Travel Stories

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Home Again and Thankful

July 10, 2017
Home.  It’s familiar driving from the Marquette area home.  We enjoyed a great night’s sleep (no train) and didn’t leave our campground until 9:40 a.m.  We stopped for our usual shared breakfast in Ishpeming and somehow avoided getting gas in Marquette.  We slipped into a gas station in Christmas, Michigan on fumes.  By 12:15 we were crossing “The Mighty Mac” into the land of the trolls.  We encountered a huge dump of rain near Higgins Lake and made it safely home by 4:00 p.m....
By Kelly and Bill in Bill and Kelly's Excellent Adventures

I used to like the sound of trains...

July 9, 2017 - Van Riper State Park, Michigan, United States
One of the challenges when pointed in the homeward direction is to still enjoy the journey.  We were up and out of camp by 7:35 a.m.  As Bill drove down the road I checked out the map for any “points of interest”.  Sure enough, by 8:45 a.m. we were in Rugby, North Dakota at the “Geological Center of North America”.  Who knew?  At 3:25 p.m. our little RAV4 turned over 120,000 miles; one day short of the 5-year anniversary of my purchase.  That’s only 24,000 miles a year.  We...
By Kelly and Bill in Bill and Kelly's Excellent Adventures

We're on the long journey home

July 8, 2017 - Saco, Montana, United States
By 8:30 a.m. we were heading out of Glacier National Park.  This trip just reinforced that Glacier is one my favorite places in the world.  I could easily spend weeks there exploring more challenging trails, fishing, and truly have great moments in nature.  It is a magical place. At 10:00 a.m. I was turned around in the car watching the mountain range recede behind me.  I felt heaviness in my chest; as though the oxygen was being sucked out of me.  Along the road lay a bloated dead cow....
By Kelly and Bill in Bill and Kelly's Excellent Adventures

Avalanche Lake and a dip in Lake McDonald

July 7, 2017 - Glacier National Park,, Montana, United States
It was our last full-day in the park.  Boo!  After saying good-by to Nicholas and Stephanie we finally started on the trail to Avalanche Lake that begins right off our campground area.  I did this trail with my parents around 40 years ago and with my sons twenty years ago.  It has been wonderful to make so many new memories here with Bill and to share some of my old adventures with him as well.  This was the only hike we did in 1997.  Bill and I had surpassed that already. The morning...
By Kelly and Bill in Bill and Kelly's Excellent Adventures

St. Mary and Virginia Falls with Many Glacier

July 6, 2017 - Glacier National Park,, Montana, United States
We are loving this campground!  Finally we have had quiet nights of sleeping.  Most folks here are pretty serious about being in nature I think.  I suspect their days are as or more so, filled than ours and we’re all tired.  It really doesn’t get dark until almost 11:00 but I’m adjusting to going to bed in the light.  Bill said he heard some grunting or snorting in the night.  He figured it was a deer.  There were some ladies in the restroom this morning talking about a...
By Kelly and Bill in Bill and Kelly's Excellent Adventures

The trail to Hidden Lake

July 5, 2017 - Hidden Lake Trail, Glacier National Park, Montana, United States
Neither one of us had a good night sleep last night.  As a result, we decided we needed to shower before we could get up and running.  We finally left camp around 12:30 to explore the Going to the Sun Road.  Shortly before we began to make the 3,000+ foot ascent to Logan’s Pass we passed a commotion in some huckleberry bushes alongside the road.  Someone was already pointing out a brown bear that could only be seen in glimpses as he or she made a fast meal of the fruit.  But, at least...
By Kelly and Bill in Bill and Kelly's Excellent Adventures

One of the best ~ Glacier National Park

July 4, 2017
Ah, the dulcet tones of freight train whistles.  Every 15 minutes.  All night long.  I thought I’d finally lost the train-in-my-head a couple days after ditching the ear plugs.  I was wrong.  But at least these trains were real.  I might add that Bill loved it. We were up and at ‘em early this morning.  I had worried more about this little piece of the trip than any other.  My heart was set on camping at Avalanche Creek.  When we made our way into the park the park ranger advised...
By Kelly and Bill in Bill and Kelly's Excellent Adventures

North to Glacier!

