Archive for June, 2016

Might be my favorite place!

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Hot Springs is definitely a very small town who’s claim to fame is the natural spring that runs through the town.  The water is very warm and then allow you to swim in the river (creek) where people have dammed up spots so the water is waist deep.  The kids love it.  The town also boast of Evans Plunge Mineral Spa where they use the spring water to fill their pools and water slide.  So it is a kind of playground for kids but adults with aches also use it.  It costs just like an amusement park so we passed but the parking lot is full everyday.

Saturday we took a stroll town along the river.  They have a spring that puts water right out of a rock where the people are lined up getting the water in jugs.

Kidney Springs

Kidney Springs

That’s the name of it and they built a gazebo around it.  The locals come and fill many jugs and use the water for everything.  It comes out of the wall warm so we passed on getting any.  A little further down the path is a water fall

Small but a waterfall none the less

Small but a waterfall none the less

We didn’t get any details about this but it was definitely an attraction as everyone that walked by had to touch it and get a photo, (Us too!)

After spending time checking out town we took a drive to Custer State Park which is just north of us and very close to Mt. Rushmore.  I think most people just do a drive thru on their way to Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse Monument but this park is huge and amazing!  There are four scenic drives with four different areas to camp and play.  We took the wildlife drive first and saw lots of Buffalo.  They like their buffalo in these parts.



There are lots of babies this time of year and they are really cute, very shy.  We also saw a big herd of burros which were all over the road and people were out of their cars petting them.  I was amazed at the parents letting small children walk right up to them alone.  My experience is they can be mean.




Really cute and they mostly were ignoring the crowds.  For some reason one of the males got upset and started snorting and as he got louder the burros started scattering.  That was enough for me.  I was back in the car and just waiting for someone to get hurt.

Praire Dog

Prairie Dogs, how cute is that?  They were everywhere, just hanging out above their houses and watching the cars drive by!


Custer State Park may be my most favorite place.  There are so many different facets of this park.  It has wildlife on Prairies, Lakes that are just beautiful.  My most favorite is the Spires.  Needles Highway travels right through the middle of the spires.  We even took a very nice hike through them.


This one is an eye of the needle

Catherdral Tree in Rocks

Catherdral Spires Custer SP5

Catherdral Spires Custer SP4


Driving through the Spires!


Traffic Jam at the tunnel through the Spires




Motorcycles love the Needles highway; weekends are very crowded.  We visited 3 times,  I just love this landscape.

At the end of the Needles Highway is Sylvan Lake.  What a beautiful lake with amazing vistas all around it.  The water was a little cold so I didn’t really swim but I did wade.



We also have been playing a lot of tennis in the mornings before going out exploring.  This is definitely a great stop on our way to Colorado.



We find fun stuff no matter how small the area is!

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Just past Casper Wyoming is a small town of Glen Rock.  There isn’t much here.  The RV park is owned by some former Fulltimers and Workcampers like us.  They gave up and live in GlenRock in the summer and have a lot in Florida for the winter.  The other cool thing about a tiny town is they have a rec center for the residents and it is free!  Even guests get to use it for free.  They have a huge weight lifting room with a smaller cardio room.  I used it two days while we are here.

This morning we took a kayak ride down the the Platte River for about 6 miles with Ronald who was lots of fun since he has kind of lived the life we have.  The river was pretty fast moving so we mostly steered and only paddled to stay even with each other.  When we got back to the RV park we had to land along the bank and it was really muddy since the river has been high and just yesterday the mud we were walking on was under water yesterday.

After we returned we decided to check out Ayres Natural Bridge which is about 10 miles from the RV park.

Ayres Natural Bridge

                         Ayres Natural Bridge

Underneath the rock bridge

Underneath the rock bridge

Red mountains around the gorge

Red mountains around the gorge

A tiny park with some camping sit in this red rock lined gorge with a small  stream running thru.  The bridge is one of the few natural bridges with water running under it.  It was really pretty, the water was cold so we didn’t really stay long but it was fun to check it out.

Tomorrow we head for South Dakota to check out the Black Hills for a week.


