Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Family in Yellowstone #2.

After we returned from the Fairy Falls hike, my parents took it easy and my brother and I hiked out to Mallard Lake (near the Old Faithful area).  

It was a beautiful afternoon with bright blue skies and big fluffy clouds dotting the sky.  Unfortuantely, it was about this time that my camera died.  (My camera has only died on me twice - it's just that I love taking pictures!)  

However, my brother had his camera with him and was excited about taking pictures as well.  The hike was through mostly burned forest; however, there was one section of mature forest, where we found mushrooms growing. 

Mallard Lake was a beautiful mountain lake.  My brother's camera has a cool feature where he can take panaramic pictures with instanteaous results.  (My camera does it but I have to come home to see the result so I always forget about it.)  I was watching a ducks that was hunting for fish - you could see his little head darting around at any movement he would see and then he would dive down for about two minutes to catch it. 

The next day, we all hiked out to Cascade Lake to try some fly fishing and sit on the lake shore.  Mom and Mark had never been before but were both enthusastic about trying.  Mark was pretty good but it was so windy that he practiced without a hook on his line.  

After resting for an hour or so on the lake shore, Mark and I continued up to the top of Observation Peak.  I think this might be the best chipmunk picture that I've gotten all season.  (We didn't see any bears while they were here but I think Mark was just as fascinated by the little wildlife.)

On the trail, most of the flowers were in their seeding stages.  These plants reminded me of the tufata (if my memory serves me correctly) plants from Dr. Suess's The Lorax.  


I've done Observation Peak in just about every season now.  However, I think this time was my favorite - the weather was perfect, the colors were amazing and it was great hiking with my brother. 

He got lost looking at this hill.  Whenever you are looking at a hillside, all of the trees look perfect.  They are evenly spaced and have very little evidence of the fallen down trees hiding in the shadows.  It looks like a painting.  (I often get this feeling when looking at the canyon as well.)

I asked Mark to take a cheesy photo of him smiling really big with the country in the background.  Grebe Lake is the main feature that appeared.  

On our way back down, my parents had already left Cascade Lake, but we met them by the truck.  On our way out, I noticed this bushes that appeared a dull green when walking towards them but when looking back, they appeared a bright yellow as the sunlight went through their leaves.  It was really great having my family here and to show them everything.

I am planning my next big adventure - a two month trip with Graham.  We are going to start on the 27th and head west starting with Craters of the Moon National Park in Idaho.  From there continue west to Olympic National Park in Washington and eventually head down the west coast stopping at National Parks along the way.  There is a rumor that two of the people who got winter jobs aren't going to be showing up - so we don't want to have a lease or anything.  (Keep your fingers crossed for us!)  I will probably be mostly out of communication during that time but hopefully I'll be able to get a few posts in during stops along the way.  Best wishes. 

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