Friday, April 30, 2010

Cindy B's Cafe

Last spring, we discovered this little, out of the way cafe that had the best pie we ever had in a restaurant. Today we returned and found out IT STILL DOES!!!! It is located in the "town" of Aliddin, WY, population 15. It is near Sundance, WY and Devil's Tower National Monument. The food is all homemade and we have never left hungry. The 110 year old Aliddin General Store is still next to Cindy B's. This also is worth the trip just to spend some time there. Last night, between rain and snow storms, we had a beautiful show out of our picture window - The sky and the mountains were beautiful! Today, we awoke to a couple of inches of wet snow sticking to the grass and melted on the roadways. The temperature "soared" to 38 so it melted quickly but flurries and rain fell off and on all day. The weather geniuses are talking four inches or so by tomorrow morning with winds. We are planning on leaving Sundance in the morning so we hope the roads have melted the snow by the time we are ready. We will be pointing to northeast Nebraska where we must be by Tuesday afternoon. IF the snow is melted from the roadways and IF the winds are not with the force they have been lately, we will be good to go. Looks like we will be home around May 15, give or take.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Casper to Sundance

We finally got out of Casper. The wind was still blowing but not as hard as yesterday and a snow/rain combo was on the way so we left. The drive was mostly sunny but we could see storm clouds coming from the Northwest. Before we left, Sunshine jumped on the bed and said "This is OUR bed!", including herself if our. Now we shall see. Saw some interesting rock formations during our journey today. Also started seeing Bison and Pronghorns. When we finally set up in Sundance, we looked out our picture window and saw the storms hiding our view of the mountains. The forecast is calling for 6-8 inches of snow here between noon tomorrow and noon Saturday. Guess we will not make it to Rapid City this weekend because of the weather. We have an appointment with the Blue Ox factory Wednesday in Pender, NE so will have to change our planned agenda. That is what makes this lifestyle so great, though. When snags come up, we do have our "house" with us so we can either stay or go and always be home and comfortable. We saw Devil's Tower last spring so we will probably not go there tomorrow through the snow but we will definately make Cindy B's Restaurant in Aladdin, WY with the best pie in restaurant land anywhere!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Last night in Casper, not!

It has been great seeing my son, Jim, these last few days. We leave tomorrow so tonight we will have our last dinner with him this trip and then visit with some MOC friends, Don and Wendy Stockman, who live in Casper. A great ending to the Casper portion of this journey! We were planning on going to Montana to see Little Big Horn from here but weather forecasts are calling for wind, rain and snow so that is not the right combo to visit there. We will instead move to Sundance, WY in the morning. We will be there for a few days and maybe see Devil's Tower again and definitely go to Aladdin, WY, population 15, and have lunch at Cindy B's. We stopped there last spring and had a great home made meal and probably the best pie we have ever had in a restaurant. Sunshine had really enjoyed this time in Casper because she can once again sleep most of the day. It seems like, when we are traveling, she wills herself to stay awake so that she can help me drive. A real back seat driver!
ADDED: We had a great time at dinner with Jim and then we all met with Don and Wendy at the restaurant and had a wonderful time. Soon as we got home, we checked and the forecast for tomorrow is 20-30 mph winds and 50 mph gusts. That is not the weather to tow our "house" in so we will stay another night here in Casper and hopefully leave Thursday.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Made it to Casper, WY

It sure was cold this morning when Sunshine woke me for our morning walk. We were surprised to see snow on our steps and a skin of ice on the rain puddles from last night's rain/snow storm. The sun was shining and soon it was above freezing and the snow and ice melted. I-80 was closed eastbound from Rawlins at Elk Mountain, where we were camping, because of snow from last nights storm. The semis were parked on the Interstate as far as the eye could see and the town of Rawlins was full of trucks, waiting for the highway to be reopened. We checked with the WY Highway Department and discovered that the highway between Rawlins and Casper was still open. We waited until about noon to leave to give the sun more of a chance to work and then left, arriving in Casper a couple of hours later. Soon after setting up, my son, who lives is Casper, came over. We will be visiting with him and leaving Wednesday to travel to SE Montana to see Little Big Horn. We missed seeing it when we came through last spring and, after seeing it this week, we can take it off our "next time" list. Whodathunkit? A week ago we were basking in the 80s. What happened? Global Cooling?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Provo, UT to Rawlins, WY

