Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Out of the cooler and into the frying pan

We have had such a fine time in the high country around Yellowstone (the cooler) that it was difficult to drive back into the flatlands of Idaho (the frying pan) today.  We are facing 100+ degree temperatures for the drive back to Port Orford.  Ugh!

On Sunday we took a drive to one of our favorite Montana destinations, the little town of Ennis.  While driving along the Madison River, I stopped at a rest area and unleashed my flying machine to record some video of that beautiful area.  Unfortunately the sky conditions were not great because of smoke from distant wildfires.  I directed the camera for mostly ground shots, which minimized the bright washed out skies.  I also stopped just outside Ennis to complete the video record of the day drive.

Try to use the HD setting if you have the bandwidth

We picked up a little picnic lunch at a local Ennis eatery and found some shade under a tree to enjoy the nice meal.  Our original plan to continue on to Virginia City was set aside so we could drive back along the Madison River and over the old 1959 landslide at Earthquake Lake.  A thunderstorm interrupted any additional attempts to record aerial video, so I took a couple of still shots with my iPhone.

We returned to Yellowstone NP Monday morning to make a loop trip through the Hayden Valley where I was certain that we would find some of the park wildlife.  We weren't disappointed with the outcome and spotted large groups of bison and several young bull elk.  We also encountered the classic Yellowstone animal jams and marveled at the tourist idiocy on display.  One woman, in and out of the passenger seat of a pickup truck in front of us, seemed to have a death wish and was a good candidate for the Darwin Award.

Because the NPS and FAA have banned hobby flying for video purposes inside the park, I used a handheld stabilizer with my iPhone camera to record a little video of our excursion.

We returned to our little cabin in Island Park during mid afternoon so we could avoid the worst of the traffic in the park and rested up from the nice day drive.  Just at the end of a quiet meal we heard a knock on the door of the cabin and, fighting off two out of control hounds, opened up to find a long time (do I dare say old here?) travel friend standing with a big Cheshire Cat grin on his face.  I noted on Facebook that I seldom get got, but I did.  I knew our friends Mike and Sandy Mills were in some part of Montana, but had no idea that they would attempt to put a gotcha on me and pay a visit.  We later joined them at their rolling home at the nearby Valley View RV Park for some fun conversation and treats.  We enjoyed the brief visit and have promised to return the favor when they least expect it.  Payback!

Tuesday was our last day in the area and we decided to keep our travels fairly local after Juanita did some laundry.  After that task was completed we took a drive into Montana along a dusty dirt road and filmed the excursion with my quadcopter camera.  We stopped for a picnic lunch at Hidden Lake (well named) and I recorded a few more aerial clips at the beautiful location.

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, we left Island Park this morning for the 275 mile drive to Twin Falls, Idaho.  The cool motel room was very welcome!  We drove to a nearby burrito joint for a take out dinner after a little rest and a couple of much needed showers.  The nachos and burritos were excellent.

Tomorrow we return to Pacific Daylight Time and will overnight in Burns, Oregon.  We have enjoyed previous trips along this route, but smoky skies promise to diminish the interesting views.  Oh well.

I expect to post again before our return to Port Orford on Saturday...............


  1. Great that you found Twin Falls -- Evel Knievel made his famous (not so famous motorcycle jump) over the Snake River next to the bridge, The bookstore I owned was on old Hwy 30 toward Thousand Springs thru Hagerman -- a nice two lane drive - an alternative to the freeway ---Have a safe trip and Hug Idaho once for me -- I miss it a lot

    1. Hi Jenny...we enjoyed our short layover in Twin Falls but have now moved on to Burns in Oregon. It is sure hot here and we have more heat ahead before returning to the coast Saturday. Can't wait!!

  2. Hi I'm Betty Graffis but Google thinks I'm unknown and don't have a clue how to fixit. But I just wanted to tell you your pictures and video are wonderful.
    Mike and Sandy are a wonderful couple I got to meet when they were in the Portland, Oregon area.

    1. Thanks for your note Betty. I really enjoy making these short videos and will do more after returning to the Oregon coast this weekend.

  3. Enjoyed the new video, Gordon. You were right about the beauty of the little lake and its environs. I really liked the sequence of the camera following your truck; I wasn't quite ready for that--very innovative! Safe travels, y'all!

    1. Thanks Mike. I enjoyed making this video and, of course, driving out to that area. It is a real special place known mostly to local residents who enjoy camping there. I will try to include even more "follow me" video in the future but need to be careful of obstructions. We enjoyed seeing you! Safe travels.