Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Days 25, 26, 27

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Day 25

From Gillette, up, up, up and down, down, down to Cody

As we drove up the on ramp for route 90 there were 3 antelope grazing by the road. We turned off the engine and watched these beautiful animals. They seemed so tame until we started the Model A and then off they went. Again, we are treated to another beautiful sunrise. The road is an interesting red color. We drove by an open red gravel pit. That explains the color of route 90.
Drove by herds of antelope. It was very nice of the farmers to plant fields of alfalfa for them. There were herds trimming the alfalfa and herds just lying down in the fields. Saw two elk with big racks.

Stopped in Sheridan for breakfast and saw 10 Model A street rods pull in with California plates. Of course Pat had to go over and talk to the group. It was Bill Perry from All Ford in San Jose and his touring group. Bill wanted to know where were Hazleton and Jones?

Headed out of town to Ranchester and we had a terrible headwind. There were 2 cyclists pedaling standing up but not moving. Started climbing up a very scenic drive to Cutler Hill, 8,347 and on to Granite Pass, 9,033. This was a big climb but the ride down was steeper and we flew to Greybull. Many motor cyclists were on the road to Sturgis and groups of police cars were heading the same direction.

Checked into our motel in Cody and then off to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. This is quite a place. There are 5 museums in one huge building, Buffalo Bill Museum, Whitney Gallery of Western Art, Plains Indian Museum, Cody Firearms Museum and the Draper Museum of Natural History plus McCracken Research Library.

Day 26 – Cody to Yellowstone

The day dawned with cool air and low humidity and everyone is in good spirits. As we bounced out of town at 7:15, Bob was concerned that we had a square wheel, but the tires were just cold and the road was ridgey. We departed in shifts but all cars met at the east gate of Yellowstone while waiting 30 minutes for a pilot car because of construction. Yellowstone was the first National Park and has more than 2 million acres. As we drove through the park we shared the road with bison and elk. We saw osprey, ravens, pelicans, trumpeter swans, and ducks and geese. The neatest attraction was a bald eagle in her nest. We looked and looked and looked in vain but we did not see a bear but Ray thinks he heard one rustling in the bushes. Old Faithful did not disappoint us, it put on a great show for a huge crowd of about a 1000 people. A couple from CA came and sat next to the ladies who sat on the boardwalk, while the men found some rocking chairs on the veranda and watched from there. Patti says it’s because they are older. Toured until 5 and then headed for the hotel in West Yellowstone, MT. Stayed at the Country Inn Motel and our “suite” was like the Winchester Mystery House. (No further comment needed) Walked to dinner, shopped, supermarket, and the local train museum.

There is a tremendous amount of tourist traffic, but the park handles it very well with good signs, and large parking areas. Also the park’s forest is in a renewal phase. I would estimate that fully 2/3 of the pine trees are either dead from pine beetles or from fire. It actually looks very grey and sad in a lot of places. However, new pine trees have started in the burn areas but it will be 20 or 30 years before it is forested again.

Day 27 – Back to Civilization (cell phone and computer)

5:00am, We (Bob and Pat) get a jump since we are slower (Bob keeps telling me that the speed of the car is slower but it is because he can’t pass up rust). We did discover that if you hit the entrance gate at that time of day, there is nobody there to charge you an entrance fee. It was very eerie in the geyser areas as we passed through in the morning twilight. The steam vents were much more pronounced and more numerous than in the middle of the day. It looked like a science fiction movie, especially since we were the only car on the road. Do do do do, do do do do.

Went through Grand Teton in the rain. We actually needed a heater today, and wrapped a blanket around our legs for warmth. Stopped in Jackson, WY for gas and got out our jackets and umbrellas because of the cold and rain. Went into a neat trading post, where Bob and the gentlemen reminisced about oldtime cowboy characters and the names of their horses. Help, we need the name of Red Ryders horse. You betchem Red Ryder.

Good day, beautiful drive on Hwy 89 down the Snake River and then the Salt River, past Bear Lake, and up and over to Logan UT.

All the cars still doing well, we heard from Dave Jones who is struggling a little, see the attached comments. Just two more days if all goes well, leave the light on.......

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I sure appreciate and enjoy your journaling and pictures!! Thank you for sharing your experiences. I am looking forward to seeing those places some day, in either a modern car or a Model A with AC!!
Liz C.

Anonymous said...

Everyone:

Saturday we crossed South Dakota and took the scenic route through the Badlands. It would have been more fun if it hadn't been over 100 and the car wasn't trying to vapor lock. After a couple of heart stopping hickups, we made it out of the Park and on to Wall, SD and the famous Wall Drugs. We had lunch there, but we get a gold star--no ice cream this time! It was then on to our Motel in Rapid City, S Dakota. The car finally vapor locked and we spent about 30 minutes along the road, having only gotten 90% up a VERY steep hill and 1/2 mile short of our Motel. Had a nice conversation with a cop while we waited.

