A little bit about ourselfs:

Two crazy Swiss Immigrants living in Canada since 1996 traveling the Country in a 5th wheel together with their two cats ....
Let's introduce ourselves:

There is the lovely and multi-talented Sue: A Sagittarius that likes travel, cats & dogs, reading good books and rather swings a hammer then using a sawing-needle. She dislikes rude people and getting up early

The other part of the team is André: Born in the sign of Aquarius always looking for something new and exciting to explore. Let's go around this corner - there may be something we haven't seen yet! Likes traveling, cooking and making new friends. Dislikes are changing - they may become acceptable

Please follow us on our journey - and don't be shy, we'll love to hear from you!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Montana to Monument Valley (Catching you up Part I)

I know, guys, I am so behind with our blogs it’s not even funny anymore. We’re having so much fun and so much to see and do that I really rather spend my time doing these things than sitting down and writing about them. But I figured I owe you at least an attempt to catch you up on our travels. So I sat down a couple of days ago and started writing. Unfortunately we had no internet access so I could only upload this post today in a McDonalds. So here it comes:

After our ZIP-lining adventure we continued our trip to Bozeman (still Montana) from where we wanted to visit one of the greatest national parks of the United States, one we had not been to ever before: Yellow Stone which is actually located in Wyoming. And it sure was worth the trip. We saw the famous geysers, rocks covered in the sediments left behind by them, fantastic and diverse landscapes and wildlife including bears and herds of wild buffalo. The animals are so used to people that they hardly pay any attention to them. In fact we came so close to some of the buffalos that we could have reached out the car window and touched them. They walked across a parking lot between cars and people and seemed perfectly comfortable doing it. This is more than can be said for Princess. She decided that those beasts had come close enough and took it upon herself to try and protect us by starting to furiously bark at them. Good girl! We did not see “Old Faithful”. When we arrived there we found out that we had just missed it and would have to wait for over an hour for it to go off again. But we had seen many other geysers and it was getting late after we had stopped so many places to take pictures that we decided to get back to the campground.

After we had moved our rig to Tetonia, the other national park we visited in Wyoming was Grand Teton, a park we had never heard of before and don’t know how well known it is. Grand Teton is a nice high plateau with beautiful mountains in the background and a wildlife refuge and it would be very nice for hiking. Unfortunately, though understandably, one is not allowed to take a dog on hiking trails in any of the national parks in the United States. So we were limited to the views from the road and parking areas and didn’t get a chance to go out into the more remote parts. As nice as it is to have a dog and as much as we love Princess, there can be a little downside to dog ownership, too.

Then we were off to see more parks in southern Utah. You might have read about our unintentional stop in North Salt on the way there two blog posts back. We finally made it to a nice looking RV park we had found on the internet and booked for a week. But after just one night we had to leave there because of the altitude which gave André problems with breathing. So we ended up in Hatch which really is ideally located for trips to Brice, Zion, Red Rocks and Grand Canyon National Parks. With so much to see we had a busy week ahead of us. But before we even got to Hatch we came across a kind of a mountain pass and hit some snow. SNOW! In August! In southern Utah! Crazy!!! Who would have expected that? We just took it slow and easy on the road and made it safely to the other side.

The four parks we were going to visit from Hatch are among those we had visited way back during our very first trip to the United States. Like others of the kind we still didn’t want to miss them and are glad we revisited them. Memories from our first trip came alive and we compared them whit what we were seeing now and made new memories, too. Of course a lot had changed over all those years since our first time here. While the parks have always been made to attract tourists and outdoors enthusiasts alike, they are now much better accessible for vehicles which for the reasons I told you about regarding dogs, is important to us. We took it all in and after many more pictures decided that we would come back here anytime again. The one thing we did differently from last time is that this time around we went to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon as opposite to the better known and more visited South Rim. Sue and Princess had quiet the adventure there and learned a valuable lesson. You can read all about that in Hunter’s and Trapper’s blog “Blame it all on Princess?” of September 1, 2013. You won’t believe what they did!

