Sunday, July 18, 2010

Follow the Best Yellowstone Site in the World

My Yellowstone adventure is over, but if you are looking for all of the information worth knowing about Yellowstone Park, you need to head over to  Pat and Kim visit the Park twice a year and are attempting to photograph and document everything they see. 

I miss the Park but I don't miss the job.

Be sure to visit my new blog

Thanks for following.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Still Home From Yellowstone

No, I haven't changed my mind.  No, I haven't been lying awake at night thinking about bison poo and geysers.  No, I'm not heading back to Yellowstone now, tomorrow or even in the next decade.

I've been reflecting on the last two months, trying to work up some nostalgia or an emotional moment, but it ain't gonna happen.

This is my back deck.

We have five acres of woods.

There are no dangerous creatures lurking out there, unless you count our neighbor who plays opera while he works in his yard.

I don't have to worry about falling through the crust into bubbling lava.
This is my little wilderness.

There are no lodge pole pines in this back yard.

No drunken employees.

No RV's rumbling down the road by my bedroom window.

Wow, I'm using a lot of no's.

I'll be more positive.
I'm positive this is what I want to see in my front yard when I walk out the door.

Is that better?

Yellowstone is a wondrous, exciting, and fascinating National Park.  Everyone should try to visit.

VISIT is the key word.

Working and living there...not so great...for me anyway.

I met some great people, I took some beautiful hikes (before the mosquitoes arrived) and I saw more of the Park than most people. 

I also stood on my feet eight hours a day, five days a week, wearing a maroon polyester shirt and black pants...all for minimum wage.  Oh yes, room and board was deducted from my salary. 

I knew that going in, but the reality hit when I got my first paycheck.  It suddenly occurred to me that I was working pretty hard for $100 a week. 

It was time to head home to be with hubby again.  He has been a great support during this experience.  He let me follow my bliss all the way to Yellowstone Park and back home again.

I clicked my heels together and there he was.

I will continue writing.  Just you wait and see.

Thanks for following and stay tuned for more adventures in my back yard.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Home From Yellowstone

I'm home from Yellowstone Park, my feet are up and I am basking, no, wallowing in the comforts of a real house.  After two months in my little cell of a room, this feels like Oprah's place. 

I promised to catch you up on the trip home, so here are the highlights.

Route 90 was my yellow brick road home.

I decided that Mount Rushmore was not worth the side trip....old presidents carved on a mountain sounds enticing, but I'm not paying for the privilege.

We did drive through the Badlands.

Appropriately named, by the way. 

I'm smiling here because it was our first stop to take in the view.

Hubby was smiling too

Then we started seeing these signs everywhere.

If it's not the danger of stepping in boiling hot springs or getting gored by bison, it's snakes.

After fifteen minutes of heat and rocks and utter despair, we started to worry that the Badlands was our Hotel California.

You can check in but your can never check out.
We finally found our way out of the Badlands before the vultures started circling our car.

We saw a lot of this.
And this.

There are ranches out here with miles of nothing around them.

To the women of South Dakota, I will come to rescue you.  I will take you away to places where there are malls and coffee shops.

Send a message by carrier pigeon and I'll be there for you.
I had to take hubby to the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota, cause he just didn't believe it existed.

They change the pictures on the front every year.

They use 12 different colors of corn to accomplish this.

We still have our Christmas lights up and these folks redo the entire front of a building with corn.

I am in awe.
We went inside, where there are corn products, corn snacks, corn earrings, corn mugs....and wowee zowie...I got my picture taken with a walking ear of corn.

I find these mascot creatures rather creepy.  They don't talk and  you don't know if they are male, female, young, old....yes, I don't like clowns or mimes either.

But I touched it and posed.


Lookee at what we found in Blue Earth, Minnesota.

A 60 foot statue of the Jolly Green Giant.

You're starting to see the kind of tourist attractions I like.

The big green guy isn't standing in the middle of the town just because the locals have a thing for tacky statues.

They actually can the Green Giant peas and corn favorite veggies, by the way.
I'm probably skipping over a state or two, but it became a blur after a while.

Probably because we started to see endless miles of corn and grain elevators.

By the way, hubby has certain snacks that he eats on road trips...sunflower seeds, sweet tarts and fried pork skins.

Yes, I said fried pork skins.  If you've never heard of them, they are real and exactly what they say they are.  I won't go into anymore detail.

Finally, at last, Ohio greeted me with open arms.

There was even an arch for me.  Sweet, huh?
We were only home a short time before we took off for an early 4th party which involved shooting lots of guns at a variety of targets.

That's what we do here in Ohio.

Shoot guns, drink beer, scratch, cuss...

Yes, that's me, with a gun in my hand.

Hubby likes it when I shoot with him, but he also gets a little nervous.

This is hubby looking over all of the testosterone toys available to him.

Guns and ammo.  I know how to keep my man happy.

