Monday, August 5, 2019

Pleasantly Surprised

Between winter storms we loaded and planned our route south from Bear Lake, Idaho.  With more storms expected we decided to drive south on a smaller road which cut back into Wyoming, near Bear River.  We were very happy we did because we were pleasantly surprised, again in our detour.



Although we had just spent several days in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, we had seen no moose.  On this day, galloping through a snow storm was a family of moose beside a long stretch of highway in southwest Wyoming.  Sorry if the photo is grainy, I still had to share. 



Snaking through back roads is always a joy are we were pleasantly surprised.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Utah

As usual, plans are flexible like our driving directions.  This time the plan to stay near and swim in the Great Salt Lake were set aside as leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) met for their annual international general conference in Salt Lake City.  This time we skirted our planned goal to the east through Evanston, WY and Echo, UT, then south through Provo.  This time our goal was Moab and the Arches held within.







We camped in a motel RV park and watched the sky.  It seemed bigger here.  We could tell we were in the southwest once again.  The morning was coffee and on the road to Arches National Park.  We parked the RV in the visitor center parking lot and explored with the Jeep.  We even found a great Jeep road where we were glad we were not alone as we bottomed out on some rocks and were advised to turn around since we didn't have a beefed up suspension or raised clearance. 



 







Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Finding a Jewel


With the snow appearing it was time to go.  South we hoped, as we were heading to AZ for the winter. This time, south was where the snow was coming from, so first we headed west.

This was an awesome unplanned detour.  We find the most amazing sights when we open our eyes to the unexpected and this was one of those trips.


The beauty of the Grand Tetons as the seasons change is never captured except in your soul when you experience it first hand. 


When the weather got worse we changed directions, found a place we'd never been and stopped.

Fossil Butte National Monument, aka America's aquarium in Stone was an oasis in the scrub.  




But the snow came again and it was time to get to a campground and wait out the storm.  



Across another state line into Laketown, Utah and then a few miles north back into Idaho we found our safe harbor.  


 The blue-green water of Bear Lake is a jewel to behold.









Thursday, September 13, 2018

Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons

Some of you have been waiting for this post a long time.  It's finally here.  We have learned the best time of the year to go to the national parks is the week or two weeks before parks close for winter and we lucked out timing our trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons for mid to late September 2017.

Our campground was nearly empty.  We had three days before they closed for the season.  Everything in the tourist shop was on sale and the weather was beautiful, cool and dry when we checked in.  We detached the Jeep and set up quickly. We were excited to go out exploring right away and weren't disappointed.


Elk



geysers


bubbling blood red mud


more elk


waterfalls and rivers


lakes with steaming geysers


silver-back grizzly


Old Faithful


showing off


rainbow geysers


steamy boardways


bison


ravens the same size as Frances


birds foraging for winter


lots of developed trails

All that before the snow during our departure!  











Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Southern Idaho

This was, arguably our first time through Idaho.  The argument was that our first time was about eight miles of back-roads through the corner in the fog on our way into Canada but according to Kathy that didn't count.  Anyway we agree this was our first time west to east in southern Idaho. I'd heard good things about the amazing views and moderate climate and hoped to see it personally.


 The views began as Washington/Oregon had ended, winding roads following meandering rivers.  I envisioned trout fisherman and lonely truckers but there was so much more to come.

As we pulled into a parking lot near the mall, I reached out to a former supervisor from Fort Bend ISD and inquired about a local pizza company.  She'd long ago given up on Facebook and didn't respond until a week later so Kathy hiked what looked was right across the street to pick up some pie.  It ended up being nearly a two mile hike.  The pizza was still warm when she got back though.

But city life wasn't for us so we pulled out of town before the morning rush hour and crossed the plains.
 We enjoyed watching the wildlife, prong-horns, grasshoppers, migrating cranes, and watched a wild cat stalk a herd of deer.

Eastward bound the grasses give way to a rockier landscape. A place more foreign.  Volcanic peaks dot the horizon and basalt and pumice form alien landscapes and the Craters of the Moon appear.

This fascinating park has been a backdrop for 
250,000 visitor creating their own alien landscape stories.