Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

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Wilster
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Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:06 am

So for the past few years, well longer than few, I've always taken a golf/drive somewhere in the US with a mate in May--we basically just close our eyes and pick a spot on a map. That didn't happen this year; he had to activate a building permit to, well, activate it so he could bide some time. I dig it, been there, done that in the past, as has he. Not a biggie. So, for the past few years, getting to my original point/post, I've also taken a roadtrip on my own (partially) in late summer...uh, right around now, August.

This will to some extent be a rerun of last year; I need to drive about 700 miles off the West Coast to scrape the interior; Boise, ID will be my first stop. Drive another day and meet Ms. Wilster in Missoula, MT at the airport, then hoof it up to Whitefish, MT where we will spend a long weekend. Dog will be in tow this year on the trip. Will drop Ms. Wilster off in Great Falls, MT a few days later for her flight home. I will spend the night there with dog and on my own again. I plan to scoot around to some of the areas where the movie, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot was filmed back in 1974.

Now I'm at a bit of a standstill. I've traveled and hitchhiked around the area over decades, but am wondering where to head once I leave Great Falls, MT. Kind of on my radar is Livingston, MT (been through town a few years ago, but didn't stay) for a night, then from there casually get down to Twin Falls, ID and bring it all home from there. Making a run to Jackson Hole is tempting, but not in the cards; been there a few times and don't need to get caught up in Yellowstone either. Looking for something, not obscure or quirky, but just kind of different for a night or two.

I hope I don't have to put myself entirely in Lost Soul's hands. Keep in mind, I have a dog in tow. Currently looking at the Murray Hotel in Livingston, MT.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Lost Soul » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:47 am

Dude, you have the opportunity to see perhaps the three best views by car in the lower 48 in one trip. Your condition of no Yellowstone and no Big Tits makes it harder, but it can still be done. BTW I agree with your conditions, at least in August.

Firt, you're going with the wife over Logan Pass. One down, two to go.

Second, skip spending the night in Livingston. Instead, spend the night in Billings by either hanging a left at White Sulphur Springs or by driving through Lewistown and Roundup. Get a room; then, with half the day still remaining, head for Red Lodge and Cooke City. Yes, technically you will be in Yellowstone NP, but nobody uses the NE entrance and they don't charge entrance fees until you pass Cooke City. But you're not going to make it to Cooke City because you're going to stop at Beartooth Pass on the way. It's 11,000 feet in the northern Rockies and it's surrounded by higher peaks. Plus it's not a pass, it's a mountain with 360 views above timberline of the stunning Absarokas surrounding you. Your dog will love you. Then back to Billings for the night.

Next day, head for Crow Agency on I-90. Take the 5-mile drive of the Little Bighorn battlefield and see the museum. It's well done. Aim for Buffalo and hang a right. Those are the Bighorn Mountains. Yes, your dog will love you. I love driving down Tensleep canyon on the other side of Cloud Peak. It's very geological. Spend the night in the shitholes of Worland or Riverton, or the nicer Dubois.

Next day you're going to hang a left at the sign for Union Pass, five miles out of Dubois. Here a gravel road crosses the divide amid mountains and lakes. You pop out at the Green River, 10 miles from the headwaters. Drive them and see Twin Lakes at the base of Three Waters Mountain and the Wind Rivers. That mountain drains to the Columbia, the Colorado and the Mississippi. Turn around down the Green and you pop out at Cora, near Daniel where most of the fur rendezvous were held. Then it's on to Bondurant, Hoback, Alpine and Idaho Falls for the night. Your dog will hate you.

But take a detour on the way to Twin Falls. Don't take I-15. Aim for Arco then Stanley. Stanley has the third top view of the trip, this time of the Bitterroots, via a highway pullout. Then south through Sun Valley to Twin Falls.

You'll see some beautiful country, as well as the high points of Montana and Idaho from five miles away. You'll be real close to Gannett Peak in Wyoming too, but you won't see it. It's a nice trip.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Scrubb » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:50 pm

Agree with Logan Pass - I was there last week and it is a stunning drive. Better yet, park at the top and go do the walk to Hidden Lake. It's uphill, but never steep. Not more than 2 hours (abs. max) to the overlook, which is as far as you really have to go. But even if you don't want to hike at all and only go a little way down the trail, it is still absolutely gorgeous.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:17 pm

Thanks for all that Lost Soul (and Scrubb about Logan Pass). Actually, we were in Logan Pass last year (I had been there some 30 years prior where I documented a bear mauling just after it happened, had to be airlift out, and was published--photo only--in the Hungry Horse rag, but that's another story) and got completely skunked out in pea soup fog/cloud; had trouble finding the visitor center from the parking lot. Pretty much was the same the next day; of course driving back to Missoula the day after that was brilliant. I don't know that we will enter Glacier Park this year. Basically eat well, party a little, take the dog to the big dog park in Whitefish, maybe get on the lake with a canoe or something we can rent, will have sticks along, and maybe a drive up Hwy 93 for part of a day.

