07.27.15 – Day Two in Yellowstone National Park on 07.24.15

1922432_635178163198260_1458712053_nDay Two in Yellowstone National Park on July 24, 2015 – Back down the west side of the upper loop in Yellowstone we went to get to the lower loop (the bigger one).

The Norris Geyer Basin was our first stop on the lower loop. A world of heat and gasses, where microorganisms live in such numbers they change the color of the landscape. This strange and beautiful place is on the edge of a volcano, the Yellowstone Volcano, one of the largest on earth. Boardwalks are seen all over the placed because walking on the ground is dangerous.

b3 b20 b19 b18 b17 b16 b15 b14 b13This is the Colloidal Pool

b12  This is the Hurricane Vent b8 b7 b6 b4As you walk through Norris Geyser Basin you feel as if you’ve landed in a different world. In the basin water accumulates underground, heated by the Yellowstone volcano. The water travels upwards to erupt from acidic geysers, rise from steaming fumaroles, and simmer in pools.

b23 b24 b25 b27 b28 b31 b34 b35 b36We were smarter planners today knowing how infrequent eating places are. We packed a nice picnic lunch and ate as we went along so we weren’t starving by the end of the journey.

In this whole Yellowstone adventure, the stop Roy has been looking forward to the most was Old Faithful Geyser which is in the southwestern corner of the lower loop. This in itself is a major attraction with lodges, gift stores, dining facilities, and groceries. An enormous seating area surrounds the spot where Old Faith erupts every hour or so each day. We waited 45 minutes for her to erupt this day and it was truly a sight to behold!You are looking

b37 You are looking at the people’s backs a they sit waiting for Old Faithful to errupt.  We worked our way to the front of the people to sit right in front of the geyser.  My hubby is good like this at finding great spots! b40

This is what it does when it’s not erupting.  Steam comes out and people get all excited anticipating the big event!b42

Looking at the circle of people from the front!b44

The initial signs of eruption occurring!b45 b46

The sounds of awed people when the eruption was in full force was goose bump material!b47 b47b

Two old geysers, Roy and Old Faithful!!!b48Several other geysers were seen along the way. Yellowstone information states there are over 10,000 geysers in the area.  We were constantly reminded that we were traveling atop a volcano which is difficult to get our mind wrapped around. God’s creations always amaze and humble us.  He is so great and we are mere mortals living in His world.

We stopped at the Mud Hole where mud comes bubbling out of the grown.  The Dragon’s Mouth Spring is interesting to see and hear the sounds like a dragon breathing!  The signs by each spot give so much good information about what you are seeing that I’ve included some.b51b50

b58  b55 b54 b53 b52Roy especially enjoyed seeing the mud bubbling up.  Guess it’s a male thing to like playing in mud!  And then on to the Sulphur Cauldron.

b562832_461_Sulphur_Caldron_Yellowstone_Park_mdLots of other Yellowstone beauty wrapped up today’s adventure. The first is a geyser right by the side of the road.

bgeyser along roadb70 b79 b76 b75 b74 b73 b72 b71 b70 gysers from a distance b69 b68 b66 b64 b63 b62 b60 Our last stop was at the Tower/Roosevelt area where we splurged and each got a double scoop ice cream cone! Perfect way to top off a perfect day in Yellowstone!

Even though we started out at 9 am today, we returned home again at 8:30 pm. Friday became our day of rest. There is so much to see and so many stops to make.  We certainly got a lot of walking exercise in these last two days.

I slept till 10:30 on Friday and worked on the blog and sorting out pictures all day. We took over 500 pictures in 11755753_10101594553244814_5225846400486456906_nYellowstone and it took quite a lot to get it down to 40 pictures of day one and 80 pictures of day two. That’s not including the videos I want you to see.

Saturday and Sunday were work days for me but we did go out Saturday afternoon to visit Gardiner, MT which is a really unique western town.  We stopped at the Buffalo Burger restaurant on our way home and Roy got a buffalo burger while I got a regular beef burger.  He loved it so much we went back on Sunday for him to get an Elk burger.  We were told by a friend, Al O’Connor to try Huckleberry Soda and this is one of the types we found.  I’m now a big Huckleberry Soda fan!

