Monday, September 9, 2013

Alaska 2013 Epilogue

We took our lessons learned from the last Alaska trip and put them to good use.  Where to find the animals, the tours to take, and stuff to pack.  2008 was one of the coldest and wettest summers and 2013 was one of the warmest and driest.  So the cold weather gear and rain gear wasn't needed after all but I still wouldn't chance it next time.

It's hard to believe we could top 2008 but we did in so many ways.  And if I had to do it again tomorrow I think I could top this one.  There is always more and better out there once you know where and what to look for. Alaska never disappoints!

The kids are getting older and college is around the corner so that will but our extended travels on pause for while.  For the kids the next summer in Alaska they will have to do on their own but we'll be glad to come and visit. 

Alaska 2013, Day 77, Port Clinton OH to Cleveland

Saturday Aug 17, 2013

The last leg home.  Monday it's back to work for me, Wednesday its back to school for the kids, Cheryl is back to work in a week.  Here comes reality!

75 miles today.

11473 miles so far.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Alaska 2013, Day 76, WI to Port Clinton OH

Friday Aug 16, 2013

Got going early today and made it into Port Clinton by 4:30.

405 miles today.

 11398 miles so far.

Alaska 2013, Day 75, Wall SD to WI

Thursday Aug 15, 2013

Nothing but lots of driving  today, Wall to WI

776 miles today.

10993 miles so far.

Alaska 2013, Day 74, Black Hills SD to Wall SD

Wednesday Aug 14, 2013

Not far to go today so let the kids swim in the morning and got going around 12:00.  Drove to Wall, went through Wall Drug and decided to stay at Sleepy Hollow Campground and drive the Badlands at sunset. The dids got in a swim after Wall Drug then we drove the Badlands.  Saw lots of critters in the badlands; herd of antelope at the gate, bighorns and turkeys at the first pull off, deer, night hawks and horned larks.


87 miles today.

10217 miles so far.

Alaska 2013, Day 73, Black Hills SD

Tuesday Aug 13, 2013

We stayed 2 nights in the Black Hills so we could drive the Needles Highway.  The first place we stopped was Sylan Lake, it was closest to our campground. We walked the trail that goes all around the  lake.  Lots of large granite bolders on the far end of the lake and a small dam.  Lots of flood damage below the dam.  We hiked around and climbed the bolders.  On top of one of the bolders the kids spotted 2 mink below us along the lake shore.

We drove the Needles Highway. Lots of dead pines due to spruce beetle. In some places it looks like they have lost the majority of their pines in some spots.

Ended the day at the Custer State Park Wildlife Loop Drive.  Saw a coyote, a big herd of buffalo and antelope.

Alaska 2013, Day 72, Bozeman MT to Black Hills SD

Monday Aug 12, 2013

West of Spearfish there was a 1/4 mi of I-90 that had remains of snow.  Too low of elevation to have leftover winter snow, to hot for fresh snow.  I thought maybe is was fake snow from a Sturgis Bike Week event of maybe a TV commercial. Later found out it was hail, they have had a string of bad storms moving through.

Stopped at Vore Buffalo Jump between Spearfish and Sundance WY. Pretty interesting, there are lots of buffalo bones being excavated from a sinkhole along I-90.  They figure that the site was used for 20 or so hunts from 1500 to 1800 AD by many different tribes.

Saw lots antelope in the alphalpha fields in Wyoming.

Stopped in Sturgis at the Conoco to buy some bike week junk.

Tried a new campground, Horsethief Campground 2 mi up route 87. The start of 87 is all switchbacks and there was a 1 mi stretch where all the trees were knocked down.  You could see where the road had been cleared; trees cut and bulldozed off the edge.  We found out at the campground that they had a tornado just the night before.  The campground had heavy flood damage; lots of their road gravel had been washed away.

Drove up to Mount Rushmore after dark to see it lit up.  Had the place to ourselves, only a couple of other people there.

560 miles today.

10130 miles so far.