Those are great thoughts LS after leaving Glacier. Actually, I've been through Bighorn National Forest (staying in Sheridan, but playing golf in Buffalo on one trip) three times now and think it's some of the best scenery anywhere. I've been through via A-14, 14, and 16; I think 14 is the best. Beartooth and Union Passes I have not been through; so that may be a consideration although it's not like I will be passing through though.

Stanley I know pretty well (although never staying there) as a crossroads coming from Boise to Salmon a couple times now. And a third time last year doing what you're recommending, but in the reverse. I left Twin Falls and went through Sun Valley (a first) and Galena Summit in the Sawtoooth National Forest. Once summiting and starting to head down (still driving north) I was completely awestruck by the view. I was having to hump to get up to the Missoula airport so didn't get a chance to really take my time to take it all in properly...maybe a repeat but with time this year.

Anyway, food for thought.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:25 pm

Image
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:33 pm

Field Report (took too long to "edit"/add to the above):

Nice drive; all toll, about 3100 miles for the nine days I was out. Rolled into Boise my first night staying at the "trendy" Modern Hotel and Bar. They were pet-friendly so that was a plus. Knocked back a few and a meal on site and called it a night. Got out fairly early the next day heading to Missoula and the airport to pick up Ms. Wilster. Took part of a route I had not been on before; highways 55 and 95. Had never been to Lake McCall which was nice for a cuppa, stretch and walk the dog along the lake. Next was the drive through Hell's Canyon; some rough terrain, but roads were fine. Really starting to notice the SMOKE! And a lot of "incident stations" where a number tents and other temporary structures were in abundance.

Rolled into Missoula just in time to get Ms. Wilster at the airport, rolled into Whitefish, MT before 7 pm. Check-in, caught up with some other guests, visit to the excellent dog park the City had to offer, and a meal at a local saloon. Wake up and smoke, smoke, smoke everywhere. The entire NW part of the State was/is burning up, as is parts of Idaho and of course Washington and California from afar. Locals are lamenting that it's the worst smoke conditions they have ever seen. We got a reprieve after showers on Friday for a wonderful, what you think of the area, Saturday; blue skies with contrast of greenish hills. It was a nice day. The next day we did a few hour drive to the border and surrounds just to check out what the area is like. Actually kind of a banana belt in the area where apparently the Native Americans grew tobacco back in the day. Finished off the day with some beers (pot was being freely passed around too) with locals at pub on Lower Stillwater Lake.

All in all a wonderful, again, visit to the area; we took in the Brewfest where we met a bunch of people, saw a few smallish sights, and just basically got to relax, not having to do anything really except decide where we wanted to go for supper. Twice we went to the Golf Club Restaurant where prime rib was on our plates. Brought my sticks but didn't venture out on the course(s). We were to leave on the Monday; Ms. Wilster to fly back from Great Falls, MT and me to continue on to drive back to Nor Cal. WRONG! We would not be leaving on Monday. Ms. Wilster woke to violent and explosive vomiting followed by diarrhea the whole day; never even left the hotel room, we booked another night. I thought I was feeling okay, but mid morning I was sitting on the toilet repeatedly and regularly throughout the day; and felt achy for most of it too. But at least I could move; got the dog out in the late morning, and took the same to the dog park where I could hardly hold myself up to stand for any length of time. Managed to hit a supermarket to get some provisions for Ms. Wilster and myself; fill the gas tank, air in the tires (cuz of a mishap during the day, the day before...another story), and windshield cleaned.

BANG! Moving better the next day, and heading to Great Falls, about a day behind. Due to road closure concerns opted for the little bit lengthier trip via Highways 83 and 200. Highway 83 was gorgeous even if hindered by...you guessed it...the SMOKE! Dropped Ms. Wilster off at the airport after a deli meal in Great Falls (she had already checked in to her flight). We said our goodbyes and I hightailed it out of town towards Livingston, MT. Beautiful scenery and drive down Highway 89 (a path I had not been on before) into Livingston with a stop for the dog and I to stretch and get a bite to eat in her belly and swim in the Yellowstone River. The mountains to the south, bordering Yellowstone Park where impressive, and during the drive to Livingston, skies were getting clearer, much clearer.

With some thought, I put Dillon on the map of my place to stay for the night, so I still had a drive ahead of me. Rolled into the latter just after 9 pm where the dog and I bunked down together. Was impressed by much of the drive SW of Bozeman. Would really like to visit and explore Ennis and Twin Bridges areas et al with maybe some fishing went I get that game face back on one of these days.

So how to get home? I ended up retracing some travels of the past and similar to what LS outlined above. What was kind of fun was taking the Lemhi Pass as a shortcut to get to Salmon, ID. Driving up the Salmon River, new for me in the sense that the three other times in the area, I drove down the river so this put a different perspective on things. Got into Stanley, ID for a break; phone calls (cell service spotty around the area), feed the dog, etc. Next move was going to be on through the Sawtooth Range like LS outlines above. I did this last year, but in the reverse direction. Gorgeous (see below) the skies were clear, awesome.