11755180_1104875829527108_5610528709934304113_nWe both bought cowboy hats on Saturday and are enjoying our new western gear!! Roy rarely wears tshirts so we finally found him a Yellowstone polo type shirt!  Cool cowboy dude!!

11745751_10101594497262004_4633191480468470521_n11755883_1104313162916708_3748508710849683891_nYa’ll come back now, ya’ hear!
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07.26.15 – Day one in Yellowstone National Park on 7.23.15

yellowstone figure 8 loopBefore we came here I only knew that Yellowstone had mountains and was beautiful.  I knew nothing of what it really is so I want to share some of what we learned with you! First a little information about Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone is 2.2 million acres in size. Shaped like a figure eight (see picture to the left), the upper loop and lower loop combined are approximately 142 miles long with the average speed limit of 45 mph.  I doubt we drove over 25 mph most of the time. They are anticipating over 4 million tourists in Yellowstone this year.

Yellowstone is way larger than Grand Teton and is very different in many ways.  In Grand Teton it was all about the big mountains and driving around to get different views of them.  In Yellowstone it is about the amazing things around every curve in your journey through the park.

Dora, Boots, Roy and I are staying in Canyon Campground (part of Gallatin National Forest which connects to Yellowstone National Park.  It is about 20 miles north of Yellowstone’s upper loop (just a little north of the top of the circle around the figure 8 loop.) Our journey to Canyon Campground took us through the entire east side of both loops. We entered at the South Entrance and exited at the North Entrance to get to our campground.

After such a stressful, draining drive yesterday we slept in and left to explore the park at 11 am. We planned to take it easy and just see a bit of the area around Mammoth Hot Springs which is at the north part of the top loop. There are roads out from Mammoth called the Upper and Lower Terrace roads. We set out in Boots our truck first to see that area and four hours later we’d seen all of the Terrace Road and boardwalks!  Before we got to the terrace roads we saw all this. First two are called Liberty Cap, a dormant hot springs cone

1 liberty cap a dormant hot springs cone34 (2)4Maps of the Upper and Lower Terrace roads and boardwalks. It was quite a long trek!

2221These Dangerous Ground signs are at each stop. B1These pictures and others are of fumaroles. A fumarole (ultimately from the Latin fumus,” smoke”) is an opening in a planet’s crust, often in the neighborhood of volcanoes, which emits steam and gases such as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride, and hydrogen sulfide. The steam forms when superheated water turns to steam as its pressure drops when it emerges from the ground.  This is a world of heat loving miroorganisms called thermophiles. Billions of them live, die and are buried in Mammoth Hot Springs.

20 19 5 6 7 (2) 7 From there we drove around the entire upper loop. While you can just drive the loop without stopping and getting out, you will not see but maybe 10 percent of the beautiful sights. Time after time, what looked okay from the road took our breath away when we got out of the car and saw it in its entirety.

This is Orange Spring Mound where water and minerals from underground bubble up and when pouring out causes the mound to continue to grow bigger.  24 25

One of those times we almost passed up because we couldn’t see anything from the road turned out to be a magnificent water fall!26 27 28

Further along the ride the mountains took front stage.  Seeing so many of them stretching out into forever was amazing!29

I wanted a bouquet of these purple beauties but I had to settle for a photo!  They were everywhere throughout Yellowstone.  30

This is the petrified tree.  Not too impressive to look at but the fact that it was wood and turned into stone is kinda cool!31

Roy enjoying the magnificence of this spot and the rushing river below32 34 35

Another fumarole (one of the hundreds) alongside the road.  You could walk up to it if you were crazy or hadn’t read the Dangerous Ground signs everywhere!36

Another amazing roadside waterfall.  Roy climbed out to it for the second shot!37 38Further along the road were these amazing sights!     We were given a very helpful paper map when entering the park. We used that along with our phone’s map to guide39 us along.   The paper map showed most all the important spots that are must see locations along the journey. The phone’s map helped us see up ahead what was coming. There are probably 20 must see locations in the upper loop and 30 must see locations in the lower loop.

Some of the sights were quick to see and some took us down almost 2 mile boardwalks or on hikes through the area to the sight. Everyone was worth the effort, even for us two old folks! We walked A LOT today!

