First off, please excuse any spelling/grammatical or other such errors...it is nearly one in the morning as I type this. We finally got a good internet connection, so I am trying to make up for lost time...speed usually does not mean accuracy!!
We have had a wonderful two days. We spent all of yesterday in Yellowstone National Park and explored as much of the 2.8 million acres as we could in that limited time.
One thing was saw that was pretty special was the Old Faithful geyser. The rangers are able to predict fairly accurately what time the geyser will go off, so we only had to wait about thirty minutes and were able to be prepared to start clicking the camera's at the first sign of water bubbling. I must say I had expected it too be a bit higher, but it did go off a bit earlier than the predicted time, so perhaps it had not had time to fully get up to pressure.
It was still wonderful to see! Since I am a voracious reader and I love history, I think the most special part of this trip has been getting to see all the different historical and geographical points of interest I have read so much about. Old Faithful was one of those moments. The top photo, as you may have already guessed, is of Old Faithful.
One animal I had not been able to get very good photo's of along the Alaskan Highway was Elk. I dearly wanted a good photo...just one! But never could get a good shot. The Lord provided some spectacular Elk shots in the park! We actually stood about fifteen feet from a magnificent bull and he simply went about his business like thirty people weren't standing practically beside him. We also got to see two elk fawns in a river....very neat!
These animals loved to stand on the road...often backing up quite a bit of traffic. It was almost like they did it on purpose. I saw one young bull who was standing in the left lane...when the car in the right lane tried to inch ahead, he promptly lumbered on in front of it, effectively blocking the car's path...I really think he did it on purpose :) It's just something a teenager would do.
I was particularly excited about the Pronghorn. There were a bunch farther away, but we found two very close to the road. They are so pretty and extremely graceful when they run.
The bighorn sheep were waaaaayyyyyy across a canyon, so it was difficult to see them, but their were several ewes and three babies, who all seemed to belong to one mother. Watching them leap around the cliffs is a thing of beauty!
I believe I have at last succeeded. I. Love. This. Photo. I would be in love with it no matter the person who took it, but wow! I just love the brilliance of the sky and silhouetted trees. This one will probably end up hanging on my wall and I think I can safely say this may be my favorite photo of the trip.
But it was worth it.
No really, it was great :)
This canyon was a really beautiful place with many colors painted in it's walls. We did hike around a lot, climbing the canyon rim and driving to many of the lookout points. We even climbed 600 feet down the canyon all on an extremely steep path to very top of the falls. That was pretty neat, but man was it hard to get back up! The view was stunning and the roar of the water crashing down was unbelievable. There was even some snow on the canyon wall next to the falls. Hard to believe as it was 90* out.
Looking down into the canyon from the top was pretty impressive. The river looked small, though at times you could hear the water rushing. Not a place you wanted to trip or stumble.
I almost didn't keep typing...but it wouldn't be nice to leave you all hanging :)
I was very excited to see for myself what Wyoming actually looked like. We entered the state at night, but only when a few miles before stopping, the next morning, Dad hiked up the hill behind our RV site and this is what he found...my ranch! Isn't it beautiful?
I've always wanted to live out west...so when we found this ranch, it was done deal. Wyoming here I come! Smoke will love this.
Okay, so I am not moving to Wyoming. In my dreams, maybe, in reality, not yet. (You see I had to put not yet....no it too final, at least I've left the door a little bit open :)
But Dad did find this cute little ranch, so I can pin these up on my wall and pretend I'm in Wyoming :)
The country side out here is really beautiful and I love the mix of plains, pasture lands, hills and mountains. It has really good variety...something of everything.
And you know you're in ranching country when there are cattle guards over the roads every few miles :) I particularly liked that touch. There were even cattle guards in the mountains. (Cattle guards are metal pipes that are placed over a hole in the ground. Cars can go over them, but cattle and horses will not step on the pipes so it prevents them from wandering)
When we reached Cody, Wyoming, Dad was nice enough to stop and let me browse in the western stores. He had wanted to get to Mt. Rushmore this evening, but instead, he let me shop.
And guess what! I found some bargains! First I got a vanity plate for my car that says Cody, Wyoming with a bucking horse on it, then I found a woven tote bag that anywhere else would have cost 20-30 dollars and it was $8!!
Then in another store there were some leather and fur vests. There was a coat that matched, but I didn't think it was really my style, but Mom convinced me to try it on. It fit like a glove and really was so me. The regular price is $113, but it was on sale for $55! So I decided to get it. When the cashier rang it up, we discovered there was another 25% off so I got it for $43!
We plan on reaching Mt. Rushmore tomorrow, spending a few hours there then continuing on. We plan on being home by Saturday. I cannot wait to see my horses again! This is the longest I have ever been away.