Bloggers Log

Down Devils Road looking for a bed!

Top travelling tip always check out any national holidays that might take place when you are visiting a country to assess the impact on your journey! Labor Day is an important date on the calendar that sadly we did not factor in when heading towards Californian coast. Blissfully unaware of how busy the towns along the 101 would be & it was a shock to find that all the Rv parks we had assumed would have spaces for us were full to capacity. Googling like crazy we revised the route as we went to try and identify a potential place to stay overnight. 

The miles rolled by & it became a bit tricky to concentrate on the amazing scenery for fear we would not find a suitable spot. Darkness slowly drawing in as we tentatively headed down towards Devils Lake the hopes of an overnight stop was dwindling as fast as the light. 

As our tired, strained eyes searched the road ahead an incredibly bright yellow board announcing the presence of a KOA site was wondrous sight. Gleefully shouting in the van the phrase ‘you’re never far away from a  KOA’ we pulled in. 

The kind people running the site listened to our pleas & found us a spot for the night. Waking at first light found that clearly we were not the last to seek refuge. For as I opened the door I was greeted by a lady peering up at me from under the duvet that she was snuggled under  in the passenger seat of the truck now beside us. 

An interesting conversation about the duplicitous nature of politicians on both sides of ‘the pond’ was had before we wished one another a  good day & set about having breakfast. 

Trundling up the coast we were treated to a number of wild & beautiful sights but we were on a mission to get to Astoria before dark so we could cross the amazing bridge that spans the mighty mouth of the Columbia River. It was on completion in 1966 the longest continuous truss bridge in the world & provided the ‘missing link’ in the USA highway system between Mexico & Canada. It was my turn to drive so I got the honour of taking Bertha across which was quite a thrill. Followers may have spotted my buddies liking for silo photos so not wanting to be left I have included pictures of the assorted bridges we traversed. You have been spared the video of the crossing as I was driving & my mates camera battery died so only the stills survived.

Back once more in Washington State we headed for a state Park campsite which was a beautiful location beside the sea.

Bloggers Log

No Bears but Bison & Blueberry Pie

Just passing by

Heading for Yellowstone part of my inner child was hoping for a glimpse of Yogi bear but as he is a cartoon my chances were pretty non existent! But apparently the reality of an encounter with a live bear was more likely hence the need to undergoing ‘bear attack training’ on a cold rainy morning in the Rangers Office.

I guess we had seen the bear spray & read that such creatures room wild but the prospect of entering an area in which potentially we could meet one was a slightly unnerving prospect. 

We listened intently and went off slightly bemused as to the likely hood of meeting a one of Yogi’s less friendly cousins & encountering snow. It was August so was the weather warning & bear stories designed to scare the tourists?

Snow – August!!

Turns out probably not as we ended up performing a multiple point turn on an alpine road as the snow came in horizontally. Thankfully (as I had to get out to ensure safe reversing) we did not need to put our new defensive skills to the test. Note to self though that the Ranger in deed was a wise man & to have ignored his warnings would have been foolhardy in the extreme.

blup,blup,blup

Having altered our sight seeing plans due to the inclement weather we stopped to take in the scenery at a lower level and were rewarded with slightly less rain and some amazing views of the hot springs and slightly strange topography unique to the area.

We left the park and caught sight of some of the other interesting animals that live in the vicinity before heading to downtown Yellowstone for a meal. Whilst dodging the showers with our newly acquired plastic ponchos we spied a gun shop where for a few dollars you could pick a weapon & have a go.

My buddy had previously declared a desire to have try firing a gun so without much encouragement we found ourselves in the shop agonising over the choice of hardware.

I had previously been clay pigeon shooting with a shot gun, which hadn’t been the most enjoyable experience so I was a little nervous about this. Still we selected a handgun and followed the instructor into the range for a safety briefing.

bang bang – target practice

Taking in turns we fired off the rounds and collect our target papers that bore the evidence of our labours. If eyes were initially rolled by the two young men in the gun shop at the sight of two middle aged women when we first wandered they did offer some grudging respect when on inspection of the targets we had actually peppered them quite accurately! 

Clutching our paper prizes we entered the restaurant where we were able to sample meals that contained elk & bison & finished with some blueberry pie. We were stuffed but happy as we drove back to the campsite having ticked off several firsts all in a day.

shared as portion massive but yummy

Our jubilation was short lived though as the next day Bertha developed what could be politely referred to as ‘digestive problems’ & the humour of two Endoscopy nurses having to give the bus what amounted to an enema was not lost on us. Armed with the ‘book of words’ we prepared for the procedure but we were finally aided by two chaps (to whom we remain eternally grateful) that ensured we didn’t spray the contents of Berthas plumbing over ourselves & surrounding area. 

With Bertha sorted we hit the road and prepared to ‘head for the hills’ as it were with the prospect of catching a peek at the Grand Tetons.