On The Road Again -
- with apologies to Willie Nelson.
Forty-four hours after landing in Ft Lauderdale it was time to hit the road in a rental car and pick up my van north of Bonifay FL. As always, I had booked the cheapest/smallest car with Budget. This time I was given a Mitsubishi Outlander with a four wheel drive option. Not that I was going to need it on I-95 and I-10. Nice car though. (Picked up Ft Lauderdale, dropped Tallahassee Regional Airport $42.20)
My Ford had been well looked after with both batteries in good condition. One tyre had needed a top up a couple of times during my absence, and it was suggested maybe I should have it looked at.
Twenty eight miles away at FJ in Dothan AL I asked for someone to check all my tyres, and make sure they were up to the required pressure. It was then I was told/shown where the air was coming out of one tyre as quickly as it was being put in. The local tyre shop put the spare on and sold me a used tyre to have as a spare. That at least would get me to Joplin.
The run to Joplin was incident free and most enjoyable - a weekend on lightly travelled interstates. One day I plan to have sufficinent time to check out the many attractions posted along these highways.
All necessary repairs and maintenance had already been organised. Now a new set of tyres was added to that list. Four days later I was able to hit the road with a full service, new tyres, windscreen, brakes, rotors and who knows what more. Even a new radio/cassette tape player. She's as good as new.
Besides visiting family and friends, who knows what adventures she will be undertaking this year. Suffice that a visit to Boston is top of the list.
You were even able to find a new radio/cassette player? Wow, you can't buy them in the store any more, everything is CD/Auxiliary/iPod oriented. We have a cassette player in our truck, though, and we can run either CD's or iPod through it (thanks to a nifty gadget that goes from a never-ending tape into a CD WalkMan-type thing or directly into the iPod).
Looking forward to reading your adventures!
I can't take credit for that. It is amazing what glc can find. You only need to mention something, and bingo his ability to get around the internet has found it.
There are actually a few available on thE bay, mostly coming out of China. They are listed on many of their sites. But this one was located in Ohio. It is really great to play my tapes again. The old one was a tape player, but it was broken.
I ordered it from Crutchfield. They have exactly one in-dash receiver with cassette in the catalog.
Donna, I have one of those cassette adapters too, it came with my portable XM radio. I also use it with my smartphone to play MP3's.
That's it. Thanks.
I thought it looked like an old Boeing.
Interesting, about the F350 crew cab and the guy who slept in the backseat. At least the crew cab seats are a lot more comfortable than the SuperCab, which is more than a bench ... or at least it is, on the older models. Either way, I wouldn't want to sleep on either as a matter of habit!
US-191 - Rivers and Roads
Ir was not until I reflected on this Sunday, that I realised I had driven by rivers all day. A most pleasant day.
As expected, the sun woke me early, and not having anyone with whom to spend time sharing stories/experiences, I was on the road soon after. The goal was to see if I could make my way to the Gap which Carl had recommended.
The first 5.5 miles followed the Green River back to US-191. Driving high up on the bluffs, with the river so far below me it was a beautiful view over the surrounding countryside... all bathed in the soft glow of the early morning..
Heading north, US-191 enters the Hobach Canyon, winding its way through the canyon beside the Hobach river.. Just before the Canyon there are roadside boards giving the history and significance of the Canyon in early exploration and to the natives who lived there. For 11 miles the road is no passing, with only one or two small pulloffs in this section, and none of those are in a position to photograph the best of it.
I thought to check out Granite Creek Campground, The road to the campground turns east out of Hobach Canyon, at the northern end.. A small dirt road, barely wide enough for two vehicles, though there are many spots where it is a little wider to pass. It twists and winds its way up the mountain following the creek the nine miles to the campground.
This campground is in a most idyllic setting, with mature trees all around and well spaced camping spots. It looked to be well over half full with many families, lots of motor homes and trailers and the occasional tent The camphost told me that many families come each year. It is essential to book for opening and closing weekends - Memorial and Labour Day - but rarely fills up at other times.
I queried about getting those large trailers in over that little dirt road. He told me that he gets his wife to go up ahead to check the traffic, and he follows with the trailer behind - it was huge. Still all the others got theirs in as well, not sure how they managed.
Once there the main attraction is the Creek - which once the snow melt has passed, can be waded, and fishing. A mile above the campground is Granite Creek Hot Springs. Halfway to the Hot Springs are the Falls, which are easily accessible. I was told that there is a hot pool near the base of the Falls as well. This is where most campers seemed to be going. It did mean crossing the creek.
Having driven through the two loops of the campground, I headed back to the highway. Going back was ever so much easier. for one I was not on the drop-off side, and I knew what to expect.
At Hobach Junction I took US-89/26 south to Alpine WY. This route runs through the Snake River Canyon. Highlight here was at one turnout seeing the rafts on the river. Seems here was a party from MI university rafting. Must have been for some project, as there appeared to be folk with clipboards and paper all along the banks. I joined the many who had pulled over here to watch the activities below.
A small mountain town, Alpine WY can be seen (and explored) in 10 minutes. It was then a case of finding the road which would take me south to McDougal's Gap. Did not take long, considering there are only a few roads out of town.
Since fuel here was considerably cheaper than in Pinedale, I took the opportunity to fill the tank.
The road along the Grey river - Greys River Road/FR10038 - is a well maintained gravel road, and tunred out to be quite busy. The first couple of miles out of town are paved. All along the road there are pull offs to the river. It was at one of the first of these, right by the water, that I stopped for lunch. There was another vehicle there, with dog and all, but I never saw anyone near it. Maybe they had gone fishing. Fishing and camping were popular activities along this way.
