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First Stop  7/26/00 Marshal IL, National Trails, $11

Day two Downtown St. Louis, Mo
Great exposition at the Arch
Saw first antelope, I-70 road kill

Day 3  St. Joseph, Mo
End of the Line for the Pony Express    
    Started 1860, Telegraph replaced in 1861,
    Transcontinental railroad completed 1869

Day 4  St. Joseph Mo (Beacon RV Rt.169)
Wandered the sites, Washed Jeep, Bought more stuff.

7/30 &31 Council Bluff (Bluff Run Casino $16) 
Western Historic Trails Center 
Continental profile of trails west ----->>>>>
Excellent exhibition about trails
Walked to rivers edge
Bike ride to Lake Manawa
A stone carved to replicate the elevation profile of the western  trails crossing the country.
More sights, More Bike riding
Appointment to get RV fixed tomorrow across river in Omaha NE
8/2/00 Got RV fixed, drove to Sioux Falls
Now the West begins, I head for the Black Hills,


Made progress today, a little over 1200 feet to be exact, in elevation that is, about 300 miles.

Made it to the Badlands, ready to do a casual week in the Black Hills, but wait, why did 8521 motorcycles pass me?

It is Sturgis Week; how many ways can a motorcycle get to Sturgis? I have seen all the ways by land, I expect some are being flown in. So I’ll have to fit in a side trip, maybe I’ll meet the Hell’s Angels. I have not met anyone on I-90 that is not going to Sturgis.

I  get lots of compliments on my Jeep, even the "Harley" boys.

8/4/00 Took extended Badlands tour, parked the RV and took Christine for a spin up Shady Mountain, but forgot camera.  The whole Black Hills is full of Motorcycles Had dinner at the base of Mount Rushmore 08040002.jpg (189005 bytes)
8/5/00 The storm passed overhead last night and hit the Badlands, where I was the night before  Today we visited Deadwood and Sturgis  Devils Tower, very interesting, some kids climbing the Tower, the record to the top is a free climb of 18 minutes., I just walked around, 1.5 miles. Dust and more dust, it gets in your teeth, I keep forgetting to close the Jeeps vents, in may fill up with dust, had to spray off the engine last night.. How the cowboys can wear a hat on the plains is beyond me. 08050006.jpg (202384 bytes)


Started of today by going up the wrong road, had to unhitch and turnaround one at a time, first time for this. Then   went to Custer’s last stand, a park ranger dramatically told the story, he could point and make you believe you could see the battle.  Had to unhook again, second time for this act.  A Bambi Mule deer tried to get in front of the RV, lots of horn and brakes, he got away.  Then a lady pulled up beside me and says “ Hay you ‘all lost your bike, it is back at the Subway, ……cheap Jap bolt.
Made Great Falls, going to stay here for a while.


A rest day.
Went to Great Falls L&C Interpretive Center, did grocery shopping, Did laundry, went to Applebee’s.
Tomorrow it’s to Glacier National Park. Overnight delivery is due tomorrow, Memberships & License plates.


Did Glacier, drove across “ The Road to the Sun”, just some of the spectacular views in the West. Day went well but Christine broke an exhaust pipe, so we will try to fix today.  My Express Mail package did not come, it is in Billings.
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Got the overnight, did not loose anytime since had to fix exhaust, a little tin foil, bailing wire and fiberglass and it is acceptable.  Had to turn back east due to smoke, and fire, so I am working on a new plan, will try for Yellowstone.  The Governor closed the southwest corner of the state, what ever that means, but that is where Dillon is and the L&C 2000 Convention. I am getting cheated; there are no views, can’t take pictures, too much smoke.


Got to West Yellowstone, poked around did some shopping and worked some more on the Jeep, had to go with tin can and some hose clamps.  Temperatures go down to 40.


Today we will do Yellowstone Park, one loop anyhow. 

It was a picture perfect day; deep blue skies, Green meadows, and clear brooks reflecting the sky making them blue brooks. Old Faithful was a minute early. I was there but the only guys that spoke English rode Harleys. The strangest animal I saw was human like, with a brownie stuck in his eye, and taking a picture of and Elk or Bison, about a quarter mile away.  Yellowstone is oversold, to me anyhow; this is no Blue Ridge Parkway.


