Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Grand Tetons

Our view of the Grand Tetons with reflection in Jackson Lake as seen from our campsite at Colter Bay. Amazing formation starting 2 million years ago, massive glaciers up to 3,500 feet thick flowed south from Yellowstone and filled the valley...eroding mountains, moving and depositing huge volumes of rocky glacial debris. The sheets of ice filled the valley, alpine glaciers sculpted the jagged Teton skyline. The glaciers carved the peaks and canyons ancd created many lakes along the base of the Teton Range. We marvel at the beauty and appreciate all that nature provides. While we were visiting, several large lightning caused fires burned around the area giving us the smokey haze reflected in this pic.

Yes, we are wearing lifejackets ( not just a weight gain). We spent an afternoon on a raft trip cruising down the snake river in pursuit of wildlife. Starting from just below Jackson Lake Lodge and taking out at Deadmans Bar Road. Our big find: several bald eagles, lots of beaver homes, and a relaxing time with Mike, our very entertaining and educational tour guide.

Clarence the big bull moose of the Tetons. We had been kayaking through the tributaries of the Snake River thinking we were totally away from civilization when we happened around a corner to this huge guy munching grass and algae from the river.

We could get within about 50 feet of him while nearly a 100 photographers sat across the road trying to get their great shots. A photographer festival was going on at Jackson Lake....I'd never seen such enormous lenses or so many people in photo vests lugging tripods. We could have rented out our kayaks many times over.

Moose Ruby and her calf Mattie entertained us for 30 minutes with their antics. Notice the decorative collar on Ruby not just to keep her classically dressed but to track her travels. The calf was still quite attached to her mom but certainly enjoyed the water. Clarence kept constant watch from just across the stream.

My great viewpoint from kayak. WOW what an opportunity.
See the moose in the background and the glorious fall colors .
My BEST kayak day ever.
Beautiful glaciers all around. Brr cold at night 20's ...sunny days 70's. We're enjoying the sunsets and campfires at night. A great time for Arizonans to appreciate the cool temps and fall colors.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yellowstone National Park

We've been busy and at National Parks so out of the Blogsite range along with spending more time enjoying our selves instead of the computer. being a little lazy .....We enjoyed Yellowstone last week. These beautiful Elk were in the Park at the Visitor Center at Mammoth Hot Springs area. Even a huge bull elk unfortunately he did not enjoy posing for pics.

Dick waiting for Old Faithful to Blow and she did. Another special moment at Yellowstone.

This is 5 o'clock traffic at Yellowstone. Hmm the bison do have the right of way!
We saw 100's of them this day.

Mud volcanoes were bubbling throughout the park some even in the parking lots.

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. It didn't have the deep colors of our Grand Canyon but quite beautiful with a view of water falls .

Then off to the Grand Tetons. Blog post on that later. We're just outside of Jackson Wyoming and traveling towards Flaming Gorge National Park in the next few days.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

60 days out and loving the lifestyle

We're 60 + days out on this adventure. Can you tell we're still having fun??We have visited 7 states and 2 countries...Az, Calif, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana ...... US and Canada.
Traveled over 3,500 miles in our RV and 2,000 miles in our jeep
Spent 3 days in the rain otherwise weather has been a summers dream Listened to trains 44 nights or 70% of our sleepy nights...
Our new motto: I hear the train a coming, this must be our camp site.
Picked at least 2 gallons of wild blackberries and ate nearly that many. Shopped at one major grocery store other than that we have enjoyed farmers markets, roadside stands, fishing boats, fish stands, wineries, the locals and our friends and relatives gourmet meals.
Fun? yes...
Exciting? always
Exceeded expectations? in every way

Glacier National Park .... So many glaciers, waterfalls, lakes, beautiful views....its hard to know which ones to post. Glacier Park was named to describe the 30 to 40 slow moving glaciers that carved awe-inspiring valleys throughout the nearly 1 million acres. We traveled the " Going to the Sun Road " to get the viewing of the dramatic mountain scenery.

