A Travellerspoint blog

Vegas and the Chase

Ever since visiting Vegas for the first time a few years ago I have always wanted to drive in rather than fly which I got to do this past week, actually I think after being there for the first time I wanted to move. After leaving San Diego I didn’t see much on my travels but I did make a stop at the Valley View Casino to check out the Tanks tank and do a little gambling. Tank has become a show that I always tune into when I come across and knew I wanted to check out this massive tank and plus it’s in a casino so you can’t go wrong. The tank was huge it runs the length of an entire wall and has a lot of casino décor and flashy fish. I spent some time admiring the fish and left losing 40 in the casino but was up with my view of the fish. From that point on it was just a lot of driving in the desert and the heat increased as I got further in. Driving in Vegas was on the top of the list and from SD and as I approached I couldn’t help to get excited. I remember just being 27 miles outside and just had another moment like many on this trip where I pause and can’t believe it’s happening and got an instant rush. It’s interesting to look at the history of the Sin City which was at first just a stop over and than later became the Mecca it is today as the need for water had to be solved by the building of the hoover dam. It’s funny the Vegas we see today got its roots from all those construction workers that needed to pass the time, hence gambling, liquor and the show girls, I guess with men not a lot has changed over the years. You can appreciate its isolation when you drive in or fly in during the day because there isn’t much that surrounds it. The drive in was good and I was happy to come through the desert and land on the strip. I always get the same feeling when I get to Vegas seeing the strip for the first time it just pours out energy and excitement. I quickly found a hotel room at the NY NY for about 70 picked up some beer than headed up to my room. Now this was my first time since leaving NY that I had a room other than my Escort. It was great feeling to be able to have a bed, tv a cool room to lounge in ahhhhh it was nice. By the time I head checked in and got settled it was about 730 so I relaxed for a bit then headed to the casino which was a short play on the wheel but at this point I am pretty hooked on craps but that’s going to have to wait till the south. I decided that I would try and hit up Pure that night and made my way over to Cesar’s ( Is this the real Caesars palace, they get that a lot I asked last time). I like going to Pure especially going up enjoying a beer on the outdoor deck that looks over the strip. Unfortunately I talked my way into a pass but was clowned at the door as apparently it had to be used at 12 and judging by the looks of the line I wasn’t about to pay 40. I gambled a bit and got back what I lost at NY NY then walked around for a bit hit the MGM, Bellagio and back to NY NY but Vegas was a bit quiet that night.

This blog is getting longer than expected but then again I was in Vegas. My second day I knew I wanted a change of scenery and despite the questionable reviews I gave Harrah’s a shot. I’m not a huge fan of the Harrah’s properties but you can’t go wrong with this pick in Vegas especially if you’re on a budget. The location is great, the rooms are nice, pool ehh but you could always hit others and plus they don’t bang you for the 18 resort fee and the room was a steal at 35. I spent the day hitting more casinos and played some poker at planet Hollywood. I’ll keep this short but when I first sat down the table was real bleak and just as I was about to leave but some real ATM’s came in (people who just give away their money). This one lady was a pawn broker from the south and honestly I don’t think she knew had to play and was quickly down 300. It was frustrating because I tried but couldn’t get a piece of the action and somehow left losing about 85. That night I relaxed in the room and got an earlier start as I was hoping to hit up XS or Tryst which is two clubs that I have enjoyed in the past but upon arrival I learned that both were closed. When I was walking through the Wynn trying to figure out my next move there was a real live craps game going that I couldn’t say know to. I quickly threw down the only 20 I had in my pocket and was soon up to about 50 than came my turn to roll. Craps is a very social game the louder and more excited the players are the more you are going to win and this table was no exception. It was funny as everyone rolled you knew where they were from so it was “come on jerzzzzey” or “let’s go tex” “your fired pitts” and of course after saying I was from NY I was soon pegged as “Yonnnnnnnnnnnkers” with the best attempt at a NY accent. I must say this was one of my best rolls all time, I’m not sure how long I was rolling but it was long enough to win the table a good chunk of change to the point guys were throwing me red chips. The table went for a decent time and all the players thrived on the excitement with a lot of fist poundings and high fives, damn can’t wait to get back to a table. Like all things what goes up must come down and usually one of my rules is when a big stack/player goes out I soon follow, you have to be able to walk away especially when you see players with rolls doing the same. I ended the night up 100 had a drink than headed back to my room. I slept in that morning took a shower and checked out but now after hitting Harrah’s for a quick 65 on the wheel and craps.

