Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Long Rod Home. Day,6. Clover Creek Motel, Montpelier, Idaho.


A morning Visitor.

While we were sitting around our camp this morning, this Blue Heron, flew into the top of a tree across from us.

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When he flew in he made a big squawk, as if to say; “hey you guys you are in my spot.”
The whole time he was there, he preened and made grumbling noises as if to complain that we were not leaving fast enough.

We finally around 10:30 left him to his fishing and continued our travels north.

Some Nice Rocks.

As we traveled along we passed these neat rocks.

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Wyoming.

Eventually we crossed the border into Wyoming.

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This part of Wyoming is mostly high desert.

Near Bridger State Park we finally saw some Buffalo; they were in a pasture but they were good to see.

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Idaho.

After a couple of hours of driving we entered Idaho.

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Montpelier, Idaho.

When we got to Montpelier, Idaho it was about 3:00 pm.  Even though it was early we decided to get a room as I was exhausted from over a month of driving everyday.

Bob Split.

Bob split from us today and is heading for the Jarbidge area in Nevada.

Idaho Falls

Tomorrow we are heading for Idaho Falls where we will stay with Jo Ann and Dave for a couple of days.
As it turns out, Idaho Falls is one of the spots where the solar eclipse can be seen. We will be just in time to see it.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The long Road Home. Day, 4. Camp North of Rifle, Colorado.


Getting Going.

The camp on the San Miguel River.

IMGP1697We had a leisurely start to the the day and finally got on the road around 10:40 and continued north on Scenic Byway 141.

Bear Number 3.

Not too far down the road we saw another bear. This one was pretty young. It was at a turn out with a garbage can. The bear was checking out the can but when we slowed down to see it, the bear took off.

Dolores River Canyon.

Somewhere, as we descended into a huge valley…

IMGP1700the San Miguel River joins the Dolores River.

As we continued to descend the scenery gets better and better.

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Hanging Flume.

We stopped at a turn out to look into the canyon.

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If you look closely on the right side of the canyon you can see a structure clinging to the wall.

Cant see it in that picture? Try this one.

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What you are looking at is the remains of a water flume that was built by miners to get enough water to placer mine some where way down the canyon.

Here is a sign that tells about it but you will have to blow it up to read it.

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Pictures Don’t work.

The drive down the canyon was amazing but of course as you probably know, trying to capture natures beauty on the scale of canyons like this with our cheap camera’s is almost a lost cause.

Having said that here are a few pictures of the Dolores River Canyon.

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Okay, you’ll have to be satisfied with those few snapshots.
If you are ever in Colorado around Grand Junction Colorado take that ride in Scenic Byway 141.

Continuing On.

After leaving the canyon we went through more beautiful country.

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and eventually got to Grand Junction not as beautiful country.

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Once we gassed up and had a hotdog we were back on the road to Rifle.

The road to Rifle unfortunately is I-70.  We went about 50 miles and got off the interstate and onto highway 13. We followed 13 north about 10 miles north of Rifle we turned onto a dirt road. About a mile down this road we turned onto a smaller road that led us to a nice flat spot to camp for the night.

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While we were sitting around a guy and woman drove up on a side by side. We visited with them for a while.

It was a nice quiet evening. 

The Long Road Home Day, 5. Camp on Sheep creek, Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

We got started around 10:30 this morning, heading north on Highway 64.

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We went through Rangely, Colorado. Rangely is known for oil production, Fossil hunting and deer/elk hunting.

Here is a big refinery outside of town.

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The country around here is pretty bleak.

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The next place we went through is Dinosaur.

You can probably guess what their claim to fame is.

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Highway 191.

At Vernal, Utah we got onto Highway 191.
191 is vey scenic and goes over an 8400 ft. pass.

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Slow Poke.

We came up on this Tesla Automobile on the road doing about 20 miles/hour.

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We figured that either he was either scared to death of the road or he was trying to conserve electricity so he could make it to the next town.
Good luck buddy.

Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

Pretty soon we could see the south end of Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

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It was getting close to time to camp so we started looking for side roads.
We checked out a couple and got lucky as we found a road that went right to the Sheep Creek finger of the lake. There were ample flat spots for camping and a great view of the red cliffs and the lake.

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The only down side to this camp spot were a few Mosquito’s.

Ok that was day 3 & 4 of the long road home.

Now I am finally caught up again.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Long Road Home. Day, 3. Camp Along the San Miguel River.


Heading north (still).

Around 10:45 we got onto US 491. Our tanks were full and we were ready for another day of exploring our way home.