Pressed on south going through Sun Valley and Twin Falls where I ran into some thunderstorms which are always a nice break. Buzzed on down to Wells, NV where I fueled up again and started moving West (with a nice start to the sunset en route, see below), spending the night in Elko, NV. Moving across Nevada the following day at 75 MPH made for a fairly quick run to get down to Placer County to see dad and get back to the West Coast about 6:30 pm...whew, not a monsterous drive day.

All in all a welcomed break where we pretty much hunkered down in the Bay Area for most of the summer; not a bad thing mind you. Although in a drought, fair weather (don't need AC in our summer at home), some things to do locally, out of state and country visitors, and two kids who both are out of the house now with the close of the summer; just helped the last one out yesterday. On the trip the smoke was a drag, but worse for the locals living it, not just visiting it. Hope to get back to the area(s) again same time next year!

This is Lemhi Pass at almost 7700 feet; the dog was excited to get out of the truck:

Image

Heading up the Galena Pass/Summit and through the Sawtooth Range looking back:

Image

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Heading West along I-80. Shot this through the front windshield buzzing along the interstate:

Image
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Chip_Oatley » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:28 pm

Looks great. I am yearning for the open road, myself.

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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Lost Soul » Sun Sep 06, 2015 5:10 am

Beartooth and Union Passes I have not been through; so that may be a consideration although it's not like I will be passing through though.

You missed a treat in Beartooth Pass, even if it was a cul de sac for you this time.

Union Pass is not spectacular, but it is wild.

You also missed the Wind Rivers, at both the head of the Green River and on the 20 mile road north from Pinedale. Fremont Peak is one of the best in the Rockies.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:08 am

Time to dust this thread off.

Looks like I will be heading to some of Lost Soul's suggestions the beginning/middle of July; Ms. Wilster will not be in tow this trip as she spent her load of vaca when we were walking the Camino last week. I should have dog in tow and instead of my usual golf pursuits (makes it tough when you gotta find some place to keep the dawg while driving for show and putting for dough) I plan to base myself in places like Dubois, WY, and/or Pinedale, WY to the south (possibly with Jackson, WY thrown in), and then Red Lodge or Billing, MT, or possibly Cody, WY to the north for the purpose(s) of day hiking/walking (as a Camino follow-up) each day. Not sure if I will make it further east to the Bighorn National Forest where I have been before, but not day hiking.

My immediate concern is hiking with the dog. My impression is that National Parks do not allow dogs, but most, if not all, National Forests allow them. That why I'm moving around Forests vs. Parks.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Chip_Oatley » Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:43 am

I'll meet up with you.

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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Total Reject » Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:32 am

Just seeing this post. Im assuming he is already on the road. Great suggestions by LS. I worked in Jackson for awhile and I consider the Wind River range to be one of my favorites. If you've got time to take the drive from Pinedale to Boulder then to the closest trailhead heading into Cirque of the Towers - definitely worth it. Dog friendly. Excellent backcountry, basically the Tetons without the people.

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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:12 pm

Just got back about a week ago; had things to catch up with. Took many of the direction(s) suggested by LS, now, a year ago; I'm so bandwidth thrifty using the same thread!

Blasted out on a Wednesday early morning (a night at dad's which gave me a head start east) to arrive in Twin Falls, ID for the night and Wednesday farmer's market downtown; hadn't been there since the year before last en route to Whitefish, MT--not on the table this year though. Had to pick up a few supplies first though; Moon Guide, bathers, and dog supplies--all of which I forgot when leaving the Bay Area, the day after July 4th.

Had in mind some of LS's suggestions and generally to see and drive some areas I had not been in before. So I only passed through Jackson, WY to gas up and get a few provisions: beer, ice, and some chicken to mix in the dog's kibble. Landed at a B & B of all things in Pinedale, WY. It just happened to be during the annual Mountain Man Rendezvous Festival/Happening. I caught the beginning as I was out of town two days later, a Saturday. Also at the B & B was a former HP executive/manager whose mom was born in Pindale back in the day--he was in the company of his wife, daughter and two grandkids; he had a wealth of information about the area and I steered towards some of his direction as it was offered. I couple late-ish nights proceeded my departure on Saturday morning. The day before, however, I did get up a nice drive out of town, dead-ending into the Wind River Range. The weather wasn't quite cooperating for great views due to thunderstorms, but you could make out the expanse and impressiveness of the area.

On to Cody for the night, but via Boulder, WY and HWY 353 and unsealed County roads to hook back up with HWY 28 where I then took the Loop Road of which I did one-way; basically from Atlantic City, WY to Lander, WY. Most on unsealed roads in the high-country. Easy access to small lakes for dog play and rest/bite-to-eat. Was looking at day hikes, but didn't really materialize; see summary below. Got up to Cody, WY after a not too eventful drive from Lander. Had stopped in Thermopolis in the past, so didn't feel the need to take a soak this time.