So, enough for now.

I've got my feet up, remember. 

I'm wallowing.  I'm a happy wallowing piggy.

More tomorrow with reflections on my two months in Yellowstone.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Still Leaving Yellowstone

Just a quick post to let you know that we have not fallen off the edge of the Earth which seems to be about 1100 miles east of Yellowstone Park.

We've been driving long days, eating fried pork skins (more about that later) and listening to a bad bar band in an Indiana bar. 

Bear with me until I get my pics together and catch you all up on the drive home.

Also trying to think up a new name for my future blog.  Can't stop now.

I plan on really cutting loose in the future.  In the Park, I was always afraid that the Park rangers would come and haul me away for my offensive remarks.  Nothing holding me back now!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Leaving Yellowstone Park

Grab a hankie, friends, because the day has arrived.
Once I drive through these gates, I will be out of Yellowstone Park.

I may never return.

Actually, it's almost 100% that I will not return.

Shoot.  Now I need a hankie.

Well, I did it.

The polyester uniform and the name tag have been turned in.

I'm no longer a front desk monkey at the Old Faithful Inn.


O.K., I've been complaining about it and I won't miss the job at all, but...I've been living in Yellowstone Park, for heaven's sake. That qualifies as a once in a lifetime experience.

Sob and sob some more.

Even though my eyes were misty, the scenery didn't disappoint on the way out.

We took the eastern route to Cody, Wyoming.

We had to stop at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center.

Like everything else in Wyoming, it was bigger than big. 

We only spent an hour or so there which hardly does it justice.

Hubby didn't see a moose in the Park, so this is the next best thing.

Did that thing move?

Here I am with Sackajawea or Sacajaweea or heck, you know, the Indian chick.

I don't think she was this big.  Must be the clean mountain air.

And then it was on to the Big Horn Mountains.

There were signs along the road explaining what kind of rocks are along the road and their age.

It started out with 300 million years old, which freaked me out and then....

There are mountains here that are almost 2 billion years old! 

How many zeros would that be? 
Of course there was road construction.

The guy with the stop sign looked just like Homer Simpson.

Hey!  We sat there a long time.  The mind can play tricks in the high altitudes.  Lack of oxygen and all.

At one point we were at 10,000 feet.

Even the birds were dragging around little oxygen tanks.

So look way, way down in that valley, and you'll see where our road is taking us,.

Wyoming is the most incredible state.

How they get these roads paved with a state population of 200 is beyond me, but everyone must be incredibly hard workers.

Eventually, we got a room in Buffalo, Wyoming, and as we speak, hubby is snoring away.  Just like living in the dorm.  I feel at home.

More tomorrow from the road trip home.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Yellowstone Park - I'll Miss You (Sort Of)

The time approaches to say farewell to my dysfunctional home in Yellowstone Park.  But then, aren't all  homes dysfunctional?

What will I miss?
Number One son who works at Grant Village.

Of course, if I wanted to see him, I had to track him down.  All the same, I knew he was just down the road.
Grizzly Son and his girl friend who took me on some great hikes.

I kept up with them, by the way.
My friend, David, at Yellowstone Traders, in West Yellowstone.

He's living the dream, living on the edge, living off the pick.
My friend, Ken, who took me on some great nature drives, taught me all about ravens and other creatures, and offered a pleasant break from the insanity of the Park.
And of course, there is Yellowstone Park, not to be confused with the companies who run the hotels and stores here.

It stands alone in its beauty.

It belongs to no one.

The Park would be better off without any humans, but I am grateful that I was allowed to spend a couple of months here.

So, good bye Yellowstone. 

I loved walking through your beauty, even though you scared me to death at times.

I may never be back, but I have the memories, the pictures and the stories to last me a lifetime.

For all of my blog friends, I hope you continue to follow my trip home.  There will be some adventures there, I'm sure.  It's never boring with the hubby.

There will be a new blog once Yellowstone Dreaming is packed away.  It's in my blood now.  Gotta keep writing.  Gotta stay in touch with you all. 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Hiking With Hubby in Yellowstone Park

See this look of horror?  Hubby is preparing for a hike.  In his words, "If you can't drive there, it isn't worth seeing."

But since he is in Yellowstone Park, he decided that maybe he should get off the road and venture down a trail.

I took him to the Lone Star Geyser which is about a 45 minute walk down a paved road.  For hubby, this is the equivalent of basic training.

Note to not drink a cup of coffee before going on a hike.  Walking next to running water causes one to have the urge to, well, you know.  I got to practice more of my roughing it in the woods techniques.

Here's the path.

Common phrases for the non hiker are...
"How much farther?"
"Are we there yet?"
I heard them a lot on the hike.

This is my artistic shot of moss on the tree.

Here's hubby climbing over a tree on the path.

Remember, there is very little dirt here.  The trees just fall over.