We drove through Cortez, Colorado and got onto scenic 145.
At the town of Dolores we got onto Highway 31 and after a few miles the pavement ended.
We were back in our element (dust).

It was a very scenic drive through the foothills of the Rocky’s.

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We followed 31 north through the mountains and eventually stopped to have lunch at Miramonte Lake.

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After lunch we continued north.

Along a short stretch we noticed these Aspens were already turning yellow. A sign of an early fall? Or some blight?

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Here we are dropping into another beautiful valley.

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Eventually we came back to the pavement and followed scenic highway 141. Still going north.

It was getting late in the day and we were looking for some place off the highway to camp. We had already tried one place but it was too windy so we moved on.
As we were driving along side the San Miguel River I was watching for a river access road.
Finally I saw it, a two track dirt trail going toward the river. We turned around and drove down the track. At the end was a good flat spot with room enough for both vans.

Miraculously, when we stopped the van it was perfectly level.

We put out the chairs and started enjoying the view of the cliffs across the river.

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After short time I noticed something black making its way down the slope across the river. It turned out to be a young black bear.

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This bear continued past us and went on up river.

A short time later I spotted another bear higher up on the mountain. He appeared to be about the same size as the first one.
We think it may have been following the first bear.
The wind was blowing in the bears direction and it had apparently gotten our scent so it turned around and left the area.

This bear was too far for our camera but you can see it on Bob’s Blog. At Bob's Eyes

Bob and I walked through the brush to the river to see what it was like. What you can see of the river looks, not to fast and not to deep and not to wide.

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As you may imagine, most of the conversation this evening concerned bears.

The evening was kind of placid; no storms, no flashy sunset, just the sound of the river, the crickets and the Mosquitos.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Long Road Home. Day 2.


Bob is Sick Again.

I got up fairly early this morning and after breakfast I was working on the blog when Bob crawled out of his van. He said that he felt crappy. Headache, nausea, etc.  After about a half hour he went back to bed  for a while.
After the rest he felt like he could drive just fine so we got going around 10:30

We decided that we needed to get Bob out of the mountains as soon as possible. We thought that we would go to Grand Junction and catch I-70 heading west.

We got underway heading north on 32.

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Bob’s Better.

We stopped for a break a couple hours later and Bob said that he felt good and wanted to continue with our original plan. Not just go home.

Back on the Road.

We were on 491 heading for Ship Rock, NM.

As we approached Ship Rock there were several large rock formations around but I still don’t know which one is the Ship Rock.

Is it this one?

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Or this one?

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Or maybe this one?

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I don’t know which one it is but they are pretty amazing.

No Motel in Ship Rock.

We were going to stop at Ship Rock but couldn’t find a motel so we continued on to Cortez, Colorado where we stopped at the Ute Mountain Casino just south of Cortez.

We had a good supper at Kuchu’s Restaurant in the casino.

We are pretty exhausted from the last 22 days of driving.

Tomorrow will be another long day.

The Long Road Home. Day 1


Cows and Fly’s

We woke up to a nice morning. There were still storm clouds way off to the east but the sun was warm.
I was sitting on my chair outside the van trying to catch up with the blog.
I wasn’t being bothered by flies or any other bugs so it was quite pleasant. Pretty soon I noticed an increase in the fly population. Then I heard a “mooo!” and looked up to see a small herd of about 20 cows heading our way.
They came to the opening of the corral and bunched up outside. It was obvious that they wanted to get to the salt licks in the corral.
By this time the flies were intolerable so we packed up and left the corral to cows and the flies.
The cows were covered with flies and there was a large cloud of the beasts hovering around the herd.

Antelope Race.

As we were driving north on the dirt road we saw a doe Antelope catching up to us on our right. I attempted to keep up with her so Patti could get some pictures.

IMG_8101I clocked her at about 35 MPH before she got tired of the game and veered off to the right. A little later she came back and crossed the road right in front of us.
A few miles down the road another Antelope (this one a buck with large horns) came from nowhere and crossed only feet in front of the van. We all were lucky we didn’t collide. Although I have heard that Antelope is pretty good eating.

A Tortoise.

A little farther down the road we saw a small Tortoise on the road.

We stopped for pictures and to make sure he got off the road safely.

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It was a pretty active little Tortoise and scampered off the road of its own accord.

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Back on Pavement.

We continued along the dirt road until we got to Highway 90. We followed 90 to Silver City where we stopped to do some shopping at Albertsons.
We got what we needed at the store, had our lunch in the parking lot and once I had the tires on the van pumped up to highway pressure, we were ready to head north.
We got on highway 180 going north. It is a good 2 lane that goes through a little more arid country than we have seen in a while.