Got into Cody late afternoon and a visit to the large, large dog park before trying to check-in to the hotel only to find they don't accept dogs! What? I could have sworn I booked a dog-friendly hotel. They made a call to their sister property in town which is where I thought I had made the booking. They had a room for me, but the first property let me stay with the dog. Didn't get up to too much in Cody except a nice martini and steak salad before meeting a couple (former locals in town to visit family) from the hotel for drinks later.

Got out at a reasonable hour in the morning to take the Beartooth Scenic Highway and Pass; on LS's list. But first I made a detour to the Heart Mountain Detention Center which is the site of the Japanese American internment camp during WW II where 14,000 were detained for much of the war. Very impressive and somber; this is only one of two actual visitor-type centers of the dozen or so internment camps around the West; the other being on the wastern slope of California.

After a couple hours at Heart Mountain, made the incredible drive of the Beartooth, starting on the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway; not looking too good weatherwise driving into hills/mountains. Connect to the Beartooth and drove west to Cooke City for a look and bite-to-eat before turning around and drive back east towards Red Lodge, MT. Although, again, the weather was not cooperating, there were still some fine views and vistas. Summited in a snow flury (which you read about happening in July, but never expect it to happen) where I come to find out was closed later that night for a short time. Cruised on in to Red Lodge which seemed like a pretty cool little town where I might return next year. Pressed on to Billings, MT where although I have kind of circumvented in the past, never stayed in town. Was probably a little bit too tired to be open to a better impression, but wasn't disappointed with the stay as such, found a great, large dog park in the outskirts of town, and got the oil changed in the truck the following day.

The following day was going to head to Livingston, MT, Chico Hot Springs more specifically, which is about a two-hour drive west from Billings. Opted however to take the long route via HWY's 3, 12, 294, 89, 12 (again), 267, Insterstate 90, then up to the hot springs via Trail Creek Road (unsealed) and HWY 89 (again) with a stop at a dog park in Bozeman, MT and talk with some locals. Kicked back at the springs for two nights with some nice meals in the dining room bar each night. Even with a saloon next door, the nights were not too late and the one full day I had was exploring some unsealed roads in the area and making it all the way to the Northgate of Yellowstone and turning around.

BAM! Up and out on the road at 6 am much to the dismay of the dog; she is not a morning dog. Took the impressive Gallatin Gateway Highway 191, which I had driven in the past, heading towards to the direction of CA. Stopped in at a dog park in Pocatello, ID where I had been the week before only find some of the same dog-owner characters there. Now it was time to hightail it west. A couple rest stops (more for the dog) and I found myself fueling up at Costco in the outskirts of western Boise. A polish dog for me and one, plain, for the dog got us going again for what would turn out to be another five hours of driving. I briefly looked into the Oregon dispensary thing just across the border in Ontario, OR before getting on HWY 20 and 395 and driving mostly south to land in Lakeview, OR where after a 850-mile day we were glad to grab a bed for the night just at dusk. Along the way we passed through Burns, OR for ice and that, yes, it has been a busy season especially with the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge standoff earlier in the year. Some beautiful country in this part of Southeastern Oregon. Although I have been to Eastern Oregon in the past, I'm still impressed with much of it.

The final day was only 450 miles. Managed that pretty handedly with some additional roads I had not been on, a quick (due to the dog restrictions) visit to Burney Falls, and then bringing it on home with familiar country once I hit Redding, CA. Rolled into the SF Bay Area just before 4 pm.

I thought this trip would be more about new highways and byways I had not encountered before, it was; but I also thought I would have more downtime to do day hikes and get a few hours in the back-country, it wasn't really so much. Although I had two, two-night stays in areas, there were still a lot of things to do near. I thought I could drive for a spell, park, hike, and then drive for a spell again; that didn't really happen because the "spell" turned out to be many, many hours of driving. In the nine days on the road, I still cranked out a total of 3350 miles. I guess I did keep it at a large regional area; kind of circumventing Yellowstone for the most part, but it's still kind of a grind to get "out there."

Anyway, much food for thought. Maybe localize even more next year. No complaints; love getting out on the road and just seeing what's going to happen along the way. Always eventful regardless of what you do. The dog certainly was an icebreaker.

Looking west with the Wind River Range to my back:

Image1469211066.363970.jpg


Martini and steak salad, Cody, MT:

Image1469211111.408975.jpg


Pano at Beartooth, weather not cooperating:

Image1469211148.079106.jpg





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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:18 pm

Someone eager to get off the tailgate:

Image1469211477.358356.jpg


Any bears around?

