Yellowstone Adventures, Part 1

Sorry, it has taken so long to post about Yellowstone. It’s just overwhelming trying to pare down what to share because there is SO much beauty. I’ll start with a recap of our phase 2 trip which was from June 6 to July 11, 2017.

In all honesty, phase 2 (Indiana to Wyoming) was a challenging phase for us. And here’s why:

  • The weather was incredibly hot.
  • Kansas and Nebraska were not only hot but like a wind tunnel with very few trees for shade for Mark as he was riding.
  • We both were fighting some health issues.
  • Mountains.

With that said, we finished that phase with a bang in Yellowstone National Park. It was the first time to the park for both of us, and we were overwhelmed by its beauty. My pictures won’t nearly do it justice, but I hope they give you an idea of its majesty.

This was our view in early July a few miles in from the east entrance across the lake. Breathtaking.

Yellowstone

Wind River Canyon, Wyoming

Wyoming is a contrast of stark and lush beauty.

The starkness comes from arid, wide open ranches that stretch as far as the eye can see. Dry, sometimes parched land just begging for a good rainstorm where posted warning signs say “Fire risk: High.”

Then all of the sudden you make a sweeping turn and before you lies the lush beauty of Wind River Canyon. This canyon lies between the towns of Shoshoni and Thermopolis. It’s the kind of beauty that you won’t soon forget. Rock walls rise 2500 feet high, towering above the Wind River, which lives up to its name.

Chimney Rock, Nebraska

Chimney Rock in Bayard, Nebraska, is a place rich in history and stark beauty. The Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail, the Deadwood Trail, and the Pony Express all passed through this area.

Historical significance

As we were hiking to see this rock formation, we first encountered Chimney Rock Cemetery. The owner of the Chimney Rock Pioneer Crossing RV park where we stayed told us to be sure to visit it to see the graves of pioneers whose lives ended before they reached their destination. It was a reminder of the dedication and spirit of adventure of the early settlers.

Lesson Learned

The first week of our trip, Mark and I had a bit of bad luck.

For example, on the third day Mark got a flat tire. On the fourth day the travel trailer flatted out on a really busy road. If you haven’t read that story, you can find it here. So by the time we pulled into our campsite at the end of the fourth day, we were beat. So much so that we decided to stay there two nights. We were in the Tampa area at the time, which meant we were fighting through busy-city traffic. Even our RV campground was in the middle of a city street with a 7-11 just across the road from us.

Consequently, the next day we lazed about not feeling motivated to do much of anything in such a congested area. Finally that evening shortly before dusk, we roused ourselves to take a walk. We set out in the opposite direction of the 7-11 and hadn’t walked but a half-block when we crossed a beautiful large paved bike path.

If only we’d know that was there, we would have been on our bikes exploring it during the day! We weren’t too happy with ourselves that we had missed that opportunity. Later, we found out it was the popular Pinellas Trail, which is 44 miles long.

We kept walking and very quickly walked out of the busy section into a quiet neighborhood. We turned the corner and ran right smack into the coolest section of antique stores, restaurants, ice cream and confectionary stores, and boutiques. Just the type of places I love to explore!

But now the shops were all closed because it was after 5 p.m., and we’d already eaten dinner, so we’d also missed the option of the restaurants. We were really ticked off at ourselves because we hadn’t made any effort to explore the area around us.

We discovered this area was called Ozona when we passed this quaint village hall.

At this point, we saw signs that said “Beach ➜,” so we followed them and just down the block was a beautiful marina and beach. We were able to catch the sunset, which was lovely, but the day could have been so much more.

 

Lesson learned: When the tag line of your blog says “adventure is all around us,” maybe we’d better be sure to explore a place before writing it off as being boring!

Kick up some dust!

Five Days Straight in the Saddle!

Monday, April 17 thru Friday, April 21: 320 miles starting in Old Town, Florida, to Eufaula, Alabama

Here are some random thoughts from the bike saddle (which is torturing me) on week 2:

Florida: Once I biked out of Tampa into the heartland of this state I found it very desolate. Some logging industry was evident, but I had periods of riding for over one hour without seeing a car, home or person. I checked out the Goethe State forest by riding through it, but I did not find much.

Gorgeous Rainbow Springs

Revelation: Adventure Isn’t Easy

Today was quite the day. We started out in Sun Palms, Florida, at the Tampa South RV Resort. The staff there is stellar and were amazing at helping this trailer-towing newbie. Will and Brian helped me with everything from hitching and unhitching to giving me all kinds of useful pointers on easier ways to do things. Thank you!

So I set off down the road in good cheer for Palm Harbor and the first thing I hear from the GPS are the dreaded words “Do a U-turn.” There’s no doing a U-turn when you’re towing a camper with only two lanes to U-turn it. That set me into a minor panic because the GPS kept blathering “do a U-turn” every five seconds, while I knew I had to find a street to turn on where I could do a square to get back on the highway headed in the opposite direction. I picked a road, praying it would lead to highway access, and fortunately it did. Both Miss GPS and I calmed down. Progress.

Ready to Kick Up Some Dust?

Welcome to Kick Up Some Dust!

Mark and Jane

We’re a husband and wife who are ready to kick up some dust by biking across the country. That is, Mark will be doing the biking and Jane will be pulling the trailer and doing a “little” biking on the side and some hiking too.

Along the way we hope to slow down and explore all the side roads and little towns we’ve never had time to do before (that Jane always wanted to do and Mark not so much).

This trip is a bucket-list item for Mark. You see, it kind of runs in the family.