Monday, July 31, 2017

7/31 Update & Too Hot!!

I have not posted recently, mainly because I have not really been sightseeing and have no photos to post.  In any case, here is what I have been doing and some comments on the heat out here. 
  • As you noticed, I spent nearly all of July at high altitudes in Colorado.  This worked out well, for the  most part, but I had a little trouble adjusting to altitude. This time gave me an opportunity to have some work done on my vehicle at a rare Ford dealer willing to work on big vehicles.  Most either have doors too small for my motorhome or don't have the right lift equipment, so I was glad to get some maintenance done.
  • I know this sounds strange, but I had made an appointment with a specialist in Eugene, OR, so I left Colorado on 7/17 and headed further west, stopping for a couple of days to visit with a friend in Salt Lake City and catch up on some shopping.  Then it was on through southern Idaho.  I posted the photos of Twin Falls, ID, on 7/23. 
  • Then I drove almost straight through Idaho and arrived in Eugene, OR, on 7/26.   Basically, it was four days of almost non-stop driving, so few photos and no postings. After so many weeks of driving through arid high desert, it was nice to see some trees.  Here are just a few photos of the last day of my drive. 
This is approaching Bend, OR, one of the prettiest places in central Oregon. 

 Much of this area is volcanic, so it is not unusual to see piles of volcanic rock along roads.
 Lots and lots of trees!

 Elevation is lower and trees are much bigger than they were in the areas I was staying in Colorado. 
For the last few days, I have been just relaxing in Eugene. I am in a very nice county campground with full hookups, good cell service, and few trees so I can get a good satellite signal.  It is also close to town so I've taken a couple of long bike rides to get groceries and a haircut, but also spending a lot of time relaxing.

Now to discuss HEAT!    The last few days, temps have been relatively moderate at around 90, but even that is too much for my old body, so I have been staying inside in the afternoons.  Today, however, it is supposed to get up to 97 and get to 108 tomorrow!  RVs are not well insulated, and my AC will be struggling, but it will at least take off a few degrees from temperatures.  Nights are fine here because they are cool, which makes sleeping nice.

I was planning to go back to Bend today, but I discovered that the campground I was planning on staying at back in Bend had electricity, but no cell service, which means I cannot work there. Also, too many trees so no satellite, and I do like my TV.  I have sometimes driven out each day to get cell service and internet, but it is going to be too hot to do that and also it is a very long drive there to get service. 

Also, I had originally planned to drive south for next weekend to do some dry-camping on the way to Eagle Lake, CA.  (Dry-camping means no hookups and that also means no electricity and no AC.)  The place I had chosen is also going to be very hot this weekend.  I can't imagine what I was thinking several months ago when I decided to do that.  

So, when I realized the hot weather was coming, I went into planning overdrive.  It was really hard to find new places to stay that fit my requirements because this is the busy summer season.  I decided to stay here for a couple more days even with the heat because I had some shade, good internet and satellite, and electricity for AC.  Wednesday, I am going to Bend, but to a campground that has electricity, satellite, and maybe some cell service.  It will be very hot there, but survivable, and I can stay inside and work.  I might have to make a short drive each day, but I am hopeful that won't be necessary.  (Verizon says on their map that they have service, but they lie, and the ranger I called said it is iffy.) 

Sunday, I will have a 300 mile drive to Eagle Lake in northern California near Lassen Volcano National Park, but at least that campground is higher in elevation and likely to be a little cooler.  Wish me luck!!

Oh, and next summer I am going to stay along the Oregon and Washington Coast where it is really cool, maybe even chilly. 


Thursday, July 27, 2017

7/23 Drive through Idaho & the Snake River Canyon

I have traveled several times through Idaho, but always in the northern parts.  This was the first time I have driven through the southern part of the state.  I decided to stop at Twin Falls because I wanted to do some shopping.  Twin Falls is a booming town, at least based on the number of good-sized chain stores.  

