Friday: September 19th

We have had a great meal at Globus in Ketchum.  We each had a fish dish we have never had before:  Karen had sturgeon (farm raised) and I had Escolar.

Tonight we have completed about 90% of our packing required for an early morning departure.  Destination: west to the Oregon coast.

What have we learned about Ketchum?  The surrounding areas have a lot to offer.  The Sawtooth National Forest would be a place I’d come back to explore.  Ketchum, not so much.  If you ski or want to shop for expensive art or buy a 2nd home for 1 million+ this might be the place for you.

Thursday: September 18th

I’m not writing like I thought I might.  The amount of material is so large it is getting in the way.

Ketchum, Idaho

A strange town.  Nice exterior.  Nice looking people.  ( “Arnold” and Bruce Willis are listed as celebs who come here to ski ) Nice cars.  If we moved here we would be the new poor people in town.  Property and housing looks to be about 4 to 5 times what we would spend on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

The Sawtooth Mountains and other surrounding areas make it worth the stay.  From our condo we can be on some dirt road in 10 minutes.  River water is crystal clear.  Wonderful and diverse plant life is everywhere.  The weather has been most cooperative.

Today we will travel to Twin Falls.  As usual, we have little knowledge of what we will find but it appears there are water falls as well as a large bridge crossing the Snake River where it is legal for B.A.S.E. jumping.

Saturday morning we will leave the comforts of a condo behind and hit the tent trail to the coast of Oregon.  I’m looking forward to it.


Sunday: September 14

Ketchum, Idaho

We are now nestled in a warm cozy condo in the mountains of Idaho.  This will be home till we leave on the 19th and head for the coast of Oregon.

There is cell service and wi fi galor so we should be available if needed.  If you have an urge to fly out to Ketchum we have two extra bedrooms and will pick you up from the airport. (talk about excess)

This is just a quick check in.  I’m hoping to write a good bit in the coming days about our experiences and thoughts about this trip.

Till then…..


Friday: Sept 12

I don’t seem to have enough time to write.  We have sketchy internet and there is so much to do.

While it seems a week ago I guess it was 2 days ago on Wednesday we left Cooke City outside the northeastern entrance to Yellowstone.  The Beartooth Hwy was closed due to ice.  We traveled through Yellowstone and exited the south entrance and entered Grand Teton National forrest.  Wednesday we stayed in a camp in the north section of the park at the Flag Ranch Campground.  Thursday we explored the park heading south along the Teton Park Rd.  We had temps in the low 40′s with a mixture of snow and sleet and a healthy serving of dramatic clouds.

Last night it was a bit cold with a low of 23 in the Gros Ventre Campground… one of (if not the best) we’ve ever visited.  Today we’ve been to the Schwabacher Road turnoff and photographed classic views.  As of this writing we have just finished viewing wonderful art at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

We have no destination for today……

Stay tuned….

Richard and Karen

Wednesday: Sept 10th

Good Morning.

Yesterday we made the trip from Cooke City, Wyoming to Cody along the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway.  It was a spectacular drive with good weather holding all the way to Cody.  It was a bit rainy on the way back.  I highly recommend this drive as it is likely one of the best in the country. (look at my pictures on Flickr)

With the history of Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce and how they were forced off their land by our best thinkers and the might of our military coupled with the Japanese internment  camp at Heart Mountain near Cody, this area of the country should make us all think hard of our place in this world and the history we are creating today.  I’m left feeling like I have a debt to pay for my country’s mistakes.  I wonder how future generations will fare in world opinion.


Today we were planning to drive the Beartooth Hwy to Red Lodge but it appears some stretches may be closed.  With elevations of up to 10,000 feet they can have snow in the summer and it is already September.  The weather reports for tomorrow suggests snow in many of the lower elevations around here.

I’m not sure where we will be at the end of today and when our next wi fi fix will occur.


Tuesday: September 9th

We left the campgrounds at Madison inside Yellowstone park early Monday morning to relocate to Pebble Creek in the Lamar Valley. (also in Yellowstone) Pebble Creek is a “first come, first serve” camp and it was full when we arrived.