That night, we drove up to Mount Rushmore for the Ranger Show. After touring the monumant, we had dinner and then saw an amazing program. They then turned spot lights on the faces. We were really glad went, even with the heat.

Yesterday morning we went to see the Crazy Horse monument. As the other group has said, this was a great, great stop. Susan would have loved to have had another couple of hours, but the forecast was for 110 so off we went across S Dakota to Wyoming. We took a small highway, #16, which was a great little road. However, in the end it was back on I-90 in an effort to make it before we and the car melted. (The AC keeps us somewhat cool, but at 110 all of the car surfaces become radiators and you have to be careful what you touch. How do John & Judy stand it???) Again, it faltered several times on long hills but we made it without spending anymore time on the side of the road.

Today we awoke to much, much lower temperatures. Dave has been adding thicker oil at every opportunity and today we found that the engine will hardly turn over when cold. It took several miles before the oil pressure dropped below 100 PSI. We took the long but beautiful climb over the Big Horn mountains, down Tensleep Canyon, across a very barren land and into Cody, WY. We had a great time at the 4 museums of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center here in Cody, spending over 5 hours there.

Today, we developed more car issues, as it is now hard to start when cold and when hot. NOT good. The outside temperature is about 20 deg less, so that is better for the engine and us, but didn't improve the car. I am beginning to think I have both an engine and a carb problem.

We continue to have fun at all of our stops: the driving is Not so much fun.

Looking forward to getting home,
Dave & Susan

Anonymous said...

Day 27

SOME PEOPLE JUST DON’T HAVE NO SENSE OF HUMOR…
Left West Yellowstone in the dark at 5:50 AM, and went through the toll booth so early, no ranger was there. Followed the park’s official “road kill” truck with flashing lights for a few miles and then dropped her into overdrive (oops, sorry, Bob) and blew out of there. It began to rain and it was cold. My fingers went numb and formed into claws around the steering wheel as we left Yellowstone.
The Tetons were wrapped in early morning mist as we sped along in the rain to Jackson Hole, WY where we dined at McD’s. Our gustatory experiences have degraded considerably in the last four weeks. But we’re not yet considering the roadkill.
Afton, Smoot, Thayne rolled past our bug-spattered windshield. And then the pass loomed…Granite Pass. Full of hard grades, switchbacks, and terrifying construction projects, with flag girls and flashing lights and raw, rough, dirt road. Bill disappeared…said he was going for raspberries. I knew he was going for coffee, though. He wouldn’t be back…
Hard, steep grades are there on the Granite Pass. I bravely told Bob and Ray to go on ahead…don’t worry about us. In true SCVC touring fashion, they left us in a cloud of road construction dust, no doubt looking for newer, better friends up the road. But we struggled to the top, and coasted down through Montpelier to Logan, Utah.
Since the Model A meeting was tonight, and Don was reluctantly conducting the meeting in the absence of most of the Board members, I thought it would be helpful if some of us out here in Utah phoned in some pointers to him during the meeting back there in Santa Clara. I called him at 7:30, just to let him know that the Vice President had no report. And then a few others called to help him out. Patti and Ray were just trying to help, too, but Don got a little testy with all the cell phone calls coming in. Something about “trying to run a meeting”. Stuff like that! No gratitude…no sense of humor.
The eleven of us (if you don’t know who by now, you haven’t been paying attention)
John & Judy
Logan, Utah
August 1, 2006 my ,my..where did July go?

Bob & Mary B said...

Bob & Pat, Check your e-mail. I need details of next day route after Winnemucca.Meeting went well,...thanks for phone call,John!
-Bob B.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see the new updates. The pictures are great. It sounds like
the boys will be having a couple of
"play dates" after everyone recovers from the trip.

Kim M.

Anonymous said...

Finally, everybody has a connection on the same day!

Today, the tail gunners drove Cody to Jackson, WY through Yellowstone NP and around Jackson Lake. We left at 6:45 and arrived at the closed gate at 7:55 so we were in the first group through. We had a few light slowers over the pass and again in the afternoon, but in general in was a good day. Cars continue to get us in each night. The cool weather is a blessing--we even used COATS today!!! The drive through the Park was just fantastic.

Tomorrow is our last long day with Wells, NV as our goal. Will says overnight low forecast is 38! (With my increased oil useage, I have continued to add lightweight oil and the car does turn over in the morning again. Tomorrow will be the test.)

It is good to hear everyone is still running and having fun. Home is in sight.
Dave & Susan

Ken Guzzetta said...

For the Red Ryder question, if you are talking about the Comic strip from the 30's and 40's, His horse was named -----

Thunder.

Some other facts about him are:
Red's long-time girlfriend, Beth Wilder;
His long-time enemy, Ace Hanlon; And his sidekick, Little Beaver

Pat said...

Hey Ken,
Thanks bunches for the horse's name, Thunder. But Bob says from the 30's and 40's come in that is a bit early.
We are hopingfor a smooth running trip tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Glad you had a great time and are back safe.

Ron&liz Bueno