Thursday, May 6, 2010

Travels and Troubles in the Hurley Corral

We’ve glimpsed quite an array of enjoyable western United States scenery over the past three days on on interstate 15 northbound.  There are so many stretches of miles that have low traffic and outstanding views.  The scenes varied from red cliffs, the Salt Lake, snow-topped mountains, ranch-filled valleys, swift streams to pine trees -- from southern Utah, through Idaho, to northern Montana.    But the trip also took some slightly unwelcome bends.   

One of our stops was Cabela’s in Nehi, Utah, to lookCabela's scenic view, Nehi, UT for a few important items for the Alaska adventure.   We stocked up on some highly-recommended insect repellant, found the hiking shoes I (Nancy) wanted and sampled the delicious bison and venison brats at the in-store restaurant.  Cabela’s has roomy rv parking accommodations just a short walk from the store.  The setting is high on a bluff with blue-sky-snow-powdered-mountains at 360 degrees.  We had a prime resting spot for the night.

The next two days included tremendous scenes in eastern Idaho and western Montana, still on I-15. Snow in Pipestone Pass near Butte, MT Winding through southern Montana, following the railroad tracks through Clark Canyon, the small western towns are reminders of times past. As we reached the mountain passes in Montana the spring snow melt was evident in the quickly-flowing creeks.  We enjoyed seeing fly fisherman doing their thing. And we watched real cowboys doing their thing - cutting cattle. 

Snowy pass in Montana Our route turned a little bit nasty in the mountain passes south of Butte when snow shortened our visibility considerably.  Here are a couple of photos snapped as we zig-zagged at about 7,000 feet. 

The weather cleared up as we went into the valley nearing Butte.  But that’s when another of our trip’s glitches occurred.  Jerry noticed Ferd’s  voltage meter taking jumps occasionally from 14 to 16 volts. Not a maintained spike, but still enough to get his attention.  We regrouped at a rest stop in Helena where we searched the Internet for a possible repair facility. Since the larger city of Great Falls provided more possible choices, we moved on for another 75 miles.  This brings us to our current location, Dick’s RV Park in Great Falls. The people are friendly, the park is clean and the accommodations are decent – a place to take care of business. Thanks to my mechanically-minded husband (Good ole Gramps!) and helpful Foretravel online friends, we are locating and ordering a new alternator. Installation will follow.

When all is said and done, this will be just another bump in the road.  Besides, this area of the country also happens to be having an unseasonable cold snap (snowy and frigid!). We’ll pause for a few days to remedy Ferd’s little annoyance and let the weather improve somewhat. Then we’ll take our next step toward Alaska.  We are just about 100 miles from Canada now.  Those glaciers are nearing. Stay safe and keep smiling. We’ll see you down the road.

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