We are of to the Grand Teton National Park. I took boat ride out on Jackson Lake, pretty day but the smoke is back. Then I drove on to Jackson WY.;  I just came over Teton Pass,8600 ft, straight up( 10% grade warnings). There is a RV repair shop at the base of the mountain, and it looks like there is a backlog of work, but we have to find out what this little Chevy can do, not bad held 30 mph in #2 gear. The #2 gear has a built in sound track, is screams ” no, no, no,” all the way up and all the way down. One cannot lose their breaks on this hill; I came down in 1st gear.  But I saw a pretty little camp ground, it’s a Good Sam’s so we stopped to regroup, I are going to try to get behind the fires by going to Oregon on 84.
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Today was the day; I walked a mile on the Oregon Trail just west of Fort Hall ID. Sage has overgrown much of it but you could here the chaos of wagons groaning, yelling and gripping, you could see the horses and oxen ., bleeding from mosquito bites. The central plains of ID are lava rock, can’t walk, can’t grow anything, the  trail follows the Snake River.

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Not much progress today, spent too much time at the” National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center” It is very well done, much like the Great Falls Lewis And Clark Interpretive Center. Inspired by their stories of hardship and determination I drove off the trail to make a primitive (no electricity or water) camp for the night. Got my water from a nearby brook, the AC made my Microwaved teriyaki chicken dinner more enjoyable, the morning chill was chased by the furnace coming on
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Mostly on the move today, drove the Columbia River Canyon, very windy; waves, sail boards, power dams, and waterfalls. Should make the coast tomorrow.


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We have arrived, 3845 miles to reach the waters of the Pacific. At Nehalem Bay OR, the weather is perfect and the water is simply cold. Lots of world class sailboards and bikers. Additionally I found Fort Clatsop, a Lewis and Clark 1805 winter layover fort. So the pursuit of both the Oregon Trail and Lewis and Clark Trail are considered complete. I will now move on to the California Gold Rush Trail by head east back mover Donors Pass and on to Salt Lake City and Denver
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35 degrees this morning but the furnace and sun warm it up in a hurry.  300 miles down the road I found Crater Lake, this is a nice spot so I signed up for two days, (Diamond Lake RV Park), weather is great so well take advantage.



Woke up went to Creator Lake National Park, drove the loop, went to pinnacles, did some off the road driving and took boat ride on the lake in the calderas. Had to climb 800 ft cliff from the boat to the Jeep, yep, it was the same cliff I had climbed down. Found answer to age old question, “Why is the lake so blue.”  Great stuff. More  Jeep compliments, so I washed it.


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Went to Diamond lake to ride my bike only to find out that the rear wheel got bent when it fell off the Jeep, so I am now dragging around a big piece of junk.  Been watching yard sales, everybody out here rides a bike and wares a backpack. So we arrived at Klamath  in time to sightsee in the National Redwood Forest, 1500 year old forests. Went for walk, snake went right between my feet.

Now to get out of California, heading for Carson City, then the Salt Flats.

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The great Escape, over the Cascades thru the polluted, jam-packed with people,  Sacramento Valley and across the Sierras to Nevada. You would think that CA with all its high tech companies could make the telephones work; and make gas pumps that work. You have to hold the gas nozzle in the tank, pay inside first, it takes about a half hour to get gas, and then it’s $2.13 for the cheep stuff. They put signs on the road that say “Stay on the Pavement”, now there is a novel idea why didn’t I think of that, my ride would have been so much smoother.  My escape burned up 430 miles, this is too much driving, but had to get away form all the people.

In a given mile the word “DON’T” appears 746 times.


Only went a few miles, to Carson City, wanted to ride old steam engine, last run was yesterday. I poked around their Museum; all their engines were built in Philly, PA. This was the Virginia Truckee RR; it brought the silver from Virginia City to the mint at Carson City, neat stuff

Went to hardware to fix bike rack, and then went to get bike fixed at The Bike Smith Shop. They told me my bike was too small for me, so my new bike will be ready tomorrow at 9am.

