Bucket List: Glacier and Remission

Building the Tahoe into the WRōV occupied much of my time and was a great distraction from the chemo effects. By the first week of May I had most of the big modifications done, from the drive-train to the roof rack to the spare tire swing-arm to the drawer system insert in the back with a refrigerator, a plumbed sink and stove. By April we got the news of my remission, so we were ready to go and so was the WRōV.

Top of the list was Glacier National Park with the Tetons and Yellowstone along the way. We hooked up our travel trailer, loaded up the girls and pointed the WRōV north to the Tetons where we planned to transition up to Yellowstone, only to find out the road was still closed. 

Mindy and I do many things well together, one of which is travel. We first discovered this when we took our respective kids to San Simeon, California, on a kayaking/camping trip before we were married, an experiment in blending where, despite cutting the top of my thumb off with an axe and nearly drowning most of the kids in the cove’s surf trying to launch our big yellow boats, we decided to return there a year later to get married, all kids in tow.

Years later and a number of potty-management approaches, we picked up a travel trailer that I customized so the WRōV can tow it on and off-road. If you’ve been following Cornering Consciousness, you’ll know that we’ve had our challenges along the way, some having to do with a wheel and axle catching fire.

So, it follows that when we doubled back from the closed highway to Yellowstone and descended the steep grades of the Teton Pass with the trailer, Mindy noticed smoke billowing from the WRōV’s right rear wheel well in her rear view mirror. “There’s smoke coming from the rear wheel,” she said in the same tone as if she were asking what sounded good for lunch. “Oh, okay then.” I said, a bit more nonplussed.

We pulled over and I inspected theWRōV’s passenger-side rear wheel. The hub wasn’t hot and I could find no brake fluid leaking that would cause the smoke. I checked the reservoir and it was at the correct level. We sat for a minute and let things cool down and then made the rest of our way down the pass on to Idaho into Montana to Glacier, retracing the route Addie and I took the Summer before, without incident.

I discovered later that the WRōV had a leaky axle seal. We stayed a couple of nights at West Glacier and took in as much of the park’s grandeur as possible with the Road to the Sun still closed from the off-season.

From there we went south to West Yellowstone where we were not only granted admittance, but were escorted by a young mama buffalo carefully escorting her baby along the road to join up with the rest of the herd along our way.

Nature was doing her due diligence with us in our search for solid ground, exactly what we needed at this moment in our lives. We found it adjacent rivers mostly, by the Sacred Dancing Cascade, along the Madison and on the Snake. Remission means there are even more rivers.

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