Thursday, April 24, 2014

Move Day!

After two weeks in Gardiner, MT, today, Bill and I move into the interior of Yellowstone National Park.  Most of the park is still closed, so that means we have to go through locked gates.  We've done this many times before, and it never gets old.  We always take pictures of us unlocking the gate.  It is fun, knowing we are going where the general public isn't allowed yet.

Bill is working until lunch, so we'll move down this afternoon, giving the roads time to thaw and warm up a bit.  Bill was working in the park yesterday, and some stretches of the roads were a little icy.  Temps should be warmer today.  

While Bill was down in the Lake area yesterday, he saw three different grizzly bears, all dining on bison carcasses. Here is one of my favorite pictures he took yesterday:
I guess this guy had enough to eat, and now he is lying on the buried carcass, saving it for later.

Looking forward to getting moved.  On Saturday, I begin training the Fishing Bridge RV Park crew.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

And So It Begins

Bill and I are Xanterra employees once again.  I've been busy preparing for the arrival of the Madison Campground staff and the training that will follow.  Bill is working pre-season this year in the Computer Center.  He has been busy updating computers and setting up front desks in the park.  So, while I've been working in Mammoth, Bill has been going into the interior to set up offices.

This is the first time we are both working pre-season, so our days off don't match up so well.  We knew this would be probably be the case, and it's OK.  It's just for a few weeks, and we are both enjoying our jobs very much.  Once we get to Canyon Campground for the bulk of the summer, we will once again have days off together.

While I haven't been able to get out in the park, here are a couple of pictures taken in our RV park.  This first picture proves you never know what goes on when you are away from your rig.

And this picture shows the view from our back window.  Can you see the herd of bison heading back into Yellowstone?
The Madison Campground staff are pulling into the RV park today and will check in with HR tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow afternoon is what I refer to as the "meet and greet," and training starts in earnest Saturday morning at 8:00...and so it begins.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Settled In


Bill and I arrived safe and sound to Yellowstone RV Park in Gardiner, MT on Sunday.  We had called the office and told them we would be arriving a few days early, so even though the office was closed, there was a campground map with our name and site number on it posted on the door.
 
We once again have a nice site that backs up to the Yellowstone River.  (That's our rig on the right, and our friends, Rich and Ronda, on the left.)  We will be here for about two weeks...where are we going from there?  I actually don't know yet, but it will be in the interior of Yellowstone National Park.

Since we were just here in February, we didn't feel that great urge to get set up and then go right into the park.  After being on the road for three days straight, we enjoyed getting settled and just relaxing...and enjoying a visit from the Yellowstone welcoming committee.




On Monday, we went into the park to see the Park Rangers at the Albright Visitor Center to register our truck and get that special sticker for the window that allows us to enter the park with just a friendly wave to the Ranger at the entrance kiosk.  

The visitor center is undergoing a huge renovation with a completion date of May 2015.  There is a temporary building set up across the street for the summer.
 

 And this time of year, Mammoth Hot Springs is a ghost town.

These pictures show how little snow there is in Mammoth...makes me wonder what the interior of park is like. (This sure is different from February.)    

Tomorrow, Bill and I check in with HR and make it official once again.  I start work that afternoon, and Bill will be back at it Friday morning.  We're ready to get going!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Travel Days

After our fun and relaxing stay at Glen Canyon, it was time for us to head north.  This is when we try to cover as much ground as possible, while keeping a close eye on the weather.  When we have decent weather, we keep going, because we never know when a spring storm will blow in, and we will have to hole up for a day or two.  We would much rather get to our final destination a few days early than to be stressing over arriving on time.

On Friday, we had a beautiful drive.  We left Glen Canyon and headed west on Hwy 89 to Kanab, UT, where we turned north and stayed on Hwy 89 until it reached Hwy 28, which took us right to I-15 in Nephi, UT.  

If you are ever headed in this direction, we highly recommend this route.  Hwy 89 is a nice two line highway that goes through a variety of landscapes, which makes for a lovely travel day.  One of my favorite areas is called "Rock Candy Mountain."  This name is so appropriate...the colors were amazing!  Sorry...no pictures.

We stopped for the night at Hi-Country RV Park in Nephi.  It was a perfect overnight stop.  Flying J was conveniently located just up the road, so we could fill the tank before pulling into a nice big 50-amp pull-thru site for $25.  Not bad!

This morning we hopped on I-15 in Nephi, UT and hopped off in Dillon, MT.  This area can be iffy to travel through this time of year.  In fact, in past years, there was always snow/wind/rain to deal with.  Today was clear sailing...except for a few sprinkles.  There was very little snow on the ground, so we kept going.

It was a long day on the road, but we're now settled in at Southside RV Park in Dillon.  We have another big pull-thru with wi-fi and a huge cable TV list.  All this for $30...not bad.

Tomorrow we will have a shorter day to Gardiner, MT, where we will settle in for the next little while.  Our friends, Rich and Ronda, are already there and say they will have supper ready for us.  Can't get much better than that!

 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Perfect Day!

Today Bill and I awoke to a beautiful day with no wind!  Perfect, since we had reservations to visit Antelope Canyon located on the Navajo Reservation.  So, after our morning exercises, we loaded up and headed to town for the 10:30 tour.  We have talked about visiting this slot canyon every time we've been in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and today we finally did.  Since Antelope Canyon is on Navajo land, you must take a tour with a Navajo guide.

We were loaded on a truck like this one and then took a 20 minute drive to the canyon.  A 20 minute very bumpy and rough ride through a sandy wash.

 
Here is the entrance to Antelope Canyon, a beautiful slot canyon.
I found it difficult to get really good pictures, due to the number of people, the poor lighting, and flash photography not being allowed.  Pictures do not do it justice.



Fortunately, we were there at noon, and we were able to see this beam of light reaching the ground.  (That's why we paid extra for the "peak" tour.)
We were in the canyon for about an hour, along with several other tour groups.  At times I felt rushed and unable to really enjoy the beauty of the canyon, but all in all, it was a great experience.

Here we are leaving the canyon and heading back to our truck.  You can tell how popular this canyon is by all the parked vehicles. 


After our Antelope Canyon visit, we drove out to see Horseshoe Bend.  This is a "must do" for us whenever we're in the area.  It's a short walk from the parking area to this amazing view.
 


























































       
After a quick stop at the grocery store and the gas station, we were back at the rig where we enjoyed a campfire after dinner.  We have been carrying a bundle of firewood around with us since our tent camping trip to Joshua Tree National Park back in November.  It was a perfect way to end a perfect day!
  
Tomorrow we head north...back to winter.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Wahweap Campground - Lake Powel National Recreation Area

Today we had another short travel day, less than 200 miles.  Remember the winds that I mentioned in yesterday's post?  Well, they were back today.  At times we had a crosswind, then a headwind, and even a tail wind every now and then.  We were happy to reach our destination.

Wahweap is one of our favorite stops.  In addition to being very scenic, the area offers lots of great hikes.  We hope to take advantage of what the area offers.  However, today we are hunkered in, waiting for the wind to die down.

There are few rigs in the campground, and we were able to snag a favorite site...#5...a huge pull-thru with a nice view of Lake Powell.
 Here's the view from our dining room table: