Thursday, December 2, 2010



27 Dec 2014: My annual letter is posted on the web at

The Makena has a good breakfast buffet with an omelet chef, so we are fat and sassy again this morning.  I need to get busy editing my Picasa albums, but it is probably time for Smooch Smooch and I to go for our after-breakfast waddle.  More later again.  Christmas dinner at Nick's Seafood down the street at the Fairmont was fabulous with open air on the patio and all the sunset and bikinis that either of us could want.

25 Dec: Mele Kalikimaka.  We arrived at the Makena resort in Maui towards evening, so today was our first walk & look-around.  The hotel grounds are spectacular, arranged around an interior courtyard with waterfall and nature trail.  Our balcony overlooks the ocean, the beach, the sailboat, and a couple of islands.  I've taken a couple of pictures and will post them soon.  The only drawback is expensive (or limited internet access): $60 per week in the room, free in the lobby.  So now I'm hungry and ready to search for food.  More later.

 24 Dec: The transition to Maui went smoothly.  The cabbies were friendly and talkative (me too, surprise, surprise).  We are both happy with the progress genealogically during December.  Cynthia is beginning to commence to start working on another book, this one about the 3 James Leas in Caswell County in the 1700s.  Ron's Camblin website shows up well now.  The Rambo CD is progressing nicely, although there is still an incredible amount of work ahead.

18 Dec: Today I omeletted in the condo, snacked at noon, and computered outside covered with a sheet to thwart the mosquitoes.  Now it is getting too hot for me outside and the sunshine is creeping towards my toes.

17 Dec: Dinner at 5:30 oceanside at Huggo's was perfect with a bright sunset, good waves, and wonderful Ono (that's fish).  Cynthia prefers Huggo's to Jackie Rey's for a wider selection of fish, better sunset views, and the ocean almost underfoot.  Breakfast at Bongo Ben's was less than perfect, although the 13-year-old family member who waited on us was delightful.  Our shoreside walk after breakfast was delightful, as was the evening walk to dinner.

15 Dec: The luncheon at Lava Java was wonderful.  Mike was in town looking for a new, used pick-em-up truck, so the girls talked and the guys talked and a fine time was had by all.  Excitement runs high today because we have a luncheon date with Wendy (and hopefully Mike) at Lava Java.  Wendy assures me that they have good, healthy food and nice salads (and obviously coffee).

Cynthia is beginning to worry about over-crowding at our wedding.  We have nearly 100 confirmed attendees already and the facilities are comfortable for 125 to 150.  We gotta have a dance floor at the reception; we may have to "recept" in two shifts, early & late.  There are a number of people I've not yet invited (usually for lacking ANY address).  We may have to invite them to the Friday brunch only.  Hmm, since several are AT hikers, they should be comfortable outside ??

14 Dec 2014: Breakfast at Bongo Ben's this AM.  Highly recommended for anyone in Kona.  They do a wonderful job with egg white veggie omelets, and the nearly ocean side seats have pedestrian traffic for added amusement. The walks to and from were perfect, cool and comfortable; not overlong.
After spending too many tedious hours editing the Camblin material for acceptable presentation (and drinking coffee all afternoon), I was still able to resume work on the Rambo CD until midnight.  The work is more fun on the lanai in the morning because of flower fragrances in the air (although the bugs and a few mosquitos lessen the pleasure).  By mid-afternoon, it is far too muggy: pleasantly warm but very humid.

I wonder if Cynthia has yet become a "follower" of this blog.  Blogger tells me that I have 0 (that's a big fat goose egg) followers.  [15th, ohhh, she added a widget to the margin and is now a follower.  Smooch, smooch, smooch I love you.  Thank God for Cynthia.]  Where is Ron Now finds me first,  and this sentence corrected the problem resulting from mistakenly Googling Where's Ron Now. Once again I'll just have to Google myself to rise in the results rankings.  

