Thursday, September 29, 2016

We're home

It was fun, exciting, and a great trip. It's good to be home though.

Thanks to all who followed us. I hope you enjoyed our trip enough to try it yourself one day. If you need any advice, I'll give you Dori and Gordon's number. as they do a lot of traveling. In fact, they're on the road right now. Dori is thinking of starting her own blog- "My travails with Gordon". Catchy, yes?

I have a good deal of items to fix on the truck and trailer, but I'll be able to fit that in between bike rides and coffee dates. Sue will have fun getting back into the gym and taking care of her charge- (me!).

We'll see you all around!


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Great Basin NP

This place is really in the middle of nowhere. That makes for excellent viewing of the night sky. There are actually so many stars it's hard to see the normal constellations I see at home. It's on the eastern border of Nevada.

We started into the Lehman caves to spot JSL, but my claustrophobia kicked in and we had to cancel. I don't know if you have any phobias, but once the panic starts, it can get bad quick. I've been in caves before with no problem, so I'm not sure what went wrong, but it wasn't pretty. Never did see JSL.

We did go for a hike into the Bristlecone Pines grove. Way cool. Here's a picture of a tree that died 2000 years ago. It was around 5000 years old when it passed.

Bristlecones live at high elevation. I'm not sure what elevation we were at here, but after we went downhill a ways, we ended up here.

It was a great hike, but we both had breathing issues. We had about 3 minutes of acclimation before we started hiking. It was not that cold though.

Funny thing about this National Park- there was no entrance station. Thus, no fee required to get in.  After we left here, we drove on Highway 50 through Nevada to my Dad's house. The state road signs all made the same claim- The loneliest highway in America! They weren't kidding either. No traffic problems though.

We'll be home before you know it-


Friday, September 23, 2016

Park City, Utah

This town is an art lovers nirvana. There is one gallery after another along the main drag. Sorry, no pics. Although we did purchase a couple of beautiful photos for our home at one of the galleries. When in Rome...

Tomorrow we go to Nevada; Great Basin NP. It's in the middle of nowhere, so I'm not expecting much for reception. When I get back online again, we should have some killer photos to share. We'll actually be going to Lehman Caves in the park, so possibly a JSL sighting?

Oh, actually I did get one picture of Susie with the local bear today.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Phelps Lake, WY.

Today is our last day in Wyoming, as tomorrow we'll be in Utah for the night. So we went for a short hike to Phelps Lake. This land was donated by Lawrence Rockefeller to give people a chance to enjoy the quiet solitude. Everything was wonderful until a group of people showed up who never stopped talking, and quite loudly too. They drove everyone else off. It was really stupendous though, and was our last chance to explore the Tetons.

Although we have no decent pictures of them, we did see quite an array of animals today. A bear, three moose (two bulls-WOW!), and a coyote. It was fun to watch the coyote hunting his prey.

We did get a chance to toddle around Jackson and go shopping. In fact we ran into a friend from Atascadero, who just happens to be here also. They have two awesome hat shops in town! Wait till you see my latest acquisition. It won't be too much longer now, but we will be taking our time heading west. Our next stay will be in Nevada, at Great Basin NP.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Cascade Cyn. and Inspiration Point

We were so far into Cascade Cyn. that my GPS tracker app, Strava, lost us for a while. It was a longer hike today at around 9 miles. We both felt it too. In fact we each were wondering how we ever completed that 140 miles in the Sierras 4 years ago. It was worth it though. The landscape is just stunning.

We were actually hiking at the base of the Grand Teton today.

 As usual, someone on the trail said they saw a bear, but there were no bears that we saw. Those silly deer think they own the place though. We were close enough to touch them before they decided to get off the trail.

There were a lot of people on this hike today. The guide called this the 'highlight' trail of the park. We were surprised to see so many people still, as it is so long. Usually there is a shuttle to shorten the round trip hike by 4 miles, but it's no longer running. Which explains why we saw one overweight fellow half way up the long climb sitting on the side of the trail smoking a cigar. He said he just gave up.

Inspiration point overlooked Jenny Lake, which we hiked along for 2 miles before getting to the Cascade trailhead. Too bad our Jenny wasn't here to see her namesake lake.

Last night we went to Oxbow Bend on the Snake river, which is supposedly where two bull Elk were battling the night before. We didn't see any animals there either. Again, though, just astounding beauty.

Today is our real anniversary- 24 years- so we'll head over to the Jackson Lodge for a celebratory dinner. Tomorrow we hitch up our wagon and head to the south end of the park for a couple of days. It's supposed to snow for two days. It could be fun getting out of here in a blizzard.

P.S. Congrats to Jeff and Kelly who are celebrating their 18th anniversary today.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Two Oceans Lake

We went for a short hike today, in anticipation of going on a longer hike tomorrow. The lake hike was beautiful with all the fall colors appearing.

The trees that are turning are White Bark Birch trees; the conifers in the background make a striking contrast.

Speaking of plants- Mike do you know what this is? They were everywhere on the trail today. Maybe you still have a plant identification book from your studies at UCSC? It has a very pungent, familiar odor.

I named it skunk weed.

The clouds are always with us here, and rain is scattered but very light. The mountain tops disappeared. The next two days might be better photo days.

I think what is so striking about the Tetons is that there are no foothills. The Earth opened up 9 million years ago and belched- and then wiped it's mouth and scrubbed away the debris. Now, the plains and lakes go right up to the base of these striking behemoths.

We're going moose hunting tonight at Oxbow Bend on the Snake river. Maybe some animal shots tomorrow?


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Hiking Jackson Lake

We went for a 7 mile hike today and got lost. Sort of. We followed the lake shore, so we always knew we had that to orient ourselves. But the trail markers were very lacking. It was a good hike though.

At one point we ended up at Swan Lake- no swans visible, but boy were there a lot of water lilies. So many in fact, that the water was only visible in a few small areas. That's the lake behind me.

You can ask Lavonne and Earl, when things go wrong on a trip, you adapt. We've had so many mechanical issues on this trip, I feel like I'm working all the time. Let's see- water heater, propane hose leak, fuel filter replacement, broken inverter cable, bath vent, I think there's more, but I can't remember right now. Scott, if you're still with us, bring your tool box on your travels. The lesson here is- deal with it as it comes. That's life lesson #1. Life lesson #2 is enjoy every day with a smile.Nothing is insurmountable. Except,for me, the Grand Teton-

I know Brian and Janet would do this in an afternoon, and God Bless them for it. I take pictures from afar.

We didn't hike much in Yellowstone because we weren't feeling our best, but tomorrow is another hike to Inspiration Point at Jenny Lake. Should be some good pics.

For some reason Strava won't let me upload pictures on this trip. However, it keeps trying and really messes with my internet connection. So from now on, I won't even try. Unfortunately, because Strava is still trying desperately, I can't upload pics to the blog tonight. Please refer to Life lesson #2.