They may be more dangerous than the bears.
We reached our goal.  The Lone Star Geyser.

It sits all by itself in the middle of nowhere.

It goes off every three hours or whenever it gets the urge.

Hubby was determined to wait it out.

No way he was wasting a 45 mile walk that didn't end up at a bar with a big screen t.v.

 And then it happened.  Lone Star gave us a show.

 It erupted for at least half an hour.

Here's another view of our little beauty.

It was well worth the wait.  There was only one other couple there, so for the most part, we had the show to ourselves.

You can have Old Faithful.

We had the Lone Star Geyser.

Much to hubby's dismay, the return trip was another 45 minutes, but he was glad he made it there.  His circulation thanked him also.

There's not much time left in Yellowstone and believe it or not, I'm growing misty over the prospect of leaving.  Not sure I can get hubby out for another walk before we leave.

Check in tomorrow for more tales from Yellowstone Park.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dining Out in Yellowstone Park

Today is hubby's birthday....everybody sing the birthday song for him.  We celebrated by planning a special evening in Yellowstone Park.

To be honest, we mostly lounged around today in my dorm room.  It was his birthday and that's what he wanted to do.  He kept asking for the remote control, so I had to remind him that we are without many comforts.

I made dinner reservations at the Grant Village restaurant for two reasons.  One, I have been working at the Old Faithful Inn for two months and I needed a change of scenery and two, I needed to track down number one son before I leave the Park.

We left early and headed toward the south entrance of the Park.

Here we are in front of Lewis Falls.

Lewis Lake is in the southwest corner of the Park.

This is what Lewis River turns into on the other side of the road.

Farther down the road, the river goes through a deep gorge.

As we got closer to the south entrance to Yellowstone, the road was straight as an arrow.

This doesn't happen often here.

Before we went into the restaurant, hubby had to put a finger in Yellowstone Lake.

It was cold just like he thought.

Good thing he didn't try this at the geysers.
Here's the restaurant.
And here's the son.

I am so proud.  Can you tell?

The food was great, of course.  I had salmon.  Hubby had fish and chips.  He's a cheap date.

We topped it off with huckleberry ice cream.

Right now, hubby is curled up on his single bed, dreaming dreams of dancing girls and foot rubs and war movies and other things he likes.

Tomorrow he has promised to go on a short hike. 

Secretly he's praying for rain.

My parting advice for the day is this.  If you're planning to visit Yellowstone, make dinner reservations.  This is a busy place and one thing tourists like to do is eat. 

So for now, I'm listening to the gentle snoring of hubby and trying to keep my eyes open past 9 p.m.  It isn't working.  Until tomorrow.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Playing Tourist in Yellowstone Park, Part II

It's been a couple of big days in Yellowstone Park for me and the hubby.  We put on funny tourist clothes and rubber necked our way all around the Park.
This is Roaring Mountain. 

I didn't hear anything, but the steam does sort of "roar" out of cracks.  It's best to see this in the morning when it's cold so the steam is visible.
We went to Mammoth Hot Springs since hubby had never been there.

We met up with my friend, Ken, and climbed to the top of the Terraces.

That's Mammoth down there in the distance.

Ken and hubby demanded "benching" time before we made it up the stairs to the top.
It almost seems like the surface of the moon.

With blue skies and mountains with snow.

Actually, the moon probably doesn't look anything like this, but it is eerie.
At the very top, you are treated to a hot springs that pours down the side of the Terraces.

Hubby stayed behind at a bench.

He was upset when he learned that you can drive to the top of the Terraces to see this.

He hinted that I should walk all the way down myself and drive the car to the top to pick him up.

It didn't happen.
Today we drove the entire loop around Yellowstone Park.

I'll spare you the details and just hit the good tourist stuff.

This is a baby grizzly that was right beside the road.

A ten year old Japanese boy ran right up to it and turned for his father to take a picture.

Everyone was yelling at them to get back in the car.

Where there's a baby, there's usually a mama and she isn't so cute.  This isn't Disneyland, folks.  The animals are not animated.  All ended well, as far as we know.

We saw the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone....from 5 or 6 different locations.

Hubby said that it's better than the other Grand Canyon.

Here I am saying "Cheeseburger" for the umpteenth time for hubby.

He waits until my smile has faded into teeth gritting before he pushes the button, so don't think that this is how I really smile.

Here's the petrified hubby looking at a petrified tree.

Actually, only the tree is rock like.

Hubby has his softer moments.

The macho elks are out and about now.

He's looking good.

Don't think any of the ladies were out to appreciate him, but there is a season for everything.

So there you have it friends.  The highlights of two days worth of traveling.

I don't like playing tourist, if you must know.  I liked it much better here when you couldn't see a car for miles.
At least I was able to experience the Park before the tour buses and RV's took over.

Tonight, we're hitting the employee pub for pizza and Moose Drool.  Wish you were here.
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