July 3, 2017 - West Glacier, Montana, United States
We were up bright and early this morning to begin the long journey to West Glacier, Montana.  Bill had the opportunity to practice dumping the black water tank for the first time prior to leaving Canyon campground.  We also did a brief stop at Norris Geyser Basin where we’d found no parking the first time through.  I recalled Echinus Geyser that was pretty spectacular.  We headed for it after a quick stop at Steamboat springs.  Son-of-a-gun!  How things change.  Echinus Geyser has...
By Kelly and Bill in Bill and Kelly's Excellent Adventures

Lamar and Hayden Valleys

July 2, 2017 - Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, United States, Wyoming, United States
We were enjoying our breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, and frozen potatoes (still trying to regulate our refrigerator) this morning when Bill remarked that he could hear a ranger on horseback in the campground or at least on the road just outside the campground.  It occurred to us later that sound of the hooves was not the clippity-clop of horses’ hooves but more so the clop-clop-clop of bison.  I wish I had gotten out of my seat to take a look!  It’s still been pretty chilly at...
By Kelly and Bill in Bill and Kelly's Excellent Adventures

Point Sublime to Old Faithful

July 1, 2017
On our agenda this morning was a hike to Point Sublime from Artist Point.  We drove by some sleepy buffalo on the way in to Artist Point.  For once we were the early birds.  The parking lot was almost empty.  We marveled at the magnificence of the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River before embarking on the 1.5 mile hike to Point Sublime.  It seemed to be mostly uphill and though it provided excellent view of the Yellowstone Canyon, once we reach the “sublime” part, we felt that...
By Kelly and Bill in Bill and Kelly's Excellent Adventures

Yellowstone and Mt. Washburn

June 30, 2017 - Mt. Washburn, Yellowstone, Wyoming, United States
At last we tried out our furnace!  Thank God.  It got down into the 30s last night.  Our lil’ Buddy heater could in no way keep us from freezing.  The furnace was a slice of heaven.  I woke up during the night with pain in my right foot.  The pain felt like a blister but I could feel nothing.  When daylight came I realized that a callous on the outside of my right heel had split down to the meat; deeper than a blister.  Dang.  I honestly didn’t realize that a.) I had a gross...
By Kelly and Bill in Bill and Kelly's Excellent Adventures

Prune Creek to Yellowstone ~ Enjoying the Journey

June 29, 2017 - Cody, Wyoming, United States
Boy was it cold last night!  I broke out the sleeping bag to go over our down comforter shortly after going to bed.  That was most helpful.  I afforded Bill some privacy this morning by taking a hike up the hill by our camp.  I really thought the path would go up the hill and down to Prune Creek but instead, it just continued up another hill.  I decided to climb.  The view from the top of this hill filled my soul.  The hill was covered in a blanket of wildflowers and the rain the night...
By Kelly and Bill in Bill and Kelly's Excellent Adventures

Deadwood and Devil's Tower

June 28, 2017 - Devil's Tower, Wyoming, United States
We broke camp a little late this morning after watching a deer graze through our camping area.  We had a few stops planned today on the way to our overnight in the Bighorn Mountain Range.  First up was Deadwood, South Dakota.  We found the Mt. Moriah Cemetery where “Wild Bill” Hickok is buried.  Often when we travel, Bill is either referred to as “Buffalo Bill” or “Wild Bill”; even when in Europe.  We took a few photos of his grave and that of Calamity Jane who insisted on...
By Kelly and Bill in Bill and Kelly's Excellent Adventures

The Black Hills and Sylvan Lake

June 27, 2017 - Custer State Park, South Dakota, United States, South Dakota, United States
We enjoyed a great camp breakfast of scrambled eggs, fried potatoes and bacon this morning before venturing out to see the Crazy Horse Memorial taking shape in the Black Hills.  I first visited there 40 years ago when hardly anything was discernable on the memorial.  Twenty years later, I did a “drive-by” with the kids.  The hole under Crazy Horse’s arm had been blown open but we couldn’t see much else from the entrance and I was too cheap to authorize the $11 each to go to the...
By Kelly and Bill in Bill and Kelly's Excellent Adventures

Badlands to Rushmore

June 26, 2017 - Badlands National Park, South Dakota, United States
And a fierce wind did blow!  Sometime in the middle of the night last night a huge wind-storm crept across the Badlands.  The same thing happened during my trip 20 years ago!  The pop-up shook, rattled and (thankfully, did not) roll!  We had a little breakfast while enjoying the view of 3 mule deer just outside our camp.   Around 8:30 we began to work out way of the park along the Badlands Loop Road, stopping at whatever scenic pull off caught our fancy. It wasn’t a long way to our...
By Kelly and Bill in Bill and Kelly's Excellent Adventures

To Badlands National Park

June 25, 2017 - Badlands National Park, South Dakota, United States
We were “up and out” by 7:30 a.m.  The change in time zone was to our advantage since we didn’t feel deprived of much sleep.  We had decided to take a short scenic jaunt up NE-75 to Sioux City.  Our first stop was at the Lewis and Clark state park in Iowa.  It had a keel boat exhibit that Bill was very interested in.  At the park was a keelboat that folks could climb aboard and learn about how goods and people were transported up and down the Missouri River.  It was very...
By Kelly and Bill in Bill and Kelly's Excellent Adventures

