Thursday, June 30, 2011


Oh boy! Oh boy! When you start out that way, you know it’s something really bad or really good, in this case, it’s really good! We’re in Idaho, in an RV Park on Interstate 95 somewhere between McCall and Riggins; Riggins being the “whitewater capital of the world” and named after a mailman. Actually, in 1850 it was named “Gouge Eye City” after a bar fight with a similar result. Anyway, the main activities here are salmon fishing, off-roading, and rafting. We’ve taken 2 very exciting off-road trips in the Jeep with some other “Jeepsters” over the last 2 days; way up in the surrounding mountains into the snow which is still on the ground. Our RV park, on the banks of the Little Salmon River is at 1,500’ and our wonderful filthy silver jeep climbed to 6,000’ feet today, climbing rocky outcroppings and crossing thru muddy water. I drive the Jeep up and Peter takes it down. We’ve had to deflate the tires so the poor thing can crawl up and down steep, rocky places, then we inflate them when we get back to the park. You can see from the off-road pix….don’t look down! There are many trails we've not been able to explore because of the immense amount of snow that fell this year that hasn't melted.

If we wish to fish for salmon we have to buy a license -$38 each for 3 days, and all the fishing gear - $100+ for decent stuff, plus the $5.00 for roe…..actually they are biting big time and on anything. Considering the Payute Indians are catching them with nets and selling them just up the highway for $20/fish, I think we’ll support the Payutes! More later.....

Canyon Pines RV Park
From high-up off roading!

 Stopped for the view.

Up about 5,000'

 The Escapee Offroad Gang!

A panorama shot

At the snow-line offroading

The Little Salmon..our RV Park!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Toot, toot, Chug, Chug Pictures

Here are pictures from previous blog. I guess it was too much of a load for the posting!

 #833 steam engine

 #26 most powerful diesel ever built

 Union Station Platform Ogden, UT

 Old Town Ogden, UT

 Engineer Peter #833

Waiting room Union Station

Toot, Toot, Chug, Chug

We're in a nice little RV Park in Ogden, UT at the moment which is a main street town with several fairly challenging ski areas, two of them helicopter available so some die-hards are still skiing! Ogden's big draw is the Union Pacific train station, now a museum, and all of the train read on, if you wish.....Sybil's version!

About 1862 President Grant offered bonds and land/mile to any entity that would lay train tracks from the east coast to Nevada, and the same for any other entity that would finish from the west coast. So the Central Pacific RR Co. headed west and the Union Pacific RR Co. headed east. Now the UP (that would be the Big Four RR Barons and Brigham Young) had the crappy job of getting over Donner Pass. Thrown into the mix were 1,000's of European immigrants who were hired on by CP to lay track who then discovered that once they got their first pay check they could get drunk and go look for gold so the more reliable Chinese were's that for a short summary of RR labor? Anyway, the CP and UP were in heavy competition, moving everyday at lightening speed to lay the track, taking bets with each other, etc. Since there was bond money and land involved and these guys weren't stupid, instead of stopping where they would meet, they just kept going, bypassing each other for around 100 miles each way! Now President Grant and his boys in Washington, not having thought this out too well, had to freeze the ante until they agreed on a location to meet and join tracks.........and that, you all, is how Ogden, UT (or then known as Junction City) was put on the map and we got to spend the day at the museum! The actually joining occurred 50 miles NW of Ogden where the gold spike was driven to celebrate the completion of the transcontinental RR. Eventually, Rio Grande RR purchased CP, then UP bought it all out and the gold spike lies in the UP Museum somewhere.

We saw some super old trains (see pix); #833 is a steam engine (complete with "elephant ears" to keep the fumes blowing upwards over the train rather than aphixiate the crew!) built around 1880 and retired from service in 1961. She (trains are always "she's" I guess?!) weighed 225 tons and carried over 24,000 gallons of water plus all that coal. #26 is a yellow Union Pacific diesel engine built in 1961 and retired in 1984 after over one million miles of service. She weighed about the same, held around 24,000 gallons of diesel fuel and so powerful (actually the most powerful locomotive ever built) she could pull 7 miles of cars....yikes!