Remember how beautiful I said yesterday was? Well, today was as ugly as yesterday was beautiful! We could not even see the mountains that surrounded us in our campground this morning because of the rain, snow and mist. We started out in rain and by the time we got into Salt Lake City, it was mixing with snow. During the entire trip, it was alternately raining/snowing/windblowing/sun peeking through clouds. We stopped for fuel in Wyoming and the TA Travel Center parking lot was covered with a couple of inches of slush. A family of geese was going from truck to truck to pedestrian begging for food scraps (and doing quite well, too). The wind that was always there became quite strong as we neared Rawlins. We set up in the campground in the rain/snow mix and a heavy wind. Tonight, they are predicting the winds to continue tonight and an inch of accumulation of snow, ending in the morning. If the road is clear tomorrow, we will continue on to Casper to visit my son. If not clear, we will stay right here until it is. The advantage of having our "house" with us!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Moab to Provo, UT

We went from the rich reds of Moab to the majestic snowcapped mountains of Provo today. The weather went from bright sunshine to snowflakes to bright sunshine again. We watched it snowing high in the peaks as we traveled and encountered light flurries in other places. The rugged red salt mountains were traded for the truly regal, tall mountains with their snowy caps. We also saw Ranch Exit signs on this trip. When we first saw one, we thought that a rich rancher had an uncle in the Highway Department but then we was several more. Wonder how much it cost ranchers to have their own interstate exits? This trip repeated the theme of the last - around every curve and over every hill is a pleasant surprise. When we came to a blind curve surrounded by high canyon walls, we wondered aloud what we were going to see next. We are in a Good Sam Campground surrounded by tall, snowcapped peaks on three sides and mountain ridges not quite as tall on the fourth. There is not a bad view around here! We are heading for Casper, WY to see my son. Tomorrow we are slated to move to Rawlings, WY and then Saturday to Casper. The weather geniuses are predicting rain, snow and wind for the mountains tomorrow through Saturday. If that happens, we will take advantage of having our "house" with us and will "stay home," wherever we are at until the weather gets better. Last week in the 80s and now facing snow - we surely have had our contrasts on this trip. We will make a final decision tomorrow morning about when we will be leaving here. Then is will be a day to day or even less decision as we move into this section of the mountains that are having and expecting some heavy storms.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Arches NP, another favorite park!

We were pleasantly surprised today - Arches National Park is gorgeous! The raw beauty is beyond description in many cases. Over 200,000,000 years ago, it began when this area was a portion of an ocean. Then, over millions of years, the water evaporated and the salt remained with many minerals and hardened into a kind of cement. The winds, rains and other weather eroded the ground, in some cases over 5,000 feet. It left holes, caves and striations that we see today. The process is still ongoing so when we return in another million or so years, this entire area should be vastly altered again. The first pic is what we saw from our picture window this morning and the second is what we saw from our side window. I could really get to enjoy this! The red rock is a form of salt and some of the boulders that have fallen show the red on the outside and white on the inside. The arches are magnificient. How can God sculpt these holes and caves into the salt rock? How can he balance a large rock on top of a narrower pinnacle? We even saw Bucky Beaver standing and watching a giant turtle crouched on a rock over him, The Magi, Goofy, The 3 Stooges, ET and a host of others. If you look, you will even find Elvis! The park even is home to petrified sand dunes, sand dunes that have turned to cement. While at the park, we met with Robbie and Alice Simons, friends we have met in the MOC. We know them through the MOC Forum and Facebook and now have met them in person. What a great couple. They even have a 2006 Montana like ours and we now have some great ideas from them on modifications we will try to make on our Monty. They are hosts at the Arches NP Campground and we were lucky that today was their day off. Carol, Sunshine and I had a great visit with them. They are set up in Arches NP and have one of the greatest views ever seen from the picture window of an RV.