Found train is Virginia City, half way up the hill to Virginia City they put a sign that says 15% grade RV not Advised, the steepest I had traveled was 10% grade, What will I do when it stalls, no turn off, certainly no room to turn around, fortunately it made it, so now we know we can do 15% grades, but not likely 16% grade. I had it in low gear and floored, making 7 miles per hour.

Moved on to Elko, Gold mines!

New bike is great, now I have to fix the flat tire on the bike. !

This is the emigrant trail, they followed the Humboldt River, They went way north to go around the mountains, so does I-80. 


Bonneville Salt Flats, WOW, I was the only one there, 44,000 acres for recreation, ever drive 60mph, eyes shut, no hands for 1 minute? You can drive and drive but you don’t seem to get anywhere. Could not find entrance road when ready to leave, fortunately I had punched the GSP before going out on the flat, I could not believe where it took me back too, 10 feet from where I entered, I would have never have found it with out driving around the edge.
All of Utah is a National Park, lots to do and see.

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Stopped in and saw both Jordan and Ivan Radmam, what a hoot, then to Promontory, the golden spike and all. They are having a special program for 1300 of the Harley Davidson boys tomorrow, just my luck. Bad judgment, went through Salt Lake City at 5pm, it took 3 days, then on too Price.  Starting to get interesting, held captive by 5 million mosquitoes, watched a guy make a phone call in the open, looked like keystone cop's ants in the pants routine.

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Visited the Arches National Park, no body speaks English, of course.
Made it to Moab UT, this is the Jeep Mecca of the world, met a guy, Don and his wife Winnie, who live at this camp and Jeeps 180 days a year mostly at Moab. He gave me some trails to start out on, and I bought the accepted Moab Trail bible, so we are ready to go.
Now it starts, Spend 2 hrs programming the computer with GPS trail directions, crash all is lost.
All trails say not passable when wet, guess what is has been doing for two hours. I am going to wait it out, I just have to do this, this is wild Wild County. 
My first trail will be the Chicken Corners Trial, it passes the spot where they filmed the end of Thelma & Louise. If it continues to rain, and it will, it will be a rest day!

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Well as it turned out the rain kept the dust down, Christine and I made it to the end of the trail, and back. GPS give lots of comfort. More perfect weather so we go again tomorrow, off to La Sal Pass and Mt Peale.  This time I am going to remember to fill the gas tank!

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OK, remembered the gas, went on Top of World Trail, no tricks here, tough! tough! place to get to,  just Born to Climb.

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Got done with the Monument Valley, another Indian con, so now we are headed for the Rockies.  This old truck has to get over two passes then it will be flat and clear. I plan to check out Durango and Pikes peek.

 Landed in Cortez CO, nice town 


Up and off to Mesa Verde, 600 year old structures deep in the mountains of southwest Colorado. Then down to road to Durango, where the Rockies appear to block the road,  the storm so black the mountains disappear, the rain and the wind are fierce for 10 minutes. Then up and over Wolf Pass and the continental divide, Should make Colorado Springs tomorrow.

I headed East over the Wolf Pass at 10,400 ft; this has been reduced to a 7% grade, but for 8 miles.
As if darkness, rain and a fierce winds was not enough, I discover that the lights on the RV are messed up, turn on the headlights, and then the rt.  turn signal and every light on and in the RV flashes. I look just like a Christmas tree, but no music.


Camped at South Fork; then caught the last train of the day at Pikes Peak, again perfect weather, then on Limon CO, and good old I-70. I now have 3-4 days of I-70 East!.  The loop will be closed when I blow by KC.  We are sitting at 6600 miles and 35 days, did a mpg check, 8.5 impressed me.

8/31 ...The big story now is the heat, Kansas and Missouri over 100 during the day, had to run the AC all night for the first time. Not much to see, I can smell the barn.
9/1   Friday,  Stopped in Indiana, but full for the Holiday Weekend, so we pushed on home. This place lets you cut your own grass.  Now, to plan the next trip.  Gee,  south for the winter sounds good, or we could do the southwest. But after 8000 miles I need to recharge a little. And a few repairs are always required.  Always looking for good ideas ? ?


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