Thursday, July 25, 2013

Yellowstone Trip, Part 2

Yellowstone Trip, Part 2

Bubbling mud pit

We took a walk after seeing the mud pit wanting to see a bear. We didn't find one but we did come across several elk taking it easy in the cool woods.

Next we went to this collection of geysers(Not Old Faithful yet). The caution signs all said pretty much the same thing. DON'T STEP OFF THE BOARDWALK! They said around 18 people have died by making the poor decision to get off the walkway and get closer to the geysers. Apparently the footing isn't all that sure.

Called 'The Abyss' this small pool is reported to be 53 feet deep. Between that and the boiling temperature it's not a place in which to take a dip.

We saw quite a few bison, some close up.

Pretty scenery.

Upper Falls, I believe.

Petrified tree.

Mammoth Hot Springs

Grand Teton National Park was adjacent to Yellowstone.

A moose that we caught a glimpse of cooling off in the Snake River.

Old Faithful

After standing there for about an hour, Old Faithful finally went off.

The Bear

Towards the end of our last day in Yellowstone we exited the park excited at what we had seen but still disappointed at not seeing a bear. Then while we were passing through Grand Teton we saw a bunch of cars pulled over. We rolled down the van window and someone said, 'bear' so we pulled over, too. There were already a couple of park rangers there engaged in a perpetual state of yelling 'Get Back' to the small crowd that had gathered. We looked around and soon saw what everyone was looking at. A small to medium black bear puttering around in the woods. Soon, it ventured out on to the road.

The bear approached a van with the family intact and asked for their license and registration(see below).

At this point the rangers almost lost their minds.

Not getting the answer that it wanted, it hopped onto the hood of the vehicle and bounced on it some. After a minute or so it hopped down and took 4 or 5 quick steps toward my approximate position. Everybody scattered. I turned away and ran so quick I almost lost my trousers.

At this point we got back into the car and lost site of the bear.

It was a very exciting experience.

Yay, bear!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Yellowstone Trip, Part 1

Yellowstone Trip, Part 1

We took a trip last week to Grand Teton and Yellowstone parks, driving a total of some 2200 miles in order to see what the fuss was all about. We had a friend dog sit, setting out food and water for 'The Crew.' Also, we played the license plate game with an app that Melody found. You know - find all 50 states before the end of the trip and check them off. We ended up with all of them but Rhode Island & Kentucky.

Monday, we drove all day and ended up in Pueblo, CO. I can't shake the feeling that I saw many commercials for Consumer Protection pamphlets as a kid and you had to send away to Pueblo, CO for all of them. Whatever.
The plan was to spend that night in a campground but when we arrived at the campground the gate was open but it was unmanned. The instructions said to fill out the form and stick it with payment into the box. We did not have the exact bills necessary nor our checkbook, which we had left behind. So, naturally, we spent the night at the Marriott.

The next morning we visited the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs which, by that point, was only a half hour away. Just as we walked in, there was a hands on area where were could try our hand at a few sports.

It works well as a back scratcher.

Some other things that we saw:
Shows how high the 10 meter diving board is.

Gymnastics training facility

The pool

The weight room.

Some of the ceremonial torches.

It was an interesting tour.

After lunch, we went to the Air Force Academy Visitor's Center. There wasn't a whole lot to take pictures of there but we did manage to snap this one of me with a B-52 on the way out. I'm the one in the front:

Then it was back on the road for another day of driving to reach Yellowstone.

Oh, and about this time our dog sitter sent us this picture of Rusty:

Poor boy. He doesn't look all that happy.