We met a lovely couple with a child from London along the way. They rented a Class C RV for their visit to this area. I loved their accents and we enjoyed talking to them.

Around 5 pm we arrived at Canyon Village where they offer fine dining, cafeteria dining and burgers. We chose the 40cafeteria dining. Oh my goodness were we shocked at the cost. It was very good food and we were starving by the time we stopped there (didn’t take any food with us on the trip) and our eyes picked out everything possible to eat. The total was almost $50 for two people at a cafeteria!   This was the only restaurant area in the entire upper loop so there were hundreds of people there and I guess they can name their price. We ate very well and left quite content with our full tummies, but empty pockets!

We saw several sights along the remainder of the upper loop. A lot of the drive back was on a road under 44construction so what should have taken us 30 minutes to return took 2 hours! We appreciate their desire to keep the roads nice but wish they had done it some other time!! We arrived home at 8:30 pm which made for another long day at 9 ½ hours! Roy did say this drive in Boots was much less stressful than the one the day before in Dora.

One thing I’d like to tell you about now is that we took over 40 videos this day and are working on a way to share them with you. So much of what we saw is moving (like the waterfalls, steam and minerals coming up from the travertine areas, bison, rivers flowing over the rocks, etc. so I want you to see them that way also!

An observation I have to make here is that a lot of the time we felt like we must actually be in Japan or China 45instead of the USA because there were so many Japanese/Chinese people touring the place and working here. Probably 3 out of every 5 tourist was Asian there were that many.   You will hear them chatter in most all of the videos when I share them.

I believe that a lot of Americans, just like us, have never taken the time to explore America outside of our own area. We’ve always gone to either Disney or Atlanta on vacations and no where else. How very much we now regret not having taken our sons this this amazing part of our country when they were growing up.

Yellowstone and Grand Tetons are wonderfully exciting and educational vacations for families. The kids are as amazed as the wonderful beauty as their parents were.   I’d urge families to plan their vacations outside your usual spots and see this beautiful area. Don’t wait until it’s harder to get around to do this. The amazing beauty of this country that God created for us needs to be seen and appreciated.

Wednesday we again traveled over the west side of the top loop to get to the bottom loop which is larger.  We explored the entire lower loop which brought even more amazing wonders!  Then we traveled over the east side of the top loop to get back to Dora. Old Faithful is there amongst lots of other wonders of nature.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

Psalm 46 10

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07.24.15 Our journey to Yellowstone National Park on 7.21.15

26ba7_2df2We woke up early Tuesday, July 21st and planned to leave the park around 8 am. We stopped at the dump station to empty our tanks and to the water station to fill up our fresh water tank.   This was an opportunity we didn’t know we’d have when we planned to boondock so we gladly took advantage of it.  Unfortunately Roy filled the fresh water tank up with the water you’re supposed to use just to clean out your gray and lack tanks. This is considered contaminated water and not fit for human consumption. Oooops! He seldom make errors and  this one only cost us an hour of our time since he had to dump all that water and flush out the fresh water tank with clear good water and then fill it up.

So at 9:30 we pulled out of Gros Ventre Campground headed to Yellowstone and hopefully a great place to boondock for a few more days.

canyon campgrund signAt 6:00 pm (deliriously tired) we finally arrived at Canyon Campground (a National Forest Service park) where we’ll stay until Monday morning, July 27th. It is a beautiful campground with only 17 spots. We parked Dora right next to a huge mountain with beautiful tall mature pine trees and enormous boulders all around and of course sage bush.

The sign where we turned in says Rattlesnakes and Bears seen in this area. It is very beautiful here and very wilderness like yet has asphalt roads and is about 150 feet from a highway. I kind of think this is as wilderness as we’re going to get!

