Trans USA & Canada Week 7, 7/6-7/12

Day 44 (7/6): Today I brought my Xterra to Boulder Nissan to figure out what is wrong with the 4×4 system. Luckily it turned out to be the neutral/park switch that I picked up in Utah. If I did not pick up this switch I would have had to stay in the Denver/Boulder area for at least two more days. And some more good news it was covered by warranty. After this I tested out my X and everything seemed to be working! Now that I was back up and running I headed back to the host family place and assisted in the garage to earn my keep of food and sleeping arrangements. Sorry I cannot say what is being worked on. It is above my pay grade.

Day 45 (7/7): Today I slept in which felt great but weird at the same time. I have not slept in like this for several years. When I finally woke up I reorganized my jerry cans to stream line then and not to stress the roof rack all in the same place. I also got my CB antenna fixed as the previous mount had snapped due to vibrations and fatigue. I put some work in the garage also. It was a fairly long night due to the timelines on product that need to be delivered.

Day 46 (7/8): Today was another day of sleeping in. What is up with this crap? I woke up packed up my things and got my trailer all ready to hit the road again. I asked if Mr. Sain wanted me to stay one more day to help out. He said I need to be gone and enjoy my trip. I said goodbye to their “puppy” and hit the road. I stayed on the interstate and highways for most of the day to put some distance between me and Denver. Once I got a little ways into Wyoming I found some backroads and started heading northwest. As I approached five I started heading towards this little state park to camp in that was a little ways out of my path. Instead I found this great free camping location as I was traveling. It has restrooms and drinking water. I also got lucky since most of the day I drove through rain/drizzle it was currently dry. The fresh water supply was a hand pump and I filled up my Jerry can and put a little water in my camper’s tank. I created a fire and started to make some food over it.

Just for a special woman out there here is the recipe I used. I’ve been working on making it better but still have to perfect it.

Create a medium heat campfire and in a larger pot. I used my 6qt cast iron dutch oven. Brown 1lb of ground beef, once It is brown drain or scoop out the grease with a spoon. Dispose of grease properly as not to attract bears. Throw several larger logs on the fire to create a “good” camp fire. From there add 2 smaller water bottles or 1 large water bottle of water.  Empty 1 packet of dry milk and stir well. The fire should be picking up at this time. Add some garlic power, onion power, 1 can of corn, 1 can of mushrooms, 1 small can of tomato paste. 4 spoon dabs of honey or 6 dabs with a knife. Also add a pour of Italian seasoning, about 7 turns of salt and black pepper. And any other spices you would like. By now your fire should be going well. Keep the fire going at this rate, once the water starts to simmer. Put in 5 large handfuls of noodles.  Once the water is in a rolling boil let the fire start to die down but not too far. Don’t forget you need to stir more often the hotter the fire is. I leave the lid on for about 15-25 mins then take it off to let the water to start to evaporate and thicken. If your food starts to thicken and the fire is still going hot either knock it down or relocate the pot to lower the heat as not to burn. Once the noodles are ready and the food is getting towards a pasty thickness. Remove the pot from the fire. Crack 4 eggs over the top and lay a bunch of cheese of your choice to cover the top. Place the lid on to let the eggs and cheese melt. This creates about 3-6 servings. Eat and enjoy.

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Well beyond that nonsense. The campsite offers some great views.

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It started raining as I was cleaning up from cooking so this even will be a nice time to sit back and read part of one of my books.

Day 47 (7/9): So the sleeping in continues. I guess I’m finally going into vacation mode. Today was a short day of travel. As I did not want to get to close or get into Yellowstone nation park. The road consisted of drive down highway 287 all day. There were many point of interest to stop and look at along with historical landmarks. This is one I came across while not being pelted with rain showers.

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All day long were just rolling green hills with rocky formation shooting out of the ground.

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The latter half of the day consisted of low cloud covers and rain showers. I finally approached my destination a nice organized nation forest campground. It has great views when the clouds are not blocking everything. It was near a lake with a small stream where a bunch of trout fisherman were weathering the rain. To bad the pine beetles struck this area too. The use to be thick forest was nearly leveled to help preserve it.

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The creek leaving the lake just a short walk away.

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Looking the other way down stream.

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Food was just left overs cooked in the rain from the night before. I got to talk to the campgrounds attendant. I have to say once I reach retirement age that sounds like a great job. You get to stay in a national forest all summer/year depending on location for free. They pay for propane, water, gas for your generator. And you work about 30mins a day and get to meet all the interesting travelers. Could you imagine waking up to that view every day?

