Thursday, August 2, 2012

Atomic Museum

Today we visited the EBR-1 Atomic Museum which is about 20 miles east of Arco, ID.  We were really impressed with the quality of the museum and how helpful the workers were.  The tour is self guided but they provide a nice guide pamphlet and the different stops on the tour are well marked and had excellent poster boards and descriptions.  The EBR-1 was the worlds first Nuclear Breeder Reactor and was built in the 1950’s.  This reactor is unique in that it actually produces more fuel then it consumed.  It also had a unique capability to take waste fuel from normal commercial reactors that would normally require storage for 100’s of years and convert that waste into a much shorter lived waste.  The down fall of EBR-1’s technology was mostly political.

This museum is well worth the stop if you are in the area.


Outside of the reactor buildingDSC_3760

Dean messing with the controls… not good!DSC_3734

Valerie trying her skills with a remote manipulator..  She did very well!DSC_3744

This was an early prototype of a reactor for an airplane….  Maybe not such a good idea!DSC_3758

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Craters of the Moon

Today we left the Lolo MT area heading back to southern Idaho.  It was one of those days were all the campgrounds we had planned for were not to be found and the ones you did find were either full or dry and dusty.  On a whim we headed for the Craters of the Moon National Monument mostly looking for a campground but we are really glad we made the stop.  This is a very unusual area about 20 miles west of Arco ID.  Between 15,000 and 2,000 years ago this area was full of active volcano eruptions.  The eruptions have left the area for miles around covered with lava rock and lava flows.  The park has a visitors center plus a 7 mile loop along with many hiking trails across the lava beds.  The camp sites are really unique in that they are nestled between huge lava rocks.  It was fun for us to see numerous visiting children and their families from other countries.  They were all smiles as the children were sworn in as “Junior Rangers”.  All in all it is a worthwhile stop if you are in the area.  Tomorrow we plan to tour the first Nuclear Reactor! 

There is very little plant life growing in the lavaDSC_3663



Look across the miles and miles of black lavaDSC_3683


The top of one of the volcanoesDSC_3686

Our campsiteDSC_3710

A close up of the lavaDSC_3681

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Off the grid in Idaho

After leaving Page we made a quick trip through the Salt Lake area and it’s miles and miles of town.  After a quick overnight stop in Willard State park we arrived in beautiful Idaho.  Our first stop was at the Big Eddy campground south of Cascade Lake (north of Boise).  The campground was really nice but right on the road so had a little road noise.  There were only 4 sites so it was very private and right on the river.  After spending two nights we headed on to McCall where we are currently staying at the Last Chance campground west of town.  This is a really nice area and even though the campground is fairly full is is very quite.  A special treat is the campground is loaded with huckleberries so we have been busy picking and stocking the freezer!

Views from the Big Eddy campgroundDSC_3487


South of McCall IDDSC_3514

Huckleberries in the Last Chance campgroundDSC_3522


Some pretty flowers around the campgroundDSC_3541


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Glen Canyon Dam

Today we started our trek toward Idaho and Montana with the first stop being in Page AZ to tour the Glen Canyon Dam.  The tour was about an hour long including a short movie and was very interesting.  Didn’t realize that Glen Canyon Dam is only 16 ft shorter than Hoover and actually contains more concrete then Hoover.  They said there was enough concrete in the dam to build a 4 lane highway from Phoenix to Chicago.  It took 17 years to fill the lake and when full there is more shore line around the lake than along the whole west coast!

View of Lake Powell from the visitor’s center


The Glen Canyon Bridge as viewed from the top of the damDSC_3406

Looking up at the bridge from the bottom of the dam.DSC_3396

Over the edge toward the river!DSC_3405

Over the edge on the lake side!DSC_3411

The generators in the damDSC_3398

Monday, June 25, 2012

A few more Colorado photos

It was so beautiful in Colorado couldn’t resist adding a few more photos….

At the top of one of the three passes…GPS said we made it to 13,100 ftDSC_3301

Lots of old mines aroundDSC_3193


Along the “Last Dollar Road” from Ridgeway to TellurideDSC_3352


The beavers have been hard at workDSC_3290


Exploring some old buildings at Animas ForksDSC_3316

Just above TellurideDSC_3355

Friday, June 22, 2012

Jeep Heaven

For the past two days we have been in Jeep Heaven exploring the Alpine Loop trail going from Silverton to Lake City and back to Silverton.  The trail is about 65 miles of bone jarring trails going over three mountain passes and through some of the most beautiful area we have ever seen.  The trail was challenging but yet was not so challenging that you couldn’t enjoy the ride.  According to the GPS the max elevation we hit was 12,999.6 ft!  We have been Jeep owners for nearly 10 years now and we are still amazed at what these hardy little vehicles can do.  They are most certainly at home climbing up a rocky mountain road.