After leaving Harrah’s I hit the hard rock but had little luck and was on to pawn stars than the Grand Canyon. I have to say I debated going in, the area where the shop is isn’t exactly gleaming and with the line outside the heat and the size I figured it may ruin one of my favorite shows. I have to give credit to the camera men who shoot this show because they could probably make my car look like a coach bus. My first impression going in was like is this it? I mean there was very little merchandise and it was very dismal. I think I was in and out in less than 3 minutes, I mean I know it’s a pawn shop but where does he sell all his stuff? He has to see more potential than just that and with his location he could afford more space. I actually was hoping to buy something like a little trinket but if it wasn’t 700 it was junk in my eyes. They had a whole case of rings and pendants that you would find on a boardwalk or a kiosk in a mall, they did have some decent poker chips but most were recent dollar chips from casinos and they wanted 10 really?. I left rather disappointed I mean I knew it was going to be small but come on Rick lets step it up.

I thought I was going to have a Vegas Canyon blog but I want to leave this MCD’s so it will have to wait. One other thing about Vegas is the heat is so intense I mean it’s basically like walking around in an oven. The heat there is like something you wear it presses and pushes on your exposed skin and once you walk out of the AC it hits you like a brick. Right now I am in Las Cruces NM but my plan was to spend my night 50 miles east but okay here’s the story. I was doing 85 on i10 at about 930 pm heading east bound and out of nowhere a semi was basically about 5 feet behind me blaring his brights on me, I have no idea where he came from but he was on my ass so much so it startled me I went to change lanes but he passed than cut off only to put half the rig in the dirt which spit up several rocks that hit my windshield mostly likely on purpose. I couldn’t believe the balls on this guy I was like you have to be kidding me!!! At the point he was doing about 95 and I decided to call it in to the state police gave them a description and a mile marker. I trailed him for a while eventually getting his plates and then phoning that in to the police as well but after his Cruces about 20 minutes later the chase was over for me. At that point when he was on my ass if I hit the brakes just a tap it wouldn’t have been pretty. Unfortunately the trucks didn’t have any markings but he was driving really fast and also cut off a tour bus I was just really hoping a cop would catch up to us so I could signal out this unmarked semi on the highway. At one point I was doing 95 thinking to myself saying what are you doing this could be the Cartal smuggling drugs. Oh boy that was certainly an interesting end to the night, on to the white sands park……

Zubie

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Posted by zubie831 11:17 Comments (0)

SD

I’m sitting in the Wild Horse Casino on the edge of Phoenix to play some craps but figured even if they didn’t I could steal some free wifi and some cool air on my way to Tuscon. It was 95 by like 830 and I stopped driving about 1:30 last night only to leave the cool canyon to the hot desert! I should probably do better with my blogs but I find its tuff at times to sit down and write as I am always either taking in the sites or driving and by the time I stop driving all I want to do is go to sleep. Anyways as I mentioned I was going to play some poker before heading to SD and I went to the Bicycle Casino. I have been to this card room once before several years ago and I’m trying to think of the site I use to play on at the time maybe poker room ha I use to get so excited for 1 dollar tournaments and remember I took one of them down. Moving on the bike is a real grinders room, it’s a huge poker room filled with a number of players all grinding it out. I always find it better to know that I am going to be sleeping where I’m playing that night especially with poker no need to worry about getting on the road and could focus on the cards and hopefully a decent session. The bike was good and I played till about 2am and I played rather well and cashed out up about 125 and since I was going to be in SD for a few days it’s always good to earn some spending cash. The security at the Bike was tuff as they canvassed the parking lot from the watch tower and constantly was driving around the lot. I had to repair my air mattress and since the security guards had come over several times I decided to leave and go to the commerce where I could be less of a mark to get bothered during the night.

So here was my idea to fix my air mattress again this is a somewhat enjoyable part of the trip as I mentioned as it brings out my creativity and a bit of work. I decided that I would cut a rubber glove into square and crazy glue it to the top of the mattress so the air in theory would press the glue and the patch together. I really thought this was going to work and perhaps if I had taken a bit more time it would have but the mattress is cheaply made and I decided to just let her go as she eased out of air for the last night. I got a coleman now and although it’s bigger its better than the last and very comfortable but I did have to douse the thing in fabreze to get rid of that rubber smell. I wonder if anyone is still reading your probably thinking this kid is traveling across the country and he is talking about air mattresses and poker lol!.

