Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Waiting Is Over

After a long day yesterday, Scott and Jennifer finally arrived here early afternoon.  Lauren and Andrew were really excited to see them.  I don’t think Lauren and Jennifer have quit talking yet.

They are only going to be here for 3 days so we don’t have any time to waste.  The kids gave them time to catch their breath, stretch a little, and sign in the the hotel before we threw them in the car and headed out for the north loop of the park.

We made it past the eagle and through the construction, before Lauren wanted to stop and show them

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Beryl Springs.  It wasn’t too stinky this afternoon.

Then as we started down the road, we didn’t go too far before the traffic backed up more than I have seen the whole trip…couldn’t be anything

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but a grizzly bear…


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wanted to get a better look.

We traveled on around to Mammoth Springs where we took a quick tour through the gift shop and grabbed a snack and something to drink.

We drove on around and up and over Mount Washburn and Dunraven Pass.  It wasn’t long that until we saw

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the mountains standing really tall against the sky with the beautiful rolling valley below.  And in that valley, we

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found this big guy having a little snack.  We waited for him to

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look our way so we could get a better picture.  WOW!

We were well pleased with our finds today.  Jennifer also got to see a buffalo and on the way out of the park

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the baby eagle was perched on the side of it’s nest as if to bid everyone a good evening as we passed by.

We had dinner at a Mexican food restaurant in town and then Lauren wanted to show Jennifer where we found a recent geocache.  She was excited that the travel bug we placed in it was gone and had been replaced with another one.

We returned to the motor home to make tomorrows plan.  We are making a trip over to Jackson Hole, WY for a day of fun activity and shopping.  This will be a new experience for us all.  See you tomorrow from Jackson Hole.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Moving and Waiting

Today was moving day for everyone.  Jim and Ellie were packing up to leave for Idaho Falls about 95 miles from here, while we were packing up to move about 7 miles into West Yellowstone

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to the Grizzly RV Park.  We got this nice

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corner site.  Now, we are waiting for Scott and Jennifer to join us for the rest of the week.…however,

back in Fort Worth they have been waiting all day at DFW to catch a plane.  Remember that stand-by flying we do…well today was one of the days you learn to be really patient.  They started out early this morning trying to catch a flight to Salt Lake.  After a couple of Salt Lake attempts, they tried Denver and Jackson, but to no avail.  They finally got on a plane late this afternoon to Denver where they will catch a connecting flight to Salt Lake to arrive late tonight.  They will be staying there and driving here to West Yellowstone in the morning.  We are looking forward to spending the next few days with them.  Andrew and Lauren are looking forward to showing them through the park.

When it was apparent that Scott and Jennifer were not going to be able to join us today, we grabbed a bite of lunch and decided that we would take a trip to Mesa Falls.  The falls are about 50 miles from here across the Idaho state line.   It was a nice drive through the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway, just out of Ashton, Idaho.  From Ashton, you travel along the Warm River toward the main attraction, which is the Upper and Lower Falls.  At 114 and 65 feet respectively, the falls are equally spectacular.  The

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Upper Falls can be viewed from just a few feet away, while the

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Lower Falls view is about a quarter mile away.

The Upper Falls is also the location of the historic

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Big Falls Inn, which was build around 1915 by the Snake River Electric Light and Power Company.  It may have originally been constructed as a combination office and residence for workers.  It eventually evolved into a well-known way-station on the Yellowstone highway.  With it’s spectacular setting, the Inn also became a popular spot for dances and social gatherings for the local ranchers, farmers, sportsmen, and tourists.  In 1936, the Montana Power Company took it over as a company resort, then in 1986 the Forest Service took it over from the power company in a land exchange.  Today, it is a gift shop and small museum.

We also enjoyed the beautiful  Yellowstone 2009 075

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flowers that were blooming all along the walking path.

And, I still can’t get use to seeing

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this sign everywhere we go!   Believe me, I will not confront any bears.

The kids are still enjoying the trip and have become quite good

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with their picture taking.

As we drove back towards Ashton, we were able to get this late afternoon shot of

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The Grand Tetons.

  We made it back to town and decided we would have pizza for dinner at Gusher’s.  We chose Taco Pizza and salad…it was yummy.  We are now just waiting to go to the IMAX to see the story of Yellowstone.  So, I guess I had better go for now…take care and see you tomorrow for another adventure.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Wow…What A Weekend

Kate and Greg were to arrive on Thursday, but could not get a flight out of Dallas for love nor money! So, they took an early morning flight on Friday to Phoenix, had a 2 hour layover and then boarded a plane for Salt Lake City. Upon arrival in Salt Lake, they rented a car and drove to West Yellowstone. They arrived here around 5:30 pm.

After dinner, we went into town to find their hotel, checked in, and the kids wanted to take a swim. We confirmed our plan for Saturday, which Zachary had already laid out as to how and what he wanted them to see. We made our way back to the RV Park for a quick night’s sleep….

Wow…it is 5:30 am. already? I was up, showered, and dressed so Mark and the kids could get up, get ready, have breakfast, and be back in town to pick up Kate, Greg, and Zachary by 8:00 am. Then we were off for a day in the park!

