Sunday, September 25, 2016


Carol had a loss of concentration yesterday and pulled in front of an oncoming car which hit us broadside at 70 MPH The worst injury was a broken ankle on one of the passengers in the other car. Carol is pretty banged up. She hit her right knee on the steering column and it’s close to double normal size. She’s also pretty bruised from her seat belt. Our car wound up on the driver side so we had to climb out the door on my side, top.

We now have a rental car but may need to exchange it as I got it at the airport and as they cost more there our insurance company may object. Today being Sunday I’ve not yet talked to our adjuster.

We were there nearly 30 minutes before the first help arrived. EMTs from a volunteer fire company nearly 20 miles away. We were in an ambulance on our way to Missoula before any law enforcement sowed up. They eventually tracked us down at the Hospital and Carol has an Improper Turn citation.

So ends our little vacation. We may not get home ‘til Wed.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Rt 2 through Montana

ihe Northern Idaho panhandle is only about 50 miles wide so shortly after leaving Bonners Ferry we found ourselves in Montana where we would be for the rest of the day, and tomorrow as well. The first part of our drive followed the Kootenai River. We stopped at the falls and hiked in. It’s a fairly short hike but a truly spectacular falls. This is only a small segment of the whole.


After crossing the continental divide we stopped briefly at Loon Lake.


This is the middle fork of the Flathead River


Once out of the mountains we were on the plains. When you’re on the plains most of the small towns have an old grain elevator. It’s difficult for me to drive past an old grain elevator without stopping and taking a photo or three. This one is in Cut Bank.


Tonight marks the far point of our little mini trip. Tomorrow we’ll be starting toward home again.

Tom & Carol

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Washington’s Grand Coulee country

Leaving Euphrata this morning we followed the Columbia River through the grand coulee country. The geologists tell us that at the end of the last ice age an immense lake was backed up in what is now Northern Washington and Canada. When it broke free hundreds of cubic miles of water flowed to the Pacific Ocean carving this country and the Columbia River gorge. While impressive, his time of year thee is not much color except the blue of the river.


Autumn began today. Some trees are already beginning to turn.


I decided to take a detour up past Grand Coulee Dam. In a park overlooking the dam I found this statue dedicated to the many working men who built it. The dam  itself is in the background.


We thought that we changed time today but the time line isn’t where we thought so we change tomorrow. That cuts tomorrow a bit short.

Tom & Carol

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

On the Road Again

Well, we’re off again. When we drove to New York way back in June we earned some rewards at Best Western that we needed to use this autumn so we’re taking a little drive into Western Montana. Today we only went as far as Central Washington. Tomorrow we’ll be in Northern Idaho; then two days in Montana. Back to Walla Walla Washington and home. We’ve planned about 5 hour driving days so lots of time to explore the countryside we’re driving through.

Today we stopped at some of the waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge. This is Horsetail Falls


We even went to the Stonehenge replica. This was built by the same engineering genius who designed the Columbia River Highway.


We turned North on Rt 97 leaving the lower Columbia. One hundred and fifty miles later we found it again. This is the Wanapum Dam.


Later we found another viewpoint overlooking the river. There was also an art installation celebrating wild horses.


Tomorrow we’ll be in Bonner’s Ferry Idaho. See you then.

Tom & Carol

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Welcome to Utah

Actually we’re in Idaho tonight but I didn’t get a welcome to Idaho sign. This one is at the Echo Welcome Center as you enter Utah Southbound from Wyoming.


I love this welcome center. We’ve driven this road, in this direction several times and I always try to stop here just to drink in the beauty of the location.


This valley is a significant transportation corridor. Besides I-80, the Union Pacific main rail line comes through here. Driving down from Wyoming we met 4 trains on these tracks. Here an engine pulling a string of boxcars climbs the grade up to Evanston.


This is our last night on the road. Tomorrow we’ll be home and we’re both ready.

I hope you’ve enjoyed following our travels.

Tom & Carol

Friday, July 15, 2016

Backcountry Wyoming

Back when we wee in Colorado I mentioned that to really appreciate the high country you need to get off the Intestates and onto secondary roads that up into the mountains. The same is true of Wyoming (and probably all the other mountain states) A few years ago we drove Wyoming Rt 130 which connects at both ends with I-80 and loops through the Medicine Bow Mountains and gets close up and personal with the Snowy Range. It is 96 miles long and the ends are ~72 miles apart on I-80. Today it took us something over 2 hours to drive that 96 miles.


Tom & Carol

Thursday, July 14, 2016

North Platte

We had only a 6 hr drive today and as we got our usual start at around 7:15 we were here in North Platte before 3:00. We checked out things to do in this area at an information center and picked two. Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard and an interesting antique mall.

Bailey Yard is the largest rail yard in the world with 312 miles of track and 766 switches. 125 trains and 12,000 rail cars are handled here daily. This is the visitor center tower that overlooks much of the yard.


The other place we went calls itself “The Bin” The owners rounded up several old wooden gran bins and converted them so each one is a little antique shop.


Tom and Carol