21 July 2006

Hanging at The Edge with the Guys

The last week and a half has been a busy one. Not because of running around but because of getting back in the swing of having the guys with us. We’ve been having a good time just hanging out at the park we are staying in. They’ve been able to fish and ‘tube the Yellowstone River. We’ve made a couple of trips into Yellowstone National Park when we needed to run away from the heat (been in the upper 90s for the last several days), and all in all having a good time.

Bill and haven’t been taking our cameras with us, but the guys have digitals that they’ve been snapping pics with and those are the ones I’ll be sharing.

The first pics I want to share are from a trip into the park. We came up to a traffic jam and figured it was road construction, there has been a lot of it in the park this year. But instead we see a bison leading the parade and not looking like he has any interest in getting off the road. Eventually a Park Police Officer came and scooted him off the road so he wouldn’t get hurt by stupid tourist doing stupid things, like trying to nudge it with their cars. This other picture is of a Bison on the side of the road, literally close enough that we could have reached out and touched him if we hadn’t driven around the other truck that right next to him.

The Elk that live at Mammoth Hot Springs at the North Entrance to Yellowstone have also greeted us. These guys are almost always there and it amazes me to see people just walk right up to them like they are a zoo attraction. At least at Mammoth there are Park Rangers to remind people to keep as much distance as possible from the animals.

On another trip into the park we walked the to the Brink of the Lower Falls. This is a relatively short path, but it’s straight down multiple switchbacks, and what goes down, must come up. It wasn’t too long, but it was quite the hike. The brink of the lower falls is amazing. You literally stand almost on top of the point where the falls cascade over the rock; it’s a very powerful place. Since we made the hike, we took lots of pictures. Here are pictures of all of us at the Brink.

It’s been a lot of fun to spend time with the guys and have them with us again. It’s been fun to watch them having fun either fishing, tubing, or just hanging out where ever we are. We’ve seen Osprey hunting the rivers, Bald Eagles soaring the skies, Buffalo leading the parade, and Elk hiding in the shade. It’s been a great experience so far for all of us.


10 July 2006

Wolves, and Eagles, and Bears, Oh My!

Ok, as promised I will now post pictures from our visit to the Grizzly and Wolf Discover Center. This first picture is of the Alpha Male (Hayden) being kissed by the Beta Female (Naya), and is one of our favorite pictures.

We had a really good time at the ‘Wolves’ and were treated to seeing them right after being given their evening meal. This picture is of the Alpha Female (Lakuna) enjoying part of that meal. After their dinner, they played around a bit and Hayden buried several of the bones, then we were treated to the evening howl. The Omega females that have been separated from the pack and are now kept in enclosures back behind the Bear exhibit until they can build them their own enclosure in view started it. The Omega’s had to be separated because the Lakuna (the alpha female) decided it was time for them to leave the pack and since there was no where for them to go, being in what is essentially a cage, she was keeping them by force in a corner and not letting them interact or eat. So, they separated them and put them in somewhere they would be safe until such a time as when they can have their own house. However, they still started the evening sounding off, so the pack hasn’t forgotten them completely.

While at the Discovery Center we also spent some time watching the Bears, they are such large and powerful creatures. I’m not as familiar with the bears as I am the wolves, so I’m not sure which bears these are. They bring their bears out in shifts because some of them don’t get along with others.

All in all we had a great time with the wolves and bears and will go back several more times while we are here so I’m sure this won’t be the last post about the wolves.

In the title of this blog I mentioned Eagles. We had another awesome experiences minus the cameras. Bill and I went for a bike ride yesterday and on our way back were treated to a mated pair of Bald Eagles circling and playing in the wind of a coming thunder storm. They were obviously on the hunt, but still enjoying playing. They circled low enough that it was clear these were large, adult, bald eagles. They are so beautiful and so majestic. Bill and I stopped riding and just sat there for a minute watching them. Then we started riding again and they seemed to be flying with us on our ride for a mile or so before they took off to the east and headed towards the mountains. What an experience!

I think that’s about all I have for this blog, except I want to post this last picture. Bill took this one at the Discovery Center just to show how blue the Mountain Blue Birds are.


09 July 2006

Yellowstone with the Fam

Tomorrow, the 10th will mark four weeks that we’ve been in Montana. Where does the time go? I can’t believe that we’ve already been here that long. We’ve really been enjoying ourselves and of course being reminded on a daily basis why we love it here.

I had some family come out over the 4th of July and that of course kept us all very busy. Trying to see Yellowstone in a short period of time is hard, it’s huge and there is SO much to see. I ended up picking my favorite features and showing them those, hopefully they enjoyed their trip and have some cool memories to take along their way. I’m not going to go into detail about their visit because this is a public forum and their lives are theirs to keep private. I will say these things:

1 – It was totally cool to see my Niece-In-Law get her Junior Ranger Patch from Yellowstone National Park and she did it all on her own with no help from the adults. It was also a blast spending girl-time and kid-time with her. The foot race was something I’ll likely never forget.

2 – I played horseshoes for the first time ever with my Brother-In-Law and we had a blast. We played for over 3 hours, we were both sore and I was sunburnt…but it was so much fun. All I have to say to him about that is…”In Your Face, oh yours is closer…huh…at least I was loud about it” Keep them bouncing, I’ll keep them rollin.

3 – I really enjoyed the alone minutes I had with my sister when other people were otherwise occupied so we could do some catching up, and just general chatting. And to her I’ll say, “There are some ants here that would like some Doritos…think you can help them out? Spasmodic Geyser…that’s all I’m sayin.”

4 – Fluxx and Pig are awesome, if you don’t know what they are…too bad for you!

I’m going to leave their visit at that because again, their lives are their own to keep private.

Bill and I only took the cameras with us when we went out to show them the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center (http://www.grizzlydiscoveryctr.com/). Bill got some really nice shots of the wolves, which I’m going to post in an entirely separate blog since this one is already getting long. In that same blog I would like to compare some pics that we have taken of Yellowstone in the past with pics that my Brother-In-Law took this year to show how much Yellowstone changes from year to year. People who say they’ve been to Yellowstone when they were younger, I say: “Go Back, it’s never the same experience twice.”

That’s all for now, I’ll post again really soon with pics of the wolves.