I woke up the next morning and drove to SD thinking I would once again start off the morning by gambling but was surprised when I came up to the Valley View Casino only to find out it was there concert hall as the casino is actually 40 minutes north!!. I should have realized it when pulling up but the building was splashed with casino signs and then again I have been surprised by casino’s in the past. For instance in Montana everything is a casino, it’s a bar/casino gas station/casino restaurant/casino but basically it’s just slots but all you see is casino signs. After washing and cleaning the car I finally made it to SD and specifically Pacific Beach. When I was about 5 minutes or so from my friends place and I looked up and my car was staring at me same color, make even license plate was yellow you would have thought I saw Larry David, I sped up and started beeping my horn and was able to roll down my window and say hello. The lady was from Rochester and she was traveling for work but it always catches me off guard to see a NY plate not to mention the same exact car. According to my friend SD is similar to Boulder as many people have moved from other parts of the country and seems to be a rather popular destination.

I got to SD and was greeted by the Pirri’s Joe, Andrea and Anita who I know from the days of Wollyworld and still remain good friends to this day. Joe’s sisters were actually supposed to leave on the 10th 7 days earlier but they found it hard to leave the relaxing atmosphere of SD and were still waiting for that great beach day. We started off the day by going for a walk around downtown and I found myself once again seeing if the weather would “burn off” as they say in SD. The good thing about our walk downtown is we decided to go down to the gaslamp district which is streets lined with shops, restaurants and bars. What I should mention is that comicon was going on so were able to experience that first hand and I’m glad we got to take it in. The streets were very crowded and a number of people were in costumes some even staying in character, you’re not really a pirate!. As we walked the streets you would just see the oddest character walk around the corner whether it be a pirate, fuzzy dog, Alien the list just goes and on and on and some I’m like what is that and often times the costumes were hand made. I’m actually glad we got to take that walk and see some of the crazy people walking around. I can’t imagine what it was like in the actual convention center which stretches for several city blocks and is one of the nicest ones I’ve seen.

In the late afternoon we made it down to the beach to do some surfing well Joe surfed in his wetsuit and I watched from the beach only going up to my knees as the water had a bit of a bite to it. After surfing we decided to catch the sunset and play some 2 on 2 volleyball. We came up with a loss in the game and a lot of failed volley attempts as Joe though he was serving for Team USA and was rather unforgiving. We had some very tasty sushi that night than Joe and I hit a few bars in Pacific Beach or PB as is referred to. PB is a very chilled, laid back atmosphere and it is filled with a younger crowd and several open bars. The following day we enjoyed a very nice beach day and according to them one of the nicer ones for the past two weeks but the water and the beach were beautiful and I got to do some body surfing. San Diego is very nice and I was impressed. Every direction you look seems to be a good one as you are surrounded by the bright blue pacific lined with beach after beach and the waterfront communities. You hear people say all the time that SD is so nice and in essence it really is. The weather is very steady usually in the high 70’s and sunny so you can’t go wrong. I spent close to 3 days and two nights in SD and I finished my trip off with a hike down to the secluded beach and a fish taco. I left SD that night but it wasn’t easy many times I come and go from city to city but when I get to spend time with good friends like in SD and Boulder it’s difficult to make that break. SD was great city I loved the fact that I was finally able to enjoy some nice weather, sit on the beach and swim in the Pacific. Although it can be difficult to leaves places and friends I can’t help to look forward to the next stop and for me the next one was a big one. I have always wanted to drive through the desert and go into Vegas and I was only about 5 hours away. I’ll be posting another blog shortly about Vegas and not very happy with my SD blog oh well perhaps I wasn’t in too much of a writing mood and not getting a good night sleep...