We found a cabin in Cooke City (population 100 in the winter) and stayed last night and will be here again tonight.  It was perhaps fortunate we were in good shelter last night as there was a tremendous thunderstorm with rain wind and lightning.  While I’m tolerant of lightning while camping, Karen is not.  So it worked out well.

This morning we were up and in the park to join the wolf watcher pack  but were about 15 minutes late to see a pack of 5.  Later I did see my first lone wolf.  However it was so far off it was like looking at a speck of pepper on a hillside.  We are learning that the wolf watchers are as dedicated to their sport as any fisherman or hunter is to theirs.  We will be back out in the morning much earlier than today.  Karen has the wolf watching bug.

More to follow….

Friday: September 5th Yellowstone

Good weather is following us around.  This morning was a bit frosty and 28 degrees as we woke up in Madison Campground in Yellowstone.  At the time of this post we’ve made our way out to Cooke City outside the east entrance to Yellowstone.  We will be staying in Yellowstone for another 6 nights.

Missoula was great.  Our time with Bob and Ellen was luxurious.  Great company, excellent food and wonderful accommodations as well as guided tours and walks and history lessons were standard fare.

We are traveling through some of the most beautiful land this country and perhaps the world has to offer.

Back to Yellowstone:  We will be camping and have very little access to internet or cell phone service.  If there is an emergency… call 911.  We are at Madison Campground C-100 for another 3 nights and then will probably relocate to a campground in the Lamar Valley.

We will be adding pictures to Flickr when we can.  The links are to your right.  Karen and I each have link there.

Until next time….




We are spending a couple of nights away from Missoula in Bob and Ellen’s cabin.  We have been wandering around the area looking at lakes and rivers and ever hopeful to spot a bear.  We’ve seen coyote, hawks, sandhill cranes, elk and deer but no bear.

Tomorrow the rodeo where kids riding sheep along with the usual rodeo fare should keep us amused.

Stay Tuned.

Richard and Karen


Rocky Start to a Vacation or “How to get rid of stuff”

CloudsThe good news is we are safe and sound and have the resources to get on track.  And the bad news is… well.. not that bad compared to most things people have to suffer through.

Yesterday it took us 10 or so hours to get to Chicago and having missed a connection spent the night there.  Today we arrived in Seattle to learn that our checked bags did not fly with us.  Three of the 4 have made it so far after they went to San Francisco.  The 4th bag is still missing.  It turns out Southwest does not scan checked bags so they have no clue where it is.  If you spend 10 dollars to ship a UPS package you would know what truck it was on anywhere in the country.  No so with checked bags.

So in that bag are any number of crucial items.  Although I carried on most of my prized possessions and things I did not want checked we couldn’t carry it all.  All my cool/cold weather clothes are in that bag with other items such as a small bag with odds and ends electronics, card reader, chargers and a 1 tb hard drive for all our expected pictures.  Our stove and utensils for cooking, a tripod, a film camera (not my Rolleiflex), my hiking shoes, my flute, and other things I’m not thinking about right now are all waiting to be found.

I remember a flight a handful of years ago a little girl in the seat in front of me said to her mother as she watched bags being loaded onto the plane, “we’ve been on the plane 5 minutes now, I think they’ve had enough time to lose our bags”,

Tomorrow we are leaving Seattle with or without it.  We are a day behind schedule but since we don’t really have much of a schedule we’ll make it up in short order.  We’ll acquire what we need and move on.  It is just stuff.  I’ve been thinking lately how we have too much stuff and how we should downsize and not consume as much.  Maybe this is a good start.

98% Packed and Ready

We leave tomorrow for Seattle and spend the night there.  Tuesday we acquire a vehicle and load up with supplies we brought and shop for odds and ends for our camping.  Things are loose enough we have no idea where we will stay Tuesday night.  We’ll have all day to figure it out.  We will head in the general direction of Missoula Montana were will be through labor day weekend.

It won’t feel real till we are in the airport tomorrow in Norfolk.