Maybe my beloved will download the newest Waikaloa pictures from my camera onto another Picasa web album. (Thanks Google.  Thank you Cynthia.  Thank God for everything.)  [15th Ron, you Dummy, always, always, ALWAYS remember to remove pictures of your beloved that are un-flattering, no matter how amusing.]  I doubt I'll ever convince her to post the "cute shoes" picture even tho' I think it is marvelous.

13 Dec: Returning the rental car to Waikaloa went wonderfully well.  After waiting an hour for the commuter bus, the miracle is that it is a free ride.  Amusing to think that NO ONE on the hotel staff has any knowledge of it for the tourists.  Dinner at Jackie Rey's was as satisfactory as always; when the chef owns the restaurant but prefers to stay in the kitchen, good food happens.

12 Dec, Sun:   Test for day two:  What was the white stuff atop 13,000-foot Mauna Kea this morning?  SNOW !  In Hawaii ??  They musta  shipped it in from the Midwest where we are told they have an oversupply.  Now we can vicariously experience camaraderie with our friends and family who are housebound after being nailed by the big, early blizzard of 2010.

11 Dec Sat:  Are you ready with paper and number 2 pencil?  Eraser?  This is a test:  Where did Ron and Cynthia eat dinner the last night at Waikoloa?   OHH!  You peeked.  Yes, it was at the HAMASUTRA!  Who surprised us?  WENDY (and her hubby Mike)!  Yes.  Right again.  Wendy was our favorite staff person at Waikoloa both times we were here in 2009.  She looked beautiful and gave Ron a huge hug.  AHHH!  The staff at the Kamuela Provision Company keeps "our" table right at ocean side every night.  They have been marvelous! And the ocean views table side are the best garnish any meal could ever have.  Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou Tiffany.

We saw one of the two the big barracudas in the boat canal during our walk last night. 

10 Dec: Wow, clouds and rain today; Cynthia also loves cloudscapes.  We are still spending way too much time indoors, venturing out only to eat dinner at the Hamasutra restaurant. (The real name is Kamuela Provision Company, but I cannot seem to remember that name.)  Yesterday was productive in terms of the Camblin genealogy, so today's focus is communication (hence this update).
Oh, as an aside to my dear friends who view my sleeping indoors as a MAJOR life change, I have to tell y'all that I'm now cooking omelets for breakfast whenever convenient; even I view this as major change.

7 Dec: Another beautiful day in Hawaii.  No wonder that the Hawaiians are all such happy people.  Our condo is in the middle of the golf course, but we've not seen any of those interesting black goats yet this year. [Cynthia saw several from afar on the 8th]  The stars were wonderful at 5:30am, and I did see a mongoose slink across the lawn early today.  The computer and I are on the back porch at ground-level in bare feet and short sleeves.  Cynthia and I have not done much sight seeing, but we are making terrific progress on our sundry projects relating to correspondence, wedding, and genealogy.
Perhaps recapping, we've eaten dinner at sunset nearly every night overlooking the ocean at the Kamuela Provision Company at Waikaloa; our helicopter ride over the volcano this year was even more awesome than previously, but only the granddaughter & friend took pictures.  We flew right over Mauna Loa's crater and later saw a lava flow on the surface dropping over the cliff into the ocean.  The pilot pointed out "silvery" lava that was just now cooling and had thought that a home twenty feet away would be in flames by then.  He showed us the 1983 flow that had frightened Hilo residents (which was already very overgrown and green) and also told us that the lava flows around Waikaloa were about 5,000 years old but were still black because the leeward side gets only about 4" of rain annually vs 170" in the mountains.

4 Dec:  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas: Where IS Ron NOW?  Decking the halls?  Decorating Trees?  Kissing under the Mistletoe?  Jumping for Joy?  Riding on a one-horse-open BMW?  Dashing through the Snow white Hawaiian sand?   Roasting coconuts on an open fire?   AH!

