roadtrips to new-where, travel

In which we cross to Spokane

I sleep like the dead (once I get earplugs in) and sleep until after 7am. Mom is already awake. Dad is already up and out.

He comes back at 7:30, concerned because our flight is tomorrow at 7:20 and it won’t let him check in. It takes a moment to realize our mistake: we are on Mountain time; Spokane is on Pacific. Continue reading “In which we cross to Spokane”

photography, roadtrips to new-where, travel

In which we take a Red Bus Tour

We get up and ready in plenty of time for a bellman to help us get our belongings down three floors, check out, get breakfast, race down to get my mother’s accidentally packed tablet out of the car (ugh), and hop on our Red Bus Tour of Glacier.

We’re on the Grand Circle tour, looping the outer edges of the park to come down Going to the Sun Rd west to east. It will take all day, and we get a late start because two members of the group are no-shows. Continue reading “In which we take a Red Bus Tour”

exploring and revisiting, roadtrips to new-where, travel

In which we cover a lot of ground…

… under a big sky.

We don’t have to get up early today. Which is good. It’s been a lot of early mornings.

Except I forgot and left an alarm on. Rats.

Our only plan for today involves covering a lot of distance. About 360 miles in all. Continue reading “In which we cover a lot of ground…”

exploring and revisiting, photography, travel

In which the buffalo are plentiful… but have no wings

We time our day to depart in time to get coffees at Tumbleweed, just down the street from the Riverside Cottages. They open at 7.

Well, first we see the deer that are right in our own parking lot this am. Then…

We each get a coffee plus a thermos to let us top off through the morning. We originally thought we might cross to Pebble Creek, near the Northeast entrance, for an early-morning animal seeking session (we would so love to see moose) but already the morning is warm, and the 40 miles across isn’t going to get us there in anything like prime viewing time. And we want to see the Terraces we skipped yesterday before it gets appallingly hot again.

So we visit Mammoth Hot Springs upper terraces instead, first walking it, hearing the elk trumpet as rut season begins…

Continue reading “In which the buffalo are plentiful… but have no wings”

exploring and revisiting, photography, travel

In which we get there too early

We check out of the Old Faithful Inn, with an aim of seeing the Great Prismatic Spring ahead of the crowd. It is a good theory. But it is still early and cold – so much steam is rising from the springs that they aren’t visible.

The oranges and yellows are all we could see of the Grand Prismatic Spring so early in the morning

Continue reading “In which we get there too early”

exploring and revisiting, travel

In which we start dark and early

We get up at 5am, creeping out in the chill and darkness in hopes of seeing animals before the day gets too hot.

We are nearly alone on the roads, inching toward West Thumb. We stop a few times, signs of elk having been through in the past but none so far this morning.

But when we stop at Grant Village for coffee and start back out, two females pass beside and in front of us in the quiet of the morning. Continue reading “In which we start dark and early”

exploring and revisiting, photography, travel

In which we make our way to Yellowstone

On our way out of town we pick up some essentials. Windex wipes for the car windows. Ice. Wine.

You know, basic stuff that the pioneers would have needed as well.

We head north through the Grand Tetons again – the only way to get from here to there, stopping to see some of what we missed yesterday. The Craig Thomas Visitor Center. The Signal Mountain Summit. Continue reading “In which we make our way to Yellowstone”

exploring and revisiting, travel

In which we learn French explorers had not seen a woman in a while

I wake in the dark and silent world of…

Oh, wait. I have earplugs in.

Still dark, not silent but very quiet.

Dad is up already, and in the next room getting himself ready to find coffee and a paper. 6:15am.

We signed up for 8am breakfast but by 7:30 we are all in the main house, sipping coffee and easing into the morning.

They serve a fine breakfast at the Huff House

After a delicious if oversized breakfast (none of us finishes), we head out to see the Grand Tetons.

Which comes from the name the French explorers gave it originally: the Three Breasts.

The mountains are beautiful and majestic and not at all reminiscent of breasts. I suspect those explorers had not seen a woman in a while.

The Shoshone called it something that had more to do with many pinnacles. Far more apt.

We see a beaver dam, pronghorn and bison in the distance, as we loop from Jackson to Moran Junction to Lake Jackson, to Lake Jenny and down to Moose Junction.

Then we meet our group for a Snake River scenic float tour with Triangle X. Our captain is John, and the strong winds today mean he has to fight every minute we are on the river to keep us where we should be.

He works hard but we have it easy, watching the river and the mountains, hoping for a glimpse of moose (not today) or eagles (several soaring overhead).

After our float tour we head back to Huff House for showers before we head out for the BarJ Chuckwagon.

I briefly misplace Dad (really he went to run an errand and I worried like a crazy person for No Reason Whatsoever) but then we settle in for a cowboy dinner and show.

Fun, funny, enjoyable in every way. A good time was had by all.

After dinner it was a short hop back to the Inn to settle in and…

We are all very ready for bed.