Traveling to Casper

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Beautiful country heading east from the Tetons along Hwy 26.  Not much there but lots of beauty.  Then we come across Hells Half Acre.  Paul had heard about it so of course we have to check it out!  All 65 feet of us pull off the road where there is just a dirt patch and a sign!  Then I see a  huge hole in the ground and we realize it is fenced off!  So no exploring the big hole and really cool rock formations.  Oh well,  a site we can only say we saw.  There was something more interesting than the hole!  I went over to read the sign that told about the area and right infront of it was a leg for a small horse!  It had the fur from the knee down and a shoe on its hoof.  The upper leg was just wooden looking.  I wanted to pick it up but the fur creeped me out so I just returned to the RV and we headed out.  Paul said I didn’t need a picture of a horse leg!

After Hells Half Acre the landscape started looking more like what I think  Wyoming should look like; lots of fields, a few cows and not much else.  We are staying near Casper for a few days to restock and Paul has a customer here.

This morning I had to get a blood test so we went into Casper and found the Labcorp.  Checking that off our list I suggested we find a tennis court!  I’m ready to play again and we had a good time hitting the ball back and forth.  I only lasted about a 1/2 hour as it was really warm but I think I will be up to speed soon if we can keep finding courts.

Happy Father’s Day – More Teton Adventures

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

Saturday we enjoyed the park again, going to the Jackson Lake Lodge, having a Starbucks and then in the afternoon we took a float trip down the snake river with Barker-Ewing Scenic Trips.  Lots of fun.  We didn’t bring the camera or phones because we were not sure about how wet you would get.  The river is tricky and should not be done without a guide.  Our guide Mike worked the whole 2 hours steering a boat holding 12 adults.  We learned a lot about the area and the river.  We also learned how much the people of the area love the National Parks and the area.

Floating the river

                                      Floating the river


This wasn’t our boat but one just like it.  The guide stands in the middle of the boat, usually standing and steering.  This is one we saw the next day while walking along the Snake River near Jackson.

Sunday was Pauls day and he decided that we would just cruise around and do a short hike in town so that Duke could come along.

Happy Dog

Happy Dog

We checked out a couple areas we had not gone to.  Down a very long dirt road was another access point into the Snake River where some beavers had been very busy.  On Saturday we saw many beavers.

A Beaver House

A Beaver House

A Beaver Dam

A Beaver Dam

Then we stopped into Menors Ferry, a historic site with a cabin, the ferry and a general store where you can learn more about the park and how it came to be.  Very interesting.

Paul enjoying the shade at the General Store.   Menors Ferry

Paul enjoying the shade at the General Store.
Menors Ferry

Cabin where Roosevelt sat with some of the locals and came up with a plan to buy up the land for a National Park

Cabin where Roosevelt sat with some of the locals and came up with a plan to buy up the land for a National Park

Paul got his kind of day,  a little hiking, his dog and learn a little history in a less visited area.

Yellowstone National Park

Friday, June 17th, 2016

We were in Yellowstone about 4 years ago and really enjoyed it so today we took a ride north to see it one more time.  We also were going to visit Tom & Karen who we met many years ago and worked with them at Spring Training for two years.  They are working in West Yellowstone for the summer so it was not too far and fun to catch up with fellow fulltimers.  We had a great early dinner with them at the Buffalo Bar and Casino.  This place had everything; great food, a bar, a patio, pool table and of course a couple of slot machines.


Lewis Lake Falls is the first big stop when entering Yellowstone from the Tetons.  Lots of water and a way to get down to the stream below.


Then we headed for Old Faithful and the Geysers of the Upper, Middle and Lower Basins.  The area looks a bit like a war zone but so interesting.  The water is boiling and crystal clear (most of them are)  and so many colors depending on the minerals.



They have built giant walkways over the geysers so that we can get up close without hurting ourselves or the fragile environment.



Old Faithful is of course the biggest attraction in the park.  The above photo is a third of the people waiting for the geyser to blow.  She blows every 90 minutes approximately.  People line up to get the best view but she blows into the air so you do not need an upfront view!  Tourists always want to line up and wait.  One of my pet peeves about tourist things!  I always want to go but then the crowds and waiting annoy me.  Old Faithful doesn’t have that problem so I enjoyed myself from a great spot and the thousands that were waiting the whole 90 minutes in the hot sun were not a problem.


She is starting to perform!


Fully spouting!  It is amazing to watch and I am most surprised by how quiet it is.  This crowd is so thick but not a sole speaks as we watch mother nature doing her thing.  Love it!


On our way to West Yellowstone we passed the buffalo herd or they lead us down the hwy!