 IMAGINE! JUST IMAGINE!  Another glorious, sunny day in Hawaii. The bright, blue ocean beckons. But Ron is focused on his computer sitting on the lanai near the beach (and bikinis) with his eyes FOCUSED.  He has more SAVE THE DATE cards to mail and addresses to update. He does NOT trust Cynthia's methodical record keeping of those who have sent RSVP's, so he is emailing again so HE can keep his own list. IMAGINE! Cynthia has her Christmas letter written, all of her gifts purchased or ordered, everything is finished except to fill the stockings. IMAGINE!
[RSB Strange to see the meanderings of the female mind in print.  I could never imagine all that without a accomplished guide.  I would have imagined that Ron wants to find addresses of friends who have dropped out of sight since last correspondence, casualties of his single-minded focus on publication of five volumes of Rambos.]
3 Dec. Hawaiian Sunset at the Kamuela Provision Co.
3 Dec, Friday: Oh... what a relaxing day. Smooch Smooch had a pedicure and manicure while Ron gazed at bikini bodies!  [RSB there have been a few bikini bodies, and Cynthia alerts me by yanking my arm viciously out of socket whenever she sees one.]

Koi and Duckie
Howza bout this for a spa location?  And Howza bout the Hawaiian Siesta?   [RSB Thank goodness Cynthia didn't post the really embarrassing pictures.]
Rare Chicken (Eat Your Heart Out Carol B

Unique Koi

Pink Flamingos
2 Dec, Thurs: Rising early, we finished breakfast by eight AM. The buffet is not only delicious, but it is enormous.  Sally is our favorite waitress. She studied English in her native Thailand for six months before emigrating to Hawaii right at the time Waikoloa Village Resort was under construction.  Despite rudimentary English language skills, she applied and was immediately hired.  Sally loves her job and it shows because return guests request a table in her section.  She is a charmer!  

1 Dec, Wed: We have just been simply too busy - too many fun things to do since our arrival in Hawaii.  Sat night the girls (granddaughter and college roommate) returned to the Mainland after astonishing views during the helicopter ride across the island and over the active volcanoes.  They proclaimed this day "The MOST FUN ever!"  Previous to the helicopter ride, the Luau on Friday night had been best because of the hunky male dancers!

Ron's Rambo Companion Volume of Reference is moving along nicely as is the CD compilation.  Cynthia is focused on file organization and is having WAAAAAAYYYYYY too much fun with a new I-Pad.  Next time she will do the driving so Ron can play with the I-Pad.  It is quite a novelty.  Her hip bursitis (caused by four hundred miles of hiking in four months) is improving daily with icing. Soon she will out-run Forrest Gump.

Sunset 1 December 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hiking Hawaii

 25 Nov Thursday:  Happy Thanksgiving! 

 24 November, Wednesday:  Hilton Waikoloa Village, Kailua-Kona, HI.  The girls (granddaughter and college roomie) arrived in Honolulu yesterday; we met them at the airport and flew here ready for sleep.  The girls hit the swimming pools, took the tram and boats through the moat before meeting us for dinner at the Kamuela Provision Company.  It is clear that the resort does not have the kind of night life that college seniors enjoy - but everything is new and unique so that makes up for it.

21 Nov. Sunday - What a treat to meet Dale's delightful wife, Sherry! We hiked the Makiki Valley Loop Trail with a guide, sometimes in mud, sometimes with bugs, and always straight up! Cynthia is pointing, "You are Here!"

Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 15, 2010

November Thanks N' Giving N' Going

19 Nov., Fri:  Jet lag abounds.  Yet, we awaken before dawn and jog on over to the Hyatt to eat Dale's delicious omelets before starting computer work or another Sudoku and off we go for lunch at Duke's on the beach.  Today was a marvelous sunny day with gorgeous blues from ocean to sky.  The brilliant reds, golds, and oranges in the sunset were awesome to behold.

18 Nov.  Thurs.  Awoke at 4:30 AM but waited a decent time to hoof down to the Hyatt for one of Dale
s famous omelets; we were surprised to see him looking so skinny!   The photo is the sunset taken last night from the beach.

