This morning I am sitting in the Mercedes dealership in Provo, Utah. Yep that is right, you heard me correctly. My check engine light came on in the middle of no-where Idaho. After I spoke with the Roadtrek Roadside Assist and was reassured I could drive it safely, I drove through some fantastic country to Provo last night. This morning my RT is in the shop. I am waiting for the diagnosis.
As I drove from Idaho into Utah I turned over 10,000 miles on my RT. I think it was sitting close to 880 miles when I began this journey. I have done well on this journey so far. I am not done yet. After I get my RT checked out I am driving to the canyons of southern Utah. I certainly want my cute RV ready to go before I venture into the back country. I am glad that I continue to ask for help when I need it. This is a good lesson to remember in all facets of my life.
Since I have last checked in I have spent time in Cody, Wy and Yellowstone National Park. Why these two places, you might ask? One of the reasons I started on this journey is to figure out what is next in my life. I have always liked Cody so I was exploring it as a potential place to move. Experiencing winter might take a little getting used to.
Yellowstone is one of my favorite places on this planet. I travel there at least once a year as a tour manager. I am possibly taking a group into the park this coming February, so I decided to drive the north loop and explore. I am the resident expert when I am working.
The real reason is more personal. Jim and I did a winter snowshoe and camp in the park two years ago. Although it was hard to visit the areas that we traveled together it was also good. I am glad I went into the park. I am glad I visited the places I did. This park is such an amazing place and I feel strongly that even though it was hard to search the memories, it was also very healing for me. I will return to this park again and again.
Here are some of the highlights of my visit to Yellowstone:
Grizzly Bear: Coming into the Park on the west side of Sylvan Pass I saw the often elusive bear. She was young. The ranger told us that the reason she was so high up the pass was because the older bears in the park won't let her come down yet. She had a yummy looking meadow to dig for grubs and Yampa roots.
- Sand Hill Cranes in the Lamar Valley.
- Watching a young Osprey taking test flights from his nest.
Elk. I saw one bull elk herd all his ladies into the woods when the tourists got too close.
- Elk bulls bugling. My favorite moment was when I was sitting on the ground near Mt Washburn pass. I was alone and a bull let out the most amazing bugle. I love this time of the year.
- Bison swimming the Yellowstone.
- Antelope in the Lamar Valley.
- Standing on a hill in the Hayden Valley at sunset watching for wolves and bears with several other people. I never saw animals but enjoyed the company of others and a beautiful sunset.
- Hiking to and around Norris Basin.
- Sleet, ice and snow on the last night at Norris campground.
- Sleeping in my Roadtrek and not in a tent on the ground. This includes being warm.
- Meeting Carla and John. They have been traveling for over 4 months from Saskatchewan.
- Sitting in my RT, windows down, binoculars and camera at hand, watching for wildlife in the Lamar valley on a picture perfect afternoon.
This past Saturday and Sunday I drove the byways of rural Idaho and a little of Wyoming. This is the country of the perfect vistas at every curve of the highway. My suggestion is to stay off the freeways if you can. There were perfect farms with golden fields of grain. The mountains were around me all the time. Rivers flowed everywhere along the way. I stopped in Grace, Idaho for lunch at Lunch Express. I was the only tourist in the cafe. The locals talked to me and I met the owner as well. What delightful people. I have come to the conclusion that most people are nice and glad to hear a stranger's story.
I found that as I got closer to Salt Lake City I started to slow down. I did not want to be back in the big city. This was probably good training for my arrival back to San Diego.
Waiting is hard. Today I am thankful for the Mercedes dealership. And here is the news…the heating element in the DEF tank is bad. Arrgh!!! They are waiting to find out who pays for removal all of parts so that they can replace the DEF tank. Sigh. Guess I spend the day hanging out in Provo Utah.