Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Seattle and cruise preparation
We made the short trip from Moses Lake to Seattle thru the Cascade Mountains which had a great deal of lava rock.  We enjoyed lunch with a raven at a wooded rest stop courtesy of Louisa and Darrell and Subway.  The Lake Pleasant RV Park is very nice and accommodates cruisers by watching their RV while they cruise for $3/day including electric.  It was a tight spot as you can see below, but Carolyn backed it I'm like a pro in one try. We are now awaiting our ride to the ship.  We are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary today, so it is fitting we're cruising, as  we cruised then as  well   Caris said she's ready to have  someone wait on her.
We might not have connectivity, so we'll post as we are able.

Monday, June 19, 2017

An Old Friend, A Time Zone and a Water Slide

On our trip from Glacier to Moses Lake, we passed through Spokane, Washington.  An old scout friend of Dan's  lives in the area so we celebrated Father's Day with Lance and family by meeting them for lunch at "Twigs" in the Spokane Valley Mall.  We miscalculated our arrival due to the time change at the Idaho border, so we got there an hour early.  No worries, as we walked around the mall and went to shops.  It is a decent sized mall with animals you could rent to ride on through the mall and a mall train you could take through the upper level.  We all got $1 massage sitting 4 chairs in a row.  It felt pretty good after the long ride.  We caught up with Lance and Ginger sharing stories of our adventures and seeing how big our kids had grown.  We hadn't been together since we lived on East Brubaker Valley Road in the early '90s (pre-kids).

We arrived at the Moses Lake area and are staying at the Suncrest RV Park.  It is nice and has two waterslides, a large shallow pool and laundry facilities (we did 5 loads).  Dan and Carolyn both went down the waterslide while Mitch worked on Calculus and Caris took a nap.  She wasn't feeling too great when we got here.  At 5AM, Mitch took a call from U of D about fall classes since he'll have to do the late orientation due to the trip.  It is a shorter trip to Seattle (190 miles), so we'll head out about 10:00.  We are on Pacific time, so that is 4 hours later than EST.

We didn't get a lot of pix, but here's what we have.  We added a couple Mitch took that were  from Glacier East.
Idaho ama the infamous time change.

Lake below Kalispell

Bear Grass and a bear in Glacier.

Cool panoramic

Lake St Mary in glacier

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Happy Mistakes and Glaciers

We made a happy mistake, as we were lost in vacation brain.  We thought we were leaving today then realized we booked another night here at Hungry Horse. We took the day to drive to the other side of the park and enter the eastern side of The Road to the Sun.  We rode until it was closed on the eastern side which is about 12 miles.  We found out it is closed due to the threat of avalanche and clearing snow.  The eastern side seems a bit more rugged. We saw the Jackson Glacier and a lot of beautiful  mountains that were closer to the road.  We also saw two black bears and got up close and personal with some snow. The trip around the southern part of the park to the east entrance was just over 80 miles thru windy roads.  It was a beautiful ride with few guide rails and well worth the trip.

Since we had some pix on our phones and some on the camera we didn't post everything yesterday. Here are some pictures of our trip today, some horseback riding ones, and lots of bear grass.

Above - the Jackson Glacier - the snowy one in the middle.
Some selfies

Part of Lake St. Mary

Snow that is melting into the stream on Siyeh Bend

Snowy peaks amid the burned trees from the fire 10 years ago.

Sipeh's Bend - snow melting into a waterfall by the road

Going to the Sun Mountain

The white flowery plant is the bear grass.  
It grows blooms every 5-7 years and is everywhere we go.

The Danekers go horseback riding:
Mitch on Mr. Paint, Dan on Teton, Caris on Waldo, Carolyn on Tank

Bear grass along the path with pretty purple flowers too.

Dan before the ride - looking a bit apprehensive.

Caris at MacDonald lodge playing Fur Elise.  
It was cool - several stopped what they were doing and listened.

Skipping rocks on Lake MacDonald

More Bear Grass
Skipping rocks

The 4 of us hiking near the falls.