Anyway, as I was driving over a bridge into town, I was literally "wowed" by this view!  This is the Snake River Canyon, and I had no idea it even existed.  No time to stay here, but I definitely am putting it on my list!  The river is 500' below the bridge, by the way.  Also, this is very near where Evel Knieval attempted to jump the canyon and failed.  Ooops!  I did not see it, but there is a monument to his jump:

There is a parking area and a place where you can walk down to an observation platform at the north end of the bridge.  This is the view to the east. 

This is a view of the bridge from the observation platform.

And this is a view to the west.  There is a road to get down there and a golf course in the distance, believe it or not, as you can see in the distance. 

A telephoto view of the golf course.  Check out the nearest trap!  

And there were some kayakers below me.  

 This is an interesting place I am definitely coming back to!  Right now, I have to continue to head west to Oregon. 

7/19 Strawberry Bay, UT

I am working my way west to Oregon.  I have been trying to stick to higher altitudes because of the hot summer.  I have not always been successful, however, but I have seen some beautiful scenery.  Strawberry Bay Recreation Area is about 60 miles east of Salt Lake CIty and Provo, UT, in the Uinta-Wasach-Cache Mountains at 7,600 feet in altitude.  It was mostly in the 70s and low 80s while I was there.  We had some rain almost every day, which I did not expect.

The drive in was beautiful.  Note the clouds and approaching rain.

Mostly, there are rolling hills here with a lot of scrub, but hardly any trees. 

And here is the lake!  Or reservoir, I should say.  There are hardly any natural lakes in this area. 

 There are several campgrounds in this area--some have no hookups, but I chose the loop with full hookups, meaning they have water, sewer, and electric.  

Next time I come here, I am going to get a better site so I have a nicer view of the lake.  I took this photo while out on a walk.  

Now here is something funny--I was having satellite problems, so I had to call Dish technical support.  One of the first questions they asked was if I had any trees blocking my satellite dish!  Hardly, since these trees are at least half a mile away.   

I spent a very quiet and relaxing 3 days here, but I am now off to Salt Lake CIty for a couple of days. 

 No photos of Salt Lake City or Provo, but I did some shopping and visited with another lady who is thinking of buying a motorhome but is not sure of the size she wants.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

7/18 The Prehistory Museum, Price, UT

Price is the home of Utah State University Eastern, but as you can tell from this museum, it was once the College of Eastern Utah.  It is a small college, but fully accredited, and they have a really nice museum. 

The museum is divided into two parts--on one side is paleontology and on the other is archeology.  Both sides have a lot of locally found artifacts.   This guy meets you at the entry to the paleontology side.

There is a large paleontology lab where students can work on the various dinosaur bones they have found.  

You can see a student working on the lower-left side of this photo.  I did not want to intrude and take a direct photo of him, but he was busy grinding plaster and excess stone from some bones. 

The next few photos show some of the exhibits.  

This photo was taken from the second floor balcony.  There is also a young man working on a twisted skeleton in the box on the upper right of this photo.  He also was removing plaster and excess stone from around the body. 

Some casts of dinosaur tracks.

The upper floor also had an exhibit of armored dinosaurs.  This one has a shell on its rear, but just spikes on the main part of the body.  The larger one in the back had spikes all over its body.   

This sign describes the larger dinosaur in the back of the above photo. 

This one had a turtle-like shell, but a lot of spines on its head and tail, as well. 

 Here is an armored fish!  It's described in the next picture.

This depicts a saber-toothed cat attacking an ice-age Glyptodont, described in the following photo. 


No wonder it reminds me of a giant armadillo.  Glad modern ones are smaller. 

Giant turtle.

Having left the dinosaurs and the ice age, I walked across to the archeology section.  

It's a little hard to read, but these arrows all have signs showing what tribes made them. 

Most of these artifacts come from the Fremont people, who lived in this area. 

I have never seen an ancient shovel before.  This one had a handle, which is now missing. 

And baskets do not always survive, so these are rare. 

I thought this was interesting.  It shows a net used to capture rabbits.  They made nets that were a couple of hundred feet long and set them up, and then beaters would chase all the rabbits into the nets.  They would dry the meat and tan the skins to use for clothing and blankets.  

This is a model of Kennewick man.  He certainly does not look like most Native Americans. 

 Nicely done Fremont pithouse exhibit.