is a seriously big lake!
    893dd8aae5a16c81ab23d6e775181afe_zps698db3ad.

    dd32ba12816d054dbeeeb596495405a8_zps2fe388de.

    5dd553052634324ecb48702ce3c844ef_zpsff653d6e.

    Crossing the Armed Forces Bridge into the funky little town of Polsom-
    45813c8cd9a64978a7834d280105c5c0_zps5038c782.

    I dig that all of the signs around here are written in Native American and English-
    00fdb2a9839a95994a264c6d2a47878f_zpsf7a87a47.

    Mountains-
    0f90f0132d3e5a35b528fb54bb95c76c_zpsd83f143f.jpg

    Snow!
    06a34f212aef918c4aab75dcfce1bd43_zpsa78577e2.

    Cows!!
    1e360a74d2f3d77bf4f4094f05a7fa4b_zpsd4a7df4b.

    The road stretches off into the distance as far as the eye can see-
    986626c53df713da1d38ac9bdcb956d5_zpsd1beab06.

    We pass through the Mission Mountain Wilderness and the Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge-
    25e924a98908a7c206031c21831e2ba0_zpsdfcf04f3.

    Some nice hills and curves north of Missoula-
    f4458753af60c60b9c648e6df6530de4_zpsdda47eac.

    What is this odd structure you might ask?
    6369cba1c681afb7cc3fa9a23a98e469_zps46140284.
    It's a "wildlife corridor" designed in such a way as to encourage the wildlife to cross the highway via this grassy "bridge" rather than jumping the fences and getting hit on the highway. Does it work? I have no idea...

    Approaching Missoula, Montana-
    a7a904946ef7e84e2ba7596ff9a4dff3_zpsbaf65800.

    We continue south on the 93 through Missoula and hang a right heading west onto the Lewis and Clark Highway 12 at Lolo-
    1f54a072b55f6f3d147624e5c5339608_zps5c9cf7ce.

    25 miles to Lolo Hot Springs-
    37e463a51e617f42318c22e5e447d795_zps8c7f7ef2.

    Some really sharp looking ranches and homes around Lolo-
    89ffe0a28e3056f12a2ace26a0984fcd_zps899e7640.

    We're in Lolo National Forest-
    d393fa60b75b2c13daad8e2540aff681_zps45bc4c8c.

    Wow, this is a FUN road!
    02f81f854822782126bae7d99b077f60_zps61bfd7a1.

    It's getting late and I don't want to be on the road when the deer get active, so start looking for a good spot to camp.
    e15ac337a521c1d8f95be44eda54cdde_zps69a10cec.

    Goodbye Montana and welcome to Idaho!
    02509b0b47c2016639939c757313d361_zps4f5f8c6d.
     
  22. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Woohoo! We're in Idaho and the road and scenery are fantastic!
    8bd7912524fd8ab022b2622b542b6adb_zps1df488f8.

    This highway has many names. The Lewis and Clark Highway, the Lolo Creek Road, Highway 12, and the Northwest Passage Scenic Byway-
    424606a8a4ffd2cfa97cdee72538ab45_zpsb830922c.

    We cross the Nez Perce Trail-
    18742911920afcc878fd929bbf91800d_zps2fdfc157.

    They are resurfacing the road in some areas so have to be aware of loose gravel in some of the corners-
    9896ce3d8f476c4f469185fbdb844259_zps6fd1c3f9.

    Take away all that loose gravel and this would be one heck of a sport bike road-
    54df89f9b12be3fd6a9bf86e077d67bb_zpsab48f53e.

    The curves never end!
    106a5834361310b311f11ebb78328036_zpsdb2c1cfb.

    This is a seriously awesome road! clap.gif
    LewisAndClarkHighway12_zps72c07959.

    09b151d5b9854b1da8351b3e3f0b40ff_zpsb90d25c5.

    That's Lolo Creek on the left; we're in Clearwater National Forest now-
    e0bc2e36239b4585356adc7bc157442a_zps37308688.

    Lovin it!
    0bba2703f40233d917575e6489bc5117_zps4219d9ad.

    It's getting late and I worry about deer at this hour, so I turn off onto a dirt road when I see a sign for the White Sands Campground-
    a6638dbf080f7f7074b52c7554293162_zps575eadd3.