Image1469211493.291842.jpg


Typical image, but never tire of them:

Image1469211518.596655.jpg



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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:22 pm

Yum, lamb, one of my favorites--Chico Hot Springs dining room bar:

Image1469211699.404028.jpg


Pano, getting close to sunset, Lake Abert, OR:

Image1469211722.116518.jpg


Pano, Mt. Lassen on the right, Mt. Shasta on the left--impressive valley:

Image1469211738.952849.jpg





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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by 2wilzgood » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:49 pm

Wilster wrote:Image


Lamb + two-fisted drinking?

I'm good, and this message is 2wilz approved!
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:15 pm

Wilster wrote:Pano, Mt. Lassen on the right, Mt. Shasta on the left--impressive valley:


Aye, that should have read Lassen to the left and Shasta to the right. My dyslexia acting up again.

2wilzgood wrote:
Lamb + two-fisted drinking?

I'm good, and this message is 2wilz approved!


Thanks for the endorsement wilz, but believe me when I write that I don't need two hands to suck down two bottles of suds at a fast pace. :wink:
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Lost Soul » Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:12 pm

Nice one Wilster. You drove that dead end road out of Pinedale to the trailhead and lake at 9200 feet? That trail takes you to Fremont Peak after 22 miles, a view to die for, and the biggest glacier in the lower 48. It's a three day two night hike.

I'm glad you and your mutt kind of saw Beartooth Pass. It's the prettiest road in the Lower 48 imho. Lots of grizzlies there too.

You still need to see Union Pass and the other dead end road out of Pinedale (Cora, actually) that goes 20 miles north to the head of the Colorado (Green) River at Twin Lakes in the northern Wind Rivers. It's another beautiful spot.

I love a good road trip.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:59 pm

Well, getting ready to reload. Have/Had plans (accommodation booked) to be in Whitefish, MT August 17th thru the 21st. Just got word from Ms. Wilster that she is going to have work obligations around that period now. In a way better since I was going to get to CA and two days later jump on a plane to Ireland.

Soooooooooo, last year I split for the road the start of July as I had surgery scheduled for later in the month. Now it looks like I can move up my trip this year too instead of end of August. Now I gotta decide where to go. Not sure if I'm going to go all the way to Whitefish solo, or just hunker down perhaps in an airbnb and move around from there as a base. Looked at the Ennis, MT and Cameron, MT area this morning. But, up in the air at to where I want to base myself; dog will be in tow too.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by 2wilzgood » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:43 pm

When were you last in Whitefish? Around about six years ago I discovered an unmitigated meth addled shit hole. The area just north is undoubtedly gorgeous.

But Whitefish itself was execrable. I would not. Ever again. Not once.

Kalispell? Big Fork? No recollection.

Whitefish? shudder
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:28 am

2wilzgood wrote:When were you last in Whitefish? Around about six years ago I discovered an unmitigated meth addled shit hole. The area just north is undoubtedly gorgeous.

But Whitefish itself was execrable. I would not. Ever again. Not once.

Kalispell? Big Fork? No recollection.

Whitefish? shudder


OMG, wilz, you must be doing meth to figure this out. Nothing along those lines in any of my experiences the last six years since going there; I think it has been six years or close to--been there in the past, but decades ago. That has been our go-to place. Love it. We are even looking at property (not too seriously) there. It is like an early Steamboat Springs, not Aspen, but other resort-ish towns. Have met a number a people over the years; bringing equity there and some baggage, but not meth.

Would like to get a place out by the golf course(s). And they are modest to a large extent--well, at least coming from CA. There is a ton of shit going on in that town. With Ms. Wilster bailing, I may try to find some areas I haven't been to before; was just perusing Sandpoint, ID today.
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Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Godjira » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:09 pm

Head east on Rt 80 until you get to Paterson New Jersey! William Carlos Williams, Allen Ginsberg, alexander Hamilton. WTF else do you need?

I have a half-brother in Steamboat Springs that I've never met. Should I visit him?
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:10 pm

Hella tempting there Godjira, but just got some plans in place.

Looks like I'm going to spend the night with dad this coming Sunday July 9th (gives me a two or so hour head start the next day) and the next day overnight in Bend, OR. Then will take another day to get to an AirBnB near Troy, MT where I will be out in the middle of nowhere for three nights, exploring things in and around the area; not sure what to really expect.

From Troy, MT not really sure where I'm going to go before I get back around July 19th.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by VinnyD » Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:47 pm

All those guys are dead.

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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Lost Soul » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:30 am

Wilster wrote: From Troy, MT not really sure where I'm going to go before I get back around July 19th.


it's good country. Libby has some decent Mexican food. The road up past Yaak is real nice as well. There is a restaurant in the middle of nowhere about 10 miles past Yaak. It's all wilderness, with all the top predators. Very Alaska-ish.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:38 pm

Lost Soul wrote:
Wilster wrote: From Troy, MT not really sure where I'm going to go before I get back around July 19th.


it's good country. Libby has some decent Mexican food. The road up past Yaak is real nice as well. There is a restaurant in the middle of nowhere about 10 miles past Yaak. It's all wilderness, with all the top predators. Very Alaska-ish.