Our drive here was way longer than we anticipated since the roads through Yellowstone are narrow and extremely curvy. The beauty of the park is breathtaking.  However, poor Roy was so stressed the whole drive I don’t think he got to enjoy any of it, and I only enjoyed some of it. We are going back through the park (and it is a massive forest) in our truck and probably break the drive up into two days.

yellowstone entry signGetting into Yellowstone meant a brief wait in a line of cars.  It is $30 per vehicle for a seven day pass, but since we have a Senior Pass it was FREE!!!!!  Yay for being old!!!20150721_110526 (Small)

We saw close to a hundred bison in different places. You could tell where they were because dozens of cars were pulled off the side of the road to see them.   The first group of bison were not far from the road with some in the river. Across the river from the other but on our side of the road was one lonely bison and we got good pictures of him. You can see how large they are. To take the photo of the bison by himself we pulled up alongside him in the RV and I opened the door and snapped the photo.  Had I know about the lady that was just attacked this week by a bison when taking a selfie, I probably wouldn’t have been so brave!

20150721_132348 (Small)20150721_131809 (Small)20150721_132700 (Small)This is me somewhere along the ride!  I love waterfalls and when Roy said for me to get in the picture in front of the waterfalls I had to squint my eyes to see these tiny waterfalls!

20150721_113108 (Small)A lot of the ride that day was along Yellowstone Lake which is beautiful!20150721_121243 (Small)Several years ago a terrible forest fire killed a lot of the pines in Yellowstone.  They have since planted small ones that have grown a lot, but not enough to hide the dead ones.    Most of the park does not look like this but some parts do.20150721_141508 (Small)These are some of the sites that caused us to stop. We’ve since been back to each of the sights to enjoy them further.

20150721_141200 (Small)20150721_143223 (Small) 20150721_143236 (Small)20150721_152121 (Small)20150721_151813 (Small)We tried our best not to stop along the way since it was such a long drive but we got so overwhelmed with the sites we did stop a few times. In front of the beautiful old Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel were several mule deer (look like deer but larger) and they didn’t seem bothered at all by all the people passing by! They were there every time we passed by that hotel.

20150722_121611 (Small)20150722_121340 (Small) 20150722_121345 (Small) 20150722_121500 (Small)For RVers, if you look for Canyon Campground around Yellowstone there are two.  One is a National Parks Service (NPS) campground (like Gros Ventre was) where you pay to boondock and there are hundreds of spots.  The NPS campgrounds are inside Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and take reservations but we couldn’t get one.

The Canyon Campground we are in is a United States Forest Service campground which you only pay $3.50 a night if you have a Senior Pass (which I’ll explain another time but highly recommend you get if you are 62 or older.)  and you boondock here. There are only 17 spots and it is a first come first service park.  This one is in Montana in Gallatin National Forest, just across the state line.  It’ is 15 miles north of Gardiner, MT on Highway 89.

We’ve finally gotten some internet service here so I’ll post this one and hope it goes out!  In the next few posts I’ll share the beauty and wonder that is around ever curve in Yellowstone!  This is absolutely the most naturally beautiful place we’ve been to.  God really outdid himself here!

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07.20.15 The gloriously beautiful world of the Grand Teton!

Monday, July 20, 2015 – Not far from our campground is the beginning of a beautiful 44 mile scenic route around the Grand Teton.  All of the turnouts and stop off spots are nicely done and easy to get to.  The pictures below are in the order of the scenic route.  The drive today was 4 hours long and every stop was breathtakingly beautiful!  When I can remember I’ll point out where we were!

20150720_102914 (Small) 20150720_141647 (Small) 20150720_103111 (Small)  Snake River Turnout and Snake River20150720_103708 (Small) 20150720_104003 (Small) 20150720_104032 (Small) 20150720_104311 (Small) 20150720_104418 (Small)Next stop along the way – I loved the lavender wildflowers here

20150720_110057 (Small)Oxbow Bend Turnout – thank goodness I took pictures of some signs!!20150720_112536 (Small)20150720_112152 (Small)Jackson Lake Dam and Reservoir

20150720_113642 (Small)20150720_113410 (Small) 20150720_113430 (Small) 20150720_113917 (Small) 20150720_114127 (Small) 20150720_114735 (Small)On both side of the resevoir there were Life Rings.  Nothing prevents you from going right down to the water so I imagine they might be used often.20150720_114911 (Small) 20150720_115036 (Small)We packed a picnic lunch and at by the other end of Jackson Lake which was beautiful.