Beautiful animals that look harmless!  Right!


That’s exciting

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

When ever you see cars parked where they shouldn’t be you know you are going to get to see some kind of wildlife.  Today we saw this cute bear eating the grass along side of the pond!  He was only about 30 feet away but there was a pond between us and a lot of people that I was sure I could outrun!

After the bear we made our way to the Stringlake trailhead and headed out to Jenny lake.  We wanted to finish the hike that we got stormed out of!  The river from String Lake into Jenny Lake is beautiful. We hiked the back side of Jenny Lake and met up with the boat for a short ride across the lake.  This was the only opportunity we had to get onto the lakes.  It has been cold so water time was not part of the plan this time.  The boat ride gave us another great look at the Tetons.


Once we rode the boat across the lake we found the rest of the trail and headed up the east side towards our car.  It would be about 3.5 miles back and about a mile in we pass a group that was coming from the other way (or so we thought)  Actually they were returning after meeting up with some people at a roadside turn out.  The people had spotted a bear and said he was acting irratically and wandering from the road to the water.  The trail runs between the two!  Yikes!  Paul was not fazed!  He said we will be fine, the bear is probably long gone, and besides that is where our car is!  No hitch hiking today!  We continue and it is a beautiful trail with no one anywhere.  But then we are relaxing, enjoying our snack and here comes another group and they share the same info!  By now I’m sure the bear is way gone also.  We said thanks for the information and continued to enjoy nature.  The lake is so quiet.

Once we finished our snack, we continued towards our car (and the bear!)  We came upon the turnout from the road and there we many people there so I’m sure the bear is nowhere near.  Their was a ranger and Paul asked him.  His response was “there are bears everywhere! Use caution and be aware of your surroundings”  Well ok then.  We will keep doing what we are doing!


My favorite view of the Tetons is the small river on the way back to our campsite with the Tetons in the background.

Another long hike

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

Todays hike was about 6 miles from the Taggart Lake Trailhead.


As we headed up the trail we passed the trail horses.  I thought this was fun.  The cowboy has a long stick with some fabric on the end which he was using to control the horse. To me it looked like the horse was teasing the cowboy into thinking he was incharge!

We passed Taggart lake on the Eastern side and continued to Bradley Lake where we sat and enjoyed our snack(lunch).  While there two guys that were there as part of a geological class.  They had a radio and there fellow surveyors were telling them of a bear on the trail on the other side of the lake.  I made sure where they saw the bear and we were heading the other way, yeah!!!


Taggart Lake, a small lake that was pristine.  Very enjoyable day


We passed a few streams and this one was one of the biggest ones.


We didn’t see any bears but we did see this bird that was pretty far off the trail in the woods but he wanted us to know he was there by the sound of his ruffling feathers.  We are definitly enjoying the Tetons.  Lots of beauty, wildlife and exercise!

Ok, 7 miles is a lot!

Monday, June 13th, 2016
Inspiration Point, Jenny Lake

                    Inspiration Point, Jenny Lake

You can take a boat ride for $9 or walk around the lake.  We chose to walk.  It was beautiful and not a bad walk.  Then when we get to the half way spot we decide to hike up to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point.  All together it was about 3.5 miles but then you have to go back!  That was an easy decision,  lets continue down the mountain and around the lake the other way, making a full loop of 10 miles!  I wasn’t tired so I agreed.

Paul trying to solve computer problems from high above the lake

Paul trying to solve computer problems from high above the lake


Upstream from Hidden Falls

Upstream from Hidden Falls

We made it off the mountain and I was getting tired.  It is always just as hard walking down as it is up!  We were planning to stop with about 3 miles left to go around the lake and stopped to rest.  The sun was coming out and the storm seemed to be missing us.  Nope!  With about a mile to go to the picnic area we hear Thunder and then giant raindrops!  We were getting to the river that flows into Jenny Lake and it looked beautiful as I was running to get to safety!  Then the hail comes.  We were passing another hiker and he says “it’s only small hail”  Right!  With lots of really loud thunder.




As we were descending the mountain this little guy came out of the woods right in our tracks.  He had no interest in us and just walked right up to us and then down the other side of the trail.