Western United States Adventure 2017

June 24, 2017 - Onawa, Iowa, United States
This trip begins as the story of a terrible flood in central Michigan that completely washed out roads all around us and delayed our departure by one day.  We had intended to take the ferry across Lake Michigan but had to cancel those plans and reboot. We managed to pull out of the driveway at 7:00 a.m.; well rested and ready to drive as far as the KOA campground in Onawa, Iowa.  I had canceled our previous reservations elsewhere for the night before, made these reservations, and had been...
By Kelly and Bill in Bill and Kelly's Excellent Adventures

The Long Leg

October 21, 2017 - Wollongong, Australia
Our flight home was at 10.15am so we needed to be on the 7am shuttle from the hotel. As usual I was up early and then woke Margaret at 5.30am so we could be ready and packed before going down to breakfast. As this is an airport hotel it caters for early starts. Breakfast begins at 4 am but we didn’t need to be there that early. We didn’t eat too much for our breakfast but had just enough to keep us going until lunch on the plane. Perhaps we were complacent but we can also blame the...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016 & 2017

Doing little in Dubai

October 19, 2017 - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Well we are now heading towards home – one-third down and two-thirds to go. We woke up in time to go to breakfast at 9.30am. It was a good spread with hot food cooked to order as well as plenty of choices. We rate the Le Meridien Hotel in Abu Dhabi as 100% and this was probably 90%. Most good hotels make around 80 on our scale. After breakfast I caught up on some journal bits and pieces before relaxing and Margaret sat by the pool to read and relax. After a long siesta (still a bit...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016 & 2017

Back to Lisbon

October 17, 2017 - Lisbon, Portugal
Alex, our guide, had arranged a wake-up call for all of our group but we had both been awake for some time before. Our bags were already packed from last night and it was just a matter of arranging our day packs and collecting our last few things to be ready to go down for breakfast at 8am. You would only rate their breakfast as fair compared to many of the places we have stayed but there was still plenty and on the bus tour we usually get a chance to have what we need for lunch. It was...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016 & 2017

Looking around Lagos

October 16, 2017 - Lagos, Portugal
I was not feeling very well and decided to stay in the hotel and rest. In fact my head cold was so bad and my nose so sore that I stayed in our room and Margaret went down and picked some breakfast for me and then went back for hers. I appreciated the effort and enjoyed some bread and pastries and a boiled egg. I didn’t even think about toasting the bread in the kitchen of our suite until after I had finished eating. It was a 9am pick-up for Margaret and after she left I did a little...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016 & 2017

Further South in Portugal

October 15, 2017 - Lagos, Portugal
    This morning was an 11.30am start so we had plenty of time to sleep in, take a leisurely breakfast and pack our bags before we had to be ready for the bus. Margaret took the opportunity to walk up into part of the old town with her camera while I waited anxiously by the bus and our bags. Alex mockingly scolded her for being twenty seconds late for the bus but Margaret was unrepentant as she likes to use up all the available time. From Evora we drove south to Beja where we had an hour to...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016 & 2017

We head south to Evora

October 14, 2017 - Évora, Portugal
There was a message pushed under our door in the afternoon to say we would be collected from the hotel at 8am so we prepared for another early start and a rushed breakfast. My head cold was worse during the night so neither of us got much sleep, which may have been just as well. About 2am I discovered another message under our door. The hotel pickup would now be 9.20am. Almost an hour and a half extra to sleep in and have breakfast at a more leisurely pace. The trade-off being the thought...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016 & 2017

A day off for Max

October 13, 2017 - Lisbon, Portugal
I was feeling poorly yesterday and had already decided on a day off from the relentless touring so when I woke with a head cold this morning the 'sickie' was confirmed. We still went down for breakfast at 7.20am so that Margaret could be ready for the 8am pick-up at the hotel. The breakfast buffet was good with plenty to choose from and the capsule-type coffee machine produced coffee that was real. I think I am getting the hang of these ones. Two espresso capsules in mine with some hot milk...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016 & 2017

Back to Lisbon

October 12, 2017 - Lisbon, Portugal
    Yesterday we were reminded that we haven't posted our later days of the Portugal Tour, although we have been putting together our journal. It is about time we put that right. You may get a hefty dose of Portugal over the next few days. Hotel Urgeiriça put on a good spread for breakfast but we settled for a lighter breakfast today. Coffee was from an urn but reasonable and I needed two cups before I felt ready for the day. I was a bit under the weather but blamed the amount of beer and...
By Max & Margaret in Europe 2015 & 2016 & 2017

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