At times the roads were narrow, we were detained for road work and crept along due to the rock overhang. Dick had white knuckles, a cramp in his break foot, furrows across his temples .... and he was only sitting in the passenger seat. HMM

No this guy was not really a close encounter but rather on display at the Canadian Visitor Center at Glacier Bay. We did have lots of warnings about Bear sightings and warnings to make a lot of noise and carry bear repellant spray...

This TRex was also on display at the Canadian visitor Center. He was uncovered in Canada with all bones complete . What an enormous display.

View of Lake McDonald the largest body of water in the park.

We camped at the park.. a great pull through spot $10 a night with just a short walk to this amazing view.

I loved the reflection inthe water at St Mary's Lake.

Virginia Falls..One of our favorite falls. We hiked down to see this magnificent view.

Yes, we're still kayaking. Calm waters and picture postcard amazing.

Pond Oreille Idaho

Sept. 15, 2009

We're in Sandpoint Idaho camped out at Walmart! Spent the day touring the area. Sandpoint is a destination resort about 30 miles North of Coeur d Alene. Visited Pond Oreille, a great lake in the middle of town, walked the sandy beach and enjoyed splashing in the water.

A drive up to Schweitzer Mountain. Is it ski season, yet? Leaves are truning and it feels like fall. New condos are being built just above the lodge.

Just finished kayaking at Round Lake, outside of Sandpoint. . A very serene spot. Oh so quiet.. no cabins, boats or people. This must be close to heaven.

Dick and Moe and Kootenai Falls. 15,00 years ago, land was in the last phase of the Ice Age which covered the valley under 4,000 feet of ice. As the iced melted and retreated the Kootenai River cut through hundreds of glacial sediment over thousands of years. The falls drop 90 feet per mile from the falls to the canyon. We hiked own into the falls, amazing to look/listen and enjoy.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Spending a little bit of time playing catch up with my blogsite. We're in Spokane Washington today. This pic was from a beautiful winery we visited with some new friends. We met a group of very jovial retired firemen who invited us to do a days wine tour through Rattlesnake Hills Wine trail in Yakima Valley. Enjoyed lots of new Washington wines. Also stopped at fresh produce roadside stands. The sweetcorn is unbelievably delicious. Great fun, good wines, beautiful scenery with new friends...a terrific day.

Beautiful: Multnomah Falls near the Columbia River Gorge. The top fall was over 500 feet and the lower 69 feet. Wish I could capture the sound of this water roaring down the mtn. We also visited the Bonneville Fish Hatchery..I never thought this could be so educational and entertaining. They have a viewing tank for Herman the Sturgeon who is over 10 ft long, weights in excess of 450 lbs and is over 70 years old. The hatchery has the capability of fishrearing 6 to 11 million salmon and has several fulltime people counting fish swimming upstream . Count this year is 402,361 chinook, 537,492 steelheads and 1,373,738 shad.. Too bad no catching just watching.

We visited the Maryhill Museum of Art located in Goldendale along the Columbia River. The museum was originally planned as a very large 3 story home with the surrounding 5000 acres. The grounds are home to an extensive collection of massive works by Northwest sculptors. Maryhill was opened as a museum in 1940. They display over 100 chess sets, 47 black and white works of Ansel Adams, an extensive collection of Rodin sculptures and my favorite the replicas of 1935-40's clothes from the Theater de la Mode. Wish we could be here for the English style high tea to be held in October.

Mt Hood.. a day trip up to enjoy the cool weather, climb up to smell the wildflower, listen to waterfalls, tour timberline lodge and appreciate the clean air. Dick was ready for a ski run.

Our campsite at Iron Creek with Dean and Judy. Lush green with moss growing on everything that stands still, Hmm had to keep moving so we wern't covered, too. We enjoyed a wonderful week of touring Mt St Helens, attending a town yardsale, listening to 3 days of rain, sitting around the camfire at night, catching up with travels and comparing great campsites.
Got to use our golden age passport again. Now we even admit to getting old.

Dick and Dean at the Pacwood yard sale. They are thinking about a big barbque business .......... Some competition for Gregg

Mount Ranier on a cloudy day. Mt is 14,410 feet high and was first climbed in 1870, several years later the first woman climbed in a long dress with pants underneath..considered very risque for the times. Great hiking areas to the falls.