Tag Archives: yellowstone

Yellowstone: Part 3 (The Last Part)

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Welcome to the third and final installment about our Yellowstone vacation.  Hopefully you are still interested.  We had a terrific time and while WE were terribly excited about it and thought it was the bees knees, not everyone on the internets wants to see the 4,000 pictures we took.  Maybe I’ll put some more knitting in there, this time.  I’m sure that will draw in ALL the readers.

Let’s see, what’s left to tell you?  Oh, some beautiful waterfall pictures from the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone (really, that’s what it’s called):

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And us, trying to get a picture with it in the background but we were both too scared to stand close, with our backs to it, so we just got this:

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And this pretty waterfall:

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And this one:
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It’s hard to see in this picture, but standing on the edge of that cliff are two big-horned sheep:

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(we saw them with our binoculars)

Also, another spring, the Grand Prismatic hot spring, which dumps many gallons of water a day into this river, making it steamy:

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The other part of the river, where the spring is not running into it:

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And the spring itself:

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See that dark spot in the water?  That’s a big hole, going down into the earth.

While so terribly excited to go to Yellowstone, when researching it and seeing some of the pictures of the sulfur springs and geysers (with burbling mud and dead trees around them) I sort of thought, “Is this going to be pretty?  Looks pretty icky and ugly.  I hope we see pretty things too.”  And as you have seen, we did.  I came to look at the ugly, stinky things (those sulfur springs smell AWFUL) as pretty, especially seeing them in contrast to the other landscape and knowing how they formed and why they are there.  Did you know that underneath Yellowstone there is a HUGE VOLCANO??????  That’s where all these hot springs and geysers come from.

So, finally our vacation had to come to an end.  We were actually ready, because we were exhausted.  So much oohing and aahing really can take a toll on you!  So we headed back out of Yellowstone after crossing:

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and going out the:

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We said goodbye to:

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Drove back through:

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And back to Jackson Hole for the night before our trip back to the Salt Lake to get our flight home. We had an excellent Mexican dinner:IMG_3973

And went back to The Bunnery for dessert and breakfast the next day:

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Looooooong drive back to Salt Lake City where we got on two more planes and I did this:

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And here is Chicago:

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Also, some random things that didn’t seem to fit anywhere else in these posts….

The sign at the post office in the Old Faithful section of Yellowstone:

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And one of the many ecologically friendly bathrooms scattered around the park:

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But wait!  There’s more:

Some other random things and gripe-y things to tell you:

1) The Chicago airport, thankfully, was pretty much up and running by the time we flew through there.  There had been a fire in one of the control buildings a week before and things were a MESS.

2) We don’t do much air travel so the annoyances of other travelers was really striking.  The audacity of one passenger to take someone else’s smaller belongings out of the overhead so hers would fit and then try and cram the smaller belonging into another overhead, not listening to the other passenger’s protestations.  And then the man behind us while we were sitting waiting to board at the gate snoring and snuffling really loudly.

3) We went to Yellowstone in October because we did not want to be amongst huge crowds of tourists.  This mostly worked.  There were not a ton of other people there.  Still…. several tour busses came each day and the rush of people coming off the bus and running to the restaurant to get a seat was amazing.  We happened to be in the restaurant eating lunch one day.  It was a little fast food-type place where we could get something quick before our next venture into the park.  The bus passengers crowded into the restaurant, ran for seats, and when they were all full, they stood near tables where others were eating, waiting for them to be done so they could quickly sit in those seats when they got up.  It was awful and annoying.  We even tried to eat lunch early one day to miss the rush.  It didn’t work.

4) AND, sometimes those busses arrived at the sights we were seeing.  I was patiently waiting to take a picture of one of those waterfalls up there, because another photographer was in the best spot.  Then a bus arrived and several women pushed in ahead of me to get their picture.  It ruined a nice quiet moment of looking at the waterfall for one thing.  I patiently waited for them to leave before I got my picture.  Again, awful and annoying.

5) AND, there were many signs around the park stating things like “Danger: do not walk past this sign” — the ground around the geysers is very fragile because of the heat and you could break through and fall if you walk on it.  People were walking where they were told not to.  And there were also signs near the springs, where the algae was growing in pretty colors that said “Do not disturb the algae” — people wrote their names in it.  And there were also signs that said “Do not throw objects into the springs” because they get all plugged up and stop working.  People threw things in anyway. They have to clear out hundreds of objects every year.  why, Why, WHY do people do that??????  The parks are there for nature to be protected and people just ruin it anyway for their own enjoyment!

Ok, enough of my ranting.  Despite my gripes, we still had a great time, seeing so many things we have never seen and enjoying our time together.  We are already deciding what park to go to next.

And if this post isn’t long enough….How about some knitting (I did say I’d put some knitting in here):

I finished my High Plains poncho!  But, you don’t get to see it yet.  Sorry.  Next post will be about our trip to the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, where I am planning to wear it and get some pictures.

I started my Duane Park Triangle on our trip, and have continued working on it:

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These colors are more accurate:

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A few more rows of that hole-y looking part and then an applied border.  I’ll tell you about that another time – it takes forever, but will look nice!

Back to “regular” blogging next time!

Yellowstone: Part 2

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…..so after our nap in Part 1, there was much more fun to be had.  (I think there will even be a Part 3.)

We saw a lot of these signs:

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And they weren’t kidding:

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Especially the bison.  So, when we drove into the park that first day, we were hyper-alert to see some sort of wildlife.  We didn’t see much, but we did see this bison:

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It was an oh-my-gosh-I-see-one-STOP-THE-CAR-alert-the-media-because-we-may-never-see-another-one moment.  We were so excited.  Well, the rest of our days were like this:

Oh there’s a whole bunch!:

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And more!
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Hey, these ones are pretty close:

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And here’s one walking on the side of the road:

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And this one is walking down the middle of the road:

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And this one is walking through the construction zone:

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We even had lunch with one:

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Ok, you can’t really see him in this picture.  But he is just near that closest tree in the middle of the picture, sleeping.  They were EVERYWHERE!  It was so cool to see them up close.

