On to Jasper and Columbia Ice Fields

Hello all,  We made it to Jasper after visiting the Columbia Ice Fields.  Unfortunately, British Columbia is not as forgiving as Montana is to boondoclers.  We had to search hard and wide to find some free campsites.  

The Ice Fields were amazing, probably the best scenery on the trip so far.  After we visited Banff and Jasper, we had to find some place to stay.  We drove all the way to the Beaver Recreation Site on Holmes lake before we found a spot that would not end with a knock on the door from Dudley Do Right.   Mosquito's.........vicious.  Price......Free.   

IMG_3667.JPG
Ice Fields........very cool

Ice Fields........very cool

Glacier!!!!

Glacier!!!!

Canada!!!!!!!!

Well, all my worrying about crossing the border was for not.   It took about three minutes and no camper search, body search or anything.  Phew.    We drive North to Cranbrook to camp for the night.   A home improvement  company has a welcome sign for overnight RVers.  Very nice.    After enjoying a nice exchange rate at the grocery store, we grab some Thai food and hit the hay.  Phew. 

IMG_3540.JPG
IMG_3534.JPG

yum. Quail eggs.  ¬†

IMG_3538.JPG

Our spot for the night.    

Glacier National Park

After hearing so much about this Park, we finally arrived.    It did not dissapoint.   We spend two nights in Avalanche campground.  The Going to the Sun road was still closed to cars so it was an amazing treat to be able to bike it  without worry about a Prevost bus mowing us over.   

We did some hiking, junior did another Junior Ranger badge and checked out a ranger talk as well.   Next stop is ūüá®ūüᶠ.  I think.   

IMG_3456.JPG
IMG_3440.JPG
IMG_3505.JPG
IMG_3493.JPG
IMG_3494.JPG

Devil's Tower

On through Sundance to Devil's Tower.  A recommended visit if your in the area.   The park is designated a dark sky park and is open 24 hours a day!  We did the 1.4 mile walk around the tower and listed to a park ranger talk.  Junior gets a badge and a post card.   We had a nice time and after half a day, we head out to find a place to stay.

After a nice drive to Buffalo Wyoming, we find a great bargain of an RV spot .  It was 10 bucks a night without hookups.  Beautiful little lake with local boaters and water-skiers.  Next stop was Costco, Bozeman and a date at our first Walmart parking lot.  

IMG_3247.JPG
Lake Desmet

Lake Desmet

Doo dee daa doo duummmmm

Doo dee daa doo duummmmm

Bozeman Walmart

After refuelling and stocking up on much-needed supplies, we head to a local restaurant and have some halfway decent bar food.   Next, we have to swallow our pride and stay at our very first Walmart Parking lot.  It did not disappoint,   loud, free and loud......not complaining.   

Almost forgot  Museum of the Rockies . This was an amazing museum!  and with our fancy museum pass, it did not cost a thing.  In case your wondering, WY used to be a major swamp and huge ocean teaming with dinosaours with the teeth and the biting.....

Beautiful downtown Walmart.

Beautiful downtown Walmart.

If you need Zima,  BOZEMAN Montana has it stock piled!

If you need Zima,  BOZEMAN Montana has it stock piled!

Muesum of the Rockies

Muesum of the Rockies

The Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore

After a great time in the Badlands we head to Custer State Park and pet some Bison.   We stayed at Wrinkled Rock Climbing Area - Keystone, South ... - Free Campsites.  The price and location was right, but it was quite loud.  The next morning we head into the park to see Mt. Rushmore.  Junior completed a Junior Ranger badge and all had a great time.

After a long day,  we head out to find a boondocking spot our of town.  Unfortunately,  this spot is full, so we put the pedal to the metal and drove for several hours all the way to a great boondocking spot in WY.  It was right next to a beautiful creek and in the middle of no where....perfect (except no cell signal) . We did see the sheriff drive by a few times and there were several campers upstream.   Next stop, Devil's Tower,

IMG_3015.JPG
Our Camping spot in Wrinkle Rock.

Our Camping spot in Wrinkle Rock.

Climbing around campsite

Climbing around campsite

BADLANDS

We spend two nights at an amazing boondocking site.   Did some spring cleaning, changed out the batteries in Roy, visited the Badlands.   This was a fun stop and we all agree, we could have spent a week at the boondocking site.

Sweeet and Free!   5 bars LTE to boot!!!!!!!!!

Sweeet and Free!   5 bars LTE to boot!!!!!!!!!

Junior Ranger Badge Time

Junior Ranger Badge Time

Surrounded By Tornado Warnings

After Itasca, we pass through Ada, MN and on to Fargo.  A "quick" stop at Costco, and we head south on our way to see The Laura Ingalls Homestead.  With plans to stay in a Casino Parking lot on the way, we run into a huge storm cell that looks about as nice as a 7th grade algebra teacher on the first day of school.  Things go south from there.  After weighing our options under an underpass, we decide to make a run for it and find real shelter.  Enter Steve and Bunny.....   We saw him pull up into his farm house driveway and rapidly pulled in behind him.  As his garage door was closing, we asked for help.  He and his wife graciously let us into their house and gave us shelter while the storm passed.   Just North and East of us, they reported baseball sized hail and multiple touch downs in the state that evening.   Phew! 

