Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Idaho (2) 2009

We left Waterton at 8:00 AM and arrived at the US-Canada border at 8:30AM. We had to wait 30 minutes for the border to open up. Two female US border officers and two male Canadian officers came out at 8:58 AM and lifted the gates.
We arrived at St. Mary at 10:00 AM and 30 minutes later we were on our way to the Blackfeet Community Hospital in Browning, Montana.
The Emergency Room was not busy and Doreen saw a nurse and a doctor in a short time. The doctor was a young man and very helpful.
He gave her a three day supply of medication and a prescription for her bladder infection. Doreen has not been a happy camper for the last week.
Doreen had to fill out papers, they asked her about tribal associations. We belong to a strange tribe and it is not Blackfeet. This whole area is the Blackfeet Reservation.
Across from the Emergency entrance is a big statue of a horse and Buffalo and Elk.

In 2006 there was a big fire here.

The Johnson’s of St. Mary RV Park has camp sites on a high hill. We chose one of those sites. From our front window we see the mountains in Glacier National Park, and from the dinette window we see mountains and Lake St. Mary. It is such a beautiful sight.

After breakfast we took off for the park. The scenery along the "Going to the Sun Road" is spectacular.
We had again blue skies and just perfect weather.

In the afternoon we took it easy, but did two loads of laundry. While I was running the machines I did my computer work.

Today was a driving day. We left St. Mary at 8:00 AM and arrived at the Elks Lodge in Kalispell at 11:30 AM.
It was a scenic drive along rivers and through forests.
In Kalispell we went to Costco to have Doreen’s prescription filled and to do some shopping. We are now four weeks on the road and had to restock our supplies.
From Costco we went to a large grocery store and bought fruits and vegetables. The prices were a lot better than in small towns.
In the evening we had dinner at the lodge. It was Taco Night and one could eat as much as one could push down the hatch. The shredded meat and ground beef was good. I made myself a tostada and later a taco.
We shared the table with a very nice local couple. They would like to do the same things we do, the woman would like to see the coast. The husband is still working and they have two houses, because they have too much stuff. She can not get rid of her dead parents belongings. So they are stuck.
When Doreen told them that she had to go to Emergency at the hospital in Browning, the woman acted like she could not believe that Doreen came out alive. She had been an inspector for the State of Montana and inspected hospitals. She also dealt with people at the reservation.
We thought Doreen was taken care of very well, and she feels better.
When we mentioned that we take care of most of communication and finances on the computer, they told us that they get so much spam. I told them that I told all my friend not to send me any forwarded junk, nothing political, no jokes, only personal letters. They thought their friends would take offense to such a request.
We had a wonderful evening. To top it off, we have three stations on the TV. Doreen was able to watch Grays Anatomy.for two hours.

We went to the Whitefish Mountain Ski and Summer Resort.
We thought it would be too expensive to take the lift up the mountain. I inquired anyway and found out that it was only $ 5.00 for seniors. When we bought the tickets, the girl asked us whether we were seniors past 70 years. When we said yes we got the tickets for free. I never heard of something like that. Sometimes it pays to be old, other times it is a pain, literally.

The view from top of the mountain was great, unfortunately there was some smog in the valley from the fires in Oregon.

We are on the way home now. From Kalispell we took US highway 93 South.
In San Ignatius we stopped for a while and visited the mission. There are beautiful pictures on the ceiling and on the walls.

We had to climb over the Bitterroot Mountain Range. The motorhome performed well. When we were on top I installed the BrakeBuddy in the car. I had underestimated the height of the mountains and had it left off.
When we arrived at the Elks Lodge in Salmon, Idaho, we rested for a while and then went to the Sacajawea Interpretive Center. Sacajawea was the Indian woman who acted as an interpreter for Lewis and Clark on their journey out west.

Beginning at Salmon, highway 93 is the Salmon River Scenic Byway. It is scenic, but very slow.
The Byway continues at Challis with highway 75.
The road follows the curves of the river.
When we came close to Stanley we stopped at an outlook area and the Sawtooth Mountain Range was before us, with the town of Stanley in the valley, what a sight.
We found a Forest Service Campground a few miles south of Stanley.

It was cold last night. When I got up it was 36 degrees F in the motorhome. I ran the furnace for 20 minutes and then turned on the catalytic heater.
In the middle of the night I got two more comforters to keep warm.
We left our little forest campground at 8:30 AM and arrived at North Fork campground at 10:00 AM.
Highway 75 becomes the Sawtooth Scenic Byway South of Stanley.
The Byway runs parallel to the Sawtooth mountain range, through a beautiful valley.
We set up the motorhome and left for Ketchum, which is eight miles to the South.
Next to Ketchum is Sun Valley, the famous ski area. In Sun Valley we went to a fancy shopping mall.
They have two ponds with swans swimming around.
On one store I saw the sign:"Konditorei". I thought I was in for a treat, like torte, but they only had cookies and sweet rolls. When I talked to the lady and told her what I expected she smiled and said: "You sure know how to pronounce Kondidorei".
Our next stop was the Hemingway Memorial. He has a beautiful view down to a golf course.

They have two ponds with swans swimming around.
On one store I saw the sign:"Konditorei". I thought I was in for a treat, like torte, but they only had cookies and sweet rolls. When I talked to the lady and told her what I expected she smiled and said: "You sure know how to pronounce Kondidorei".

Our next stop was the Hemingway Memorial. He has a beautiful view down to a golf course.

Most of the National Forest campground are closed. Half of North Fork is closed and the water shut off.
The fee is now only $ 5.00 per day, we pay $ 2.50 with our Golden Age Pass.
Last night we were alone. Today another rig came in, a couple from the Phoenix, Arizona area.
I forgot to mention that I ran over a dead deer three days ago. It was laying in the middle of my lane and I could not avoid it because there were two cars coming in the other lane.
The motorhome cleared it, but the car is lower and I could feel when the car hit the carcass.
There was blood all over the front of the car. It was a mess and no fun cleaning the poor Saturn.

It rained half of the night. Most of the leaves on the trees are gone now.
We left by car to see the Shoshone Falls near Twin Falls, Idaho. The falls drops 212 feet in the Snake River Canyon. It is a few feet higher than Niagara Falls. Unfortunately this is the wrong time of the year to see the falls. Farmers and ranchers use the water from the Snake River for irrigation in the summer and deplete the water.
In the spring the falls are full. I bought a postcard and when I get home, will scan it and add the picture next to the picture I took today.
Even with only a few trickles coming down the falls, it is very impressive.

On the way home we stopped at the library in Ketchum for our E mail.
I rained again in the afternoon. This is time for relaxing and planning the next stop.
Our itinerary has gone to the wayside, it changes constantly. We take it as it comes.
In the evening we played scrabble.

We hooked up the car to the motorhome while snow flakes were around us. It was cold.
It had rained most of the night.

As soon as we were south of Ketchum, and out of the mountains, it stopped raining. We went east on highway 20 to Craters of the Moon National Monument. The monument is in higher elevation and we experienced snow flakes again and later rain.

It was difficult to get good pictures. Doreen took one out of the front window and the snow flakes are visible.

When we arrived at the Elks Lodge in Idaho Falls it started to rain real heavy.

We took the Riverside Drive in Idaho Falls. From there one has a good view of the Mormon Temple.
We also did some shopping and relaxing.
Our plans changed again. We will not go to Yellowstone and the Tetons. It suddenly got very cold. Going south makes more sense.

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