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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Finally, the granddaddy of them all...Yellowstone

When I say that Yellowstone is the largest of all the national parks, I mean BIG. There just is no way to do it justice in a day or two. We were not camped really close to the park, but even if we had been we couldn't have seen it all. Our favorites were the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Yellowstone Lake.

Of special interest for me was to find the spot where I had taken a picture of Jason (youngest son) when we were there in 1981. Jason was 4 years old and I told him to sit on a rock with the canyon falls in the background so I could take a picture. He sat down, put his elbow on his leg and rested his chin on the back of his hand and smiled. I just snapped the picture quickly and it is one of my favorite pictures of all time. Well, we found almost the exact spot, though the picture of me with the falls in the background doesn't quite measure up to the one in 1981. Still, it is a beautiful place to take pictures. It is called Artist Point. If you go to Yellowstone, please go here because it just takes your breath away to see the beauty that God designed for us to enjoy. It is a great illustration of His immense love for us!

Our second favorite place was Yellowstone Lake. It is a big lake, but so beautiful. You can't drive all the way around, but where you can drive is well worth it as you can see in these pictures.

When you think of Yellowstone, you always think of wildlife, and it doesn't disappoint. Every road you drive down has people stopped by the side of the road looking at something. We got several good shots of the bison. The first one is a bison calf being fed by mom. The calves are apparently light brown color and don't look anything like the adults. The second one is a bison that was almost in the road and just looked at us as we drove by.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hiking is Fun...right?

Yesterday we headed for Teton National Park. There are some things that are great about being a "senior"; they just looked at our Senior Passes and said "have a nice day". Otherwise, they are $25 for a 7 day pass (it does cover Teton and Yellowstone parks). One of the places Vicki wanted to go was Jenny Lake. She had been there in 1981 and remembered it was beautiful.

We got to the visitor center and the hike at Jenny Lake up to Canyon Falls was highly recommended. We were told it was 2 miles. We've been walking about 1.5 miles daily for the past several weeks, so we felt we could do that. We could hike 2 miles and eat lunch at the falls and then hike back down. The 4 miles would be a stretch but we thought we could do it. Otherwise you have to take a boat ride across the lake and then the hike to the falls is only 1/2 mile, but the boat ride was $10 each. Since we're on a budget and need exercise, we elected to walk. We had 2 bottles of water and 2 PB&J's with us. After we're on the trail we see another sign that tells us that the falls is additional 1/2 mile each way; now we're up to 5 miles! Long story short, the rise in elevation had been somewhat misrepresented and we knew when we got to the top that we had bitten off more than we could chew, so we discussed taking the boat ride back. After all that hard work we just couldn't bring ourselves to spend the money, so we ate lunch and hiked down. Needless to say we were wiped out the rest of the day, but the view was worth it (at least TODAY we think it was!). Enjoy the pictures.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Up, up into the mountains

You know you are getting closer to the mountains
when you see scenes like we saw today driving
from Gillette toward the Tetons.

We crossed over Powder River Pass at 9,666 ft. elevation and were pleased that we had no problem with the motorhome.

We also drove through the Wind River Canyon in central Wyoming. The Wind River looks to be at flood stage and so the waters are rushing down the mountain. We saw some brave rafters on the river. Now that we're at a higher elevation the weather is more to our liking ; 50's at night and 70's in the daytime. Tomorrow we will begin an 11 day stay in the Teton/Yellowstone area, so I'm sure there will be some great pictures to be taken there.