11173332_10101585715201324_6576285925696858168_nNext stop was the Chapel of the Sacred Heart – beautiful old Catholic church where they actually still have Mass. This lovely bench was outside and Roy and I enjoyed some resting time there!20150720_121133 (Small) 20150720_121211 (Small) 20150720_121414 (Small) 20150720_121526 (Small) 20150720_121746 (Small)

Signal Mountain and Lake20150720_124049 (Small)

Fairly close up pictures of parts of the Grand Teton20150720_125147 (Small) 20150720_132329 (Small)Leigh Lake – this was the most congested of our entire drive.  Hard to find a parking space and lots of people around and in the lake having a wonderful time. 20150720_134102 (Small) 20150720_134238 (Small) 20150720_134537 (Small) 20150720_134545 (Small)There are more wildflowers in this park than I’ve ever seen (along with too much sage bush).  At the visitors center I purchased some wildflower seeds from this area to plant at our house in Amite when we return.  One of the flowers I bought is the one in the picture below.    20150720_140203 (Small)

Jenny Lake –  Jenny lake and Leigh lake were named after a woman and her husband who were among the first settlers (we learned this from the Forest Ranger on Sunday).  She was a Shoshone Indian  who had six children with her husband.  They took in a young woman and child who happened to have small pox.  It spread and killed Jenny and all six children.  Her husband married again and had three more children but they didn’t name anything after them.  20150720_141311 (Small) 20150720_141601 (Small)We are plenty tired from all this beauty!!  Tomorrow we head out to Yellowstone.  We have no place to stay there and could not get reservations anywhere.  Hopefully we will find a good boondocking place just outside the Yellowstone park area.  We did a lot of research and found 12 campgrounds outside of the park where we might be able to boondock if they are not full when we get there.  We’re getting up bright and early Tuesday to get out of here and cover the 113 miles between our campground here and the ones near the north entrance of Yellowstone.  Gonna be a fun time!!

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07.19.15 Worshiping God in the Amphitheater! and visiting Jackson, WY

acmnpSunday, July 19, 2015 – Sunday evening we attended the National Park Service’s Interdenominational Worship Service at our campground. It was held in the amphitheater here in the campground.  We are parked right next to the road leading to the amphitheater so we walked to church!

I did not know they did this until now.  There are over 200 young people who love  Christ and give of their time to have Worship Services in many of the National Parks.   The group is called A Christian Ministry for National Parks or ACMNP.

A quote from their webpage says it perfectly.  “Whether you’re passing through the parks with your family, live nearby, or are working seasonally, we’d love to worship God together in the beauty and splendor of the great outdoors!”

I know a lot of people who read our blog live in RVs and may not know about this20150719_153357.  Here’s a link to their main webpage http://www.acmnp.com  and here’s a link to the list of parks and times of their services, http://www.acmnp.com/news-events/service.  Our park is Gros Ventre Campground and what they have listed for times has changed so be sure to check on that when you check in at your campground.

We sang hymns and other worship songs from their song book and they read scripture and had a sermon.  Sitting out in the open with God’s beautiful trees and other beauty around us was wonderful.  I will definitely choose to attend one of these rather than go inside a building any time we’re in a National Park.  Here’s a picture of two of the three young people who lead the service.

20150719_192805After the worship service a whole slew of people joined us for the Forest Ranger program.   A charming lady ranger told us the story behind some of the mountain, valley and area names.  Seems Jackson Hole is the valley between all the 20150719_19344320150719_195926mountain ranges and Jackson is the town within that valley.  The area we are currently in is Gros Ventre, pronounced “Gro-Vant”  (the a is like open your mouth and say ah!) which is a far fetch from what we were calling it!

Something I never imagined was what Grand Teton means.  Here’s the story from the internet.  French trappers are responsible for naming the three peaks now known as the South, Middle, and Grand Teton. They called the mountains “Les Trois Tetons,” or “The Three Breasts.” The Grand Teton—the tallest of the three—literally means “the big breast.” 

We learned more about what to do if we see a bear.  We also learned you can buy bear spray at $45 a can……….  I guess if I was confronted by a bear I’d wish I had spent that $45 but we didn’t.    She gave a very interesting one hour presentation taking lots of questions throughout from the audience in the amphitheater.

