Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Walk around Lindenwood Park

We arrived in Fargo, North Dakota yesterday about 2:30. 

 Thank you Gordon for telling us about this RV Park and encouraging us to park on the upper level.  We got the last spot available in the upper level. The lower level was flooded three times this past winter by the Red River and opened to campers only the first of July.

This is Joe's cousin Larry. He met us on the freeway exit ramp and led us right in to the park! They have had a great time getting caught up on all the years they haven't seen each other.

This evening Larry and his wife Donna took us to the  TNT Diner in West Fargo. Their daughter Pam,  and their nephew James, Jr. from Hawaii, joined us also. Good old fashion home cooked food with a 50's decor.  So good in fact, Tom Hanks and family flew in to West Fargo and had breakfast there back in 2012.  

After we got back to the campgrounds we went for a walk. A really long walk to the walking bridge. We walked from North Dakota across the bridge to Moorehead, Minnesota. :)

The Red River. It looks calm enough, but we were warned it has a very strong under tow, and just a few weeks ago someone drowned here at the campgrounds. It really bothered us on our walk that two kiddos, under ten years of age were playing right on the edge of the bank trying to catch a frog. The boy slipped in the mud but didn't fall in and ran back up the hill to clean the mud off, leaving his sister at the river's edge alone. Not a parent or an adult in sight.


We are really enjoying all the beautiful flowers in this park, cared for by just one woman.



Taking a rest after such a long walk


There are a couple of these large play areas in this park

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Taking the back roads through Nebraska to South Sioux City, Nebraska

I didn't know what to expect when we left Sterling, Co early this morning and headed for Nebraska. Mostly all I had heard was how boring the drive would be. 

Well let me tell you when you're on a trip with Joe, it's never boring.  He loves to read maps and plan trips and a GPS is just a nuisance to him. (even though it has helped him out of a few jams in unfamiliar territory) Like today when it sent him to a corn field instead of the campgrounds......

And when something like this yellow crop duster gets mighty close to the road, he really gets excited. So I watch the road and he watches the plane. (not really, we both watch the road and the plane)  Not much traffic on the road we were on anyway.



 There were fields of rolled hay and baled hay,

But this reminded me of a scene right from Europe somewhere.  Why do some of the farmers do it this way in Nebraska?

There were plenty of barns to enjoy,

Long stretches of road that looked like this,

And to my delight, old abandoned houses now and then 

Like these.

There was lots of beef on the hoof in the fields

And I never got tired of the grain silo's or what ever these are called



Seeing these cows ready to become some one's dinner, really bothered me.  I know that's just part of life to a farmer, but it was hot outside and hundred's and hundred's of these poor creatures had to just stand or lay in the dirt.

There were many, beautiful, but simple farm houses, with well manicured yards.

We finally arrived at our destination, Scenic Park Campground in South Sioux City, Nebraska about 8:30 tonight, after the GPS tried to make us camp in a corn field close by. The Missouri River is right in front of is. This is what we see to the Left out the front window,

And The hard Rock Cafe and the Tyson Events Center is directly in front of us on the other side the river,


A view of some of Sioux City,


And a Stern Wheeler, permanently docked which Joe says is a restaurant/casino.
I can't wait to get back on the road again Tuesday morning and see what he has planned for going up through the eastern part of South Dakota and on to West Fargo, North Dakota where the Graffis Family reunion is being held next Sunday.  Anyone ever heard of Walcott, ND?  :P

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Mountain Passes, Dark Storm Clouds and Beautiful Sunsets

In the last couple of days we have gone over two huge passes. The first was the Wolf Creek Pass from Durango to Gunnison, Colorado, elevation 10,856. 
Then today we had to cross Monarch pass, elevation 11,312
 
Both were beautiful

Now there is a little story to these very dark storm clouds..... We saw them miles away. We even received a flash flood alert on our weather bug on the iPhone. but Joe kept telling me we would be turning East soon and it would be blue skies. I had been praying to myself Lord, make them go a different direction.


