Wednesday, May 19, 2010



This whole trip has been amazing!  I've taken a ton of pictures (over 1,000 in about a week) and looking through them, I don't feel like they do it justice.  When we were passing through a small corner of New Mexico, we stopped and went to the top of the Capulin Volcano.  It has amazing views since the landscape was mostly flat with just hills popping up here and there.  If you look closely - you can see the snowy Rocky Mountains in the distance.

In Colorado, we took a detour to Estes Park.  It's where the Stanley Hotel is located - the inspiration for Stephen King's The Shining.  It was a breath-taking drive out there.  It started snowing while we were there - and it was undisturbed nature.  If you ever have the chance to drive through the Rocky Mountains with snow - do it.  (Do the Rockies ever melt?)

The total population of Wyoming is 544,270 people.  Most of the state is just open space - it's nice to see that some parts of America still look like this.  In this photo, there is the start of a fence, which doesn't connect to anything.  The fence runs along the highway to collect snow drifts or else the snow just keeps blowing.  They also close down the highway from time to time due to the snow.  That's right - that actually happens.

We stopped in Thermopolis, WY - where the World's Largest Mineral Hot Spring is located.  It smelled like rotten eggs.  We got away from the smell by climbing a hill and we got this amazing view.  The landscape here is a muted green color due to the White Sage bushes that cover the landscape. 

The 52 miles between Cody, WY and the entrance to the park is supposed to be the 52 prettiest miles of highway driving in the US.  I'm not going to argue against the person that made the claim - there was a river that ran along the highway with huge rock formations.   There were so many deer or elk (mmm - not sure) taking up space in the cow pastures.  We also ran into a herd rock climbing sheep (not pictured - maybe I'll share those later).  We stopped to take a picture of the group.  I rode up with a friend from high school, his girlfriend and best friend.  

Ross (my car-riding partner) is 6'3" - a full 8 feet when his arms are raised.  He's been entertaining the idea of wrastling a bear.  This wooden one would do...

...but then we ran into a real bear about a quarter of a mile down the road.  Ross opted not to go down into the valley with a hungry bear. 

Once we got into the park, we started to go up in elevation (I'll be living at 7,900 feet - I'm still getting adjusted to the thin air), which means it got colder.  After a 4 day car trip, sledding was a nice break for the Texans that I rode up with.  As for me, I'm just not that excited by snow anymore.  

The buffalo are everywhere here.  We are already so used to them walking through town, scratching themselves on rock, buffalo dueces, etc. that we just zoom on by them now.  They are amazing animals  - they've been grazing the grasses of Yellowstone for thousands of years.

We've been taking mini-hikes so far.  We went up and around a few hills and climbed rocks.  It's made me super excited for a real hike.  (Ross as King of the Mountain on a mini-hike.)

Yellowstone is home to two-thirds of the world's geothermal activity.  This is part of Mammoth Hot Springs.  The bright colors are caused be thermophilies that thrive in the extremely hot, mineral-rich waters.  Since the geography of Yellowstone is contantly changing - the hot springs are constantly changing. 

Yellowstone Lake is a sheet of ice - and will probably stay that way for the next few weeks.  On the lake are a bunch of little islands.  Some animals will walk out to the islands during the winter when the water is frozen and then will get stuck there when the ice melts.  They are then required to live out their summers on a little island until the lake freezes back over in a few months.

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is where I will be living for the summer (starting tomorrow).  The waterfalls are so powerful.  I've only seen one - but there is another one just up the river a little ways.  The road to that waterfall is still closed because they haven't plowed it yet.  I'm so excited that this is my new home - and there is great hiking all over the canyon area!  

And we chased otters down the river because they are adorable.  

I'm definitely missing cooking - so you all need to cook and enjoy wonderful food for me!  Happy cooking.


  1. I'm so jealous! Looks like you are in an amazing spot and having a great time. I'm so happy for you!

    You know I'll cook more than my share, more cooking that baking soon enough, when the garden is in full bloom.

    Miss you, Pookie!

  2. I miss you Sister - I want to be there with you all your pics make this look like a very amazing adventure. I love you - be safe & have the most amazing time of your life!!!!