That’s what we did in the evening Sunday but during the day we drove into Jackson to see more of the town.  It’s just adorable and every building has such a charm you can’t help but snap pictures!  I was driving (which I like to do because Roy won’t go where I want to go!!) so not too many pictures were taken.

20150719_150046   20150719_133227 20150719_132513After driving all around Jackson and seeing all we wanted to see we headed to the local Albertson’s.  We have an Albertson’s in Hammond so we thought we’d shop somewhere familiar.  This Albertson’s did not look or feel anything like the Hammond one.   It was huge but we found our way around and shopped for things we could eat this coming week without using too much electricity.

IMG_1560When we returned to the campground we drove through it to see more than we saw coming in.  This is a huge place with tent camping, electric RV hookups and mostly dry camping.  Probably over 500 individual tents or RVs in the campground.  Here’s one of the Be Bear Aware signs! 20150719_151955You can see Dora in the center of this picture across the big field of sage bushes as we enter the campground.20150719_152108

Some of the dozens of small tents here.  I just can’t imagine sleeping in a tent with bears around or sleeping in all the bushes with other critters around……..20150719_152747 20150719_152752 20150719_152926Here’s Dora amongst the multitude of sage bushes that are truly everywhere!20150719_153200On Monday we toured the Grand Teton Mountain Range and took hundreds of pictures, all jaw dropping beautiful sights!  That was an amazing adventure for Dora’s Explorers and I can’t wait to share it with ya’ll!

I am running out of photo storage space for this blog.  I’ve been shrinking a lot of the photos sizes to make some space since I don’t want to have to buy any!  If someone wants to foot the $200 cost of increasing our space we’d welcome it!!  I’ve seen on some people’s blogs where they direct you to an off WordPress site to see the majority of their pictures. I may try that. When we’re on the road I write almost every day and you’ve seen how many pictures we include.  I want to be able to continue doing that so you may see some changes in the blog to accomplish that!

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07.18.15 Grand Teton National Park here we come!

9263_10153482470714939_4339326639948529096_nSaturday, July 18, 2015 – After staying in one location for two weeks, being back on the road was fun!  As we got closer to the Grand Teton National Park the scenery got more and more beautiful! And cooler and cooler!  The beach scene to the left is a stark contrast to summer here in the mountains.  Long sleeves, jackets and long blue jeans are proper attire for a 51 degree day!

We drove through Jackson (also known as Jackson Hole), Wyoming.  The pictures below are of Jackson plus a couple I got off the internet that were better than mine! Jackson is a coooooool town.  We plan to go back Sunday afternoon when we’re not in big old Dora and check out the town some.

JH1JH7 JH5 images 1902_655_Jackson_Hole_Wyoming_Town_Square_md JH4 JH3 JH2We stopped at the information center and picked up a map of the area including a couple off road boondocking locations to JHWCcheck out.  The only one north of us (going towards Grand Teton) was off Long Silver Lake which is a beautiful lake in the middle of no where!  Perfect for us!  Except that we got no internet reception (not even a smidgen).  Since I work on the weekends using the internet we drove all around there looking for at least 3G but found nothing in the wilderness areas.  We drove for several miles, enjoying the scenery but when the road became too narrow and rough for Dora and Boots (not to mention Roy and Rosalyn’s fillings getting knocked around) we turned back and returned to civilization.

Here’s some pictures on our way to Jackson from Boulder.

GTY12 3 4 5 7 8These are pictures of the scenic views while searching for an overnight stop.

GTYSIGNGTY10 GTY13 GTY14

Dora was hoping she’d get to stay here next to the beautiful lake but it was not meant to be!GTYDORA Since we couldn’t find anywhere to stay in the wilderness, we came back to Gros Ventre Campground (a National Park Service campground) where we got great internet reception and could boondock, but at a fee.  We paid our $12 a night for four nights (to get us through the weekend and Monday) and parked.  Dora is a big, long girl and barely fit into their tiny spots.  Lots of tents here and much smaller RVs.  If I had plenty of money we could have two rigs, one large and one small for times like this!   We love our Dora so as along as she can hold up to the treatment she sometimes gets, we’re good!