    It's a tiny campground with only 7 sites, right on the Lochsa River- we scored the last spot! clap.gif
    70ce712312b2d5babaa41ce5025af084_zpse6431e48.
    My son looks a bit tired mwink.gif

    He wakes up once he's off the bike and sees that our spot is right on a nice swimming hole-
    c2bc7f186443c60652e55bce77f1f510_zpsac703377.

    Get those boots off and let's go swimming!
    3be19b9819712bb276dfbc522d004fce_zps7c944fa2.

    Somebody needs a haircut, but to be honest, I quite like him with long hair icon10.gif
    333b2059878193ea64d26f4829d1e84a_zpscd154b91.

    While I was setting up camp Kristhawee went exploring-
    a36d0cfcc29903091eee2cfde702bfe7_zpsc1bd9db6.

    He came back with a pet frog lol8.gif
    9aec0a4ca1a6bdf0ca3f81184a1519d1_zpsaff8f4a0.
    (There were actually two frogs, but one escaped) naughty.gif

    Another look at our fantastic spot at the White Sands Campground near Powell, Idaho-
    1f3a1bb6292e7a0a4a2d0f9ee77503ca_zps4fd053fe.

    We were in the #3 site-
    5d84abc945ec96be98fe5f77f6486db5_zpsdc75441c.
     
  23. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    I walked over to get water only to discover a sign warning that it MIGHT be unsuitable for drinking... deal.gif

    What did come out of the pump was truly vile looking. Well... we had enough fuel to boil river water, so no big deal.

    There was a beautiful pond near the water pump- these would look better stitched together-
    408d58361c48dfdb48450e942c7310a1_zps86e6f1ce.

    d43573474772c7a0956eb54bb10b3404_zpsd45ccc96.

    778a5a39548a140a5a42e1b08aa2f3e1_zps55c27ee3.

    Went back to our campsite with about a gallon of very suspect looking water. Kristhawee was waiting impatiently to go swimming-
    4fa06accddb4a5169241186998377512_zps951e1885.

    Crystal clear and ice cold! eekers.gif
    7001097f3739c4d9197ca94659d46d71_zpsf2192298.

    C'mon buddy- just jump in! lol8.gif
    902de8ba2e29e77410b6a0ea68b64f0e_zpscd867f43.

    Father and son at the Lochsa River, White Sands Campground, Idaho, USA!
    425b0722281a853bb468bddd2c29f02c_zpsd155c0fa.

    It had been a warm day but was cooling down quickly as the sun set. Time to put on some warm clothes after swimming in that cold river!
    23736d37aacdf6fdfe103fcc4115c129_zps34e1a642.
    Check out the murky brown water in the container next to Kristhawee's boots eekers.gif That's what came out of the campground pump puke2.gif

    Kristhawee hadn't yet seen the pond so I took him over to check it out-
    1e9f18198ef309d24e86c7b370540169_zps5c07973a.

    What a tranquil and idyllic spot!
    9ab69d6c2da6762bbb3eb2e35c869f78_zps64a4122e.

    cd4db0751dc1d1c443c282abf028e98e_zps65572ef4.

    Ha ha! Tonight's menu is a blast from the past- I haven't had Chef Boyardee ravioli since I was a kid. DukeGirl.gif
    a9930908c12f10de0a8606b381b8a93e_zps6da4e93f.
    Kristhawee loved it! Me... not so much puke2.gif (Isn't it funny how some things we loved as children disgust us as adults, and likewise how we now love some of the things we hated when we were kids?)

    There was plenty of firewood at this campground and we built an obnoxiously large fire, to the point where Kristhawee was worried I'd start a forest fire kumbaya.gif (Honestly it wasn't THAT big, but maybe the biggest camp fire he'd ever seen icon10.gif

    Once the fire finally burned down and I doused it to make sure it was out we snuggled up in our sleeping bags for some more magical stories from Kipling's Jungle Book. The stars were so bright we could see them through the mesh roof of our tent and there were a bunch of owls hooting back and forth - a magical sound. As usual, Kristhawee lasted only a few pages before he passed out (-_-)Zzzz
     
  24. feejer

    feejer Ol'Timer

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    That section of Hwy 12 does look like a winner. I have only ridden the 12 from I-5 to Yakima when we went wine tasting a few years back, then looped back up North for a night in Leavenworth. The Eastern part of 12 is definitely on the list for next year.
     
  25. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

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    Today we're headed to Walla Walla, Washington!
    E790332B-14F8-4B1B-B076-EAAA41ABB830-5329-000005A8FDA100E8_zpsd0da011c.