The week was over way too soon and we hit the road again. Our destination this time was Cortez. Along the way we planned to see Monument Valley National Park, again one we had been to before, and then Mesa Verde. This park had not been on our list last time and after discussing the route and detour it would take to get there instead of bypassing Cortez and heading to Moab the quickest possible way, we decided to take the time to visit those two parks. Monument Valley has become much better accessible, too, since we’ve been there over 20 years ago. Then one could only go into the valley on guided tours. Now there is a road which people can drive themselves if they dare. It’s not really bad but comes close enough to off-roading in some parts to make many people prefer a guided tour. Of course we could not drive through the valley with our fifth wheel in tow so we came up with the idea to drop it right there in the parking lot and then drive our truck into the valley. We always find that we find a lot of nice subjects to take pictures of that we would not get to photograph out of a tour bus which stops at certain locations only. And we did find nice angles, views and details.

To be continued.

André and Sue
@ home on the road

PS: Don't forget to read our other blogs (listed on the side) and to follow us on facebook and our Google Map. You can also check our web site for new pictures.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Montana adventure

Hi everyone

If you have looked at the pictures on our web site you may have noticed that we had some awesome times after leaving Canada and before our breakdown north of Salt Lake City. There is a gap in our blogs and we want to fill that in for you.

Ever since we came close to the mountains we were talking about outdoors activities we wanted to try. We did some of them, horseback riding and whitewater rafting in British Columbia but still had a big one on our bucket-list: ZIP-lining. Though we have come across some ZIP-lines we never actually did it and in hindsight we are glad about that because none of them would have come even close to the ones we found in Montana!

After crossing the border we found a nice campground in Columbia Falls which we made our home base for a week. It was very conveniently located to go visit Glacier National Park and only a day's drive from Bozeman where we planned to stop again. Bozeman again is perfectly located for yet two more national parks: Yellowstone and Grand Teton. But these would come a little later and we'll tell you about them in another blog.

So we're in Columbia Falls and had seen Glacier National Park. I had expected a little more of it based on the name. There was no ice or even snow to be found anywhere and honestly I'd recommend the Icefield Parkway in British Columbia over Glacier to anyone who is looking for an alpine scenery. All in all it was still worth seeing though. And we did the same thing as we had done last year for Canada, we bought an annual pass valid for all the national parks in the U.S. so we can visit them without spending too much money on admission fees and then asking ourselves: was it worth it?

Montana, as you might know, has some mountainous regions and so we were not surprised to find an outfit offering ZIP-line tours. I called and after talking to them booked both of us on a 7-ZIP-line tour. You could also go for 5 lines only and leave the two longest and fastest ones out. But what would the fun be in that? So two days later we were at the resort, getting geared up and instructed on how things were going to work. A safety video and the comments of our two guides later we were out the door and walked to the first line. It is a short one and kind of a test if one got the different positions you're supposed to use while on the line. You can go "pencil" (lay back and stretch out) to go as fast as possible. You don't actually have to do this if you don't want to (we did of course). The 'Starfish" (sit up and spread-Eagle) and the landing positions are crucial though to slow down and come in for a save landing at the end of the lines. Actually the spread-Eagle gives you maximum air-resistance, the only way to slow down. There are no breaks here.

After the guides decided we all knew what to do, our 14-person group headed out to have some fun. We zipped down a total of 7 lines, 8750 feet / 2669 meters (the longest ones 1900 feet / 580 meters each) in total, at speeds of over 50 miles/hour (80 km/hour) and as high as 300 feet / 91 meters above ground. WOW! What fantastic fun we had! We wouldn't miss this experience for the world. I actually envy the guides for their job. They get to zip those lines every day! Now that's a dream job as far as I'm concerned. See the pictures and watch the video on our web site and you will understand how much fun this was.

Some of you might know the song "Live like you were dying" by Tim McGraw. We kind of put our own spin on the chorus of that song:
We went ZIP-lining
We went horseback riding
We went 3.7 hours on a whitewater raft
And we went farther
And we played harder
And never before has life been this much fun
And we hope
Some day you too will get a chance to do what we have done

With this we say goodbye for now. Please com back for more new.

André and Sue
@ home on the road

PS: Don't forget to read our other blogs (listed on the side) and to follow us on facebook and our Google Map. You can also check our web site for new pictures.