View out the “window” of on old mining houseDSC_3323

Water falls everywhereDSC_3284

View from 13,000 ft.  It’s like being on the top of the worldDSC_3271

Still chunks of ice floating in this lakeDSC_3255

Still a lot of snow aroundDSC_3243




Tonight we are staying at the Ridgeway State park north of Ridgeway.  This is our first experience with Colorado state parks and our opinion is they are not a very good value.  The cost was $29 and the sites are very close together and not very nice.  What was surprising is that they have an additional charge for a shower!  Actually the KOA down the road would have been a better value!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Silverton Colorado

After about 500 miles of driving we arrived in Silverton Colorado late this afternoon.  We have our tent pitched at the Silverton Lakes Campground on the north end of town.  The sun is just setting and with it the temperature is dropping fast.  May be a cold night tonight.  In the morning the plan is to Jeep the Alpine Loop Back Country Byway over Engineer Pass and on to Lake City.  There are several old mining towns along the way to explore.  Hopefully we will also be able to do some geocaching along the way.

Our CampsiteDSC_3199

Looking down the riverDSC_3203

A MagpieDSC_3192

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ready to hit the road for some Jeep’N

Tomorrow bright and early we plan to leave the desert with the forecasted 113 degree high for the cool mountains of Colorado.  This trip will be a little different in that we will be taking the Jeep so we can do some exploring on the back roads in the Silverton area.  This is something we have talked about doing for several years so now is the time.  The only draw back is the Jeep can’t tow the trailer so this will be a tenting trip.  Been many many years since we have used a tent so it should be an experience.  At least the forecast is for dry weather in SW Colorado so hopefully that will hold true.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Made it Home

We made it home today after a brief stop for the night in Holbrook AZ.  After we left Dalhart TX the weather was nice and it was clear sailing all the way to AZ.  We stayed at the OK RV Park in Holbrook which is a nice overnight stop.  It is across the street from the KOA and offers a lower cost alternative ($25 with Good Sam). 

The stats for this trip are:

Days gone = 19

Miles driven = 4681 miles

We were very pleased with the trip and found and did a lot of interesting things.  The pace of travel was much faster then we like but we knew that going in as we had a limited window to work with.  We could see our selves repeating the same route again but at a much slower pace.

Monday, April 30, 2012

On the way home

We left Indiana on Sunday morning heading home via central Kansas.  The quick detour through central Kansas was to visit Dean’s home town.  We are really looking forward to the Arizona sun shine after driving for two solid days across 5 states and never seeing the sun or really getting out of the bad weather.  We got into some really heavy weather just west of St. Louis and it continued all the way past Kansas City.  We finally found sun in Dalhart Tx.  The countryside was really pretty along the way with lots of green.  Between Offerle and Spearville KS we came across the largest wind farm that we think we have ever seen.  The wind generators stretched as far as the eye could see.  In addition, there were many under construction along the way.  We were really encouraged with the condition of the wheat crop across most of Kansas as it looks almost perfect.  Hopefully the weather will corporate over the next couple months.  

We are staying at the Corral RV park in Dalhart Tx.  The park is ok for a stop over with nice level gravel parking area.  It is located right in town so there is a little train noise but it is not too bad.  The rate was $25 for full hookups.

Hundreds of wind generators…


Wheat field..


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Southern Indiana

We have moved on south to the Daviess County area of Indiana.  This is the area of Indiana where Dean’s great-great grandparents lived back in the mid-1800’s.  We are currently staying at the West Boggs Lake campground just north of Loogootee.  The park is really nice and we understand why some of the reviews call this the best park in Indiana.  The sites are fairly isolated and are tucked amongst the trees.  In the afternoon we spend some time exploring some of the smaller roads in the area which was really interesting.  This area has a number of Amish settlements and it was really interesting to see all the buggies on the road.  We were fortunate to see a farmer plowing his field with a team of horses.  The countryside is so gorgeous with all the green trees and fields.

A team of 5 or 6 horses pulling the plow


Buggy at the local feed store


A beautiful setting on one of the farms


Dean at his great-great grandfather’s grave