Friday 28 June 2013

Grand Teton Park, Yellowstone and to Saratoga

We headed to Jackson which is a really nice (expensive) town, the constant stream of visitors guarantee the Hotels and bars remain on the pricey side but it is a very well kept place and worth a visit, a couple of days in Grand Teton Park and Yellowstone (they are joined together). We ticked all the boxes, the min one of course being Old Faithfull the geyser in Yellowstone which erupts every 1hr 40 minutes (give or take 10 minutes) The parks are massive and very impressive, a tad worrying when you realise the whole area is a giant Volcano and the hundreds of geysers all over the place are merely letting the steam off a giant pressure cooker that will one day erupt.
The driving though is terrible, like the A9 on steriods and with more tourists with more things to suddely brake to look at.
Wednesday we started heading for the Rocky Mountain National Park near Denver and stopped at a cool little "cowboy" type town Saratoga. In the bar the locals were nice and very helpful so we now have even more things to go and see when we get back on the bikes!! As always the pictures tell a better story!
Some fantastic Biking roads

Overlooking Jackson Hole

The Grand Teton Mountains

Where we managed a bit of off road driving!

Buffalo Grazing on the Prairie, just like in the Cowboy films

This guy gets everywhere!!

Old Faithful simmering

Now angry

Could have done with a blue sky to show it up better!

Being watched by some Amish people

Damned cheek!!

Fancy a swim anyone?

Amazing to see

Hot bath??

Thar she blows again from a better angle (1hr 40 minutes later) 

Yellowstone, now we can see why?

Smoke on the Water?? With apologies to Deep Purple

Just before Yellowstone falls

And after...stunning

Nice old Fords on tour

Old Elk having a snooze

Preparing the dinner!!

Luckily no Bears came along for a feed!!

Saratoga, have you seen places like this in the movies?

Replace the cars with Horses and you get the picture, authentic Wild West

This scene reminded me of an old Album Cover

As did this!!

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Wendover to Idaho Falls

We left Wendover, the town that sits next to Bonneville salt flats, its a town with a State boundary running through it, so the Utah side (where we stayed) is a sober kind of place and then the West side which sits in Nevada is where all the Casino's are, quite strange for us country folk. We stopped to see the Ice cave near Shoshone, a lava tube created the cave which because of the air currents has a 30 foot deep ice floor. Then on to the Craters of the Moon national park which once again is a volcanic field, the whole arae sits around the Continental divide and in the past was a hotbed of volcanic activity (no pun intended). We stayed in Twin falls which was famous for being the site of American stunt rider Evel Knievil failed attempt to jump the snake river canjon in 1974. Then onto Idaho Falls to celebrate my birthday, nice little town but no idea how they can support so many hotels!
Twin falls, nice old buildings

And nice old cars

Cool advertising

allegedly the canyon where Evel came to grieff

Snake River

St Andrews cross especially for us

Big Indian

Ice cave

Ice cave Dinosaur!!

The aftermath of volcanic activity 150 million years ago

Amazing lava formations

More lava.........

Wierd hill of volcanic rock

The hills are alive with the sound of .....not much

Us at the top of the hill

Idaho falls

Idaho Falls fish!

Oh dear, just like home!

Sunday 23 June 2013

All Roads Lead to the Moon Episode 9 Mexico

So after a unbelievably difficult time trying to get this video finished, here it is, the Mexico part of our trip...Enjoy

Saturday 22 June 2013

Denver to Bonneville Salt flats with Dinosaurs and a pull by the cops!

We left Peter & Mickey after a few days of outstanding hospitality and headed towards Dinosaur, Dinosaur turned out to be a one horse town (or even a one Dinosaur town) so we headed to Vernal to find a Hotel. En route we had just crossed the State line into Utah when I spotted a Police car, looked at the speedo, oh no too late, the guy spun round, lights on and came after us. After a pleasant greeting I handed over my papers and licence whilst he went back to the car to check up I wasn't on their list of bad guys. He came back with the paperwork and opened with "How lucky do you feel today sir!" I reckon he's a Clint Eastwood fan, I replied, "you tell me", luckily no 44 Magnum came into play and he issued me instead with an official warning, a nice bit of paperwork to frame when I get home, 74 in a 65 Zone, bad boy Rondelli!!!
This morning relieved I had escaped 15 years hard Labour (or Labor as you guys call it) in a Chain gang we visited the Dinosaur Valley, impressive stuff, it appears around 150 Million years ago here there was a drought, probably caused by a blockage in the watercourse, the Dino's all died and rotted away then the water freed itself and washed thousands of dead Dino's down the canyon to a point where they all blocked up again and are here for all to see. The official guy explained the place was found and excavated thanks to a guy called Andrew Carnegie, I explained he was in fact a Dunfermline laddie who done well but I don't think the guy was convinced such a great guy could be a Scot, I hope he checks up on Google, and by the way the only reason you have tarmac roads, Telephones and TV's is down to us Scots as well, not to mention anti biotics, not bad for a nation of semi Alchoholics!
Proof of a Scots influence was also evident in the comically named Abydosaurus Mcintoshi Dinosaur found here which looks like Nessie's cousin!
Then a trip through Utah past Salt Lake City to the Bonneville Salt flats, great to see the place at last where all these guys set speed records, Hmmm I wonder how fast I could get the Norton to go??
Peter's Humming bird (and Bear) feeder being used by the intended recipient

2 microseconds to touchdown

I 70 Westbound, stunning scenery

I wasn't on the bike at this point but wished I was!

A sign pointing to my Brothers house, Craig, you weren't in!!

A town called Dinosaur!

Welcome to Utah, State of the Clint Eastwood cliches!

Dino bones even older than me!

Fi now deciding to be a Palentoligist

Mind you I'm kind of glad they aren't around any more, Imagine this thing running out in front of your bike?

Dino Heid....Deid!

Now there is a Posh reason for this Comedy (to us Scots ) name but I think my interpretation is better

Now can you see the likeness to our own Nessie? So Nessie says " I Bide (Stay) in Loch Ness, its forebearers obviously wandered over tae America and told its new pals "I used tae Bide in Scotland but noo ah bide in Utah and ma faither wis a McIntosh", hence he got called called Abydosaurus McIntoshi

Dino Valley

Especially for my Great Neice Lucy, a Pink Dino 

Who is that person with the pink Norton T Shirt taking a picture of Salt Lake

Fi Holding up the Hire Car

Fi holding up her minature Parents!