Thursday, October 6, 2011


When the Summer is spent with the entire crew sprawled across half a continent, it becomes necessary to  regroup before moving on. At rallying time, the Admiral, Commodore, Second Mate, and the Navigator (formerly the 2nd AB) were in Minneapolis. The First Mate, the Dog and I were back at Home Port and the Harbor Master, Her Husband, and The Baby were stationed in Missouri but visiting home for a week.

Saturday morning, the Harbor Master and Her Husband, the First Mate and I began packing. Because of our excellent packing skills, we were actually on the road by 3:41 in the afternoon, only 41 minutes behind schedule according to the Harbor Master's Husband's plan. We drove all night, stopping only when the Baby demanded breaks, and for Mass on Sunday Morning. We reached our destination in Missouri by the middle of the next day. Here the First Mate, the Dog and I jumped ship and joined up with the Commodore and the Admiral. We got to Minneapolis at 1:30 AM Monday morning.

We had to wait for a package to be delivered to our camp in Minneapolis, which afforded the First Mate and I our first chance at a bit of rest. We left around ten on Monday and drove as far as we could, which brought us to Jamestown, ND. We picked a lovely Wal-Mart parking lot to camp in. Boon-docking often requires sacrificed sleeping quarters. By the luck of the draw, I got the passenger chair. Although not very rested, we did at least manage to get an early start. On Tuesday, we made it all the way to Billings, MT where we stopped at the world's first KOA. There are those who say it is also the World's best KOA. It's in our top two.  While most of the drive so far was  fairly familiar to all of us, Wednesday began the real adventure. After three years of trying to maneuver it, the Admiral finally got us to attempt Yellowstone in Tallulah.

 Roosevelt's arch at the entrance of the park. 

 The super delightful road going in. Note how pleasantly the road twists right out of sight. 

 The Boardwalk for Mammoth Springs. 
Mammoth Springs
 The Navigator in front of a hot spring. 
 A lone Bison. 

 Nothing says fun like a falling rock sign!
Of all the wildlife we saw in the park, these guys were probably the wildest. It was very close to freezing weather, and there they were, standing in the middle of the river, all to catch a fish. 
Because the weather was not very nice, and we were in Tallulah, and we were rather rushed, we managed to do the impossible, and go through Yellowstone without seeing Old Faithful. I suppose that just gives us a reason to go back someday. 
Yellowstone took up a huge portion of the day, and we stopped not too far after that in Idaho. 

After a decent start this morning (Thursday) we made it to Nevada, and we are now within six hours of our California destination. 
Tomorrow we just have to make it through the Donner Pass. Which is currently frozen. It's ok though. We have kitty litter (for traction in the event that we get stuck) food, water, blankets, warm clothes, matches, charcoal, lighter fluid, and, most importantly, we have all read Gary Paulsen's "Guts." 

 The best vehicle  we were behind today "Milky-Way: Drinkamugamilkameal
 The canyon at Twin Falls, Idaho

 Mountains in the distance. Idaho
Coming out of some bad weather in Nevada

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