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Posted by zubie831 10:24 Comments (0)

1 Pacific 1

Not even sure where I left off on my last blog but I believe I was in Seattle. At the present time I am in La La land about to eat some lunch before going over to the casino to grind it out for a bit. After leaving Seattle I headed south through Oregon with my first stop being right on the coast at the sea lion caves. I am a big water guy I love the ocean, lakes, river’s you name so it was a nice site to see the pacific. The spot I came out to was raised above the coast and a bit rocky but after being inland since leaving NY it was a relief to see the blue pacific. I was really looking forward to spending some time driving along the coast as I headed south to San Fran. I was surprised how chilly the air was and how much the wind was whipping off the water almost to the point of being cold. I spent about 30 minutes at the sea lion caves which are a privately owned area that allows you to view these animals in their natural habitat. The area has several seals probably between 100 and 175 that go between the rocky shore and the protection of the cave. I thought the price of 12 was a bit steep but it was still cool experience but it definitely helps to have binoculars.

As I pressed down the coast I hit a few casino’s and was able to win about 100 which always seems to put me in the good mood. I know I’ve mentioned but it really is a great rush putting that first 20 down on Roulette, by the way was in Seqouia this morning and my favorite tree was 17 so I’ll be playing that number quite a bit! I remember losing 20 quick after putting my last 5 on black after red had come up 5 times but the spin was still red and I was felted. At that point I was about to leave but I said it has to hit black so I walked back to the table put 20 on black and then doubled up played for a bit more and I think I left with 60. I had an amusing conversation with the dealer about my travels, now at times I open up and I’m honest but others I’ll just make up a story on where I live or why I’m there. In the past I usually get the same response like damn I wish I was doing the same thing, sounds like an awesome trip but its usually always along those lines.

So back to the driving, at one point 101 which is more inland splits off to 1 and heads out to the coast so I figured of course quick way to the pacific ehhhhhh?. The beginning of 1 is the most loopiest, swirly, up and down road I’ve ever been on I mean half the turns are 90 degrees, I was like AHHHHHHHH when does it end! That route out to the coast took a lot longer than expected and when I finally made it out I was just able to catch the last 10 minutes of the sunset. I sat admired the sunset while the waves crashed on the rocky shore. I than headed south again only to stop for the night about 25 miles in the next town. One thing I realized early on is that you don’t want to drive too much in the dark, you just miss too much so I decided to stop for the night and enjoy the coast in the morning. As I began my morning drive I noticed that the coast is often covered in fog as the temp of the water and air collide which often hides the landscape under the fog blanket. At this point highway 1 dipped along the coast back inland and then back to the coast. I would have rather stayed more along the coast like coast coast as it frustrated me to drive inland with the up’s and down’s and honestly I had seen enough of rolling hills and wanted the ocean! Highway one is a very scenic highway and a great route to take but I just expected more water rather than land. I am getting annoyed with my writing as I wanted to throw up a short blog and here I am going through minor details, so hmmm what’s left while I’m on the subject? I had Oysters for lunch, I still haven’t seen many out of state plates, my air mattress has a hole in in and popped the other night oh and I got to see the Redwoods which were huge tree’s that dominate any other’s.

So now on to San Fran, the bridge actually pops out of nowhere and the fog hit’s you hard. Again I was bit surprised on how much the fog rolls in and blankets the city and the bridge. Maybe it was too much of my full house impression where you see this grand red bridge stretching from side to side on a sunny clear day. I mean don’t get me wrong it was sunny but as I mentioned your often surrounded by the dense fof especially close to the bridge. As I drove across the bridge you could see the red towers and lines cutting through the dense fog. The fog in San Fran is almost mystical and I know some people like it but ehhh not a big fan a few times that morning I was like WTF when is this fog going to lift, it’s a great coast if you can see it! I decided to do the tourist thing park the car and walk across the bridge which was bit blustery but a pretty cool walk and I was able to snap some cool pictures and although I would have liked to see it on a clearer day I am not going to complain. There was one part of the bridge hmm I guess on the north side where the wind and fog were ripping through almost to the point of stopping you in your tracks. After the bridge I warmed up and took a walk out on Pier 39 which has a great view of alctraz. I was hoping to get a closer look and perhaps a tour but the tickets were sold out for the next two weeks! After seeing it first hand and watching a you-tube video you really begin to respect the mystery and curiosity of the rock. I myself love the history behind it and can’t help but to wonder what happen to those three people who made that escape and what life was like on the rock, perhaps I’ll read a book on it. It would have been a great tour to go on and I can only imagine how insane it would be to get a behind the scenes look, perhaps in the dungeons or from the guard towers.