    Early start to try and beat the heat-
    ee1766a1e40c4d38bdc64fd57a2a246c_zps541b0180.
    Mike check! Where are we going Kristhawee? "We're going to Walla Walla, Washington" clap.gif

    A few miles of easy dirt to get back to the Lewis and Clark Highway 12
    39acd751de64a851e53ba5bb82712536_zps9f19958f.

    The deer are popping out left and right this morning- Kristhawee thinks it's cool to see so many deer- he doesn't know that deer and motorcycles don't mix. I take it nice and easy and we don't hit any.

    Other obstacles to watch for-
    5bdd5bba17515250a3dd23ccb73fa2e9_zpsb9f12ee3.

    Riding west on the Lewis and Clark Trail-
    5d62389482b5352c2e0dc55714c1c07e_zps484ecefe.

    Another beautiful day!
    1dc04170f7ca11faab8329dc3d14c226_zpsd8ac756e.

    Fantastic road, no traffic, still nice and cool in the morning-
    c2375020f44c0d02fd4e57f808595897_zps02ee6497.

    Zoom zoom!
    049ca0c47d833a0ca7e8e819c4bc7993_zps16a259ac.

    Highway 12 through northern Idaho should be on every biker's short list-
    5b4dda039649ae467bc780d048b1b655_zps79a035c3.

    The curves never end!
    9793ac71f7a48217f929db52c49a6a80_zpse35f3cd3.

    45 more miles of motorcycle bliss!
    0cea31a639dfd96d1f529771df9a6976_zps7945e6d6.

    21eb46a5ee98afa3af810797278c4fa7_zps66e44851.

    a0cf502915e323b0f67069a146dde38b_zps8256e756.

    69b88d434320bfc36b96d9431884094e_zps78d898b7.

    I'm so happy we're not pulling a trailer on these wonderful winding roads!
    cb45d918186f8084b17ad17a81bbc1e0_zpsda419335.

    da8637e0b24b8375f5f9430bcb37cd64_zps7b6d454c.

    The river grows as we ride west-
    90ab705f3bd109c902054cc9846decee_zps7509ec1a.

    The name of the river changes several times. I recall it being called the Clearwater River and also the Wawawai River. In some areas the road is being worked on and we have to slow down on account of all the loose gravel-
    49220cc6571b3b086b79864d154358d8_zps84dc9778.

    Some really cool suspension bridges-
    4fb157febec37147aefd3d1dcf76b342_zps0b1dfc45.

    Nice colors with the morning sun to our back-
    28fa484a57229b054455e723fe19dc50_zpsaa4bf0df.

    Tick Creek-
    0fc50b33e86eca44e71b9cf8f26fd46b_zps88aa78e2.

    d41f7131c9f52038efc76b922d559e63_zpsed9df9de.

    Clearwater National Forest, Apgar Campground-
    2b970e4f50e5dd2a1359c0842264ce5a_zpsb8d0d0d4.

    fa23faa4e965dcb0d389e3b44b1bd01e_zps1b820b45.

    Canyon Creek-
    47ba08fbca658fedfee091528312889a_zps4d38c275.

    We stopped at a roadside campground for a snack and a rest-
    d808b1599d96805455a5b84cd6d06f5c_zpsde64d9b0.

    Making pretty good time, but still a ways to go and I hear that once we're out of the Clearwater National Forest and into Washington that it might be pretty hot.

    Somebody really wants to go for a swim!
    b25a8be6bee9ea09ec455ceb83c7b88d_zps9f09fa1c.

    Beautiful spot-
    4483771b3128de0b6c7c08af89a0bfed_zpsd87014c3.

    Back on the road- some more cool bridges-
    4e9340186cc515e58d42dc74b3c52671_zps278f1945.

    As we approach Washington the forest thins and the landscape gets a lot drier-
    6a9f54b0cdf3e4726b052833ad8daaf0_zps67795e70.

    The river continues to grow-
    689909efb741d9e5b5e581d5ca7a3020_zps1cbc48aa.

    I always think of Washington States as being very wet and green. Not the case in the western part of the state- (actually, we're still in Idaho)
    f302807202cd491be1580e990483c0cb_zps720ccdf3.

    Northwest Passage Scenic Byway-
    36b38765847585b9174cc15fabe73542_zps3c1f0a05.

    70 more miles to Lewiston, Idaho which is on the Washington border-
    4e4bce1a8c04ff116e47793ab5bd49cd_zpsaa313790.
     
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