17 November Wednesday:  The trip to Honolulu was terrific... especially considering the tickets cost ten dollars apiece for Business First RT thanks to Continental One Pass mileage.  Dont' try the shuttles from the airport.  We tried; one showed up (cab) with our name but took someone else who may have made a better offer.  We waited and waited and finally called a cab to the tune of $42.00.  Our hotel, the Hilton Waikiki Prince Kuhio is reward travel ... NO cost ... plus they upgraded us at no charge to a great room with an ocean view.   We had dinner with Paul G. at the Tiki Lounge overlooking the marvelous beach on Waikikki with Diamond Head in view to the side of us. 
15 November Monday:  We have perpetual vistas.  The sunrise from the east (above) and the sunrise in the west are simply marvelous when we don't have clouds or fog.  The lake view is magnificent rain or shine. Our November days are dwindling down to a precious few before we leave for Hawaii  Wednesday morning.  EARLY!   During our time at the lake house, Cynthia turns into a contractor.  Ron is editing and perfecting the Mailing List for YOU KNOW WHAT!   Ron cooks egg white omelets. Is that amazing or what????  She says they are the best she has eaten.  So what more could one want?  We walk to the Caddy Shack for dinner every evening and onto the Fitness Center (about three miles RT).  We enjoyed a visit from Bill and Merry S. Sunday and a visit from Jay A.(a good friend of Cynthia's on Saturday. 

Sunrise at Lake House

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

October Rocky Mtn Trails

25 October Monday:  Drove from dawn to dark.  We will be stationary until the 17th of November 0 the departure date for Hawaii.    

24 October Guadalupe Natl Park.   The hike to the summit of the highest point in Texas was a three thousand foot ascent in four miles.  It was a great hike but hard on the knee. 
22  October Ruidoso, NM... discovered a Mechem Street that library sources say was named after Gov. Mechem.. . but don't know if this is the father or son; both are cousins (were). 

20 Oct. Wed: The bike was loaded, the car packed but plans to stop at Tia Sophia's for breakfast with LInda were put on hold because the traffic downtown Santa Fe is too much to maneuver.  Instead we boogied down to ABQ to the airport.  From there to visit Charlie B. and his wife, Sam, along with their charming daughter and granddaughter.  Thanks Charlie ... for the overnight hospitality.

More photos uploaded to the Rocky Mountain Picasa album of Moab and Aspen Vista. 

19 Oct. Tues.  Norma and Ron hiked a portion of the Aspen Vista trail with Norma's doggy whose age does not allow for the long hikes any more.  Movie star Cynthia had a "girl day" at the hair and nail salon.  OH what fun dining at Ristra with Nina. 

18 Oct. Mon:  Smooch Smooch took the car into be  serviced and a BATH.  After three months in a storage unit in Boulder... she is mighty dirty.   We met Janie at Ristra for a great dinner. 
17 Oct. Sun:  Our waitress/hostess, Maria, remembered us from a year ago and recited our order perfectly!  She is anticipating a new baby her four year old son tells her is a girl, "Just trust me, mom!" 
The breakfast was wonderful and Sudoku riveting -  causing us to miss a walk because we had visiting to do!  How fun to see Tony and June ... and learn that they plan to attend our wedding along with daughter Liz and grandbaby.  From there we raced to Trader Vic's for wine and flowers to bring to dear friends, Linda, John, Bob and Lupe.  Linda prepared a marvelous feast of turkey and all of the delicious trimmings. Thank you, Linda!!! 

16 October Sat:  We are winding up a three month tour of the Rocky Mountains via motorcycle - ten thousand miles - a fabulous journey impossible to express in photos or words.  The views from the bike are beyond description.  We will return for several months next summer now that we know we know we can tour comfortably.  In the meantime-and in-between time we had a great hike today to Aspen Vista after biking up to the ski basin.  The colors are awesome.  Dinner with Nina at "Dave's Not Here" was a delight.  From there we journeyed to Stewart and Judy's for wine and cheese and fun conversation. 