San Fran is another unique city and I really enjoyed taking in the bridge and then touring around the up and down streets as I looked at all the cool living spaces. I was hoping to grab a drink but after a few failed attempts at not feeling the bars I decided to give that up grab some thai and head to bay 101 in San Jose. The bay 101 is somewhere where I knew I wanted to play, this isn’t a casino but a card room for card players. It was filled with grinders and quite honestly at my table a bunch of bad players I think 3 out of the bunch. I played for a few hours had a quick double up but then gave most back and after my table broke I didn’t last much longer. They play 1-2-2 which is interesting because it plays more like a 2-4 game than it does with a 1-2. One thing about Cali is they have several casinos and card rooms but they don’t offer Roulette or Craps. A few “casino’s” offer Mystery roulette which is basically played the same way but the ball and wheel is replaced by clicker and cards but its roulette at the end of the day. After waking up and getting ready for the next day I had to make a decision whether to head into the Sierra’s or to LA. For timing reason’s I figured I would be able to spend a day in LA on Friday than be in SD all weekend so I decided to detour in and check out some more giants. It’s always nice going from the concrete jungles of the cities to the lush landscapes of the forests. Seqouia and the Sierra’s were a quick stop by the time I got to my destination it was a bit dark so I decided to spend the night cook up some polish spaghetti and get a quick start to the day in the morning. I slept awful it was my worst night yet probably cause I dozed for an hour that afternoon and after several failed attempts my air mattress was still not holding. Although very frustrating I enjoy the challenge of trying to fix it along with other things on the trip. My car has become my home and I know its ins and outs and where everything is. At times it can become frustrating but when everything is in order and I lay down for the night it’s not a bad setup. One of my favorite books is by Steve Callahan called Adrift, on his cross Atlantic journey his sailboat capsized a week after leaving the shores of Spain and he spent 76 days adrift in the Atlantic. His home became his life raft with few supplies but he was extremely resourceful and you can’t help to admire his perseverance to get through that, I remember he says it is rather ironic that the biggest desert in the world is the ocean. So I may give it one more go today and if not I’m going to have to get a new one because sleeping without it is rather unbearable. I was able to see some more trees or giant’s as they call them and do some other sightseeing in the Sierra’s. Its interesting how each forest park has its own unique identity and know two are alike mostly do to the climate.

What’s next, looks like I’m headed to Commerce or Bike to put in a session of poker than perhaps some driving around LA but right now my real goal is to get back on 1 and to SD. I am really looking forward to sitting on the beach with friends and kicking back drinking sharing a few laughs. I hope the weather is nice and the water isn’t too cold because Northern Cali and San Fran was a bit cold for my liking. Sorry for the lag been spending my days on the beach! Leaving SD tonight after a hike and headed to Joshua Tree than on to VEGASSSSSS without Joe pfffff!

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Posted by zubie831 11:48 Comments (0)

Glacier Wins and no rain in Seattle

Where I am, that's what you may be asking? To awnser your question I am sitting somewhere inside the port of Seattle at an open ship yard. Why am I here you ask? to try and spot the northwestern or the wizard but after a few calls and some driving around no luck. I did however spot a few other vessels with names that sounded familiar "alaskan ocean", "Erla-n" and the "katie ann". Seattle has a good vibe to it and I don't know what all this talk about lousy weather is because I have been here for almost two days and the weather has been sunny and in the 70's. Yesterday I took some time to walk around pike's market and downtown. The city has a strong appeal about it and I can't help but to love all the downtown apartment complexes. The public market is quite busy and you can't help to admire the backdrop of the water that surrounds the city. It was funny after I got out of a bar I was walking and heard a bit off a hollar which was a guy body painted naked riding a bike through a very busy area of the city. I thought it was odd but was even more suprised when 25 of his friends came by clycling naked as well ehhh maybe it's the nice weather. I guess we are starting this one from the present and work our way back but no birthday wishes for me or FDR.