You got that right I think LS; and I will be staying off of Hwy 508--where I'm staying is about 15 miles from Troy proper. Looking at my Montana Gazetteer map, I was planning on making at least a loop through the area. There's a 17 Mile Drive where I'll figure out what the road is like for my truck when I get in the area.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:22 am

Okay, gearing up again...didn't make a trip report last year after getting off the road...my bad.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Lincoln » Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:54 am

Fuck me you're travelling again?...don't you ever go to work?

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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:17 am

Lincoln wrote:
Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:54 am
Fuck me you're travelling again?...don't you ever go to work?
Easy Lincs, stay in your lane, spark a doobie, see ya on the road.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Nines » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:32 am

Happy trails to you until we meet again.

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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:59 am

Nines wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:32 am
Happy trails to you until we meet again.
Nines, we haven't even met yet! You wanna go camping together???
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Marshall » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:09 am

Ground level travels with ....

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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Stan In Maryland » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:59 pm

Wilster, I may have missed it. Where are you headed?
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:16 am

Stan In Maryland wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:59 pm
Wilster, I may have missed it. Where are you headed?
Stanley, have you even read my "blog" Mutherfunky has provided me over the last three years? Each summer I usually take a run (driving) up to Idaho (could be Oregon first stop), Montana, Wyoming and surrounds with one of the dogs (not sure if I should take both this trip now that we have two of traveling "age" this summer). Sometimes Ms Wilster has flown in to meet me, usually Whitefish, MT (well, she'll fly into Missoula). I've been doing this without the dog(s) and Ms. Wilster for many other years too; 'cept those trips have been with golf clubs and fishing gear.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Stan In Maryland » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:54 pm

I have read you posts here if that is what you mean. I didn't realize you stay in the same general area each year. That is a cool idea to really get to know one area very well, and that is a beautiful area. We tend to be more generalists, so many places so little time (and money).

And while I am guessing you saw how much I hate my full name in the other thread, keep that up and I will not buy you a beer if we ever meet.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:58 pm

Ha Stan, I did not know that you hated you full name so much! Hope I get that beer back!

Yes, I'm trying to narrow down a place(s) where I spend a little more time instead of driving all over. I did this to some extent last year where I was in one place for three nights, but still a lot of driving. I don't think I posted this from last year here (I'm pretty sure it's in another thread). That is the southern Montana and Idaho border, the range that is. Part of the trip is finding roads I have never been on before; sealed or otherwise.

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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Stan In Maryland » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:48 pm

Wilster wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:58 pm
Ha Stan, I did not know that you hated you full name so much! Hope I get that beer back!

Beer anytime. I had actually thought you were bring funny. In the "nickname thread" I had mentioned it. Not big deal.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:31 pm

Okay, because people are dying to know and because I didn't make an entry from last summer's trip in my blog here. As has been the case in the past, floated off just after July 4th. Hunkered down with my dad which gave me a two-hour start north, first overnight in Bend, OR. Only took one of the dawgs; the Flat Coat is over a year old now, so it was her turn. Plus, the over-four-year-old Golden is just getting too wigged out traveling in the truck on long haul driving trips.

Left dad's not too early, but before 8 am. As I was rolling down the driveway I heard a scrapping on the truck roof. No! Yep! My coffee mug was rolling down the roof and as I had the driver's side window open for the dog till we got up to high speed, pretty much ALL of the coffee rolled into the cab of the truck; a 15-minute clean up, new cup of coffee, and I was on my way, again. Rolled through my (and daughter's) alma mater in Chico, CA for a cuppa and stretch with the dog on campus; lunch purchased at Safeway to eat later. Possible new student:

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Managed to roll into the Flat Coat's breeder just after noon in the outskirts of Yreka, CA. The Flat Coat and her mom didn't recognize each other, but had a quick visit with the breeder before heading back north. Rolled into Bend, OR and a Motel 6 (they always take dogs and NO charge for the same) which had a whopping $89 price tag; yes Virginia, it is summer on the road. My first motel experience AND out-of-state!

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Had a mini-pissup with the lovely Trixie and her husband at a "local" spot for some festive beers. Got on the road not too worse for wear pointed north, next stop for the night would be across the border as long as there were no complications with bringing the dog.

Not that enthused about huffing it north through eastern Oregon and Washington to get to Spokane, but you do what you gotta do. Funneled through Bonners Ferry, ID to get provisions (beer) before crossing the border some 30 miles away. I would be back through town about six days later to do some "family" business. Rolled up to the Eastgate border crossing with rabies vaccination printout in hand. "Your mom was born in Canada," as noted by the young Canadian immigration officer (no, it wasn't Eric). He went on to say I could get Canadian citizenship (formalized) if I wanted to; he said he would get US citizenship if he had the opportunity. I said I had looked into it casually some 15 years earlier where the thought came up as a negative. He said he had different information and I should look into it. I said I would, and sure enough, some things have changed over the course of a few years as far as recent legislation and the "Lost Canadians." I'm in the process of working on applying for a Proof of Canadian Citizenship Certificate which would then work into a Canadian passport. By the way, there was no asking about the dog whose head was stuck out the window during our chat.

