"Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." Psalm 30:5

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mystic Falls Hike

Made it!  Me at Mystic falls.
Church Group I hiked with - thanks for letting me tag along!!
Saturday (June 23) was my off day so I headed over to Mystic Falls to hike the trail.  None of my friends here were off so I headed out alone.  Lucky me!  I met a group of young adults from Crossroads Baptist Church and hiked the trail with them.  They were at the end of their mission trip and were exploring the park.  Quite a team - they had the "safety in numbers" part  and I had the bear spray and mosquito repellant.  That mosquito repellant was important - they were swarming!!

Fly fisherman - I picnicked near here.
After hiking, I had a picnic lunch and explored other areas of the park.  Took a lot of little backroads.  The road by Firehole Canyon was amazing.  Gorgeous!!!  My little point and shoot camera doesn't do it justice.  It was really a peaceful, relaxing day.  This is quite the adventure - I feel lucky to be spending my summer here.

Firehole Falls - Gorgeous!!!

Bison Babies
I ended the day with a stop at Grant Visitor Center to see the exhibit on the fire of 1988.  Very interesting but I was too late to see the films.  I'll save that for another day.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Brother Visit!

Norris Geyser Basin - I can't but wonder
what the early explorers thought the first time
they saw this area.
On Monday I had the day off to spend with my brother, Maynard, on his visit to Yellowstone.  He was meeting other friends here to spend a few days.  We started the day at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and then went to the Norris Geyser area.  Norris was a new area for me and we hiked around and looked at the geysers and pools.  

On our way to the Old Faithful area we took some detours to see the sites and had a picnic lunch by the river.  While we were having dessert at the Old Faithful Inn, Maynard called his friends to see if they had made it to the park.  John and Mary were waiting for Old Faithful to erupt.  We met up with them and explored the geysers around Old Faithful.  Maynard and John have been friends for 25 years but it was our first time to meet.  Maynard dropped me off back at Fishing Bridge so I could get my car.  I met his friends at the Canyon area for dinner that night.  Maynard got off cheap - the restaurant ran out of propane so the soup and salad was free:)   Fun day!

Old Faithful area
Crowd watching Old Faithful.  This eruption was
smaller than some I have seen.

Morning Glory Pool 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bozeman, MT

That spot is a coyote!
On my days off this week (Monday & Tuesday), I decided to head to Bozeman, MT to see the sights.  It is a beautiful drive through the park and out the North Entrance - about 2.5 -3 hours to Bozeman.  Amazingly, the only animal I saw Monday morning was a coyote.

When I got to Bozeman, I made a Target run and then headed over to the Museum of the Rockies.  My favorite exhibits depicted the early days of living in Bozeman and Montana.  There was even a two-story log house on the grounds of what life was like in the early 1900s.

Great coffee and a huckleberry
Spent the night at the Holiday Inn with my great DNC rate.  Bozeman has a really neat downtown area so I went to a coffee house for breakfast and some really good coffee then then explored the area.  Ted Turner has a restaurant here, also in a beautiful old building.
Interesting bench in the downtown area.

I took the long way back to Fishing Bridge and went through West Yellowstone and by the Old Faithful area.  Patty and I are still trying to coordinate our days off.
Bison jam on the way back:)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Visitors in Yellowstone!

Cute!  They walked across the road right in front of us.
Janet and Nick came to visit me in Yellowstone last Thursday and Friday.  They arrived Wednesday and spent the night in the Old Faithful Inn and drove over to West Yellowstone to watch the Spurs play. (West Yellowstone is in Montana so they added another state to their list)

Thursday morning they met me at Fishing Bridge and we headed out.  We didn't really plan to drive the Grand Loop through the park - but we did!!!  We started out from Fishing Bridge headed to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and the Falls.  Along the way we saw bison with their babies and a bear swimming across the Yellowstone River.  It was bear day!  We saw a mama bear and her two cubs - they walked right in front of our car.  The babies wandered off into the woods but the mama stopped right by the road to eat.  Janet's window was open and she could have reached out and touched her!  A little further along we saw two more bears!!!  The most I have ever seen in a day.  We also saw lots of elk and bison with their babies.
Black bear.

Cinnamon colored bear.
at Mammoth Hot Springs
After visiting Artists Point, we drove up through the Canyon area (they rented a cabin there Thursday and Friday nights), Tower (saw the bears in this area), over Dunraven Pass (stopped for a picnic on top of the world), and to the Mammoth area.  We hiked around the Mammoth Hot Springs area.  It was only five miles to the north entrance so we headed there so they could add another entrance to their list.  Somewhere along the way we decided we would try to eat at the Old Faithful Inn so we finished our journey around the loop.  Fortunately, we got there early and were able to enjoy the prime rib buffet - and a Moose Drool!  Janet and Nick dropped me off at Fishing Bridge and headed to their cabin in Canyon.

Elephant Back - probably waiting on me:)
Picnic at Lake Overview
Friday morning Janet and Nick met me for an early breakfast in the Fishing Bridge EDR (employee dining room).  I think they were impressed!  After checking with the rangers for hikes in the area, we hiked the Elephant Back which is about 3.5-4 miles with an elevation gain of about 800 feet.  Felt like a lot more than that!  I thought I would be adjusted to the altitude - but no.  There were some "breathing breaks" but I made it.  Beautiful views from the top.  I think I need to hike with my age group from now on:)  Our next stop was West Thumb to see the geysers and walk around the boardwalk.  The ranger there suggested the Lake Overlook Trail so we took our picnic lunch and ate at the top.  Much easier hike with the elevation mainly at the end.  We passed some elk grazing in the field on the way up.

After lunch we headed over to the East Entrance in search of moose and big horn sheep.  We saw a herd of ten big horns on the way back but no moose.  We also added marmots to our list.  We ended the day with a Moose Drool and dinner at the Canyon Lodge area.  Another fun day.

Saturday morning Janet and Nick met me at Fishing Bridge for an early breakfast and goodbyes and then headed back through the Grand Tetons to Salt Lake City. They saw a moose in the Grand Tetons but it was a little bitter sweet - her baby had been killed by a grizzly the day before.


Big horns!

Really a fun visit!  I was amazed at all the animals we saw in two days.  Yellowstone is a beautiful place and I am having a grand adventure!!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

West Thumb/Animal Sightings

Gorgeous colors!  It was nice and warm standing here:)
It worked out that I had Monday and Tuesday off this week.  Monday I spent in the park exploring.  I drove over to West Thumb and walked on the boardwalk around the hot springs and paint pots.  It started snowing while I was there - temps were in the 30s  so no hiking for me.  The colors in some of the pools was really gorgeous.  Amazing to see the pots boiling and bubbling away.  The first elk I saw were in this area.

After I left West Thumb, I drove up to the falls area and got out for a quick look.  Still in the 30s and snowing so I'll definitely be going back to that area on a pretty day!

Big horn sheep.
Tuesday I drove to Cody to pick up some needed items, have my haircut, nails done, etc.  High maintenance!!!   It is really a gorgeous drive and I enjoyed the day.  My first bighorn sheep sighting was on my way back just inside the East Entrance.

The rest of the week I worked but took some drives to “look” for bears, etc.  So many people have been coming in the store reporting bear and wolf sightings.  One day I went with a couple of people I work with and we saw this elk. 

First grizzly I've seen!
 Sunday evening after work I drove out to the lake to make some phone calls.  A man drove by and told me there was a grizzly about a mile up the road.   Of course, I had to go see!  It is really awesome to see these animals in their natural environment.