15 October Friday.  Why does Google mess up a good thing?  Now the blog photos are automatically aligned center. Oh well.  Thanks Google for the free space.   Where IS Ron NOW?  Homewood Suites at Buffalo Thunder near Pojoaque, New Mexico.  He has been neglecting "shoulda" activities to struggle to identify Nancy Bankston's daughter's ancesters on Ancestry; now he is neglecting address book & phone calls in order to pacify his beloved Smooch smooch to write "a couple of funny lines for this here blog; enough neglect back to Smooch smooch for chronicling.  I promise to review it later tonight or tomorrow. 

Last night we had a fantastic dinner with our dear friend Nina at Ristro's.  She is awesome - beautiful - and a joy.    NOW.. This is the week that was:  We had a marvelous time with Lance C (see bottom photo) in Moab and spent a great day hiking in Arches National Park.  The middle photo shows the rock that Cynthia climbed up on the trail and slid down on her rear because of the sheer exposure on both sides.  Leaving Moab we had a cold but nice drive to Georgetown, Colorado to visit Pat A. (top photo)

7-8 - 9 Oct. Thurs. Moab... 10 Oct. Sun. Grand Junction, CO to  Georgetown, CO  to Taos, NM.  We have pictures to prove it once we have time to upload and detail the trip. 

6 Oct. Wed.  Zion National Park:  And the Rains came down!  I never dreamed I would see waterfalls in Zion, my favorite park, this time of year, much less to see so many of them.  Cynthia counted 31 that were not there yesterday.  What an amazing and incredible sight to see.  We hated leaving this wonderful park so we shall return next summer.  Lots of waterfall photos are on the Picasa web album ... so follow the last link in Sept. posting.  We are en route to Moab to visit Lance C.  via interstate because of the rain.  We arrived in Richfield, UT to spend the night... very chilly. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

September Scenery

29 Sept Wed. -30 Thurs.  See new photos on the Picasa link below .. of Capitol Reef National Park, followed by Bryce Canyon and then onto Cedar Brake.  The rocks of Capitol Reef, The Grand Staircase (seen at dusk) and the magificent cliffs in Bryce Canyon (10,240 foot elevation) are marvelous to behold.  Hiking was good every day. 

28 Tues: Ephraim, Utah... where the lights went out immediately after leaving the restaurant making us think (as the last patrons) they were very happy to close up.  But... instead the lights were out all over town including our hotel.

27 Sept. Monday:  Additional photos were uploaded onto the Rocky Mountain Picasa Web Album

We promised ourselves and the hotel manager at Daniel's Summit we would return for a month next fall.   Driving south on US 40 past Strawberry Reservoir (see photos) we stopped for lunch at the Strawberry Lodge overlooking the lake, continuing on to Duschene where we missed the turn and had to retrace our steps back to US 191 south to Helper and Price: don''t bother going to Duchesne... where the trees and bushes have been allowed such overgrowth the street and highway signs are hidden.  On the web album see the photo of the rock formation that looks like dentures.  We stopped beneath the rocks for a view ... and turned the bike around to a "level" spot.  Only it wasn't level.  Cynthia swung her short (cute) leg over the U-bag to get on and the bike tipped over knocking us clear.   But since there is no picture of that accident... IT DIDN'T HAPPEN!  She is thankful for the Arai helmet and Tourmaster body armor.  He somersaulted and rolled getting only a few abrasions and cuts.  We rode on through Helper to Price where we located a nice Holiday Inn Express with a real restaurant.   We are about to depart on Utah 10 to Huntington where we take a turn on Utah 3 through the Monti-la-Sal National Forest to Sigurd then South on Utah 24 to Utah 12 west and back to US 89, then north to Utah 143 to Pangiwitch.  Eventually we will arrive in Cedar Brake before entering Zion National Forest.

