Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Cody Wy. Via Granite Pass

5/31. Some fourth gear, but mostly third- gear- & -third- gear- and- brakes- type- territory through Granite Pass, traversing Bighorn Mountains---8300-9000' at the top. Truly breathtaking vistas, though too busy driving to take but a few photos.
At Cody KOA till June 2nd when we report to Yellowstone Campground. No fire rings; no picnic tables; "at dusk, you go in your (hard sided only) trailer and close the door 'cause the Grizzlies tend to cruise around. And if your "hip", you'll get a canister of Bear Pepper Spray that clips on your belt. "You don't have to spray it on the bear. Just put up a pepper spray barrier." This is the sort of stuff you hear from campground reservation people & sundry old (and young) farts with Yellowstone on their mind and maybe a taste for embellishment.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Devils Tower & Big Horn Mountain

Photos of Big Horn Mountain (Sheridan, Wy.) , & Devils Tower (Devils Tower, Wy.) speak for themselves. Coming over a rise, Big Horn Mountain looked like a mirage---a string of clouds on the horizon. But on top of the next rise these magnificent snow-capped mountains materialized for sure & we pulled over & did our normal "goober tourist" photo routine. Our gut told us the Rockies & Yellowstone are getting close. Tonight and tomorrow night we're camping at Big Horn Mountain KOA mostly for a mediastinal layover, as we're both still a bit puny with the sinus/bronchial stuff. We unhooked for the first time since shoving off & tomorrow AM we'll truck in to Sheridan,Wy. , an old, somewhat spiffed up western town for breakfast. What'll it be, Jackrabbit hash and eggs or beef jerky and eggs. We'll see. Then there's the saddle shop & some other good rubbernecking sites.
Last night we stayed at Devils Tower KOA. No hot water; no water at the dump station to wash out the sewer hose, but the looming, Devils Tower made up for it. I imagined the red, forked tail, horned ole Nick, himself, standing up there giving us sinners down below a thumbs up & then realizing that it was Donald Trump!

Recuperating at Bighorn - photos

Friday, May 27, 2016

Eat Steak, Wear Fur, Carry a Gun

5/27 This was on a billboard as we entered South Dakota. But first, back to the CORN scourge that has overtaken Ohio, Ill., Indiana, Kansas & a good bit of South Dakota: according to Google (so it must be right) consumption of corn goes sort of like this: 33% livestock food, 40% ethanol, 13% exported & what's left, human consumption. What the hell's this all about!!?? From all reports, ethanol is a foolhardy, nasty, waste. And with half the world starving, growing corn to fuel (inefficiently) U.S. SUV's don't look too cool. Huh?
Bustd our chops today & drove 5.5 hours on a straight, good, interstate running for as far as the eye could see. Set up camp at Belvidere East KOA, Midland,SD. Good digs. (I.T. Meltdown.
Gotta go.) Later......

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Urgent Care, Tonic (& gin), Onawa Blue Lake Iowa

5/26/16. Yep, the autoimmune bronchia crud reared its ugly head again necessitating a Z-Pac antibiotic. Should be good to go mañana. Ann has the same crud but a different antibiotic. Every time we head out West we get this's stuff, probably due to the new flora and the stuff it gives off.
Summing up our reaction to Illinois & Iowa: the people are kind, the countryside vast, boring, and corn, corn, corn, as far as the eye can see. It's tiny this time of the year, but the tens of thousands of acres of this stuff blows your mind. We saw no other crop, just corn. Animal food, people food---some of a dubious nature I.e. high fructose corn syrup in practically everything & of course ethanol---proudly advertised on gas pumps. There must be mucho "bread" to be made with corn---no pun intended.
At Onawa Blue Lake KOA. Great site on the beautiful Blue Lake. Last PM's camp site, a few hundred yards off I-80 was the pits. Endless 18-wheelers & their awful rumble strip & "air breaking" noise. Thank God we had AC & could close up the EGG a mask the noise.
Off to South Dakota mañana and phase one of the trek to the The Badlands, Crazy Horse, Mt. Rushmore; etc.
Believe me, what we're doing takes a toll on you, but it's worth it in the grand scheme of things. No pain no gain & all that tripe, but often the pain trumps the gain & you simply hope for a better mañana.
There may be a couple of photos---one of boring Iowa corn fields & one of the EGG with Blue Lake in the background.

Onawa photos

Great spot. Looks like rain.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


I THINK I'M SPECIAL BECAUSE I HAVE THIS LITTLE GOOFY EGG AND THESE DUDES AND DUDESSES HAVE THESE JUMBO RIGS THAT CAN'T GO ANYWHERE ESCEPT BIG CAMPGROUNDS, KOA'S AND STUFF. Then again , I don't.......just different and with less money. That being said (for some reason)....maybe it's my fascination with juxtapositions and how we all perceive things differently and how this is cool.

Day three: Arrived at Kickapoo State Pk. Close to Peoria, Ill., which is on the Strip Mine River---so named because they once had coal mines and barged it down this river. It's a great spot. I'm going to wait until just before dark and the warden has left and flick a few lures out in the Strip Mine. It has a reputation: large river catfish
Getting into the trailering groove. It takes a couple of days. Note the photos of Kickapoo and how they relate to paragraph one, above.


Monday, May 23, 2016

The Badlands (How bad are they?)

5/22/16-- Day one of the trek to The Badlands,Yellowstone & vicinity was a bummer: Two hours in gridlock at Va./W.Va. line due to flipped 18 wheeler. Lots of angst all-around; bozos riding on the shoulder trying to butt in line; screaming babies; hollow- eyed, dehydrated, old folks looking at you from their rear window. Alas....it finally occurred to the highway patrol that a simple detour would get the traffic moving, so two hrs later, off we went----not to our planned campground, but instead, to the Hampton Inn and their swimming pool.
5/23--Made it to Cowan Lake State Pk. Ohio, which is just east of Dayton. Whew...I'm very, very tired. Too much caffeine during gridlock; too little sleep last PM.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Kerfluffle Wake-Final Sequel

Freddy, the widower, adores $50 single malt scotch. It was time for the wake. The setting was a gazebo at the end of a long pier extending far out over low kuntry marsh grass---the place Freddy and Coleen had spent hours at dusk for years and years. Thirty or forty people were on hand. Lots of subdued, pre-wake chatter. No laughter.
A fellow eased up next to me and whispered, "Where the hell is Freddy? I saw him going in a liquor store about an hour ago. Surely to God he'll show up for his own wife's wake won't he?"
"Yep. He'll be here. What sort of shape he'll be in is another question."
A half- hour passed. Two folks left. Those left were milling about, irritated, and mumbling"
"There he is!" The fellow dispatched loudly.
Approaching the gazebo, I couldn't help from noticing the high-end, canvass, leather-trimmed man bag hung over his shoulder.
Pumping his hand endearingly, I said, "What's in the man bag, single malt?"
"It's Coleen."