Tuesday, April 24, 2018

April 24, 2018

 Show Down Mountain ski resort webcam shows conditions atop King's Hill Pass.
Yellowstone NPS webcam showing conditions at Mammoth Hot Springs April 23.

We started this new blog today to have a place for lengthy notes about US 89 Team's status.  This will help keep the website, Facebook and Twitter a lot cleaner.

On April 15 about 4:45 PM w finished The Drive on US 89 from Nogales, Arizona, to Alpine, Wyoming.  We arrived home in Idaho Falls April 16.  We figured we would be back out on the road once again by May 1st.  That isn't going to happen.  The weather in NW Wyoming and western Montana is still behaving much like it has all winter--storm after storm dropping snow on snow.

We're firmly planted here in Idaho Falls until the weather clears enough to proceed north safely.  Towing a travel trailer on icy or snow-covered roads is not our idea of fun.

Meanwhile we're keeping busy prepping for the upcoming completion of The Drive from Mexico to Canada.  Much maintenance has been done on Sharlot, our 2005 Toyota Tundra.  We've also done a lot of good stuff to The Mosey Inn, our 16-foot, 30-year-old travel trailer.

We're busily making contacts and doing additional research on the remainder of US 89 that lies ahead.  We've also outlined the itinerary we will follow once we're cleared for travel north.

As far as Sharlot goes, we've ordered new tires, changed the fully synthetic oil once again, installed a new air filter and had the wheels pulled and the brakes checked. We're going to have the fuel injectors cleaned, too.

Meanwhile, we spent a day rigging a different cooler set up in the back seat of Sharlot.  We have an IGBC-certified cooler but don't want run afoul of overzealous NPS bear regulation enforcers.  We've rigged the truck so that we can entirely empty the pickup truck bed if need be and have nothing sitting outside the trailer either.

Back in mid-March, the travel trailer fridge went bad and filled the trailer with ammonia gas.  So we removed the fridge and now rely solely on a traditional cooler (AKA: ice chest).  Removing the fridge opened up several cubic feet of "new" storage space.  We're still in the process of adapting to utilization of this gaping chuck of space.  Much time has been spent tinkering with how best to capitalize on the additional storage opportunities. 

The current storage arrangement now includes a backup space heater known as a "Little Buddy" that's said to be safe for indoor usage.  Of course, we carry a carbon monoxide detector "just in case."  The space will also now carry our US 89 reference books, maps, etc. in addition the various dry goods  for our traveling pantry.

We rearranged our "Bucket Brigade" and cut the number of buckets in half so it's a lot leaner and cleaner in the travel trailer's so-called bathroom.  We also ditched our heavy lawn chairs and bought much lighter, smaller chairs.

The deep cycle battery has been fully charged, the trailer wheel bearings greased and the truck hitch ball serviced.

On a whimsical note, we added an antique Griswold cast iron skillet and an ornate iron bacon press to our traveling utensil inventory so we can cook bacon "right & proper."

We've done a fair amount of social media posting regarding both the most recent portion of The Drive and the long stretch upcoming.  We're reaching out to various contacts we might be able to meet on the Alpine-Piegan Drive.  We sent a hard copy letter to Customs & Border Protection asking assistance in having our picture taken right on the Canadian Border in Piegan,  Meanwhile, we've refreshed our traveling business card supply and will be working on a descriptive brochure.

Here's the itinerary that we posted on our personal Facebook:

Trip Planning...
Things are starting to fall into place for The Drive on US 89 from Alpine, Wyoming, to Piegan, Montana, at the Canadian Border. Although we don't know precisely when we're pulling out of Idaho Falls (due to weird weather & snow & such), we at least know where we're going. Therefore, we can create an itinerary.
First night will be at Gros Ventre Campground just outside Jackson, Wyoming, in Grand Teton National Park.
Second night will be at Mammoth Campground between Mammoth and Gardiner, Montana. (Photos of Mammoth CG here: https://www.flickr.com/…/yellowstone…/sets/72157650737231419)
Third Night in an AirBNB property between Kings Hill and Great Falls, Montana.
Fourth night at St. Mary Campground in Glacier National Park.
Chances are pretty good that we will spend at least two nights at St. Mary CG and maybe 3.
Returning home we will stay a night near Dupuyer; one or two nights in Great Falls, maybe another night in that AirBNB house and then once again in Mammoth. From Mammoth, we will prolly drive back to Alpine and camp at Palisades. We love Palisades.
The AirBNB property we will be staying at between King's Hill and Great Falls, Montana.

All-in-all, we're "OK" with being here at home in Idaho Falls.  As much as we'd love to be back out on The Road again, we're getting productive things done, both in travel prep and in the routine annual litany of home owner chores.

We'll get back out on the road when the time is right.

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