Not Pretty

Not Pretty

Steve and Bunny......How heroes!

Steve and Bunny......How heroes!

Lake Itasca State Park Visit

Hi all!  Yes, we are still alive and kicking.  Sorry for the delay in posts, doing many miles combined with bad cell service = decrease post volumes.  

Beginning of the Mississippi River

Beginning of the Mississippi River

We spent two days in the park.  Did some serious biking, hiking and other outdoor activities just like the phablet.  For those who are not in the know, this park hosts the headwaters of the Mississippi River.  It's a Minnesotan right of passage to walk across it.  I remember doing as a young boy and i hope the same for junior.  Camping was nice, but the bugs were bad.

We are off to Ada, MN for a quick gravesite visit, and then Fargo for supplies (and coffee).

 

 

 

 

Top of the fire tower

Top of the fire tower

Our Spot

Our Spot

Camper Damage!

We make our way Northward to visit some old friends from our prior life on the range.   We break the cardinal rule of dong a walk around before hitting the road.   Results:  Window damage.   :(

Check out the video for the quick fix.

On a good note, Deb and Ron treat us like kings, show us a great time, and we head out.  Junior had a wonderful time with Deb and Ron's grandkids.  We had a great time catching up.    Hard to say goodbye.

Next, we headed back to Duluth and spent a few more days fixing up the truck and hanging out with friends.    Our next stop is Itasca State Park,  headwaters of the Mississppii.

Best Tech Evahhh!

Best Tech Evahhh!

Ron and Deb have the most miles by motorcycle as anyone I know.   Half a million between the two.

Ron and Deb have the most miles by motorcycle as anyone I know.   Half a million between the two.

Sweet spot,  Free Hookups!!!!  

Sweet spot,  Free Hookups!!!!

 

Duluth and a Tale of Two Harbors

We spend a few more days in Duluth and then we headed up to Two Harbors (birth place of 3M).  Spend time with great grand ma and the rest of the relatives.  Quick ATV with the boy.  Junior really enjoyed playing with his cousins.  Had a great time with family but now it's time to head to what we call the Iron Range.

Oh Stop

Oh Stop

Little Fishing on Uncle Jim's River

Little Fishing on Uncle Jim's River

Having fun with the cousins

Having fun with the cousins

Visiting Friends in Duluth, MN

We arrived in rainy Duluth and met up with some old friends.  Jody and Lisa have a wonderful piece of land and have gracioulsy let us stay a few days We did some hiking around Chester Park and visited Canal Park as well.  Junior got to meet up with his pre-school friends.  J Brake was installed with the help of Jody but is presently non-functional (more on that later).  Next stop is Two Harbors to see Great Grandma and some family.

IMG_2323.JPG
Headed to Caribou Coffee in Canal Park

Headed to Caribou Coffee in Canal Park

Mega Mash Post

Here's a mash-up video of what we've been up to so far in Minnesota.  We've done some camping, went to my nephew's grad party, visited some old co-worker friends from our days in Duluth, MN.

Alaskan preparations continue..  Since we are planning on driving all the way to the Arctic Ocean, here is a partial list of things that have or will be done:

  • Aftermarket fuel filter (Dodge did not use the 2-micron Cummins recommendation)
  • Extra gas and diesel containers
  • Rear Differential cover. (Mag-tech) for greater oil capacity and easy draining
  • J-Brake .  (Alaska has huge grades and we are near max payload)
  • New bike rack (NV 2.0 Kuat)  easy on and easy off
  • Still need to figure out a spot for the third mountain bike.
  • Spare Belt, Radiator Hoses, Wheel Bearings, Injector Relay, 26 mm 12 point deep socket
  • Fresh Oil change
  • Garmin global Iridium satellite Device (call for help anywhere in world)
Lark Toys, Kellog, MN

Lark Toys, Kellog, MN

Mountain Biking on Sugar Loaf, Winona, MN

Mountain Biking on Sugar Loaf, Winona, MN

Four Months on the Road!!!!!

We've made it to the four-month mark, and I must say, it's been pretty easy.  I have slept in the camper for every night but one (Bakersfield Break Down).    

Today I installed the Rotopax tank system.  This was to keep the gasoline out of the rear passenger compartment on the camper.  We could often smell fumes when we ran our exhaust fans.

We'll post a video summarizing our trip and future plans soon.

Coffee at the shop

Coffee at the shop

Finally!  Kwik Trip.  (with a K)

Finally!  Kwik Trip.  (with a K)

New Rotopax install

New Rotopax install

National Eagle Center, Wabasha, MN . (Home of Grumpy old Men)

National Eagle Center, Wabasha, MN . (Home of Grumpy old Men)