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Posts Tagged ‘Wyoming’

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Ours was rainy, but nice. We went on a picnic with our church Sunday after the service, and had a great time. I also spent several hours researching a few writer’s sites and learning. I told Christian that it’s a good idea to never stop learning and he looked a little troubled. When I asked him what was wrong, he said, “Well, my brain’s already getting kinda full. I don’t think I’ll have anymore room left in there by the time I’m done with high school”. 🙂

And now, back to the road trip.

As we continued on through Idaho, we stopped for a few pictures and a little snack.

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There was a little pullout area along the Snake River with some gorgeous views.

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A memorial plaque for Vardis Fisher, a western novelist from Idaho. One of his books, “Mountain Man” was the inspiration for the movie “Jeremiah Johnson” starring Robert Redford.

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Christian tries to escape from Amy’s bear hug.

By early afternoon we were on the Grand Tetons Scenic Byway, and it was quite the beautiful drive. The vegetation was becoming much thicker and greener, and it was beginning to feel more like home.

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An Osprey poses on her nest for a quick picture.

As we crossed the line into Wyoming we stopped for a break and more pictures. Christian was getting a little restless, so he ran around in the pull out area for a bit of exercise.

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After a quick bite for lunch, we continued on our way. Christian took a brief nap, until our next stop as we were coming into Jackson Hole.

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We stopped in the town of Jackson Hole, WY for a brief tour and some souvenirs. This was a very busy season for the town, and along with us, it was full of tourists. It was difficult to look around at the sites while driving through, as I didn’t want to run over anyone, and finding any parking places was almost impossible. But from what I did see, it was a pretty neat town.

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This was one of the archways in Jackson Hole, made entirely of antlers. There was another archway of antlers with a little bench seat under it at the other corner of town, but traffic was too heavy to stop for a picture.

We didn’t stay long at Jackson Hole, and soon we were entering Grand Teton National Park.

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A beautiful stained glass window in the Sacred Heart church by Jackson Lake.

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By this time it was getting late into the afternoon and some clouds were beginning to form in the distance. It was still very hot, and we were all getting a little tired. We had hoped to find a camping spot for the night, but all the campgrounds were full. So we continued on a little farther.

Soon, we found ourselves at the entrance into Yellowstone National Park.

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All of the campgrounds in Yellowstone were also full, as were all of the lodges. We drove around near the entrance to the park, checking out some of the scenery and watched a gorgeous sunset.

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As we watched the sun set, we decided to turn around and go back to Jackson Hole, hoping to find a motel for the night. We passed the 4,000 mile mark just before we got back to the town.

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As we drove back into town, there were several other people looking for a place to stay as well, and the town was just about full. We finally found a room at The Buffalo Inn, and I think it was the last room left in town…other than a few $300+ rooms that were out of our price range.

After a good night’s sleep, we had an early breakfast and headed back to Yellowstone. We knew we wouldn’t be able to see all of the sights, so we decided ahead of time to choose the ones that we knew we wanted to see. We were already off of our schedule for returning to Alaska, and we didn’t want to make Amy miss her flight back to Virginia. So we selected the route we would take on the eastern side of the park, headed for Old Faithful.

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Christian had become excited about how many times we were crossing the Continental Divide, and the different elevations. We were feeling more at home in these elevations.

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We eventually made it to the Old Faithful visitors center. Christian had started a National Parks Passport book, so each time we stopped in one of the parks he would get his passport stamped and get a sticker for it. I wish we had known about the program when we started our trip. He missed out on several stampings back on the East Coast and down south. He also missed out on the stamp from the Grand Canyon. Guess we’ll just have to make another trip. 🙂

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Inside the visitor center were many educational displays, including interactive areas where children (and adults) could learn about the different types of geysers and how they are formed. The information on geothermal effects was fascinating to all of us, and the rangers were wonderful!

Old Faithful blows about every 90 minutes or so, and announcements are made over a loud speaker system letting visitors know about 15 minutes ahead of time. There are several bench seats available for a close up view of the geyser, but if you want a seat, you better get there earlier.

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As you can see, there were already quite a few people that were waiting patiently to see Old Faithful blow. We were able to get in close enough for a few good pictures. I took a video of the whole process, but it’s too long to post here. Here is a shot I got at the beginning of the eruption. The water sprayed much higher than this at the peak of the eruption.

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After we left Old Faithful, we found another area with several smaller geysers and hot pools. There was a boardwalk leading around the area, giving a close up view of both old and new formations. I was intrigued by the variations of color formed on the surface of the ground from the different minerals that were bubbling up in the water.DSC01192

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I was also amazed at the plant life that is able to grow amidst the hot conditions here. I don’t know what type of flowers these are, but their beauty and ruggedness amazed me.

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Towards the end of the boardwalk, we were all getting hot and were ready for a quick dip in the river. Just before the end of the boardwalk we saw a couple of geese emerging from the edge of one of the springs.

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After we played in the cool water of the river, we continued on through the park. The road followed the river for a while, and there were several more hot springs & geyser fields along the way, along with a few beautiful waterfalls.

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The little creek running through this area was being heated by the geothermal activity underground, causing a lot of algae to grow in the creek bed. It gave the appearance that the water itself was an emerald green.

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As the sun began to set we were seeing wildlife emerging from beyond the trees to graze.

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By the time we came to Mammoth Hot Springs at the north end of the park it was already dark. So I didn’t get any pictures there. But the little town there was filled with elk. They were walking along through the streets and parking lots, totally unconcerned with people or traffic. The hotel there was full, so we decided to drive on through to Livingston, Montana, the next town, which was also full. We ended up driving on to Bozeman, Montana before we found a motel, and it was almost midnight by the time we arrived.

We slept in the next morning and then had breakfast while we did our laundry. We also realized that we had been collecting so many souvenirs, the car was getting quite full. The carrier bag on top was full of camping gear, the back was full of suitcases, coolers & supplies, and Christian was running out of room in the back seat where he had his little “nest” made up. So we decided it would be a good idea to box up and mail some of our goodies to make more room.

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It’s amazing how much stuff 3 people can collect in such a short time! (I’m still trying to figure out where to put it all.) And so with that, I’ll stop here for today. I hope you enjoyed sharing our journey through Yellowstone. It was an absolutely splendid trip, but again, I wish it could have been longer. We only saw a small portion of the park, but I hope to go back someday and spend a couple of weeks exploring the rest of the park.

The next posting will be of the home stretch, through Canada and back into Alaska. Please feel free to share any comments or questions about our trip. We’d love to hear from you!

Take care, love one another, and God bless! – Amber & Christian

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