Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Heading North

The fantastic scenery continues as we head north. Our first stop was in the town of Montrose. From there we visited the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. It is an amazing canyon with extremely steep walls of solid rock. Next we went to Grand Junction where we toured the orchard areas near Palisade on top of the Grand Butte. We were told to try the peach ice cream and were not disappointed. Also in GJ is the Colorado National Monument. We did not expect much as we thought it was just another large butte. We were very pleasantly surprised to find large canyons of multicolored rock. The 25-mile ride along the rim is spectacular and we would highly recommend it to anyone that is in the area.

We exited Colorado via route 139 and went through Vernal, Utah up to the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area on Utah-Wyoming border. The Flaming Gorge Reservoir was created by damming the Green River. It is a beautiful place and we had a campsite in the national forest overlooking the lake. From there we moved over to Bear Lake on the Utah-Idaho border. It is a very large lake formed by an earthquake. The multi hued blue colors reminded us of the Great Lakes, although much smaller.

From Bear Lake we drove north on US 89 up the Snake River Valley to Jackson, WY, Grand Teton National Park and finally to Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone is by far the gem of the NPS. We have visited before, but never in July. Yes, it was crowed. Every room was booked and all the campgrounds filled by early afternoon. We were lucky to be able to stay three nights without reservations. We drove over all the ring roads taking in the sights. The wildlife was abundant, especially bison or buffaloes. We were also lucky enough to see a brown bear with two cubs and two different black bears. Elk and mule deer were also abundant, but we did not see any moose.

Problems the last two weeks? Well, we did have a couple. Leaving the campground in Grand Teton NP we had a close encounter with a wooden post. It won. Fortunately there was not much damage to the coach and it did not affect anything on the coach. Frank and Linda were very lucky as a part on the tow bar that connects their car to their motorhome failed as they were exiting an expressway. The safety chains held and they suffered only minor damage to the plastic bumper on their car and none to their motorhome. It also happened just as we were leaving Grand Junction. We found a replacement hitch on Craig’s List. A couple hours and less than a C note later, they were back in business.

We are now in Montana where we said good-bye to Frank and Linda. They are now slowly on their way back to Pittsburgh. Before they left we surprised Linda with an impromptu birthday party. We will continue our way north. The Coach Captain would still like to drive to Alaska, but the General has overruled him and said that we will stay in the lower 48 for the rest of the summer.

We hope that you all have had a wonderful 4th of July and are enjoying some beautiful summer weather. We have more photos of Colorado and the Yellowstone Area posted at: http://picasaweb.google.com/kohutcorp. We also have had very limited internet connections. While we do love to hear from you we do ask that you limit your messages and please do not include any large attachments.

Take care, Love,

Linda, Jake and the Fat Man