26 Sept. Sunday: Once again we hiked the Foreman Trail for four hours with a steep ascent following a dry stream bed.  IMAGINE!  A pink bunny left pink jelly beans scattered on the trail for Smooch Smooch.  We did trail maintenace  moving limbs and dead tees out of the path.

25 Sept. Saturday:  We hiked the Foreman Trail about two hours into a very nice campground and then rode Provo Canyon almost to Provo seeing gorgeous color and the Bridal Veil Falls.

24 Sept. Fri:  One MORE breakfast and lunch at the Market Street Grill and stop at the Bavarian Motor Works (BMW) shop with a thank you and to do a quick repair on a gas line leak and a photo shot outside the window from our room and off we rode.  See the view of Temple Square from our window (below). 
We drove south to Hwy 190 and then east to Park City, UT through the Cottonwood Canyon (see photos of golden aspen peaking).  What a surprise when we started a steep descent only to discover the road turned into a washboard gravel filled with ruts and bumps; it was pretty dicey for about fifty yards.  From there it was about a mile before we reached a semblance of a road.  We stopped for dinner at the Mountain Grill - nothing special - and boogied down to Heber City hoping to find accomodations less pricey, but we were in for another surprise finding NO vacancy signs posted due to a Cowboy Poetry competition and rodeo in town.  The clerk at the Holiday Inn Express suggested Daniels' Summit... about fifteen miles further east, "because it is so cute!"  Indeed it is.  We were fortunate enough to find marvelous lodging with a balcony overlooking a mountainside shining gold with Aspen peaking.  We opted to stay for another two nights. 

23 Sept. Thurs: Well.   We have been busy! What else can be said?  Playing "GO" every afternoon with Cousin Roy has been a hoot.  The delicious meals at the Market Street Grill... including today's lunch with Raquel L (Historian) are exceptional.  Thanks to Raquel's husband, Stan, who was willing to stay home alone recuperating from a heart attack while she dined with us.

The bike is finished, ready to roll tomorrow, but not fully repaired. It will cost more to repair than replace; but the plan has been to do exactly that next summer when we tour again. 

We haven't done a lot of genealogy while here but Cynthia did find some good information she is excited about.  The YDNA book about the Farr family is impressive. 

Here is a link to pictures of Yellowstone from our camera:

19 Sept. Sunday: Wowie Zowie! What a hike! The Canyon Road Trail is a surprise and delight easily accessible by a thirty minute walk from the hotel. Even though the high temp reached ninety degrees we were comfortable on the uphill gradual ascent being shaded by tall hardwoods gracing the trail as it wound past a small lake and the Washta Water treatment plant. The fall foliage on the canyon walls is rich and colorful but not yet at its peak. Lots of hikers, bikers and walkers (with doggies). One lady sans dog was very surprised to be asked if she had lost her dog, prompting a hearty laugh when she realized it was a joke because she was one of very few walkers not walking a dog.
18 Sept. Saturday: Breakfast at JB's and onto the library where we did research until late. The motorcycle shop can take the bike Tuesday at nine AM.
17 Sept. Friday: We arrived at the Plaza Hotel mid-afternoon and had a delightful dinner with cousin Roy and his lovely wife, Barbara, at the Market Street Grill. We were hopeful it was still in operation and indeed it is. The sourdough bread is divine.
Fleurs in Ogden, UT

16 Sept Thurs: Ogden, UT. The Blackberry cell phone cannot capture the vibrancy of fall foliage gracing the mountainside along the drive from Bear Lake, Idaho to Ogden through the Cache National Forest. Notable was the canyon... one area was particularly marvelous. We enjoyed our stay at Bear Lake and having the opportunity to meet innkeeper, Dick Motta (NBA Chicago Bulls Coach 1987), his lovely wife, Pat, and Cindy, their daughter-in-law. Tonight's outdoor dinner at the Bistro in the old historic district of Ogden was very nice with a wonderful sunset, too. We toured the old Union Station with plans to return in the morning for photos. Tomorrow the smooch smooches mozey down to Salt Lake City for a few days to visit Cousin Roy W.