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We stayed on 180 until we got to 12 were we turned right. We followed 12 to 32 where we turned north again.
We drove along slowly looking for a side road. Unfortunately most of the land on the left side of the Highway is private. There is some
National Forest on the right side but it comes and goes.
We stopped in a wide spot to let a truck get by us. Just as we were leaving Bob noticed a gate with no lock only a sign saying please close the gate, going into the forest.  We went through the gate and closed it. About half a mile up this little road we found a good spot to camp.

IMGP1576It sprinkled a little when we first arrived but after a while the rain stopped and we had no more during the night.

Run For The Border. Day 20, CDT


The last Leg.

The trail from Silver City to the Mexican border is about 30 miles of good dirt road and 100 miles of pavement.

We left Silver City around 9:00 and headed south on 90.

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Eventually we turn off the highway onto Separ Rd., a good dirt road.

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We followed Separ for several miles through lush green desert.

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With some great views along the way.

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As we were driving south Patti, Bob and I were keeping an eye out for a camp spot for the trip back north.
There weren’t many good spots but we did see a coral with a broken windmill a short distance off the road so we kept that in mind.

Separ Road tees into Gage Rd, here we took a right and continued toward Mexico.

Interesting Trees.

I think these are Yucca’s. They are so big they look like Joshua Trees or maybe they are Joshua Trees.

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After checking out the tree we continued down the road.

Eventually we came to I-10 where we drove under the freeway and onto a frontage road.

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Just a little ways on the frontage road we came to…

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They didn’t have any Continental Divide Memorabilia so we didn’t stay long.

Lets Get to the Border.

We left the trading post and followed the frontage road east until we got to Highway 146 to Hachita and Antelope Wells.

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When you look at these pictures of the roads before us, you have to remember that this is The Continental Divide Mountain Bike Trail.
People actually ride bicycles the whole way. Amazing!!

The last Crossing.

We stopped for pictures of the last time we will cross the Divide on the trail. We won’t count the crossings we make on the way home.
Therefore this is our 46th crossing of the Continental Divide.

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Hachita.

We drove through the little town of Hachita. There ain’t much there.

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Even the churches are in disrepair.

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At Hachita we got on Highway 81 and made our last dash for the border.

A Coming Storm.

As we were driving south we could see these ominous clouds forming.

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It looks like we might get some weather today.

At the Border.

When we arrived at the border there were some bikers there just finishing their adventure. It took them two months to make the trip. We did it in our vans and jeep in 20 days.
Bikers We Salute You!!!

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We took the required snap shots for the end of any expedition of any worth…

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Congratulated ourselves on a job well done and headed north.

Not too far from the border the Thunderstorms caught up with us and it rained real hard for a while.

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We drove out from under the storm and things were nice and dry back in Hachita.

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Parting Ways.

We parted with Dennis and Cheryl after getting gas at the Hachita store. They were heading west toward Yuma, AZ and we were heading north
We said our goodbye's with hugs and hearty handshakes and promises to meet in AZ in the fall.

Heading North.

We retraced our route back to the camp spot we saw by the coral.  It was nice and level inside the corral, all the cow droppings were dried out and there were very few flies so we figured that the cows weren’t using this corral at this time. We setup camp (opened the side doors and set out the chairs.)

Lightening storms.

We sat in the shade of the van facing east and watched storms forming to the north, east and south of us.

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Interesting Plants.

There were some strange plants growing in the area and most had stickers.

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Another interesting plant was a Gord or Squash or maybe a Mellon growing along the fence and spread along the ground in several spots.

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Here is a picture of the flower and a small fruit forming.

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The storms keep building.

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The first act of the real show starts at sunset. This time the western sky has very few clouds but the setting sun paints the storm clouds with vibrant color.

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Here is a shot of the tank and broken windmill with a fisheye setting on the camera.

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Of course the real show happened after dark when the lightening flashes lit up the sky. Unfortunately with our camera’s, catching a picture of a lightening strike is next to impossible.

Even though the lightening flashed all round us and the thunder rolled we didn’t get a drop of rain out of these storms.

CDT Trip Facts.

Okay, It has been called to my attention that I should give you some stats from out Continental Divide trip.

From the Canadian border to the Mexican border we traveled
2,586.5 Miles.
We crossed the Continental Divide, 46 times.
Off road we covered 1,298.4 Miles.
On Pavement we went, 1,288.0.

We traveled 85 to 90 % of the actual Continental Divide Bike Trail.

What a trip! Now we have to get home.