The museum also houses a classic American car display of about 30 cars 1925-35 vintage, and a antique gun/ammunition display.

More later......we're having a good ol' time!

Sybil & Peter

PS: Wasn't able to download pics, hopefully, they will follow.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mosquitoes and Mormons!

We pulled into this very pretty RV park in Provo, hooked up and decided to take a walk along the posted "River Walk". We hadn't gone 50 feet when we found ourselves covered with mosquitoes and took off down the bank back to the RV and nursed our wounds, abaut 20 bites each....yuck!
However, there are snow-capped mountains everywhere due to the vast amount of snow Utah had this year and the scenery is beautiful. We drove around BYU campus yesterday and it started pouring last night but we managed to get ourselves up at 6AM so we could drive, in the rain, 45 miles to the Mormon Tabernacle Sunday broadcast in Salt Lake City. Wow, wow...what a bucket list item that is! They've been broadcasting 1/2 hour every Sunday morning at 9:30AM all over the world since 1929. There must be 250 in the choir, 1/2 each men and women; the men all wearing black suits, white shirts and red ties; the women in blue robes and each wearing a thin necklace chain that shimmered as they sang. Accompanying the choir was an orchestra of probably 100, mostly strings and the fabulous organ! The audience was packed, the place probably seats 600-800 and most of us were first timers. The choir sang a few light-weight religious songs then "Sunrise, Sunset" from Fiddler and a rousing "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands". The audience had to be very still until the broadcast finished then there was a huge, loud standing ovation. The whole thing was truly glorious, we loved it, even the attempted prosyletizing by the hosts afterwards! We then had a huge breakfast at SLC's famous Market Grill.
Tomorrow we go up the road to Ogden for a few nights.
It's still raining.....more later!
 Mormon Tabernacle
 The Narrows at Zion
 Sevier River
 Lakeside RV Park
View from RV Park

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Leaving Zion...Hello, Bryce Canyon!

What beautiful country this is! We are so lucky to be able to see it in our rolling summer home! Zion is a beautiful narrow canyon while Brice is wide open and more desert-like. The cliffs and stone formations are awesome shapes, all golden and red from the iron deposits. Both parks are so very well organized and all the facilities are up-to-date and clean....the rangers really care about our national parks. Peter has a lifetime senior pass he purchased for almost nothing a few years ago and it has saved us hundreds of dollars in admission fees, around $25/day/vehicle. We've taken a few hikes, 2-3 miles but it is hard here because the elevation is 7,000-9,000 feet.
We're leaving tomorrow morning for Provo where we'll stay for 3 days. More later!

Sybil & Peter

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wind, Bad Roads & Beautiful Zion!

A very hairy drive thru northern AZ and southern UT on bad roads and lots of wind. Sybil's last half of the day driving found the RV blown by a large gust onto the other side of the 2 lane road......fortunately, no one was coming the other, no, no, we are NOT too old to be doing this! We finally made it to Zion Park headquarters on the east side and had to unhook the jeep and drive both vehicles separately 16 miles and a 6,000 foot descent down the twisty access road thru 2 long tunnels.......but, we are here, it is awesomely lovely, we are hiking a bit and just enjoying the scenery!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Take Off Day!

We leave Wednesday, 6/8 in our RV to tour the Northwest US via Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Wyoming arriving home in mid-September. We will be towing our Jeep Wrangler to do some off-roading; some river rafting and fishing on the Little Salmon River. We'll visit Zion and Bryce National Parks. Sybil will trace ancestors and any remaining family in Kellogg, ID. We'll attend a Good Sam Rally in Redmond, OR and amble over to Flathead Lake and Glacier National Park in Montana. We expect to have some adventures and will keep you posted along the way!