We pulled up a very hard hill to a campground. Only after we were set up, and walked to the top of the hill, did we realize it was a major auto racing park. No race was going on, but we enjoyed watching the drivers put their cute little cars through their paces.
We soon were getting into an area I had wanted to see all my life. Only smaller plots of huge Coastal Redwoods so far, then more and more. The big trees. Where one walks through, quietly, reverently, looking up. Ferns as large as me. I had known all my life they must be fantastic, but I was not prepared for this. Before daylight the next morning, I was in among those unspeakably majestic trees, lying on my back, just looking up, until the sun was well up into the sky. I never wanted to leave that spot. To try to describe them in words, or capture them in portrait, was impossible. I'll just have to let you go, and see them for yourselves. And, if you have not, put them at the top of your bucket list.
Moving on into Oregon, The coastal scenery didn't drop off much. But inland, I was a little disappointed, with hundreds of acres of clear cuts. I hate clear cuts. A lot of my forestry friends are mad at me about this. I always fought against clear cuts, tooth and nail. Especially in the National Forests.
We moved on up into Washington, and followed the Columbia River inland, and were soon setting up camp near Mt. St.Helens. The road up to the volcano was not opened up yet, still too much snow.
We took the car off and made a loop north, through Seattle, where we ran into the Space needle by accident. Then through Olympic National Park, and Vancouver, British Columbia. In Vancouver, we just lost ourselves in it until coming out the other side. Took half a day. In the middle of the Rain Forest, a hamburger place advertised, “Free if it's not raining.” We paid.
When we arrived back near Mt. St. Helens, the road was now opened up, just that day, and drove up there with thirty foot snowbanks on each side. We got within three miles of the crater. This was where scientists were watching the mountain when it blew, They had only a scant three minutes to continue to live and enjoy it though, before the concussion reached them. Dead, rotting trees lay for miles, each fallen away from the crater. Moving east along the Columbia River, we saw unbelievably high Multnomah Falls, and I was enjoying Bridal Falls so much, Barbara had to come get me out of there. Seems like I was holding up a wedding, waiting for me to leave. We camped at Walla Walla, just so we could have that address, even if just for a day. Out of Washington, into Idaho, we climbed into the mountains looking back at Coeur D'alene, Idaho, wondering how they they played that cute little island green on the golf course. Later, a man I met at Machu Pichu in Peru, of all places, told me. By boat. Duh!
Crossing the mountains, now too cold for the motor to overheat, we camped at Missoula, Montana, left the RV there, and headed north. We went as far into Glacier National park as we could before the snow stopped us, then drove around to the other side and stopped for the night in an all-Indian town. Going into Glacier from the east, we got to see a good part of it before stopped by the snow again. Barbara spotted a big wolf, just standing, looking, just right for a good photo. She almost had the camera ready and focused when he loped off.
Traveling through the Canadian Rockies, We saw a large group of Bighorn Sheep, and worked around until we were up close, picturing away. Traveling on, we were moving through a large area of giant rocks piled on both sides of the road. Turned out, a giant rock slide had completely buried a town. When the dust settled, the single survivor, a baby, in a crib, was setting on top the pile. We came upon the World's Largest Truck, with my head almost coming up to the hubcap.
Arriving back at our RV, we set out to see a little of Missoula when a late season snowstorm threatened to snow us in, and we outran it to Livingston, Montana. From there we made a one day dash into Yellowstone, and it was our best of many visits there yet. Half the road was open, and the large wildlife were all still gathered in the micro climate produced by the hot water of the geysers and other hot water attractions. Yellowstone under snow was a great attraction in itself.
Moving into Wyoming, a very strong tailwind pushed us along quickly for a day, saving lots of gas. But, turning east the next day, the wind was now at our side, and some 16 wheelers were being blown over, and we got into camp early, to prevent a similar fate.
Moving on to South Dakota, we camped several days in Keystone, to let our mail catch up. As our camp was right behind Mt. Rushmore Memorial, we hiked in and photographed it from the top. Before we left, we had viewed it and photographed it from all angles. We fell in love with the huge, beautifully white Rocky Mountain goats that were plentiful there. I even panned some gold, very little.
Going on east, we were seeing pheasants everywhere, all day long. After setting up camp, we drove back in the car to picture some. We found none. We realized the tall RV gave us a much better view of small game.
The lady who owned the campground told us a hard blizzard last winter stranded travelers, and some of these strangers lived in her house a while. Her swimming pool was level full of snow. People in Sioux Falls were just a different breed. They were nice. If one held a bit too long when a light turned green, they didn't honk. They just patiently waited until you noticed.