I think this road would have been easier to drive from South to North, as there were a few times that one was high above the river, .... which was a long way down. Having gone for quite some time and distance, I began to wonder if I had missed the turnoff. Figuring many of those who were driving this scenic route were locals, I stopped a car and asked. They assured me Sheep Creek Road/FR10125 was up ahead... actually, not much further. I could not have missed it.
Sheep Creek Road not only led to McDougal's Gap, but followed, as one may expect, Sheep Creek. Carl had been right, the view from the Gap was worth it. It Would have been better if I had been able to hike up the hill on the side. A nice spot... however, right at the Gap the road was not in the best condition.
Cottonwood Ryegrass Rd led back to US-189 just south of Daniel WY. (That is the road I should have taken on the previous day.)
200 miles of great scenery much of it through the Bridger Teton NF and Grose Ventre Wilderness areas..
Back at the Visitor centre I thanked Carl and Nancy for their suggestions, and told them how much I had enjoyed the drive. for the night it was back to the old KOA, in town, where I joined the tents already set up. It was after dark when two Harleys roared into the campground, HIS completely lit up in blue, HERS in a soft red/dark pink. They too pitched their tent and settled down for the night.
And the road rolls on....
Nice to see that you've taken up the thread of sharing this tale with us!
US-191 - Pinedale II.
It was a lazy Saturday. Made a late start, having spent much time chatting with other campers before bothering about getting myself going.
So it was after lunch when I decided to go seek out McDougal Gap, which had been recommended to me as a nice drive, a nice place. At the visitor centre, Carl had given me some local maps to follow. However, the information on the maps and the roadside markers was not consistent, and I never did find the turn off to Mcdougal Gap. None-the-less I spent a lovely afternoon driving around through some spectacular country. At one point a large bird (looked like an eagle) flew across my path. A heavy dark brown bird of prey. Went as far as Marbleton. Much of this area is part of the Bridger Teton National Forest.
Back in town before the visitor centre closed, I had to find out which road it was I should have turned. Carl filled me in with the names of the numbered roads. Helps if you have the right information. When I mentioned I planned to camp at Warren Bridge, where I had met camphost Tom some weeks earlier, Carl suggested I check out the eastern side of the highway, along the Green River. Said there were camping spots along there which were BLM free spots. I made my way up to the Green River Recreation Area,
Calr's wife Nancy enquired about the old KOA, what had I thought of it, how many were there, etc., then went on to say that they had been told not to recommend it. Better to send campers to the larger commercial outfits. Something she preferred not to do.
Heading north out of town, just as I crossed the bridge, I came upon an RV parked on the bridge.... with an Australian flag in the back window. I pulled in front of it, and went over to have a chat. Having stopped to check his map, this gentleman from Sydeny, who, together with his wife and three daughters was travelling the US for six months, had bought the motorhome from a private owner in LA, on Craigslist, had it registered through the same firm, actually, the same attorney who registered mine. [when I spoke with the attorney a few weeks later, he recalled having breakfast with the family when they were in Missoulla.], and had arranged to have it waiting for him on arrival.
Arrived at my destination, where of the dozen or so areas by the river, most have basic camping facilities. The first two areas, with two spots each, already had large RVs and Trailers occupying the spots. It was about 5.5 miles along this scenic route on the ridge, high above the river that I came to the turn off for area 6 (or was it 7??). this was the group camping area, and there were two very large group camping sites. But no one was occupying any. I decided this was a nice spot to stay. One can pay $16 to camp at Warren Bridge where the 'facilities' are exactly the same - no hookups and primitive toilets.
The camping spots were at the base of the bluff, with fire places and picnic tables scattered around. I chose a nice spot by a picnic table some yards from the river. After eating dinner the sun was about to disappear over the top of the bluff, making for an early night. I figured thesun would wake me from the other side of the river nxt morning.
There is something soothing about going to sleep by the side of a river, to the sound of water.
Last edited by Lifemagician; 09-22-2014 at 01:21 PM.
Joplin and beyond.
It is interesting to see how Joplin is progressing with the rebuilding. Almost three years after the tornado, the new hospital is well on it's way, and the high school is scheduled to open for the next school year. The students who will be attending the new school will be very lucky. Their new school has the latest of everything, including technology. One positive which came out of the tornado. Another is the new hospital. As well as the latest of everything, this is being rebuild with new tornado resistant windows. On the other hand, there are still lots of vacant lots and the absence of mature trees along the tornado's path makes that part of town look very bare.
As soon as my van was ready it was time to head out for Boston.
The first night's stop was in Brazil IN. Being a weekend (again), it was a great run, even though it was all on interstates. By now fuel prices had risen considerably to what I had experienced further south. I keep consoling myself that it is still a little over 50% of what we pay at home.
The next day took me to Grantsville MD, and gave an opportunity to get off interstates. All through OH, I-70 was lined with snow on the side of the road. I was pleased to hear that "it snowed yesterday", and no more was expected. Driving in snow is not my idea of a fun.
Route 40 from Washington PA to I-68 is another of these drives which takes one through small towns that appear to have been there forever. A simple two lane road with houses and businesses fronting right onto the road. No national chains to be seen here. Not in retail. Not in accommodation. The variety of architecture is amazing. The 45mph speed limit did not give one sufficient opportunity to appreciate it. All too soon the road widened, there was a set of traffic lights and the encroachment of the (ugly) big box and national chain stores.
At 3000', Grantsville too had a generous covering of snow. The truck stop, Macca's and other places still had a lot of snow in the parking areas. It was freezing cold. I was grateful for my all seasons sleeping bag.