Last night I was debating hitting a few bars or driving 30 minutes North to the Tullip reservation, always a nive ring to an indian reservation so I decided to pay a visit and figured if things went bad I could always head back before 12. The casino wasn't too bad lil smoky and crowded but again on a saturday night that's what I expect ehhh smoke in some of these casino's is awful! Anyways I decided to go right to the card room got on the list and was playing within 20 minutes. My table was real blah and so were the cards some how I donated 50 and had one awful play with AK but decided to quit after the cards just kept spitting at me. I went over to the craps table and was able to win 40 and than lost it back in Roulette, its such an addicting game all you have to do is put the chips down and hope for the best! I spent about 2 hoours in the casino and then it came down to where I was going to sleep, I was debating driving back into Seattle because I was going to be headed south today and I also was thinking of getting a massage but for loss at the casino I don't believe a reward was due. I slept at the casino as I always find them and walmart parking lot's to be the best usually the casino's always have a few security people around and walmart has other travlers.

Is it me or nothing really interesting is happening to me on this trip? I mean I've seen some real kick ass places well I guess that's not tru I have met some unique people and have done alot but perhaps we can pick it up going into the second half. A crow has just joined me as I type and begin to tell my adventures to Mt. Rainer. This wasn't a planned stop as I was thinking of going straight into Seattle but I decicded to take a gander at the bump. It really isn't a bump, I remember I came around this point on the road and than it was right there in front of me. I was in awe and the sheer size of this mountain in front of me, it looked like an ice cold volcano which apparently it is. It was so massive and at first it had a snowy, icy glow to it but as I approaced the base you could see the clear cuts and CREVISES-b that define this massive landmark. I couldn't help but to keep snapping pictures, all around the mountain was blue sky but at the peak of rainor was a halo of clouds that would continue to intensify and diminish as time moved on. Unfortunatly by the time I got in the sun was going down but I decided to press on to the top. I snapped alot of pictures and as I zig zagged my way up the moutain it once again got better and better. I am just about 3 weeks into my trip and after Chicago its been all up hill and the ride just gets better every new mile. I eventually made it to the "base" of Rainier after driving by some impressive landscapes and close to the top I came across two lakes that were for the most part frozen over, really cool!. At the top which they call paradise is an area that is only open from early July to late September apparently after that the weather is questionalble and this point has one of the top snowfalls in the country. There were two main parking lots at the top and a few scattered buildings and several cars gearing up for an early climb. These climbers were no joke I'm talking huge packs, poles, ropes and helmets but I guess if they are going for the summit and nearly 14k you have to be prepared. At this point it was rather dark but you could still see the moutains all around you and I couldnt help but to get excited that this would probably be one of the best spots I would have the chance to sleep at all trip. As I sit in my car and gaze on to the sheer power of Rainer and watch the occasional head lamp gear up for the morning climb it got my adrenaline going. I must say it is very inspiring to think about tackling that summit and pushing yourself to achieve that goal of reaching the top, I can't imagine the rush! I had a pabst, shot a personal video because again the adrealine was flowing and settled in for a cold night. I awoke that morning fully realizing this was going to be one of the best spots I see as I roll over and step out of my car. It didn't dissapoint and I spent about an hour looking at Rainier in all its beauty as hikers and climbers went in.I than spent sometime backtracking the road I took the night before because again the sun was going down and it was worth it to get another look in the light of day.

Rainer was powerful but I have to say that Glacier Wins. After speaking it over with my boulder team and hearing so many good things about Montana it was an easy choice to head north to what is suppose to be one of the top national parks in the country. Glacier lived up to it's reputation from upon entering you are just taken back by the beauty of the landscape and are struck by the water. The water in Glacier has this greenish turqoise look to it and is unlike any other water I have ever seen, as you look at it you can't help to notice how clean and pure it looks. As I was debating which camp to stay at I soon realized that Glacier is a Hiker's paradise and is much less developed than parks such as YS and Teton. Alot of the trails to the Glaciers can be turned into 2-3 day hikes which camps along the way and most of the camp sites can not be reached by roads. There is only a few main roads that cut through the park the main one being Sun View. I got into the park about 7 and it being the fourth I decided that I would have a barbeque. I bought some hotdogs and beer early and took sometime to try and contruct a "grill" over my single propane burner out of 2 whisks. I enjoyed the challenge and had a nice box/cross pattern but it did not work as well as planned and retreated to the pan. After my meal I decided I would go south towards the entrance and go for a walk along this river I passed on the way in. I had good intentions here but after walking 20 yards into the trail and seeing the mountain lion/bear signs I decided I would wait to the morning for a hike. Another thing about Glacier is the forrest like Rainer is very thick, I mean when your driving along the road at times you can't see but 10 yards into the forrest. I went back to the campsite had another beer listened to some music than went to sleep. I awoke in the morning to a brisk chill in the air but was soon warmed up by the sun shining through the trees and my stove cooking some pancakes. I suppose in my blogs I don't have to write about everything but again I do need to catch up. I finished breakfast packed up the car and headed to the Avalanche Lake hike which was a popular hike about 4 miles. The hike was good and for the most part it was going straight through the forrest ending up at a huge bowl shape moutain that had 3 waterfalls cascading down into a clear lake. I spent about 35 minute at the lakes edge looking at the waterfalls wondering what it may look like from the top of the peaks around me and just took some time to take in peace and quiet of my surroundings. After the hike I decided to take the road to the eastside of the park and have lunch and than venture back.

