Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pierre, SD

We made the paper. Pierre, SD, really treated us royally. They let our group of 50 RV take over much of the city park and they sent the reporters out to interview us.

Of course we took more bike rides. From the city park we could bike across the river, to LaFramboise Island or to Farm Island.

We took a river tour on the Capital City Queen.

Be sure and take everything you want when you head down to the dock. It's a long way back to the house.

We even kayaked the Missouri River. It was such a hot day we had lots of fun with the water guns.

The State Capital Bldg. Some took a tour, but I went bike riding instead.

One day we biked out to Ft. Pierre Chouteau. This old bridge is from the 1800s, although it has been moved from its original location.

This is all that is left of the original fort. The fort was not a military fort, but a fur trading fort.

The confluence of the Bad River and the Missouri, where Lewis and Clark met for the first time with the Teton Sioux Indians.

The VFW loved us. They even mentioned us on their menu board.

But then we had about 35 of us for dinner, too.

After dinner, upstairs, we went to the dance. I guess all the ladies were already dancing because Phil and Max had to dance with each other.

And Bob seranaded us with his wonderful bagpipe.

Valentine, NE

Some of us heard about a great river to kayak west of Yankton, so off we headed.

Pictures never do justice to being there, but I loved all the blues and pinks and greens and even yellows in the wildflowers.
The road we chose to follow to Valentine, NE, was called the Outlaw Trail. We even had a brochure highlighting some sights along the way. But we never found one of the highlighted sights. No signs, no distinct directions. I guess they really did not want our tourism anyway.

Why bother having a town with a population of only 1?

This area is called the 'Everglades of Nebraska'.

We saw this eagle on our kayak trip.

We thought these chalk bluffs were pretty neat looking.

We think this is a baby roadrunner. He graciously let us take his picture.

Smith Falls. We wanted to hike here from the kayak trip, but couldn't find anyplace to park our kayaks. Everyone else had the same idea as us.

They had these reliefs on the walls of the downtown buildings in Valentine.

The Cowboy Trail is a 321 mile rail to trail in Nebraska. We did about a 15 mile bike ride just to say we biked the Cowboy Trail.

This bridge on the Cowboy Trail is 1/4 mile long and 148 feet high.

The view off the bridge.

Yankton, SD

Upon leaving Colorado, I headed towards Yankton, SD, where I would be meeting up with some friends on the Missouri River. But on the way I saw the signs of all the recent flooding in the area.

I was detoured because of flooding and I wonder how long after I went by they had to close this highway as well. I found out later the town of Norfolk had been evacuated and one person drowned when this river flooded.

Another view from my window.

While in Yankton some of us went to play laser tag. Having never before played, I had no idea what to expect. When they said we had 15 minutes I thought, "Only 15 minutes, what can you do in that length of time." And by the time we were done I was hoping our 15 minutes would be up quickly. Once I started I never stopped running the whole time. I wonder how many calories I burned?

Another day about 18 of us took a 10 mile bike ride along the river.

We heard about a Czech festival and found this cute town of Tabor.

Some local people even dressed the part.

Waiting for the parade.

We were camped nearby Gavin Point Dam, the final of 6 dams along the Missouri River. We took a tour and were told they could manage all six dams from this one location. Quite impressive.

Colorado in June

I'm going to try and catch my blog up on what I was doing in June and July before going to Oklahoma. First I left Kansas City and headed towards Denver. My oldest grandson was graduating from 8th grade, but more importantly for me, the two of us were taking a road trip together to Rocky Mountain National Park.

My grandson, Joshua, getting his diploma from his Uncle Chris.

Here is Joshua and his friends at their graduation party the next day.

But on Sunday afternoon we headed to Moraine Campground in Rocky Mountain National Park. We spent 5 days and got to do a lot. Here are some of the highlights.

A view looking down at the road which goes from Estes Park to Grand Lake. It is only 35 miles, but usually takes several hours to traverse.

Towards the top you can see their was still snow. They had to clear out 35 ft of snow to open this road. Sometimes this road isn't even open until mid June.

The road was quite fogged in on the way over, but luckily it was cleared off by the time we returned later that afternoon.

This was at the top. I had to forego the great hike behind the visitor center because it was still snowpacked.

I did like this shirt though.

This was the Continental Divide, but again, we couldn't hike it for the snow.

These deer had the traffic stopped.

On the west side of the park, near Grand Lake, you could find Moose.

The moose here stopped traffic as well.

Alberta Falls

Joshua and me in front of the falls. It is a 1 mile hike up to the falls.

We found this snowman along the way up, but it was melted by the time we came back down.

Bear Lake in Glacier Gorge.

Some kind of blue jay and he was so bright. They were all over.

Fern Lake Trail.

This little bunny thought we couldn't see him.

The Pool on the Big Thompson River along the Fern Lake Trail.

Herds of Elk gathered along the meadows on the east side of the park. There are about 900 Elk in the park and an estimated 1200 Elk just outside the park.

Lots of bucks with their beautiful velvet antlers.

We hiked a ways along the Colorado River Trailhead Trail, but found the area to be flooded.

This area is normally not under water. The trail ran alongside this flooded area but we decided it was still too wet. To get to the Colorado River beginnings is a 7 mile hike one way. Someday I want to return and go the whole way.

This deer wandered through our campground one morning.

Not sure which river this is, but it ran below the campground. Of course Joshua had to put his feet in the water to see how cold it was.

We got to see Rocky Mountain Sheep near the area called The Alluvial Fan.

We road out to an area called Beaver Meadows and found this along the way. This was about 2 miles off the main road.

Joshua standing near the falls at The Alluvial Fan. These falls came about in 1982 after the Cascade Lake dam up river broke suddenly. You can still see the effects that the large rush of water created in the area.