Site #39, Closed Road, Murdock’s, and Up A Mountain is easier on a horse than down…

What a great few days!  While it rained and was cool, we had fun and a great campsite.  At Mountain Meadow RV Park in Hungry Horse, MT, site #39 is the best.  It is close to the bath house – which was exceptionally decorated with travertine and stucco.  Our site is secluded with lots of trees and a curious red squirrel that likes cinnamon buns.  Our first night here, we had a campfire, roasted marshmallows, and made s’mores.  Mitch and Carolyn went to a park sponsored “sing” where performers were brought in to entertain.  Dan and Caris stayed back to tend the fire.  Caris practiced her makeup skills on Dan.  Needless to say, he had to wash-up before a late-night run to Wal-Mart.  Carolyn commented that she thought he would fit right in with the Wal-Mart crowd and didn’t need to wash-up.  Because of the predicted dropping temperatures for our horseback ride, we were looking for warmer clothing.
We didn’t find all we needed, but Raymond, a quirky Wal-Mart employee, recommended Murdocks.  They opened early the next day, so we went first thing.  Murdocks, as Raymond says, is Ace Hardware on steroids.  It was pretty awesome and had what we needed to stay warm.
We then went to Glacier National Park.  We stopped at the visitor’s center and learned the Going to the Sun Road – the main road in – was closed 16 miles down the road due to snow.  We traveled as far as we could go and walked the Trail of the Cedars, Saw the MacDonald Waterfall – which roared with water, and walked hiking paths around it.  We also skipped stones on Lake MacDonald and had a great lunch at the MacDonald Lodge on the lake. 
We received a call from the Swan Adventure Company telling us the fire pit they use for the cowboy dinner was flooded and gave us the option to just ride.  After a safety lesson and orientation, we mounted and rode for our three hour tour.  Caris was on “Waldo”, Mitch had a Mustang named “Mr. Paint”, Dan was on a huge methodical “Teton”, and Carolyn was on a good-natured “Tank”.  We road up and down the mountain trails of MT.  Amid thunder, lightning, rain and mud, our guide lead us on through the forest.  We saw bear grass everywhere, which only blooms every 5-7 years.  It is a white flowery type plant that looks like a plant from Dr. Seuss.  We saw hints of bear, but no bear.  It was a true memory making experience.  When we dismounted and wobbled to the car, we traveled back to site #39 for showers and a taco dinner.  We were all bushed so we went to bed at 9:00 PM.  It is an early start to Moses Lake.  We are sad to leave this great site, but know more adventure awaits.

Lake MacDonald

Trail of the Cedars

 Site #39

Friday, June 16, 2017

We're off to Glacier National Park where it is 31 degrees.  We have the nicest campground yet. They had performers  come in last night and we gathered around a fire  and sang songs together. Good fun.  Here's our view below.  Will post more later.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Wind and Laundry
We traveled across route 90 out of South Dakota and into Wyoming then Montana.  Wyoming was full of hills and mountains and off in the distance we could see the snow capped Teton Mountains.  Being on mountain time we're  a little a bit mixed yup with our times... Hungry for dinner at 2:30 and tired at 9:00, but we're slowly adjusting.
With the storms that passed through and we fortunately avoided, there have been a lot of winds from the south west. Driving a camper in the wind can be a white knuckle kind of experience.  When the camper starts to wiggle, the best thing you can do is slow down, which makes the time on the road much longer.  We met a family originally from Georgia who traveled a similar path as us and it took them 11 hours when it should have taken about eight.  We got to our site a bit later than expected but in one piece.  Thanks for the prayers for safe  travel.
We stayed at Osens RV Park and Campground.  It is close to Yellowstone and is in Livingston, MT.  Since it was just a stay to get us to  the next place, we did laundry.   There was a beautiful sunset on the mountain and the chilly air made for good sleeping.  A quick trip to breakfast and a grocery store for Dan and Carolyn while the kids slept in,  and we're  on our way to  Glacier National Park.

Below is the storm we saw off in the distance. You can see it dumping water on the area.

The Tetons

Welcome tho Montana

Big Sky Country