Archive for September, 2012

Fresh air until a skunk showed up!

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Working on the house is exhausting for us retired folks so we took off for the hills on Monday!  We will be spending the week in Coloma CA with friends that have a great RV pad just for us.  Our window looks out to an amazing mountain and then out our front door is the view of the American River.  I just love it here!  The only bad part is the skunks have a party when the sun goes down and the smell is terrible!

Old habits never die!

Monday, September 24th, 2012

After 4 years without a home the Roberts clan have somewhere to call home!  The house is great and Paul is working very hard doing all the little things that make a house a home!  He spent his first evening in San Jose cleaning out the drains in both the laundry area and the kitchen!  This week we worked on finishing the painting and getting the sprinklers working in the front yard so that we can have a green lawn!

Our beautiful front yard!

The girls did all the painting and moving of heavy furniture before we arrived.  My job was kitchen appliances!  The over the stove microwave didn’t work, nor did the dishwasher and they took the stove so all new appliance were needed!  Actually that sounded like a great plan to me, no cooking!  I was vetoed and we got appliances delivered and Paul got them installed.

Very shiny!

Both girls have their own space and are decorating to their tastes.

We have pictures on the walls and fancy custom pillows on the couch!
Amy’s family room

Lots of light, an amazing view of the back yard, very comfortable furniture.
Stephanie’s family room!

The house had a lot of neglect before we moved in but it is looking so cute and comfortable.  We have had a couple of family meals around the kitchen table, a few friends have stopped by to congratulate us and Paul has turned the garage into his mancave already!  Our next big project is going to be a small addition to the front of the house to give Amy a master bedroom and then we will work on a kitchen area for Stephanie.  Very exciting stuff!

The back of the house!

My next project!  A huge backyard and I get to landscape it!  What to do?  Anyone want to help?


Doing the “regular” stuff!

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Over the past week we have visited new friends, Becky & Loni in Twin Falls Idaho, old friends (I’m talking high school!), Kathy & Rob in Emmett, Idaho and cousin Rachelle and her family in Meridian, Idaho.  Besides visiting and enjoying getting caught up Paul did a little work and I walked the Boise Greenbelt which was right in-front of our RV park.

As much fun as this year has been for travel I am SOOOOO ready to get back to the Bay Area and enjoy my family and of course start on some of those home improvements the kids have lined up for us!  Stay tuned……


Yellowstone NP cont…

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

We spent 3 full days wandering, hiking, and admiring Yellowstone and could have spent many more days.  The park is huge and each area is so different.  We took another dirt road on the chance we would see more wildlife! NOT!  I think the wildlife are pretty smart- hang near the people.  There is lots of green vegetation right in the villages! We did see some Long Horned Sheep on the side of a cliff!

If we hadn’t seen the people on the side of the road pointing we would never have seen them!

Are they color changing?  Or did they do a color match before choosing that mountain?   The mountain was so jagged and they would perch right on an edge.

Geyser’s are the big attraction and everywhere you go you see people watching a pool of water waiting for it to explode.  We saw a couple of small ones and then we waited the 90 minutes to see the BIG ONE!

Fire Hole Lake

Geyser Basin

Beautiful colors around the geyser.

This one was crystal clear. You can see the mineral deposits along the edges

Old Faithful


From Old Faithful we followed the road towards Yellowstone Lake.  This lake is huge, has some geysers and had a lot of whitecaps today!  The weather is just cool enough to not want to swim.  There were very few people enjoying the clear, blue waters.

West Thumb Geyser Basin. The Yellowstone Lake is in the background

Just beyond the Yellowstone Lake you come to a whole new area.  This area the ground all looks like muddy, clay.  They call this area Mud Volcano’s .  The sulphur smell was really strong.  We took a nice 3/4 mile hike around the area.  It is hard to see but the pools are definitely not blue!

Mud Volcano’s

And of course, more waterfalls.