Not to mention I had a wonderful sunset.

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Day 48 (7/10): I woke up nice and early today so I could get some mileage in and get through all the tourist traps ahead of me. About an hour down the road I entered the Teton Nation Park. I don’t recall if I’ve been here before but It had spectacular views even with the crappy rain I had all day.

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After getting through the Tetons up next was Yellowstone National Park. I decided that I was only going to stop for wild animals. As I have been here before and also it was a Friday so the park was packed. Parking in any of the turnoffs was a long way and looked like a night mirror to leave. I saw this lonely guy way out in the field. I wonder where all his friends were.

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I also quickly captured this photo of the steam rising from one of the many hotsprings.

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As I was about to leave the park I saw this family of 4 going through one of the main towns inside the park.

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I jumped on the interstate for a little bit to atdd some mileage and found this nice National Forest Campground that has running water!

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With a quick campfire and a quicker meal I called it an early night since it was such a long day of driving.

Day 49 (7/11): Today was another long day with heavy traffic. I did get to get off the main road for quite a bit. I came across this wouderful waterfall.

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Besides that little glimpse the rest of the day consisted of rain. I saw some wonderful views or what would have been great views besides the low cloud cover and rain hid most of the mountains as I drove through valleys all day. Near the end of the day I did finally reconnect with my original route and tomorrow if the weather holds up should consist of a lot more pictures as it is glacier national park. A then onto Canada!

Day 50 (7/12): Today marked the end of week 7 of my journey. Today I woke up and left the national forest I was in. On the way out I drove over amazing dam.

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After about a hr drive I reached my favorite national park as a child. Glacier National Park. After entering through the south west gate I was reminded that I could only go so far into the par due to the vehicle length limit. I had a quick choice to make. Drop the trailer off at the visitor center or drive around the park. It put me into a bad mood because either choice seemed like I was going to backtrack or miss my favorite park. I choice the latter. So I left the park and drove around it. The first 3rd of driving around your going through mountain passes

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The last part is just driving and hilly prary lands looking at the mountains a short distance away. It is pretty unique how it goes directly from planes into these towering rocky mountains.

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Once I reached the other side of the park 3.5 hrs later I decided to enter the park from the other side since I still had a few hrs where I could explore. I asked the ranger where I should drop off the trailer and they mentioned that one of the campgrounds was not full. So I entered and headed to the campground. This would give me a few more hrs in the park anyways even though it cost a little more then what I would of liked. Once I got the trailer unhooked I was free to explore. The first amazing site was this lake right in front of these mountains.

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Even in the early afternoon the clouds were hiding the highest peaks.

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No matter where you looked it was always an amazing view of nature from mountains to water falls.

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This is why I love this park

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It was kinda weird. Being a kid I believe I was here in august and the glaciers were still large and close to the road. Now it just seemed like they were far off and small. A ranger said in 10-15 years there were no longer be any glaciers in the park which will make the name sound very confusing to people. The lakes created by these glaciers still seemed very healthy.

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I did get to see a female mountain goat. But did not get any pictures of her since she was on the side of the road and I could not stop. No grizzly bears this time.

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Some of the water falls landed right next to the road.

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As it was getting late in the day I headed back towards the campgrounds. I was kind of sad I did not get to enjoy some of the hikes glacier has to offer.

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My view from my kitchen.

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After a quick meal and cleaning up for the night. I decided to walk to the camp store which had ice cream just a quarter mile away. As I was walking there I ran into a guy sitting in his vehicle in the middle of the drive. He informed me there was a brown bear just off the road in some bushes and trees about 100ft away. I stood there talking to hm for a while and the bear finally emerged. It was a young smaller black bear.As I did not have my camera and my phone was charging back at camp. I turned around and walked to my camper as the bear headed off towards my camper to but through the woods. Once I reached my camper I did not see the bear again.  I then talked to a few other campers from Wisconsin and it started to get dark. One of the campers mentioned that the road is open all night. So I had to make a quick decision. Go to bed or go out and enjoy a midnight drive. So I unlatched my trailer again and headed out of the campground at 11pm. I got to enjoy sunset road and test my camera out in the pitch black. Both were fun and kind of creepy. I was hoping to come across some larger wildlife but I only saw a few rats.

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The sky finally opened up on my way back to camp at 1am so I got to capture some stars.

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One of the tunnels you drive through

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I hope you enjoyed some of the photos. I have way too many to share them all at this point. On to week 8 and Canada tomorrow!