Monday, August 14, 2017

A Sunday Drive Across South Dakota

Sunday, August 13, 2017

     On our way home now, but still a day to take in a number of sights and activities. The Badlands, the Dignity Sculpture at Chamberlain, and the Corn Palace in Mitchell.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Saturday in the Black Hills

Saturday, August 12, 2017

     Decided that we would just head out and explore the Black Hills to kind of see what we wanted to do and how many bikers were still around. First stop was Hill City, and even though it was still early, lots of bikers. I should explain for those who might not be aware, the past 10 days have been The Sturgis Harley Rally (77 annual). There are literally 100,000 bikers in and around the entire Black Hills.
     After walking around Hill City, we drove over to Crazy Horse Monument, but didn't go in. Then it was on to Custer. Found a few things that were different, but certainly much that we remembered. One of the best was, The Purple Pie Place. Had two very large and delicious pieces of Strawberry-Rhubarb.
     Drove up to Sylvan Lake and went by the cabin. It didn't appear that anyone was at the cabin, but we decided to move on. We drove up over the Needles Highway and around Custer State Park. On the upper end of the Needles we saw two mountain goats, I have never seen goats this close to the cabin.
     The Hills were very green and it appears that there has been plenty of rain. The temperatures while we have been here are really nice; high in the low 70's.
     We finished our trip through the Hills by going past Mt. Rushmore. Didn't go into the monument as the lines to just get to the gate was backed up in three lines. Stopped at a few over looks and took a few photos.
Bikers lined up on the street in Hill City
Sculpture of Hose outside of Hill City shop
Four of the sculptures of Buffalo in Custer 
                                                                          Mountain Goats 

                                                                           The Spires 
Mt. Rushmore and Bikers


Spokane to Missoula

Thursday, August 10, 2017

     Thursday was planned to be a shorter travel day that would end at Missoula, MT. Our friends Fred and Jackie Claussen have lived in Missoula for many years and we were looking forward to getting to see them.
     On the way across ID, we stopped at Wallace Idaho which is a very historic mining, railroad town that has been in existence since the 1884The smoke from Forest fires was very thick and we felt like we were experiencing a large camp fire.


     As we were approaching Missoula, the smoke was even thicker and at one point we were driving through a fire area. In Missoula, Fred told us that there are three fires burning in the mountains around them. None are close enough to be a threat at this time.
     Had a wonderful dinner and talk at a Brew-Pub up in the hills with Fred and Jackie.

     Friday August 11th will prove to be a long drive of 12 hours as we are going to make the trip to Rapid City, 660 miles. The next Blog will be after our day in the Black Hills.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Mt. St. Helens

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

     We left Portland around 9:00 am on Wednesday heading north to visit the Mt. St. Helens visitor center on our way to Spokane. When we got to the center, we realized that we needed to visit the upper National Parks Center which is 55 miles up highway 505 and then 55 miles down again so that you can continue on. A trip that was well worth it. Unfortunately, the smoke from the forest fires was pretty thick and obscured some of the views.
     We ended up with a long day and didn't get into Spokane until about 9:45 that night. The trip of White Pass was beautiful, but again the air was filled with smoke.

The Toutle River Valley, Which was flooded by massive amounts of ash, debris and water. This valley is currently filled from 100 to 150 feet of ash and debris.
More pictures to come, when I have a chance to download and process camera shots.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Last Full Day In Portland

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Trip To Cannon Beach

On our last full day in Portland, we decided to go out to Cannon Beach. It is a nice trip thru the Coastal Mountain Range with the temperature dropping as we drove. When we arrived at the beach, the temp. was in the 60's and there was some fog.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Downtown Porland, OR

Monday August 7, 2017

     This was Jean and Gary's last day with us and we decided to do some things in the downtown. Our first stop was The Oregon Historic Society. We were able to get caught up on Oregon history and to visit an Oregon Historic Society special showing on John F Kennedy, with particular emphasis on his connections to Oregon.
     We then visited Powell's Books, which is always a required stop when we are in Portland. It is always a place that never changes very much. (in a good way)
     After our stop at Powell's, we opted for an early dinner at another Thai Restaurant, PaaDees. Very good food and of course good company. Thai food is a favorite of Jean, Gary and Ron, as we have all spent time in Thailand. Jean and Gary during their time in the Peace Corp and Ron during his time in the Air Force.
     Then it was back to Ann's home to spend several hours on the deck with a couple of bottles of wine and fun stories to recount from our days in Nebraska.
                      The Museum Entrance                             A Four Headed "Bubbler"

The homeless situation in Portland is a very large problem and is being addressed in many different ways by different entities. The mayor of Portland opened the city to unrestricted "camping" and The UCC Church, First Congregational, is handling it in a far different way.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Sunday Outing

Sunday Morning, August 6, 2017

     On Sunday, The Group of Five, headed out to explore the Columbia Gorge from the Washington side. We were on a bit of a time constraint, so we had to pick our stops with some care. Most of today's post will be pictorial, with occasional editorial comment. The weather was somewhat cooler, but very hazy due to the smoke from British Columbia fires.

Beacon Rock is the result of a volcanic Basalt Rock tube that has had the surrounding material eroded leaving an 800 ft. rock that was viewed,  discussed and named by the Lewis and Clark exploration.
Dona, Jean and Ann, who travelled and explored the Lewis and Clark trail in 1994, continue their explorations.
A visit from a Steller Jay who was looking for handouts

Salmon and Lampreys heading upriver  

The last two photos above are of the Fish Ladders which allow spawning salmon to get past the many dams that have been constructed on the Columbia.

Some of the road building that had to be completed to enable all of the tourists to travel the Gorge. Hope that these bridges have been inspected recently. This roadway was built in the early 1900's.

Traveling across the Bridge of the Gods from Washington to Oregon.