More waterfalls!

Upper falls, flowing into the Yellowstone River, near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of The Yellowstone

Not The Grand Canyon but pretty impressive.  We were here just past sundown so the yellow canyon walls are not showing up but they were beautiful.

And then one of the most unusual areas,  Mammoth Hot Springs.  Mammoth Hot Springs is near the Northern entrance and has no geysers, however the water formations are amazing!

Small pools atop a huge mountain of white!

As the water flows, the minerals are deposited in many different colors

The many terraces are created by the hot water flow

The landscape is sometimes the victim of nature here!


The Madison River.

Besides all the fabulous geysers, springs, caldrons, mud pools, Yellowstone has some amazing rivers flowing through some beautiful valleys.  The meadows are my favorite!

And so ends our fun in Yellowstone!  We are headed to Boise to do some work and then it is home to the “NEW” house and some time with the kids!  We are already planning our next trip to Yellowstone!  Wait, that is what I say about most places we have been!


Yellowstone NP

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

We are two states away from Yellowstone National Park!  We are staying in an Idaho SP about 15 miles from the West Entrance to Yellowstone which is in Montana and Yellowstone is in Wyoming!  Once we are inside the Park we have our first “brake to see wildlife!”

Traffic Jam!

Wildlife viewing is big here in Yellowstone.  Out of nowhere the traffic ahead will just stop.  Some will pull to the side, get out of their cars to get that photo and others will just stop in the middle of the road to have a good look.  This guy here wasn’t blocking traffic, he was just ambleing along the left side of the road, yet traffic was stopped for about a 1/2 mile.

Small herd of Elk in the woods eating the grasses

The big Daddy!

We also had a stop to view a momma black bear and her two cubs eating on the mountainside.  They were pretty far up on the ridge and I could only see them through binoculars.   Wildlife is everywhere.  We had one traffic jam where people were watching an Elk carcass on the banks of the river that wolves were feasting on.  By the time we got there it was only the carcass but people were waiting for the wolf to return!  Not me! The Elk and Buffalo seem harmless and everywhere.  Wolves sound scary!  I would like to see a moose.

The other big attraction in Yellowstone are the water features.  They have rivers, creeks, waterfalls, springs, geysers, hot springs, mudpots, and fumaroles.  The park definitely is full of water.

Gibbon Falls

Tower Falls

We saw our first geysers or maybe they were hot springs!  I can’t tell the difference!

Spring? Geyser?

Norris Geyser Basin

Sometimes the landscape around these basins looks more like devastation that beauty.  It is very cool walking around the area and seeing all the steam and boiling pools.

It started to rain so we took to the car and drove through the Mammoth Hot Springs area deciding we will return here when you can walk around!  The landscape is spectacular.

Looks like snow melt!

Watch for more photos of Mammoth Hot Springs as we will be back here later this week.  We were close to the Mammoth Campground and Paul decided to drop in and and meet a couple that we have been following their journey since before we started ours!  Howard and Linda, RVDreams didn’t seem fazed by our unannounced visit!  We had a nice chat and then on their recommendation we headed to Boiling River where the hotsprings flow into the Gardiner River!

Staying close to the edge where the springs flow into the chilly river


This was a definite on my list of must do’s while in Yellowstone.  It is the best hot tub experience because when you get too warm you only have to move an inch or two and you will instantly be cooled down, sometimes you don’t even have to move.  Enough with the relaxing, back to the car and seeing some of the Yellowstone backcountry.

We continued along the main route enjoying the sites and then we took a 6 mile side road before reaching the Tower-Roosevelt area where we were sure we would see some wildlife.  We saw lots of wilderness and only 1 other vehicle.  The wildlife was as scarce as the traffic!  We saw two small wild turkeys and a chipmunk!  Back on the main road is where we hit another traffic jam and saw the bears on the ridge!  Go figure!  Stay tuned, we will be in Yellowstone a few more days.