14 Sept Tues: The drive south on 89 from Wyoming into Idaho continued with rain clouds looming when we passed a delightful looking B and B aptly named the Bluebird Inn overlooking Bear Lake so we made a u turn. They did indeed have a vacancy with a room overlooking this magnificent turquoise blue lake. The inn is owned by Dick Motta (NBA Chicago coach pre-Michael Jordan). The one mile hike to the country club restaurant with phenomenal views prompted us to phone the innkeeper to stay another night.

13 Sept. Mon: The view of the Tetons is breath-taking as we maneuvered a 4.8 mile loop hike from the lodge to some nice overlooks. We spent most of the day hiking at the lodge, leaving late afternoon, arriving in Afton, Wyoming early evening. A Cobra car convention is taking place; how fun is this to see those Jan and Dean Cobras worth up to a million bucks. It is a gorgeous but chilly day; the fall foliage south of Jackson Hole could make New England feel shamed.

12 Sept Sun: We departed early AM for one last trip through Yellowstone on a glorious day; the weather was chilly but warmed beautifully through the day. We had a nice hike in the park before exiting the south entrance. The ride was magnificent to Jackson Lake Lodge arriving just in time for a delicious meal at the John Colter Ranch Restaurant. The folks and the food are outstanding! They assisted in locating lodging in one of the cottages at the lodge.
Click on the link to my Picasa Web Album:

11 Sept Sat: Another stellar day in Yellowstone Park, Wyoming! How did two such silly goofs get into such a serious relationship having so much fun? We only planned to do a thirty day research trip!!!

This trip to Yellowstone is in many ways like the first (and only) trip here before the big fire in '88. The plan was to see snow on the mountains. Starting at dawn and being a fast hiker, I hiked every major trail, that was no more than two or three miles, completing the trip through the park by evening. Then and now it is an amazing realization of the size and scope of this park. It has certainly become more commercialized with heavy traffic moving at 20 MPH. There were no grizzlies here prior to the fire; afterwards the park service brought grizzlies here because they were an endangered species. Now they are a problem. So, too, with the wolves. We hiked the Lone Star Trail again managing to return to the inn in time for dinner at the Old Faithful Inn Dining Room.
Sights below are the Sapphire Geyser, Mud Pots (boiling mud) and the Canyone Waterfall.

10 Sept Fri - Hebgen Lake: it snowed last night. The morning vista of the snow-covered mountains was marvelous but the ride to town for breakfast was waaaaaaaaaaaay too cold for the passenger who enjoyed a half hour walk around the cityscene instead of hiking in the mountains again. We stopped at a casino for a glass of mid-afternoon wine. Restaurants are sadly lacking fine dining - almost everything is from the freezer to the microwave or grilled.

9 Sept. Thurs: We are enjoying the Hebgen Mountain Inn and Jeaninne, the delightful innkeeper, with her dog named DOG. She is a hoot. We took a three hour hike today to Whis Lake (left) hollaring and talking loudly so as not to disturb the bears. A grouse flew up as we walked past.

8 Sept Wed: Hebgen Lake, West Yellowstone. We moved yesterday to the Hebgen Mountain Inn in West Yellowstone... high above Lake Hebgen with a fabulous view of the lake - and in the epicenter of the 1959 earthquake that changed the landscape according to news articles and photos. We hiked Red Canyon Trail today... wet and muddy.... steep ascent... on guard because a mama bear and her two cubs were spotted a couple of weeks ago. The bears are hungry now which is the reason they are a problem.


Yesterday's Hiking was sporadic: we drove into the park and stopped at overlooks (cleaned a tree up off of a side road) and hiked on several trails. This is called "Getting Away From it All." Four bison were beyond Ron in this photo but not visible with the Blackberry phone camera that does not zoom. We saw lots of elk and carried our bear spray diligently. It was late when we completed the hike - and the traffic was backed up for miles again with folks out taking pictures of the critters. We passed several cars ... IN A PASSING ZONE... when a ranger pulled up to us and told us not to pass because it was not safe. Imagine! Just imagine. What isn't safe is a car stopping in the middle of the road for the driver to take pictures backing up traffic for miles. Of course he could not issue a ticket to us because it WAS a passing zone.