Now I have to say this road it's sun view something was by far the best stretch of road I have ever been on, if I paid to just drive this road it be well worth the ticket price. As you climb the moutain you are surrounded by peaks, waterfalls, snow, flowers, valleys its just an unbelievable stretch of road. At the top which I think is about 10k feet there is alot of snow and I even got to see a few moutain goats which was cool. There are some parts where you are so high up and you drive around a rock face that has waterfalls puring down on the road that are an arm lengths away from touching, some cars actually decided to go for a rinse. That stretch again was unbelievable and I am glad I took so many pics and video's. I got to the bottom made a few more hot dogs and once again found myself eating lunch wondering how I got to such a great site. I did another short hike in the afternoon to St. Marys Waterfall. I took alot of shots at the water in Glacier because I was always so amazed of the color and clarity. Although the falls were small they were very powerful and standing at the edge I must say it was tempting to go for a jump but it's glacier water that is frigid not to mention the force of the water. I left glacier that night with a different feeling from the rest of the parks and that feeling was wanting more. The trails to some of the glaciers that have camps along the way would definetly be something I would like to do in the future. Rolling solo has its up and downs but in regards to tackling some of the trails in the glacier it would have certainly been better to be camping with other people but hey maybe one day i'll be back! I have been to several of the national parks and I don't think any of them will take over the number 1 spot that Glacier has obtained. It is truly one of the best national parks I've been to and I like the fact that it is not as developed as some of the others and that it is a bit more rustic. Glacier was one of those places like arches where you just have to go Montana is a beautiful state especially in the western part. Some say it's gods country and with the vast size of it spanning 700 miles of big sky country with places like glacier inside of you can't help to wonder.

What next? that's the good thing about the trip.... you don't know. I could spend another hour staring at this harbor or shoot out to the coast and watch the waves crash, so it's about that time to look and the map while I cook up some lunch. Love the smell of the ocean!!

Zubie

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Posted by zubie831 13:56 Comments (0)

Yellow Stone

Here I am sitting in Butte, Montana waiting for the firework display to begin, I believe fire in the hole is at 10:15 at “the big m”. The location isn’t bad as most are gathering in this park listening to live music and finding a spot on the grass. I will say its bit strange to have smaller fireworks being lit all around us but I guess when there legal that’s the way they role, just to note my two hotdogs were terrible but the skewer chicken was good. So as I wait for the bombs to go up I figure I’d take the time to write even though it may be rude to my company, what company!

I drove into YS after leaving the Teton’s which really left its mark and didn’t know what to expect from the national park I hear so much about. I can say after spending about 2 ½ days within the park it certainly lives up to its expectation. The best way I can describe it is driving through a post card. It’s a huge park and may be one of the biggest national parks filled with rolling plains, Forrest and beautiful flowing rivers and lakes. Okay a bit odd this guy just came around selling jello shots? Really I mean they were RWB but I don’t know if I’d feel comfortable buying liquor from that guy especially with his sketchy approach. Back to YS my plan was to get in early and get a site but as I entered the park I saw nothing but full signs unless you opt for Lewis lake at the very edge or go 80 miles north to Indian or Slough Creek. Lucky for me I passed on Lewis lake since the camp host himself looked disappointed with his surroundings but I was lucky enough to grab a spot at Grant. I must say that campsite is one of the better sites I have stayed at so far, clean, great location, and enough amenities where it wasn’t overwhelming like a Canyon ehh place was a circus. At the back edge of the campgrounds was a beautiful lake that was rather cold but still a sight for these eyes. YS has this peace and tranquility about it, I’ve traveled a good part of the country and haven’t come across anything quite like it. It makes me think of the Kevin Costner movie Dances with the Wolves, I mean you come over this hill and you see a huge plain as far as your eyes I can see and then a herd of Bison grazing as they did in the million’s years ago. Both day’s I decided to stop for lunch along the road, pulled out my chair grabbed a cherry Pepsi and ate to the backdrop of YS national park. I mean usually for lunch I’m staring at the parking lot in Ossining so obviously this spot had it beat hands down.