Of, course, Zachary had to show his parents the one spot that always hangs us up every time we go into the park…and sure enough,

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there she was…watching out

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for that baby in the nest. Wow…look how much he has grown in a couple of weeks.

Now, that we are past the eagle, we make good time getting through the construction zone and we are on our way.

Next stop was

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for Kate to jump out of the car, go across the street, and try to get a picture of the elk that was hiding in the trees. She got the picture of the elk. I got the picture of her.

A little ways down the road, we introduced Kate and Greg to their first

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geyser and steam vents. This morning, they were really showing off and

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it was stinky deluxe!

And, if we didn’t have enough there…we went on to

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show them

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the bubbly paint pots. Lauren and Zachary wonder

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why they have to be quite so smelly! They say….time to move on.

On, our way back down the trail we saw

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these pretty little blue flowers growing out of this log. Looks like something my mom would have in her backyard. We also enjoyed

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this view from the top of the paint pots.

Now, with everyone loaded back in the “Tour Jeep”, we were off to theVirginia Cascades. This was just a short drive off of the main road…and a first time for all of us.

Greg thought he

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would try to get a better look! Then the kids thought that looked like fun, but

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they stopped on the edge for their picture.

All of the water falls we have seen here in the park are beautiful, but to me there is none that compares to our next stop at the

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Upper and

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Lower Falls, as they tumble into what is known as the

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Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. This view is from the lookout at Artist Point. Well, I wish I could just spend the afternoon here, but we must be on our way, but not before one last picture for Zachary to remember this day with

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with his parents.

Lunch was next on the agenda. We drove around to our favorite spot by the Upper Falls. We enjoyed our picnic as usual. After lunch, the kids took Kate

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on a hike

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down to the river, where again

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Old Faithful is next on our list, but first we were stopped by Yellowstone 2009 042

this buffalo. Picture time….then,

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this Bull Elk and a

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Now, maybe we can get to Old Faithful…once we arrived, we learned that it had just gone off, so we treated ourselves to cold drinks and ice cream in the lodge while we waited for the next eruption time. About 5 minutes before, we

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all went outside to get the perfect spot and wait for

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Old Faithful to once again live up to her name.

The next attraction on Zachary’s list was the

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Mid Level Geyer Basin, which never seems to amaze me with the colors you can see.

Well, this it getting late afternoon and we still have another stop to make. Zachary has left this one to last. It is at

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the falls off of Firehole Canyon Drive. This is were the kids needed to show Kate and Greg how they can

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hike down the rocks. Of course, Greg was right behind them and

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he thought he would get a little closer look at the falls.

Then, the kids

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decided they wanted a a closer look too. Okay, you guys, Moppa says it is time to

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come back up to the top.

This was our last stop in the park…and it was time to head back to town. We had dinner in town and did a little shopping before dropping Kate, Greg, and Zachary off at the hotel.

Zachary, Poppa and I loved spending time with you. I hope you had a great time, and I hope you enjoyed sharing the day in Yellowstone showing your mom and dad through the park!

This morning, Kate, Greg, and Zachary stopped by the RV Park on their way back to Salt Lake City to catch a flight back to DFW.

Today, has been a do nothing day for the rest of us. Jim grilled out at lunch time and then later in the afternoon we decided to take a drive into town where we did a little shopping. A rain with a little hail in it came through so we took shelter in the ice cream parlor. LOL When the rain let up, we took a ride out to Beaver Pond to look for moose, but no luck.

Tomorrow will be Jim and Ellie’s last day in West Yellowstone, so we are going to make one more trip into the park with them. They will be traveling to Idaho Falls on Tuesday. We are staying here in West Yellowstone, as Scott and Jennifer will be flying in on Tuesday to spend the rest of the week with us. Then we will join Jim and Ellie on August 1.

So, see you all tomorrow for another adventure from the park.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

50th Anniversary of Earthquake Lake

On August 17, 2009, it will have been 50 years since the earthquake happened near Yellowstone. Come along with us as we visit the site…We drove out Hwy 191 and turned on Hwy 287 and entered the Gallatin National Forest

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We drove up to the visitor center, watched a short movie, Zachary and Lauren checked

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the seismograph meter and then we started our self guided tour.

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This is

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the mountain that all the rock slid from.

Across the road is the

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boulder that rode the slide down the mountain across the river and road, and about half way up the mountain on the other side. Today it is a memorial to the ones that lost lives in the earthquake. You can almost see where you think this boulder would fit back on the top of the mountain.

This is a

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look from the top of the memorial rock to the valley that lies below and to the other direction

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is Earthquake Lake, which was formed in the aftermath of the quake.

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This the

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spillway. With time, they say that the waters from Earthquake Lake will all drain back into the river and the lake will once again be only a riverbed.


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kids had fun playing by the river and

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learned from Poppa how to skip rocks on the water.

As we continued on our tour…we drove back to the spot

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where the rubble of house are still evident today.

We also visited the area that is known today as

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ghost village. It is were houses were washed down stream and thrown up on the river banks.

However, today, almost 50 years later, we see the beauty that this quake left.

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Hebgen Lake lies at the foot of the mountains,

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Earthquake Lake reminded me of the power of nature, and the

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beauty of the flowers that were blooming everywhere in the area reminded me that everyday is precious and that none of us know what tomorrow will bring...