Up reasonably early for a hotel provided sit down breakie and back on the road; overnighting in Edmonton, AB. The drive through the Crowsnest Pass was spectacular. A ton of canola in bloom which gave a strong contrast to the landscape on the east side of the pass and on to Calgary.

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Rolled into the outskirts of Calgary for a real run and swim for the dog. The dog weathered the current well enough of the river, but would arrive bankside a little downstream with the stick I threw out in the water. Back in the rig and drive further north to Edmonton for two nights, but first a bit of "family" business in Leduc, AB where my great-grandparents are buried. It didn't take too much work to find which of the eight cemeteries in the area they were interred. From the City, I was given PDF's of the cemetery map and plots. Rolled into the cemetery at about 5 pm. A contracting cemetery worker was on site, Steve, a four-year-recent immigrant from Croatia originally with time spent in Italy. I think I found the plots, but wasn't sure, and with Steve's help, he too thought they were where I think I found them. But, no headstones!!! I would confirm the next morning with Shannon at the City via the surnames I had copied down either side of my great-grandparents that yes indeed that is where the same were buried. Documented that information for my first cousin.

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Stayed at a boutique-ish hotel in the Strathcona part of Edmonton; Strathcona is actually where my family (mom included) lived; a lot had changed I'm sure since the late 1920's, but the university would have been there as that's where my American grandmother went to Nursing School. From my conversation with the immigration guy the day before, tried to secure my mom's birth certificate, but unable to as I wasn't packing additional paperwork such as my own birth certificate and her death certificate; ah, another time--which is now, but things are through courier service to Canada. Had a festive couple days in Edmonton, went to a massive, massive dog park on the SW of town. Wore me and the dog out. As a non-foodie without Ms. Wilster in company, I holed up at the Irish Pub for meals and shots of Jamison with a young Canadian couple; of course I had to reciprocate and probably the reason I was a little cloudy as the dog and I bounced out of town headed for Lake Louise and overnighting in Radium Hot Springs; one of the few places I could find a room!

Drove south of Edmonton for about an hour before heading west to the Canadian Rockies and Banff National Park. More and more of the canola in bloom before reaching too high of elevation. The views of the Rockies were every bit as spectacular as I remember of decades past.

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Lake Louise was an absolute zoo with all the people around, me contributing to the same and Moraine Lake wasn't even reachable cuz the parking lot was full and something about a shuttle; really, with the dog? Shame, cuz I believe that use to be on the back of the Canadian $20 bill--would like to have seen the lake again like I did in '86. The dog in Lake Louise:

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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:40 pm

Pushed on to Radium and an overnight, but not before having a few with one of the local mill employees at the bar. We had agreed to get together the following night for a few, but when I caught up with him via text the next day, he was in the dog house from the night before, so I was on my own.

Did another cruisey day with a trip up to the Glacier National Park (not the one shared with the US and Canada). Great views along the way to Golden, BC:

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This was an incredible Pass and one of the last pieces of the puzzle to complete the National Highway across all of Canada; if I have that right. There were incredible views, I just couldn't get some of the sweeping scenery on digital. Cruised back down the summit through Golden and back up to the Lake Louise direction, retracing some of my path from the day before, but not all of it. Got to the scenic Emerald Lake:

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Hunkered back in Radium for the night, but not before another swim for the dog in the Park:

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Planned on a late start so I could watch the World Cup in the morning; sorry to see Croatia lose to the Frogs, but a decent match. Moved on to cross the border, same location, and into an Airbnb near Troy, MT where I had stayed before last summer for a few nights. The Flat Coat got along with Oly on site just as the Golden had the year before.

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My next day was my other bit of "family" business where I was to try and track down my grandparents marriage certificate for my first cousin. I was going to go into City Hall, but had the LDS Church as back up, but requiring a visit the next day as access was only available two days of the week; a visit the next day would kind of delay me for heading back in the NorCal direction. Walked into Bonners Ferry (also the county seat of Boundary County) City Hall, gave names, dates, and $1 later I was the door with the information my first cousin was after; dotting some "i's" and crossing some "t's" for same in her research.

Another night at the Airbnd and I was on my way again, now the slog back to NorCal with an overnight in between. Thought I could possibly get to Bend, OR again for a night, but no way given the backroads I was taking, many I hadn't taken before. This would have been parts of Hwy 2, 56, 200, and unsealed roads in Montana. Then Hwy 3 in northern Idaho to Lewiston, ID before Hwy 129/3 down to Joseph, OR and a seasonal-road-only through the Wallowa Mountains and just scratching part of Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. Fortunately no mishaps for me, but did come across a group of four who just got off the Snake River rafting where they had their truck and trailer waiting after a delivery service. What they didn't calculate was fuel to get to Enterprise, OR. So six gallons siphoned out of my truck and $40 later, we were both on our way.