The wildlife is a huge part of the attraction of YS. I myself saw several Bison, Mule Deer, a Moose, Bald Eagle, two small coyote’s, Big Horn’s, Several Birds but no bear’s which was probably a good thing. The wildlife often cause traffic jams as many of the tourists stop to catch a glimpse but it helps to have binoculars (which I do). One thing about YS is it had a good mix of land and water. YS lake is huge and feeding into that is several creeks, lakes and brooks along the way. Oh boy the annoying teenagers are back sitting in front of me, who dresses these kids they look like they are in a circus. Since I’m on the subject one of the things that annoyed me about the park was the overly aggressive “photographers” apparently most of them are pushing to get into National Geographic. Let’s put it this way these people travel hundreds of miles to see the landscape and the wildlife that call it home but 50 yards apparently isn’t good enough. I think if the park offered rides, there a line of 20 strong in seconds. It actually didn’t get to me until a herd of Bison were grazing in the field and I noticed one spectator after another got out and couldn’t stay at the roads edge but instead had to walk through the grass trampling wild flowers. At one point a younger man ran into the field with his tripod a good 50 yards to capture a shot maybe he should have realized he was rocking a huge lens. I just feel it’s a lack of respect for the other spectator’s and more importantly the park itself, I almost wanted to say “Do you like trampling flowers?”

Since that rant is now over I will get on to my wonderful hike up Mt. Washington. I should say this wasn’t my original trail but after speaking to the ranger I decided to change trails, the conversation went something like this “Are you hiking alone?” Yes, “Do you have bear spray” Pepper Spray “Well that’s diluted I have over 120 jumps and I wouldn’t go in alone” and lastly “A guy your age came in last year said he would be fine, pause…… but he was killed by a grizzly”!! so after the motivational pep talk I decided on the less intense trail. Mt. Washington is 10,235 feet and is a 1,400 feet elevation increase from the base of the trail (I’ll have to double check the stats). The trail wasn’t bad and was rather open basically going up in a zig zag up the mountain to a observation house that seemed un obtainable when I caught my first glimpse of it. I actually made better time than expected and failed to stay close to any other hikers so YOOO BEAR. I figured as long as I got to the top I could trail someone on the way back. The hike had great views with a mix of the valley’s below, the canyon’s and even came across some snow. I did my best to prolong my battery of my phone for better shots at the top as I would have been so disappointed to get up and have no battery left. Note switching to airplane mode definitely helps! I feel like I’m rambling with this blog, Anyways I have taken a real like to hiking it’s a great form of exercise and it allows you to push yourself to achieve bigger goals all while simplifying life. I was really anxious to reach the top and the 3 mile hike was well worth it as just before I reached the peak I came up on 3 Big Horn’s grazing in the grass. The view from the top was one of the best of my life, you stand there have a 360 view of the skyline and it was really awesome. I was able to snap a lot of pictures and some videos which I will be happy to look back on. Being that high overlooking all that land topping other peaks you realize why people go to the extent to climbing huge mountain ranges in the world. I’m debating whether or not to go in this direction or not but as I was signing the log as all the people who reach the top do ehhhh perhaps another time.

The sun is almost done and my blog is almost over. YS has an a great appeal to it and has an element of surprise as you never know what is around the next corner. I remember on my second night I was looking for a place to crash and the roads get very quiet as the sun goes down but I came across a hill and again a huge heard of grazing bison. As the sun had set and to see a hundred of these enormous animals so peaceful with their calves following shortly behind it was great way to end the day. I was happy with the time I spend in YS and left knowing that I saw as much as I could see. I currently just hit Washington and will write later about GLACIER NATIONAL!!

And yes I did see Old Faithful bit of a teaseeeee...

Zubie

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Posted by zubie831 12:06 Comments (0)

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