Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hello from Chugwater, WY.

Hello from Chugwater, WY.

Wednesday morning August 31, 2011 (third travelogue of this trip).

Well, we are a day behind our schedule. More about that later.

Sunday, we toured Yellowstone and The Tetons. We drove the truck. In total, we drove a bit over 320 miles!!! It had been years since we viewed the gorgeous and amazing Tetons. We had lunch at a great little restaurant in Teton National Park. We then drove north towards Old Faithful. We saw it erupt just as we entered the area, so we knew that we would not be able to wait for the next eruption. We did walk around the area and had a quick snack in the lodge.

We then drove around the north loop (Madison, Norris Canyon Village,and Fishing Bridge). From there we headed back to Cody (about 50 miles from the east entrance). We saw some elk and lots of buffalo. We had hoped, like everybody else, to see moose and bear, but it was not to be.

We had planned to leave the campground early Monday and be home Tuesday. We had the engine started, but noticed one our the chapter members was having a problem with his bus. He was not able to release his parking brakes (cause by a failed brake diaphragm). He had the parts to convert to a more modern system (from DD3 to Spring brakes for the bus crowd). It took 4 of us the whole day to do the conversion. Mounting the parts was the easy part. Getting the air brake control system was the challenge.

We all left yesterday morning and we met up with them a few times – the last time a bit north of Chugwater. The system was functioning well.

If you follow our blog, you know that we have stopped here a couple of times (once on the way up to Cody). It is a quite little town that makes a good logistic stop. Last night I unloaded the bicycle and rode around the town. Once you get off the main street, the town does not look like it is “dead”.

Responding to Judy's comment on PETA and the pig race. PETA would have no problems with the race. The pigs love it, as they all get a nice treat at the end of the race. The track is very small and they don't have to run a lot. You can tell that they have done the race a bunch of times. As soon as the gates are raised, they run very fast. The owners of the saloon had to work with the Montana legislature to get approval so that the patrons could wager bets. I think they said that the proceeds go to worthy charities and a state fund for recreation. The whole event was a lot of fun.

We got an off-line comment from some friends asking us to post some pictures. We have gotten very lazy about taking pictures (took a few) but even more so about taking the time to process them so that they can be posted.

That's all for this trip.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hello from Cody, WY

Hello from Cody, WY.

Saturday Evening August 27, 2011 (second travelogue of this trip).

We are parked at the Absaroka Bay RV Park map. This was the site of the Eagles International Rally. It has been a blur since we got here. I will try to catch up as quickly as possible.

We arrived here Sunday about mid-day. While the rally was scheduled from Wednesday (8/24) to Friday (8/26), there was a lot of pre-rally events. Sunday we rode with some folks up to Red Lodge, Montana so that we could have a great dinner at the Bear Creek Saloon and Steakhouse. The town is in the middle of nowhere and is about 60 miles from the campground. The food was great, but the real fun was the pig races. They are famous for this event.

On the way up to Red Lodge, we went through a big thunderstorm. On the way back we could see a pretty large fire going up the side of the mountain – apparently started by the lightening. We heard later that it is a fairly large fire. It has rained a bit this week, so we hope that helped the fire fighters.

Monday we drove up South Fork road to the end of the road (about 30 miles). It was a pretty drive. The end of the road is not far from the boundary of Yellowstone and there were several signs warning of grizzly bears in the area. About the only wildlife we saw was a large herd of elk. Monday night the hosts had a great spaghetti dinner at their house for the early arrivals.
Tuesday we kind of cooled our jets, and I worked on an article for Bus Conversions Magazine.

Wednesday, the buses started rolling in. We had something like 32 Eagle buses and 4 or 5 other types of buses. That is a great turnout in this economy and with fuel being so high. That evening we had a big pig roast.

Thursday, we all took a trolley ride around Cody and then went to the Cody Rodeo. This rodeo is held every night during the summer and is a well known event.

Friday we had a board meeting at 9:00 and a General Membership Meeting at 10:00. The major item was a discussion/review of the chapter bylaws which are undergoing revision. A couple of us were very concerned about some folks who were very vocal prior to the meeting. However, it went well and the bylaw committee got some very good input. Friday night we had a great pot luck dinner.

Today we watched many of the Eagles depart. There are still about 6 coaches here now. We went to the famous Buffalo Bill Cody Museum. It is a great museum and is famous for its extensive firearm collection.

Tomorrow we will make a tour into Yellowstone. I suspect it will take most of the day. We will travel in the truck. We had thought about driving the bus though the park and down towards the Tetons, but that just did not seem to provide us to much opportunity to see the park and driving the bus on a sightseeing tour did not seem like a lot of fun.

We did have one exciting event this week. A couple of us were sitting in chairs close to our bus. One fellow noticed that one of our tires has some very severe wear. I thought I had been careful to check the tires, but apparently the part of the tire that was not worn was where I did my inspection. I was pretty sure that the bearing setting was too loose but I never got a chance to adjust it. In truth, I simply blew it and forgot the put it in the priority list. I was able to locate a good used tire, and they came out and installed it yesterday – all for the bargain price of $182. That is a very good price – especially when you hear the horror stories of traveling folks being gouged.

That is all for now.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hello from Thermopolis, WY

Hello from Thermopolis, WY.

Saturday Evening August 20, 2011 (first travelogue of this trip).

We are at the Fountain of Youth RV park in Thermopolis map. This is a small little campground, but it has a wonderful hot springs pool. The hot springs flows over 1 million gallons of water in 24 hours. I think the temperature is 130 degrees and it has a very heavy mineral content. We spent about a half hour in the medium temperature pool (they won't let you in the hot temperature pool). It felt really good, but I don't think we feel all that much younger {grin}.

We are on our way to an Eagle Bus Rally in Cody, WY. We are only about 30 miles from Cody, and could have easily made it there today, but we thought it would be fun to spend some time in a hot springs. Little did we know that we would have our own pools in the campground.

We left Denver on Friday and stopped in Chugwater, WY. We stopped in Chugwater last year and documented our “relationship” with the town in this blog. As we noted in that blog, we have fond memories of taking an Eagle bus to a membership ranch we belonged to and stopping in Chugwater to get great meat for the meals at the Ranch. It is sad to see the town main street almost deserted. The only place that is open is a great store/restaurant that is said to have the oldest continuously operating soda fountain in Wyoming.

The Eagle Rally does not start until Wednesday, but we hope to do quite a bit of sightseeing prior to the rally.

That is all for now.