I’m at 12 weeks of traveling, camping, and living off the motorcycle. You’ve seen plenty of pictures of my camps, but aside from my time with Joe, pretty much nothing about what I’ve been eating. My dining experiences have trended towards the do-it-yourself option as I’ve progressed similar to my choices on where to sleep have. The cost of eating out in Canada and Alaska have certainly been a factor with this. Read more
Leaving Moab I jumped on the motorcycle and traveled along 128 which parallels the Colorado River. With little traffic my speed flowed like the river’s. Accelerating through turns and slowing on the straightaways allowing me to enjoy the scenery and reflect. It was time to get back to reality. No more nights in a bed and homecooked meals. No more travel companion to bs and see the sites with. Or so I thought….
I set off on my motorcycle travels 41 days ago from Texas to Alaska and south to San Diego. Aside from getting a motorcycle and setting it up I need a place to sleep each night, right? Trust me, I need my sleep. In order for me to keep my trip going for as long as possible I need to do this as cheaply as possible along the way. I’ve broken the options down for places to stay into 7 categories. Read more
It was different for me traveling with someone in many ways. My wish from the first few weeks of my trip came true as all of a sudden I had a food genie. Joe was (voluntarily) in charge of dinner. I gave him whatever I could from my food supply and let him go. I did get to introduce him to the magic ingredient of Cholula though, mmmm. Read more
Well things have been going well, until yesterday afternoon, but I’ll get to that in a bit. I flew back to Minneapolis on Sunday and had a meal with my relatives out there. I hadn’t seen them since 94. We had a nice visit and meal and I spent my last night in a bed for a while. The next day I did my grocery shopping, got an oil change and headed for South Dakota. Made it just inside the border that night and then drove to the Badlands National Park on Tuesday.
What a crazy place. The terrain is something out of this world. You would have no idea where you were if someone just dropped you off there. I arrived at about 1pm on a day that got up to at least 97 after being 47 when I woke up. A good day to see why they call it the badlands. After a short hike I decided to hide out in town for the afternoon and come back later. I went to Wall Drug in Wall SD which I had seen about 200 billboards for during my drive on I-90. What a let down. A bunch of separate shops that sell one thing you might want then would have to pay for that, go to the next place and so on. I decided to wait and find a Target. The other billboard king was the corn palace which was about what I expected, but nothing great. They use corn husks, cobs, and so on to decorate the inside and outside of a building and change it every year. Good for a break, but it was a quick one.
I went back to the park and saw a bunch of bison right by the campground. Some where close to the road for pictures, while most of them were spread out doing there thing. I took a hike from the campground, in the other direction over some of the bison trails. I found some huge geodes in next to one of the vertical walls that had tumbled down and split. They largest were 3 feet by 2 feet. When I returned I found out that one of the bison had walked right through the campground in between my car and my neighbors. The next morning I took a drive to another area of the park which I had all to myself. I ventured half way out one of the spires. But given my health respect of heights and the pebbles I was trying not to knock over and listen to them fall, fall, fall. I only spent a couple of minutes there before heading to a more robust area to look from. I’d seen what I wanted to then and decided to head over to Custer state park.
Custer is just south of Mount Rushmore which I saw on the way there. When I got out of the car I felt a slight twinge in my lower back, but no big deal. I took a nap and made dinner then went on a drive on their wildlife loop at sunset. Saw lots of deer, a few turkey, and some more bison. It is a beautiful state park and quite large. Lots of camping areas and everything is well marked, not always the case.
When I returned, my lower back was killing me all of a sudden. I was planning on doing a nice hike in the morning, but decided to wait and see how I felt. It was a miserable night, I could sleep on my right side for a while, but then have to shift. No other position would let me sleep so I’d wait a while get back on my side and try again. I packed up early skipped my hike and found a chiropractor in Rapid City. I hadn’t ever been to one, but he checked things out and said I had got out of alignment, probably from all of the driving, and adjusted things back to where they belong. I just left there and will see how it goes. Probably have to find a couple more as I continue west. Right now I am out of commission except for short walks. Never had problems like this before and hope they don’t last long. I was planning on doing the Deadwood and Spearfish areas today, which I should still be able to do. Of course the weekend is coming up so Monday will be my next chance to get adjusted again if I need to.
Forget Disneyworld, I nominate the Boundary Waters for the most magical place on earth. Had absolutely amazing time on my trip. I was out for 5 days and 4 nights. During the middle 48 hours I did not see a single other person. I got loaded up on the water at 8am Thursday morning. Read more
Greetings all, I’m not actually still in Ely, but its my blog so I can do what I want. Been a busy, busy week. I had a day to kick around in Ely before my canoe trip started. I went to the International Wolf Center which has a bunch of educational displays and presentations there. They also have an enclosure with 5 wolves in there. During the day they were hiding out in their den keeping cool which was a disappointment. I went back that evening and they were out and about then. I was really surprised at how big they are, about 100 pounds. Enjoyed seeing them and was able to take some pictures then. The rest of the stuff there is ok, but the highlight is seeing the wolves.
That day I also got together with the outfitter, Timber Trail, for my trip and got a big pack of food for my trip along with the canoe. I had found the outfitter through the internet and everything worked out great. I tested the canoe out that afternoon and was wondering what I was getting myself into. It was an 18-foot long Kevlar canoe which weighed about 18 pounds. They also said it could be a bit brittle to sudden impacts so don’t band it on the ground or hit any rocks with it while on the water. I was doing fine in it, but could tell it was going to be a lot of paddling to get anywhere. After going through their pack and leaving all the camp gear that I already had I was down to the canoe my backpack with gear and clothes, a dry bag for my camera, and the big pack with food and water. More than enough as I was to soon learn.
In the town of Ely they have a bunch of knick-knick shops, restaurants, and a photo gallery I wanted to see. The artist is Jim Brandenburg who has taken photos for National Geographic for years. He does animal and landscape shots primarily from where he lives, near Ely. I’ve been lucky enough to see lots of great photos from my friend Michelle in Illinois and he is nearly as good as her. Some beautiful places and moments captured on the walls there. A little out of my price range though and not much room to hang them in my current house, I mean truck. After all that the outfitter had a local band doing a little show on the beach that evening so I went down there, had a beer (or two) and got ready for the big outing to start the next morning.