7Sept Tues: We hiked the Lone Star Trail and saw a marvelous big bison framed in front of the Lone Star Geyer. Unfortunately he moved before the picture could be taken (left) . As we exited the trail a coyote slipped across about twenty feet in front of us and walked past us in the bushes exiting onto the trail behind us ... again about twenty feet... appearing nonchalant and unconcerned as he turned his head to gaze at us before trotting down the road. That was an exciting moment.

6 Sept Mon: The ranger service has repeatedly warned about the grizzly bear problems so camping is out of the question until we leave grizzly country. Each day we have had good hikes and today was not an exception. Yesterday's hike was a steep ascent; today we hiked around Old Faithful Inn managing to see the wonder of its eruption twice: five minutes after our arrival the display was magnificent; so we hiked up to the observation point (about 300 feet ascent) for the second showing. The steam vents or thermal vents are present through out the park which boasts the hottest hydrothermal underground in the world. Right after the descent from the observation point a heavy wet snow began to fall; dinner reservations at the Old Faithful Inn were quickly cancelled for the hasty exit back to West Yellowstone amidst a winter wonderland the entire trip. The snow stopped and the sun was out when we arrived in town.

Lower Falls Hike

4 Sept Sat: Yellowstone National Park - Critters: Elk, Deer, geese, ducks, lots of bison along the road which is often blocked with bear jams. Bear jams are cars that stop blocking traffic for miles so folks can take photos. On this day we had two great hikes totaling about four hours and drove the southern loop back to the West Entrance which took two more hours.

3 Sept Friday: We drove into the park and did some hiking. Bummer! Double Bummer! We missed Jim S. in Orofino and anticipated he would be arriving in West Yellowstone tonight. We should have checked cell phone messages on Wednesday but haven't had internet or cell service to speak of. When we finally connected tonight Jim was in a U-haul with his bike loaded in the back headed back to LasVegas. His bike broke down at Lolo Pass. But, Jim... if this is the worst thing that happens to you this year... or it only costs money ... it isn't so bad. What a disappointment we did not get to see Jim and hear his exciting adventures.

2 Sept Thurs: We left the Lochsa Lodge after breakfast driving into Missoula to refill some RX at Costco and enjoyed a nice lunch at the Stone of Accord arriving at Wisdom, Montana without lodging. The one location was completely booked and the other one did not have a manager on duty. The only place in town (three blocks) that was open was a saloon that offered home made pizza. DUH! But they did make us a turkey sub using their home made bread that was quite delicious and were most congenial about assisting us find lodging by phoning Diane... a local... who had a charming little guest house that just happened to be available. Indeed it was very delightful and so was the owner and her daughter.

1 Sept Wed. 2010: Pierce, Idaho in the AM and Lochsa Lodge at nightfall. Yesterday started out on the infamous Lolo Trail leaving Orofino about noon with rainy skies above when we happened upon a forest ranger who strongly advised us NOTto to take the Lolo Trail because it is so unsafe on our kind of bike. Heeding his good advice... with ominous dark clouds and raindrops overhead... we followed a gravel road to Weipee but lodging was not available; so onto Pierce we rode. Pierce, reputedly, is where Idaho had its beginning. We found lodging in a delightful log cabin but the ride on the gravel road to Pierce convinced us we don't want to ride the back roads or dirt roads with a passenger and gear.

We arrived at Lochsa Lodge early enough in the evening for a delightful hike hike in the rain. If you have not been here... it is worth the trip to spend even a night. The lodge has been in the Denton family for generations; it went through a nasty fire in 2002 and the lodge was rebuilt the same year. Great staff... wonderful hikes.