As we got closer to Colorado Springs, it got worse...I kept praying... 
The clouds got darker... I kept praying

Joe kept one eye on the road and one eye on those clouds...and I kept praying.  We still had 147 miles to North Platte, Nebraska, our intended destination for the night. But in Sterling, he stopped for gas and said he thought we should call it a day and look for a RV Park.We didn't have to look. There was an RV Park right next To the gas station. WHAT???? I wanted to out run that storm. I really, really, don't like thunder and lightning.  I didn't pitch a fit, but I sure didn't want to stop. I said fine. While you're getting things hooked up, I'm going to close all the shades, turn on the A/C ( it was 96) and put  my ear plugs in so I don't have to see or hear what was going to happen outside... I showered, got supper, got things ready for an early start in the morning. I went outside to  hang up a wet towel on our back ladder, and came running back inside. (Joe had already come in) I told him to grab the camera and come outside.  
All the storm clouds had gone away, and this most incredible sunset had taken their place.

It was so bright it reflected on the window of our rig.

And here, I thought the Lord was ignoring my prayers, Not.....He just did it HIS way.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Canyons, Canyons Canyons.

We were having so much fun exploring the Canyons of Utah, I was too tired to sit down at the end of the day and work with the pictures we took. How do you narrow down over 2500 pictures into a handful for a blog.  I just couldn't. So here are a few pictures from Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon, Canyon Lands, Arches and Needles................. Please remember to click on the pictures to enlarge them.



We took the Zion Tram to see a portion of the canyon that is not open to traffic. But the rest of the time Joe drove our car.  

The five days we were there the temps during the day ranged from 100 to 106 degrees.  Nights cooled off to high 80's One night even with the a/c on I couldn't sleep. I looked at the outside thermometer and it was 92 degrees at 2:30 in the morning.

We have an America The Beautiful Senior pass. It's the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass and boy have we used it!!




Balanced Rock at Arches National Park.  This seems to be one of Joe's favorite ones because he sure took enough pictures of it!



~~~~~~~~~

Wednesday we moved on to Durango, Colorado in preparation to ride the Narrow Gauge Durango to Silverton Steam Engine Train    And what a ride it was!!

Letting passengers off so they could do some river rafting on the Colorado.

 For a round trip to Silverton a fireman shovels about six tons of coal per day!

The train takes on water twice going up the mountain to Silverton. On a round trip, ten thousand gallons of water are used to produce the steam to power the locomotive!




 An old abandoned mine

Three trains a day go to Silverton from Durango. Here, Our train has just arrived and the 2nd train of the day is about to leave.  The 8:00 am train is already on its way back down the mountain. So it is a little chaotic to say the least. People milling around, looking for a place to eat (there are plenty) and places to spend their money on gifts (plenty of those too)




We ate at Natalia's 1912 restaurant.  We had a lunch buffet and felt we got our money's worth. Even though they were very busy, the service was great. Three trains, with approximately 300 passengers each , needing to eat somewhere,  between 11:00AM and 2:00 PM........ I think the key there is, there were plenty of eateries and plenty employees to take care of everyone quickly.


Some rode the train up and the bus back to Durango. Same price either way.


Taking on more water.  I want to add here, at the beginning of the trip, we were warned that there was a possibility tiny hot cinders from the engine could get in our eyes if we didn't wear some type of protection. The lady in front of us, had sun glasses but didn't have them on and did get one in her eye. With eye wash, she was OK but the conductor said there have been instances when the person would have to go to the medical clinic in Silverton to be treated before getting on the train back home.  We were in a coach but all the windows were open and she had been sticking her head out the window to see better and take pictures.


I don't have a clue how deep the canyon is but I can tell you it terrified me to look out the window over the edge down into that canyon..... Joe took most of the pictures 

Beautiful, Beautiful, scenery coming and going.