Friday, September 27, 2019

Utah Rocks....and so do we!

Hi all! The last month has been really busy. We have had spotty internet, so posting has been really hard to do. But I have taken A LOT of pictures, and I put together a video montage of where we have been. We have used the hospitality of the grand state of Utah, which states to live life elevated. They are not kidding. But we have been checking out their rocks.....Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and a state park known as Goblin. Late September into October is Bryce and Zion. So sit back, get some popcorn, and enjoy these videos. Thanks, and y'all come back!

Arches National Park
Moab, Utah

Canyonlands National Park
Moab, Utah

Goblin State Park
between Green River and Hanksville, Utah

Capitol Reef National Park
near Torrey, Utah

Monday, August 26, 2019

Breathtaking Beauty

Hi all! Today we drove around just to take in Yellowstone's breathtaking beauty. Sometimes, just looking for wildlife, we miss the wide open fields and spectacular sunrises because we are looking for "movement" in the trees and in those open fields. But they, too, have a wonder of their own.

Clouds over the lake

Hayden Valley

A river runs through it

more valley views

stunning waterfalls and cascades

sunrises over the lake

And one of the biggest draws here, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.


Gushing Geysers and Prismatic Pools

Hi all! Today we decided to drive and look at the thermal wonders. There are plenty! One is even on the side of Lake Yellowstone!

Here's a better perspective; there's the lake to the left. I would've done a video, but there was too much traffic noise from the street to hear it correctly. We joked you could boil an egg in it!

But drive around Yellowstone and just smell the air. When you smell the sulfur, you know you're near a hot spot!

Mud bath, anyone?! LOL

When you go in the park, just take the drive to Old Faithful. That road will take you to most of the "hot" places. There is a great stop, called Biscuit Basin where I took a lot of good pictures and videos. We also drove down a road called Firehole Canyon Road.  Another "hot" place to be. Enjoy!

mud geyser....thank goodness it didn't go off!

Sapphire Pool

Surprise Pool

The hot water and organisms look like mushrooms....but toxic!

Old Faithful

Firehole Lake, these are Young Little Geysers


Winning Wildlife

Hi all! We had been at Yellowstone just 24 hours and got the mother lode of wildlife! We drove to Lamar Valley; which, if you've seen all of the documentaries of Yellowstone, most of the big mammals are there. In the past, we were glad to see them in Hayden Valley on the other side of the park. But alas, they were not there this time. So instead, we drove to Lamar. To give you perspective, it is over 1.5 hours from our campsite, so we had to get up pretty early, but the reward was well
worth it! 
Our wildlife picture.....LOL

Bison Booty; and since there is a lot of construction in Yellowstone, we call him the Pilot Car

The bridge to Lamar; one was coming, the other was going---the bison, that is

All that dust kick-up means "look at me, I'm tough"

Part of the herd at the river

The big guy stood in the road to hold up the cars so the other two can get across the street; what 
a gentleman!!

Say cheese!!

And while we were entranced with the bison, off to the side of the ridge stood a large, dog-like figure. Could it be? Why yes!! It was a wolf! Not just one, two or three, but four!! 

Here's at least one

A few more.....they were moving in and out of the brush; we had to be quick

A little further on the road we came to another group of parked cars. Guess what they were looking at? Yes, there was a lone bison wandering in the field. But further from him was a black grizzly bear gnawing on a bison carcass!

Now, mind you, all of these sightings of animals happened within 10 miles of each other!! Then, later that day, we saw these wonderful creatures: elk ladies.

She was by the gas station when we were checking the air in the tires (we have a slow leak in the front) and getting ice for the cooler. Surprise! My picture was real blurry so I snagged this one off the 'net. But it's the same thing. 
Anyway, we had a really great day just exploring and looking at wildlife. Can't believe we hit the trifecta! We had never seen wolves here in Yellowstone; we had only heard them. Thank you, God, for allowing us to see all of your glories in the animals today. The only thing we didn't get to see was the moose. Oh well. Maybe next time. 

