Numbers 6: 24-26

The Lord bless you, and keep you; The Lord make His face shine on you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance on you, And give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

Friday, October 3, 2014

Paul Came To Visit

In our last week, Paul decided he better make a move or he'll have to wait until next year! So he came and spent 2 nights with us and we took him on a double hike in one day.

The first was to the Hoodoos and the 2nd, which is close by, was to the Sheepeater Cliffs again. Here are a few fun pictures to wrap up our hiking for 2014.

This is in the Hoodoos we had a little fun climbing around on the rocks.

Paul decided he was going to rearrange the rocks. He didn't get very far, ha!

This is the Sheepeaters Cliffs again. We'll do something different next year since this was our 3rd time here. But the area has so much history, it is fun to climb around in. Can you find Bob and Paul?

Yeah, sure, Paul's really going to dive off the cliff...

Each view is so different it's just amazing.

Okay, this is it. We were done and went back to the cabin after this.

And this draws this trip to a close. This horse back riding is something Bob has on the list to do next year. And yes, we signed up for August and September next year already.

We leave with full hearts and lots of pictures and memories. We met a ton of real nice people that checked in and out of the cabins and hope that they enjoyed a piece of heaven as much as we have.

As you read this, we are already driving back to Florida and looking forward to warm, moist air again. We hear its still abundant :)

Total miles hiked: 131

Thursday, October 2, 2014


As our time in Yellowstone draws to a close, here are some beautiful pictures Bob was able to take of the many colors from the rising and setting sun.

This is Electric Peak with the early morning sun hitting it first since it is the highest point in the Galatin Range and highest point in the NW corner of the park.

More color hitting the clouds.

Sunsets, with some really stunning color. If someone painted this I'd say it was false.

This is looking over the pond where the elk like to hang around. 

Electric Peak again with the sunset.

This was the August super moon. It was amazing the way it lite up the sky at night. Of course it obliterated the view of the stars while it was up. A fair trade off though.

This was taken out our front door. The big dipper moved straight across the mountains across the sky from left to right. It would start out level and turn to this position as the night progressed. 

Here is the super moon setting late in the morning over Electric Peak and Sepulcher. The pink in the sky is from the rising sun.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bozeman Bears

Along I-90 to Bozeman, Montana there is a place called Montana Grizzly Encounter. It's not large but the price to get in is only $7.00 so its not pricey. What you get for your money is a look at 4 grizzly bears that were rescued from bad human situations.

For instance, 2 of the bears came from an idiot in Florida that thought it would be fun to raise a couple of grizzlys. Really? As they got too big for the cages the police came in and had them removed.

One of the bears had been trained and the owners use him in controlled environments for filming. It helps to pay the bills!

The 2 guys that run the Encounter are huge into sharing information, allowing people to see the bears in a safe environment without using cages and they are a wealth of information for education purposes.

Bob and I were on the way back from a Yellowstone Association errand to Bozeman and decided to drop in for a little look-see.

Grizzlys' come in black, red brown, brown, dark brown. So do black bears. The way to tell them apart is by the large 'hump' in their back. Only the Grizz has that.

On the day we were there we saw 3 of the 4 bears. The 4th was off being filmed.

It's definitely worth stopping to see if you are ever in the area. As it turned out, we didn't see a bear in Yellowstone this year, so we learned more here and still got some nice pictures.

 I also threw in a picture of another Magpie that was hanging around.

The owners plant food for the bears before bringing them into the enclosure so they have to hunt for the food. It was enjoyable watching them walk around while getting a wagon load of information about them. All questions were answered well and we walked away feeling educated and have started referring people to visit.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Things that make you go Hmmm...

We've seen some funny stuff and have some amusing stories so I'll attempt to share a few.

1. A Jedi's Mind Game: It's safe to say we have logged a lot of miles inside Yellowstone National Park now. So usually when we are driving through, we have a destination in mind and while one of us drives, the other watches the hills and plains for critters and we stay the speed limit. Not so for a minimum of 50% of the other drivers who are enjoying the view and want to take pictures and so forth. We have found if we wave our hand like a Jedi and suggest they pull over (into one of the hundreds of areas just for that purpose throughout the park), they pick the next pull over and drive right in. We've had quite a few laughs over this. The last though is the best. In Mammoth  Hot Springs, in the hotel, in the lobby, there are public restrooms. The fun part is to flush, you wave your hand over the valve. Do you think a Jedi came up with this one?

2. Think our course instructors don't work hard? There was some down time at the beginning of September and the weather had finally turned warm and sunny. A major project our boss wanted to get done was to stain the outside of all the cabins. He got permission to use any of the instructors that wanted to earn a little extra money to come up and help.

This is Katie. I took this picture of her to send to her Mom, to terrify her Mom but also prove that Katie is staying busy and actually does work.


3. On our trip out, we stayed at some ultra cheap hotels. I'm okay with's still better than camping on the ground! Anyway, this one room had the toilet next to the tub and the toilet paper about 2 feet away. Try finding that in the dark, at night!

