Monday, July 30, 2018

A bike ride back into time - THE HIAWATHA

This is the second post in a day wow!
The first one was I got the Blues in Wallace, ID. in case you missed the posting.

This Blog is about taking a trip back into time when America was a different place. In the early 1900's travel was ruled by the Trains, sleek and cool looking passenger trains that sped across one end of the country to the other from New York City to L.A. California, from the Keys in Florida to Chicago in the most deluxe coaches and huge and powerful steam locomotives! One of the most famous of these passenger trains was the "HIAWATHA" .

It ran the most scenic route thru the rocky mountains between Chicago, IL. and Seattle, WA.  when airplanes took over as the main form of travel in the late 1950's that doomed the passenger trains and they soon became history! Many old train depots still exist today and a reminder od the Golden age of passenger trains!

Today many of the abandoned train lines have become rails to trails which is such a great idea! The bike route of the Hiawatha starts at the East portal tunnel off route 90 on the Idaho-Montana border and runs 13 miles down hill and goes thru 9 tunnels and 7 trestles the first tunnel is 1.6 miles long and is very dark and cold! At the end of your journey you have the option of riding the 13 miles back uphill (3% grade) or hop on the bus that takes you back to the East Portal. This trail is rated one of the best trails to ride in the Country and I can see why. LINK:     

What's left of the original sub station

The start of our journey

The first and longest tunnel

The start of the 1.6 mile tunnel and the start of the trail

Geni coming out from a 1.6 mile ride in the dark and cold

One of the 7 trestles we crossed

Another of the 9 tunnels we did

inside of tunnel - all done by hand!

Original coach is turned into museum in Avery, Idaho

Here we are ready to start




Well its been over a Month now since Geni and I have been unemployed. We have had such a wonderful time in the last 30 days! Spent a week at Geni's sisters ranch, Biked over 150 miles 15 on the famous Hiawatha, spent time boon docking in the most stunning canyons of Idaho, set up a Flea market table in Kellogg Idaho, we have seen Eagles, Moose, Elk, Deer, and been to the 3 day Blues Festival in Historic Wallace Idaho which is about todays tale. LINK:

We spent 3 awesome days here camped on the River (for FREE) and listing to the most amazing Blues music I have ever heard! What a party too! In Wallace you can walk around with booze as long as it is in a Red Solo cup, gotta love the Free state of Idaho! This was there 7 year doing this festival and the whole town was shut down to vehicle traffic so you could just walk around at the six stages set up and listen to some of the best live music going. Wallace, ID. is really a cool town also it is also labeled as the "Center of The Universe" and the only place in the country where the whole town is on the National list of Historical buildings. It was once the center of the richest silver mines in the world and was the last city in the country where they had illegal gaming and whore house till the early 1990's! LINK:     
Jamming away

Main Street

The Center of the Universe


Elks Lodge 1st in state 1909

NP Railroad Depot

Jameson Hotel that is being restored


Friday, July 13, 2018

Vist from Daughter - A new adventure awaits

Our daughter Robin and her husband Dustin visited us the last week of June. She had just came from South Carolina from a visit with Dustin's folks and also stopped in Ohio where she stayed with her brother, our son Trev and his family. We had a really wonderful visit for a few days with her and had to take them to Yellowstone like we did our son to see Old Faithful.

Geni and I also at this time decided to quit our jobs at the GTA visitors center, like my good friend Jon always said "YOU CAN'T BUY BACK YESTERDAY". That is so true we are getting older and 40 hours a week was to much work for us. We did this to enjoy our national parks not to spend all our time working in them.

 So off to another adventure, we left Grand Tetons on July 1st and headed to Idaho to visit with Geni's sister Robin . We spent 2 weeks of relaxing at their awesome ranch near Salmon,  Idaho.
It is Friday, July 13th and we are headed to Wallace, Idaho for a Blues festival for a few days and then up to Glacier National Park.

Old Homestead on way to Idaho

Best place to view Old Faithful, on the deck at the Inn, Drinks and a view with no people!

The Inn at Old Faithful

Geyser near old Faithful 

Jackson Lake

Humming birds in for a treat

Rafting on the Salmon River near their ranch

Robin and Dustin at top of Grand View point, Tetons in background

We rode the ski tram up in Jackson Hole, what a view!

Hiking at the Ranch, their home sits below in a valley along the Salmon River

Geni with her sister Robin and her husband Dave in their hillbilly hot tub

Having a cold one at the ranch