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Wildlife and beauty abound

Hi all! This morning we were able to track down the glorious wildlife that live here in the Tetons. Of course, we had to leave the gate to do it!

First course: Elk.  We drove down the main road between our park/camping area and Jackson, Wyoming. It's about 30 miles. Off to the left, G exclaims, "Wow! Look at that!" It was an elk stag just standing in the gloaming. Then, when you look a little closer, there was a whole herd of them! It was still relatively dark, so the pictures weren't all that good. But later, after the sun started coming up, we got another "family photo" of a mama and three babies, along with a "papa" elk.

Then after the beautiful elk, we drove a little further, and the sun was illuminating my favorite rock formations, the grandiose Tetons. Interestingly, they gave the Tetons names.

The big one in the middle, that looks like the Matterhorn, is called Grand Teton. Middle Teton is the peak to the left; South Teton is the craggly one to the far left; and Teewinot Mountain is the craggly one on the right of Grand Teton. It truly is magnificent! There was this wonderful view too, once we drove down from the main road towards the Snake River.

To me this looks like something you would see in a painting or on a postcard; but I snapped it! It was perfect!

Second course: Bison herd. They were close to the street this time so that we could take pictures. The last few days they have been at least 500 yards away. Great if you're playing football; not so much if you want to take a photo.

So I'd say all in all it was a good morning. We spotted a fox, too, but he was too quick for the camera. Still no moose, bear, or wolves, but we'll still keep looking. We have one more day here, then it's off to Yellowstone. Woo hoo!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Moon Craters and Grand Mountains

Hi all! I know it has been awhile since my last post (almost 2 months)! but we have been busy.
Alaska is now in the rear view mirror. It was a nice trip overall, but one we will not repeat for a very long time. Glad it is off the bucket list. Not that I will discourage anyone from going. It is A LOT of driving from place to place; the camping lots are very close together and gravelly; and if you have slides, very narrow. You really get to know your neighbors! But you are traveling at hyper-speed, so there's really no time. Most people fly in and rent a vehicle to spend about 6 weeks. And no joke, it is expensive. The food is higher priced because it's shipped or trucked in. And to see the bears or sea wildlife, you have to pay (at least $400 to fly to see the bears because that's where they are... not close to people, and boat cruises to see the sea wildlife at almost $200 pp). So save up your money if you want to go to Alaska.

Driving to Wyoming from Oregon and one of my favorite parks, I wanted to hug LOLA (our name for our GPS). She took us along Highway 26E, which allowed us to see Craters of the Moon National Monument. I had never heard of it! Surprise! It sort of came up on us out of nowhere in Idaho. But what a nice surprise. We couldn't stop to get my national parks passport stamped, but I did happen to get some great pictures. Enjoy!

So it's called Craters of the Moon because all of the black stuff is lava rock. It is is in piles and different "drifts" and things around the area. It looks like craters. And the area is pretty desolate, like the moon. I thought it was pretty spectacular and a nice surprise.

We are at one of my favorite parks.....The Grand Tetons National Park. We came here in 2012, 7 years ago. More people have come here, so more accommodations have been made; but the view is still the same. And I can't get enough of it~!
Got this view this morning while we were looking for wildlife. I got a full moon over the mountains with some low-lying fog and the sun coming up, glowing the sky off the face of the mountain. God is so amazing!!

Only saw a big elk herd this morning. Last time we were here we were blessed to see elk and moose. Not so much yet. We will keep looking. There is some construction on the road, and we are two months later than the last time we were here. Who knows?? We shall keep up our morning vigil.

Another morning view; all I can say is.....aaaahhh

the whole set

a close-up view

I promise more later. Again, I can't get enough of this priceless view. It leaves me speechless every  time I see it; and those of you who know me know this is tough! 😆