4. Have you ever seen an elk chase her tail? I did! The other morning I was watching the herd in our front yard from the window and this female starts circling round and round. I thought at first she was trying to trample the weeds to lay down, as the others were doing, but she just kept going. She  finally lifted her hind leg to do some scratching so I have to assume she was itchy. Pretty cute to watch though.

5. Bob (and I) love tacos. I make them with the best tortillas ever from Trader Joe's and if we work together we can go from start to eating in 30 minutes. Here Bob is enjoying a local beer. Doesn't he look happy?
6. This little dude is a Yellow-Bellied Marmot. We saw hundreds of them in August but by September they all disappeared. Bob read recently that they hibernate for up to 8 months. Can you imagine sleeping that long? May-August seems to be their time to do all that is required in life. I can't decide if I want to be jealous :)


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Lollie's Trail and 2 Funny Stories

This trail is named for a lady (Lollie) who gave Yellowstone Association a bunch of money and they named the Overlook Trail for her. She claims she has never seen it or been on it. Too bad for Lolllie!

The scrubby, dark green bushes behind the sign are sage brush. 

It's difficult to see, but right in the middle of the picture is a rock formation in the shape of an arrow. Wonder which way the path goes??

We decided to hike Lollie's Trail to see if going at this trail from a different direction (it hooks up to Eagle Creek which is an earlier blog) would take us down to a large bridge we've been seeing from up above.

 Are you having trouble seeing the trail? So were we!

The views were wonderful even if the trail was half washed away. Notice the trail in the middle of this rock slide area. Is this suicidal or what?

The river is the Yellowstone. It is down about one foot from where it was in August when we were having all the rain.

The mountains in the background are the Absaroka Mountain Range. They continue north up to Bozeman, MT.

This area was rather testy. I found I couldn't look up or down, just straight ahead, thank you very much!

These rocks you skirt around like this one are so amazing. One small earthquake and all bets are off for this whole area.

This is looking west. The mountain in the background is Electric Peak. It is the highest or second to the highest peak in Yellowstone.We haven't been able to get that information straight :)

Ok, I have to pause here. So we made it down to the bridge, took pictures of each other on the bridge, hiked another 1/4 mile past the bridge and had a little lunch celebration with Cliff bars and (for me) celery sticks. So we know where the bridge is and now how to get there. Where are the pictures you might ask? Yes, well, we are too. They were apparently not transferred onto the computer before the camera card was deleted. So, I suppose that will be a longer hike next year, only we'll be starting from an easier point that we also discovered.

Walking back from the bridge, Bob left the path to see how far the water was from the rock outcropping. Too far to fish from it turns out. So I'm standing on the trail alone and I notice a guy walking briskly toward me holding a rather large double-sided ax. Um, ok. Do I jump off the trail down to Bob, warn him not to come up or scramble up the hill? Oops, too late, he's already to me and he's wearing a Ranger t-shirt. This explains a lot! I stopped him and asked him if he realized how intimidating he looked and we had a good laugh. By this time Bob is back up with me. This guy explains he is heading to a back-country camping area across the river and that if we run across a group with 'stock' we should get off the trail and let them pass. We said fine, he went on and we went on. Did I get a picture? Of course not.

Next, we came upon 2 female Rangers walking briskly carrying shovels. We thought, ok, the guy is a very fast walker and the girls were chatting and going a little slower. Whatever. We got halfway up the Eagle Creek Campground trail and Whoa! We jumped off this little bridge and watched the following come by:

Female Ranger leading the pack on a horse.

A guy that looks like a back-country outfitter on a horse leading 6 mules with these large packs on.

And a light dawned on us. The 3 rangers are walking ahead to clear any debris off the trail to make the passage easier for the horses and mules.

This is the end of the mules. One missed the bridge but quickly jumped up. It's just a boggy area so wasn't dangerous. The guy was simply holding a rope behind him as he rode and called to the mules. They were all tied to each other with a simple rope. Seriously!

Last was another ranger on a horse holding the rope for 5 more horses and/or mules.

We don't know what they plan to do at the campsite but it looks like they'll be down there for a few days. Fortunately, the weather was still drop-dead gorgeous!

We finished this hike deciding not to take Lollie's Trail next year to get to the bridge.

Total miles hiked: 126

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Animals and Fowl - Part 2

These are more of the awesome shots Bob has gotten on this trip. I believe he's taken 500 apiece of bison and elk so I've chosen a few more to show case today.

This little critter is a yellow-bellied marmot also known as rockchucks.

This dude was strutting his stuff along the road. He still had velvet on his antlers so he was practicing his strut and bugling for the "girls."

One morning in Lamar Valley, the bison (buffalo) were close to the road and Bob shot a gazillion pictures.

A few of the males were watching the vehicles closely.

This makes me think of the 'wild wild west' and how the plains might have looked to people that crested a hill and saw hundreds of bison dotting the landscape.

 Here's a calf. The proper name for a new bison is Red Dog. They 'come out' with a deep red coat and it turns brown as they grow.

Here is the prolific Magpie. They are fairly large birds and numerous in Montana/Wyoming. The black feathers are so deep that it looks blue. They are very pretty birds.