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.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Playing Tourist in Yellowstone Park

We're going to make this fast.  The hubby and I have things to do, places to go and people to see before we get out of Yellowstone Park.

We saw a double rainbow which has to be special in anyone's book.

You don't see this in Ohio.
We posed in front of thermal features.

Hubby loves them.

We're playing tourists in Yellowstone Park.

We saw Beehive Geyser go off.

It's just down the path from Old Faithful.

We both like it better than the Big O.  It sort of looks like a fire hydrant gone bad.

This is my friend, Aleta!

We went to college together back in, well, a long time ago.

She lives in Minnesota now and we haven't seen each other in years.  Wouldn't you know that we would hook up in Yellowstone while she was on vacation?

Hubby in front of Castle Geyser.

If he looks frightened, it's because we're going for a walk.

Hubby doesn't like walking, but he can't find any other way to see the thermal features he loves.

A big atta boy for my old man.

Remember how peaceful my Park used to be?

This is the crowd waiting for Old Faithful to erupt.

Too, too, too many people for me.

That's all I have for now.  Hubby has promised that I get to go to the bar like a real person and have some Moose Drool.

Someone is going to wait on me.

If I don't post tomorrow, don't worry.  I work at 4 p.m. and like I said, we have miles to go before we sleep.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Yellowstone Park and the Hubby

Saturday.  8:18 p.m.  Hubby gets off the plane in Bozeman.

Not a good picture, but I only had one chance at this and the setting was wrong. 

It really is the hubby, though, not some random tourist.

We hugged.  We kissed.  All the normal stuff.

You had to be there.
For some reason, I couldn't sleep in that nice motel room.

Two months of listening to my room mate's night terrors and the drunks outside my window have skewed my sleeping pattern.  I need noise!

Hubby claims that I was spacey yesterday...about an 8 on a scale of 1-10.  Thanks goodness he was driving.

On the way to West Yellowstone, I saw this sign.  Something I haven't shared with you all is that I grew up in a town of 300 people (no, I didn't leave out any zeros) and the name of the town is Harpster.  One of them escaped, obviously. 

Just down the road, we saw this Veteran's Chapel.  There were American flags lining the long drive.

Services had just started, but we didn't go in.  Something else you don't know about me (true confessions Monday) is that I was raised/forced to attend church when I lived in Harpster.  I even played the piano and the organ.  If you tell anyone, I will hunt you down and rip out your tongue.

The point is that I still, to this day, get cold sweats when I get near a church. 

I'll get therapy for this someday.
Here's the hubby checking out the scenery.

A noble profile, huh?

He did all of the mandatory tourist things...ooooooo, lookey there, wow, where are the bears?

Forgot to mention that his luggage went to India or somewhere.  We were able to get it before we left Bozeman.  Hubby has a way of letting people know that he expects service and that he takes no prisoners.  Must have been all of those years raised by the Colonel. 
Here's hubby in his new comment.

He's standing in front of the snow bus that takes visitors into the park in the winter.

West Yellowstone locals said that some winters, the snow is so deep, they don't even plow it.  They just drive on top of it.

We spent some time in West Yellowstone but hubby got anxious to see Yellowstone Park.  We drove in and got stuck in this traffic jam.

I was expecting a bison jam.  I wanted hubby to see one.  Not this.

I don't know what happened, but a car hit the RV on the other side and an ambulance passed us as we were driving toward the accident.

Right before this accident, we had picked up a hitch hiker who I recognized as a young man who lives in my dorm.  I knew he was strange, but everyone in my dorm is, so I thought to myself, "How bad can it be?"

Bad.  Real bad.  We were stuck in traffic with creepy boy for about 45 minutes.  He told jokes.  Really bad jokes and whined about not being able to pick up chicks.  He never quite grasped that we live in the same dorm.  I let it go at that.

We finally made it to Old Faithful and slowed the car down enough to push him out.  No, that was just a fantasy playing in my head.
Something was erupting when we dropped him off. 

I've never seen this one go off.  Got to check it out later.

It sort of looked like a fire hydrant that had been run over by a truck.

On the way back to West Yellowstone, hubby got to see a few thermal features that he loved.

He saw his bison.

He saw the weather change from warm to cold to rainy all in a few minutes.  He is confused about what to wear in Yellowstone.

We got stuck in the traffic jam again on the way back.

I slept great last night which means hubby is in for trouble today.  He already looks worried and it's only 6:00 in the morning.

It's great having hubby with me now.  I'm already tearing up about leaving my wacky world, but I know that more weird and wonderful things are waiting for me there. 

You'll hear from me again tomorrow whether you like it or not. 
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