Knowing nightfall would be soon, I made an Expedia room purchase at another Motel 6 where it was supposedly a "last room." I was fearing with summer and all, a room might be scarce at this stop in Baker City, OR. Nice trick, the motel seemed virtually empty! Had a decent enough meal at Barley Brown's Brew Pub. BAM! up early and out the door before 6 am, my earliest start; hadn't planned on it, it planned on me. Decent enough views along the four-hour drive into Bend, OR for a dog break/swim and fill up before the grind back to the SF Bay Area.

Rolled into the hood by 7:30 pm and 4000 miles later; the last day, and I don't like doin' 'em, a 750-mile drive. And there ya have it, another trip bagged for the summer; still summer, contemplating maybe another roadtrip, but will have to see how things pan out next month.

Some can sleep along the way:

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Last edited by Wilster on Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Lincoln » Sat Jul 28, 2018 8:43 pm

Great trip Wilster...that dog has character...

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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by steveogolf » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:14 pm

Nice photos. I'd give you a list of the best long day hikes in the Canadian Rockies, but I don't think that the dog could manage it.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by VinnyD » Sat Jul 28, 2018 11:00 pm

I haven't read every word, but I like the pictures.

Put your coffee cup on the hood from now on.

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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Lost Soul » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:25 am

Nice post wilster. Some thoughts: 1) Maybe they don't care about rabid dogs owned by honorary Canucks?; 2) The Glacier NP in Canada is better than the one in the US; 3) Radium Hot Springs is a ripoff; 4) I would have done the Icefields Parkway one way rather than the boring highway from Calgary to Edmonton twice. There is also a gravel road running N/S just east of the mountains that is real nice. It runs from Calgary to Hinton, so not really convenient for Edmonchuck, but still very nice; 5) I tried the road just west of Devil's Canyon but was snowed out two years ago. It's on the bucket list; 6) The place to stay in Bend is the Econo Lodge. Motel 6 blows. Mostly because they ding you for the wifi, they have no brekkie, and their cable TV blows chunks.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:11 am

Ha, thanks for all that LS:

1) Not sure what was going on there; US Customs/Immigration had no comment about the dog either--just had to pick up my pot I hid under a rock 15 miles down the track to Bonner's Ferry, ID. Didn't wanna chance anything and pot isn't a requirement for me to try to bring across the border.
2) I had a sense of that, but not sure that I would agree with "better," but then I saw so little of it.
3) Radium was a decent place to hole up with a dawg and swimming (she in the water, not me) with the same in the evenings. Did not visit the hot springs, but did in '86 when I was in the area.
4) I do not know of this, and I picked up an equivalent Delorme Atlas late in the trip heading into Banff Park. The woman in the small shop knew exactly what I was looking for, detailing me; I used next of nothing of it, but it was a good resource to have and keep.
5) Do it, one of my better drives; especially coming out of Enterprise/Joseph, OR before hitting the range.
6) I have seen that Econo Lodge, will be noted further. Motel 6 was adequate to meet Trixie and hubby. There was NO wifi charge when we were there, yeah, I've been dinged at Motel 6 in the past on trips. I've also stayed at the pet-friendly Dunes Motel too in Bend.

Vinny, yeah, I get that but it's when you are ready to enter your rig and you're like, oh, let me just put it on the roof of the car, less visible, but closer--obviously that didn't work for me.

I don't know that Ms. Wilster will freak as her mom is coming into town in a couple weeks for a month, but I'm looking at checking out again and getting to Buffalo, MT fast, and then working my way back to California slowwwwwwwwwwwwly this coming month.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Lost Soul » Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:02 am

4) On my map that gravel road up Alberta is labeled HW 734. There are lots of camping spots and little use.

5) I was coming from the south, over Oxbow Dam, trying to get to the Hell's Canyon Overlook, or even the Five Mile Viewpoint, Granny Viewpoint, Hat Point, or Buckhorn Viewpoint further north. No way. Winter snows are deep and unplowed. Baker City was the goal after that.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:05 pm

5) This is the pano from that viewpoint:

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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Stan In Maryland » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:32 pm

Willster,

Looks like an amazing trip.
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Wilster » Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:06 am

So a reprise; gonna bust out to Buffalo, WY or Sheridan, WY on Monday (night with dad on Sunday) for a week in the area. Looking forward to seeing the Bighorn National Forest as the end point East, then heading back out West. When the road is giving you an itch, you gotta scratch it. If you don't, you've FAILED!
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Re: Getting Lost in America -- Here I Come

Post by Lost Soul » Sun Aug 19, 2018 4:03 pm

Buffalo? You're in spitting distance of a Devil's Tower/Black Hills RT. It's surprisingly nice out there, once you get past the Gillette shithole.

The road over the Bighorns from Buffalo is a real treat. Tensleep Canyon going downhill has amazing views.
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