The Return Trip Page Three
The early part of the trip can be found on Page one
The Middle part of the trip can be found on Page Two
July 23, 2010
Salmon Lake to Billings, Mt.
We hit the road after breakfast and final farewells. We went through Helena, Mt. which is a nice little town with a beautiful view of the Rocky Mountains. It has rough roads and we got lost but finally found our way.
It's amazing how many motorcycles with either trailers behind, or piled high with stuff we've seen. Also, there are a lot of people on bicycles all loaded down with gear running around out here.
If a person wants to see a pretty stretch of road, you won't find one better than I-90 from Bozeman to Billings, Mt. It goes right through the heart of the Rockys and follows the Yellowstone River for quite a distance. There aren't many tight curves or big hills, but there are snow capped mountains all around you. Grand drive!
We are stopped for the night in W. Billings, Mt. at a motel that has a pool, but not much more going or it. Well, we get what we pay for. Ha. Ha.
Tomorrow we plan to visit the "Little Bighorn Battlefield Memorial". I should be able to post pictures tomorrow night.
July 24, 2010
Billings, Mt. to Wheatland, Wy.
On the road to Wheatland, Wy. We did stop at Bighorn Memorial. It is quite a thing to actually see where history was made. They have a very nice visitors center with movies, ranger talks and lots of artifacts found on the battlefield.
After lunch at Wendy's in Sheridan, we got on the road again. We wanted to go as far as Cheyenne, but they have Frontier days going on and everything is full.
East of Casper, Wy. There are almost hundreds of windmills generating power. We have seen a lot of trucks hauling parts for them.
We are at the Motel 6 in Wheatland, and it is one of the cleanest and best ones we've seen.
July 25, 2010
Wheatland, Wy. to Hays, Ks.
We hit the road after breakfast at Burger King, on the way to Denver, Co. then East through Kansas. Just south of Chugwater, Wy. on I-25, there's a silhouette of a cowboy on a horse on one of the bluffs alongside the road. It really looked real from a distance. Then just across the Co. line there's a big buffalo.
The parts of Kansas I've seen before weren't very flat, however, out here in west Kansas it's as flat as a platter. There are corn, wheat and Sunflower fields everywhere. We are all very road weary and ready to stay put someplace for awhile.
The place where we stopped for gas this morning had one of those big blades on a tractor trailer, and I had a nice conversation with the driver. They are, in fact, blades to these wind generators we have been seeing off in the fields. They are huge! The tower for them is over 200 feet tall.
Our motel room in Hays, Ks. is small and sparsh, but adequate. On the plus side, there's all kinds of restaurants within walking distance, and a Walmart just a block down the street. There is a fort near here, but we aren't going to go see it. The Jeep needs an oil change which we will have done tomorrow morning.
July 26, 2010
Hays, Ks. to Okawville, Ill.
This morning I took the Jeep to Walmart Auto Service to have the oil changed. We were on the road about 9:00 Am. Just west of Salina, Ks. there are literally hundreds of the windmills we mentioned earlier. Later we drove right by Ft. Riley where I took basic training back in 1961.
We went on a section of the Kansas Turnpike. It's a toll road, (yes there are still some of them around), and it cost us $2.50 for the 40 miles or so we used. There was no way around, naturally it was all tore up with construction.
We missed our turn in St. Louis, and went on a side trip about 15 miles out of our way to get back on track. We should have turned around.
Our motel here in Okawville, Ill. is great. The guy gave us a suite for the same price as a room, and we have more space than we have at home just about. Might be God's way of rewarding us for all the other hardships we've endured on this trip. Also, there's a neat little restaurant here called "The Hen House". If your ever on Route 64 East of St. Louis, it's worth the stop.
Tomorrow we will get back to Marcia's in N. Georgia to pick up the Malibu and then head over to Robbinsville, NC. for a couple days. I will not have internet or cell phone there.
July 27, 2010
Okaville, Ill. to Robbinsville, N.C.
We got on the road about 8 Am. It's good to be in the home stretch. I thought we'd get to Marcia's about 3 Pm, but, I forgot about the time change, and we stopped near Murhpysboro, Tenn. to have lunch with Deb's uncle Emerson. What a nice man! We spent about 2 hours there. He asked me what size shoe I wore, and when I told him 9 1/2 he asked how I would like a pair of cowboy boots? When his brother died, he left a brand new pair and Emerson couldn't wear them, so, I'm returning from out west with a "Wyoming Walmart, made in China cowboy hat", a beard and a pair of Cowboy boots.
Once we got back on the road we pressed on and got to Marcia and Tim's about 6;30 Pm. Tim had taken very good care of our car and it was ready to go. next stop, Robbinsville, Nc.
We stopped at the Walmart in Murphy for milk and bread, so it was about 11:15 Pm when we finally arrived at Bobbie's. We were dead tired but safely back and very thankful for the safe trip.
The brave little Jeep had 2386 miles put on it since we left Jim in Montana. So, it's pretty safe to assume that it had at least 5000 miles put on it, what with the trip out and the roaming around we did out there.
July 28, 2010
Happy birthday Jim. R&R at bobbie's in NC. Time to do some laundry, and just relax. Tomorrow we do the final leg to pick up the dog and then home. I've added a few pictures to the Misc page and the Bighorn Memorial.
July 29, 2010
Robbinsville, Nc. to Home
We left Bobbie's about 8 AM. It's a rainy, foggy morning in the mountains, but we drove out of it by the time we got to Spur 60.
We are trying to get in contact with Linda to see about getting Gracie back. They are going to be at Steinhatchee, Fl. which is a lot closer than driving to Tampa.
We drove to Steinhatchee and after visiting for a while, retrieved Gracie (there are several people over there who wanted to keep her), and made our way home. There's no good way to get to home from there, but, at about 9:30 PM. we pulled into the drive. It's been a long, long day. Tomorrow we'll unload the car and get things back in order. Deb hasn't been off the phone since we pulled in!
July 30, 2010
Summary of the Trip
It was a great time overall. I would recommend that everyone should take a trip out west at some point in their lives. There are some very awesome places to visit.
We could have flown, and been there in a few hours, however, I don't regret driving at all. There was so many places we would not have seen, and people we would not have met, if not for the drive. It is a long way. Deb and I have put at least 5,000 miles on if not more.
Deb's brother, Jim, and his wife Brenda were the best hosts anyone could hope for. We were very well taken care of, and except for a couple times, everything was very smooth and enjoyable. One cannot foresee a broken hose on the Jeep, and a campground full of huge hungry mosquitos, Brenda called them Moosequitos.
We went through 12 states.
We must never forget how much God has blessed us as a country and a people. A trip out west really shows off God's handiwork.
Not to say there aren't things to see back east. In fact, we are already talking about a trip up to the northeast next year. Maine and the surrounding states.
I have more pictures to put on here, as soon as I get some other things done. When we get the pictures sorted out and weeded out, (she took over 1000) I'll put them on a dvd for whoever wants them.