Which is why it took us three days to try the bison bratwurst and a bison burger.  We sort of felt bad about it.  The bison in Yellowstone are protected, but apparently there are bison farms, just like cow farms, where they are raised for the meat.  The bratwurst and burger were actually pretty good.  But we still felt weird about it.

We also saw these elk near the road:

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I mentioned in the last post about the constantly changing landscape.  Here is an idea of what it was like:

Flat, wet, marshy areas:

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Grassy fields:

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Treacherous mountain passes:

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This road was being held up by steel beams.  We were not thrilled about that:

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Rocky stuff:

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Hot spring mineral buildup things:

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More rocky mountain passes:

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Mountain top views at 8800 feet up:

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I was doing some white knuckle driving.  Paul and I are both not thrilled about heights and there were some parts of the road where I was almost driving in the other lane because I was so afraid I was going to drive off the cliff that was on my side of the road.

Lots and lots of driving.  Yellowstone is HUGE and to see it, you have to do a lot of driving.  At the end of each day, we walked around Old Faithful and the nearby geysers to stretch our legs.  Couldn’t resist a touristy pic of me in front of Old Faithful while it was erupting:

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Ok, more pretty view pictures next time.  And some of my gripes about travelling and the other tourists.  In the meantime, I am happy to be home and looking at this view out my window while I write my blog:

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If you noticed in the trip pictures, there are no pretty color changing leaves.  Just green and brown and blue.  Still pretty but we were worried we were missing our beautiful fall foliage here at home.

The doodlebugs and I preserved some of that this week:

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Yellowstone: Part 1

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Our trip to Yellowstone was excellent.  We saved up, planned for a year, waited for a year, didn’t take any kind of vacation for a year, specifically this summer when we usually go to a beach in Maine or Cape Cod.  And it was so great.  Not the waiting and not going on vacation….the trip to Yellowstone.

We had a very long travel day to get there (and to get home).  Two planes and a 5 hour car ride.  I prepared as best I could for the horrendous thing that is called flying in a plane.  Knitting and reading helped keep my mind off of the fact that this hugely heavy thing was in the air and not (at the moment) falling:

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And then I was brave enough to look out the window for a while:

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One of the reasons we decided to drive part of the way (other than the need to take THREE planes, which might have pushed me over the edge) was to see some of the country we haven’t seen before.  So we drove from Salt Lake City, Utah to Jackson Hole, Wyoming after our two plane rides (please excuse the increasingly bug splattered windshield in these shots):

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We finally made it to Jackson Hole at around 7pm (9pm Eastern time) after leaving the house at 5:30am.  The next morning we were up and finding the best breakfast place ever, The Bunnery, where I forgot to take a picture, but had a guacamole omelet which also had tomatoes and sprouts.  So good.  Paul had a bacon-ator-type omelet.  Then we got morning pastries to have for a snack on the rest of the drive to Yellowstone.

But before getting on the road to Yellowstone, we made a stop at the local yarn shop, Knit on Pearl.  I tell you, those yarn shops, they are EVERYWHERE!

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I got some very pretty, reminds-me-of-autumn (even though it’s called “Sunset”) locally dyed (Salt Lake City) merino roving:

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And we walked around town a little:

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One of the most amazing things to us was the constantly changing and varied landscapes.

Then we got on the road to Yellowstone.  But first, to get to Yellowstone, you have to drive through the Grand Teton National Park.

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So gorgeous.  We both agreed they were our favorite views of the trip.

It was there, at their lovely visitor’s center that the lovely park ranger told us the lovely news that part of the loop road going to our hotel in the Old Faithful section of Yellowstone, was closed.  Which meant instead of driving 39 miles from the entrance to Yellowstone, we had to drive all they way around the loop, the long way, 101 miles.  Given that the speed limit is 45 and often times 35 or 25mph, that meant it would take us at least 2 1/2 hours instead of one hour to get there.  If we didn’t stop.  Which, of course, we did.

We HAD to, because there were so many pretty things to see:

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We were completely exhausted by the time we arrived at the hotel at 5pm.  SO. TIRED.  And we felt weird.  Sort of head-achey.  It was then that we realized we were experiencing what you feel when you are adjusting to a higher altitude.  Duh.  We knew we were going to be at a high altitude, but didn’t realize it would affect us as much as it did.  We thought maybe we’d be a little short of breath on the stairs.  We were at 7,500 feet at our hotel and at one point during the following days, we were at 8,859 feet.  To put that in perspective, our house in New York is at 900 feet.  Anything above 5,000 feet is considered high altitude and when you would experience some side effects.  So, we just had to take it easy and drink tons of water, which we did.  And, of course I was compelled to get the t-shirt when I saw it:

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Our first full day at Yellowstone consisted of exploring the Old Faithful area, which has many geysers and springs:

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Avoiding bears:

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Hearing, then seeing, a pack of coyotes. We didn’t get a picture of those because we were too scared and we just kept walking very quickly while saying, “Oh my gosh there they are I can’t believe they are right there and we are looking at them!”  Although, a guy on the same path as us did not seem at all concerned and said they were harmless.  Yeah, right. We are not accomplished hikers/outdoorspeople, so we stuck to the paved paths and trails and got the heck out when we saw or heard something weird.

And, of course, watching Old Faithful:

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And then taking a nap.

More next time….