We finally make it to the trail head and take cover under a small roof where the maps  are!  The sky looks really dark and we have 3 miles to go to get to our car!  Paul makes a quick decision as this cute couple come walking off the trail.  “Hey,  would you be interested in giving us a ride to our car?”  With a little hesitation she says sure!  They were from Iowa and very accomodating.  After appologizing because they have been traveling for three weeks in their car, camping.  We squeezed into the backseat and watched the rain continue to come down!



A few different wildflowers on this trail.

We made it home and I felt good. Then I took a nap!  I was so sore when I woke up that I thought I wasn’t going to be able to get up!  I did but we will take a break tomorrow.

It’s a wild, wild place

Sunday, June 12th, 2016
This is beautiful

                                  This is beautiful

I keep trying to capture the beauty of this place.  It is just way more beautiful than my photography skills.  Grand Teton National Park is simply a place that you need to see for yourself.

Today was cold when we woke up so we decided to take it easy and take a drive through the park and to Jackson Hole Resort.  I had planned to ride the tram but the clouds were pretty thick and the price was more than I was willing to spend.  I’m not sure the view could be any better than the one I am seeing wherever I look!  A very nice, expensive resort in a beautiful setting.  Probably not somewhere I would visit in the winter.

We have learned in the National Parks that when a bunch of cars are pulled over you are going to try to see some wildlife!

One lonely Elk

                                   One lonely Elk

I guess Elk are not that big of a deal because I spotted this one all alone and no other cars stopped, Hmmmm.  He was really cute, just hanging out in the meadow, somewhat hidden by the trees.  He saw me and looked up just long enough for me to snap a shot.  I love watching the animals hanging out, ignoring the tourist.

He had lots of tourist trying to get the perfect shot

He had lots of tourist trying to get the perfect shot

I almost missed this shot because I start watching them and all the people and forget to use the camera.  He really was not interested in the people that kept creeping closer and finally turned and walked into the woods.



We saw a small herd of these guys along the road with a big audience and just thought they were deer.  Once we spotted them we saw lots of them and after awhile you quit stopping.  They were really friendly and did not run away.

Not sure what type of bird this is

                     Not sure what type of bird this is

We stopped at a spot just outside the park that was a wildlife refuge and saw mostly birds. This guy stayed put long enough for me to get a shot but I am not a bird watcher so he is just a bird to me!

Trying to catch some wildlife!

              Trying to catch some wildlife!

Jackson Lake has a huge dam and there were lots of fishermen on both sides of the dam.  I liked watching the water and caught this guy casting.

It was another awesome day in the Tetons.

Grand Tetons Day 1 (Mostly!)

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

We came into the park from the west thru Idaho.  We reached the peak where everyone stops before descending into Jackson over Teton Pass. It is a two lane road with a 10 percent grade for 5 1/2 miles! The Winnebago Journey handled it beautifully.

At the top of the grade!

At the top of the grade!

Yep,  you are very high and the valley is way down!  That is snow in the background.  This guy pulled over just before he started his descent!  I hope he has newer brakes than the age of the car.


That was yesterday on our way in!  Today, the weather is a bit cool and it sprinkled a little this evening after we had a wonderful day of hiking near Colter Bay in the park.  We are staying right outside of the park so it is very convenient.  Our first stop was a spot that was very near the Snake River and Paul got out and immediately returned to the car.  The mosquitos were huge and a couple hitchhiked into the car on his clothing!  Darn, I was hoping for a lot of hiking today.  The good news is when we got further into the park and near the big tourist stops the mosquitos were manageable with some DEET, or so we think!  I’ll know in a couple of days whether it worked or not.  We hiked about 7 miles all together, taking two separate trails.








The Tetons are amazingly beautiful and today was not the best photography day but you get the idea!  They are huge, amazing, beautiful and you can see them for miles.  Our RV park is about 5 miles from the edge of the Park and we can see them!

It is very lush here and everything is blooming.  Here is a sample of the flowers that are growing in the park.


TetonsFlower (10)

TetonsFlower (9)

TetonsFlower (8)

TetonsFlower (3)

TetonsFlower (5)

TetonsFlower (6)

TetonsFlower (7)


Yellow and Purple are the predominant colors and there are Yellow Daisy like flowers are everywhere.  There are huge fields of them.

We didn’t see much wildlife today but we did see a few interesting birds along with Canadian Geese and one Duck that took off just as I was getting the camera ready!





There are not many waterfalls that are within our hiking ability but of course I did capture one!  We saw it without much trouble!

Can you see it?

Can you see it?