This is a picture of  the mountains from the road leading into this campground.  That’s sage brush all over the ground.  GTYGVCVIEW

We’re under a Bear Alert here so there’s no food or anything left outside.  They are so serious about this that we had to sign something when we checked in saying we were aware of all the Bear rules.  We also saw Buffalo Crossing signs all down the highways.

We are just a couple of miles from the entrance to Grand Teton’s scenic highway.  Monday we are going to visit Grand Teton. Can’t wait!! Then we’re on to Yellowstone for the rest of the week.

There is an amphitheater down a road across the street from where we are parked in the campground.  They have Worship Services there on Sunday so we’re going tomorrow!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!11738032_903729529742640_7652964672224822653_n

 

 

 

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07.16.15 The western life here in Wyoming and Playing in the pool!

WyomingCowboysThursday, July 16, 2015 – We will be pulling out of Wind River View Campground in Boulder, WY tomorrow morning after enjoying our stay here for two weeks.  This has been the  most western looking and feeling place we’ve stayed since leaving Louisiana.  The towns of Big Piney and Pinedale have provided a lot of enjoyment and entertainment for us.  The people were quite friendly and I loved seeing so many cowboy hats, big belt buckles and boots all over the place.  95 percent of the homes we’ve seen are log homes and there is an abundance of open space filled with boulders and sage brush!

Wind River View Campground has also been one of the most unusual RV parks we’ve stayed in.  We’ve never seen or 10264956_849378448410910_8817732649276395566_nmet the owner because she is never here nor is anyone here that officially manages the place.  NOTE: This changed today when the owner was here and Roy met her.  There is a very nice man in one of the RVs who has a full time job at an oil company.  He works long hours but is kind enough to act as the unofficial management person to take people’s payments and answer questions.   We’ve gotten to know him, his name is Blue, while we’ve been here and he does what he does around the park just to be nice.

There is a nice building across from us with reasonable washer/dryers, puzzles, magazines, workout equipment, and books. There is a separate log cabin style building with a large men’s and women’s bathroom complete with showers.  We’re near that also and we’ve seen many women and men, who obviously have their own bathrooms and showers in their RV, making use of those facilities.  I don’t understand that, so if any of you regular RVers do 10151131_849372505078171_5431275379438584978_n understand that please help me with that one!  Can you tell we spend a lot of time outside watching what other people are doing!!!  Last week we didn’t have time for much of that but this week has been a time for rest and getting things taken care of, so we’ve been out there a lot.

We were at an elevation of over 7000 while in Boulder.  This means we were at the same level of some clouds and this seems to have made sunsets look quite different than back in Louisiana.  I’m working on a blog post to share some of these sunsets with ya’ll.

When we leave here on Friday we are only going two hours north of here to 1960053_633679430014800_1036471047_nsomewhere in the Grand Teton and Yellowstone areas where we hope to boondock  so we’ll still be in Wyoming for 10 more days.  Boondocking in an RV is when you are not connected to electricity or a water supply or sewage.   In preparation for boondocking, we’ve been collecting large plastic jugs which I filled with water to supplement our own fresh water tank for when we are not connected to water.  We don’t want to be without our morning coffee which takes water, we drink a lot of water and we flush a lot of water!!  This means we may need more water than the tank holds.  I also have a spray bottle filled with water for cleaning counter tops during our boondocking.

10329065_896581130358967_2284159612035994648_nWe went into town to the Pinedale Aquatic Center for a dip in the pools on our last full day here.  Just got back and what a blast we had!  Us, a couple of other older ladies and a bunch of kids!!!  We went round and round the moving river numerous times, soaked in the hot tub a couple of times and went down the slide.  Yes we even did that!  Roy did it three times and I did it once.  I tried to sit up so I would go down slower but it made me lay down at some point and then I sped to the bottom so fast and into the pool before I knew it.  Once was enough for me but Paw Paw did it the third time so we could take a picture for Madisyn to see!  I really think the young lifeguards got a kick out of watching the old folks be silly!  We were there almost 2 hours and when we left my legs were quite rubbery!  Here’s some pictures of today’s adventure at the Pinedale Aquatic Center.

20150716_152442 20150716_152529 20150716_152601 20150716_152916 20150716_152939 20150716_153358 20150716_153428 20150716_153433 20150716_153622 20150716_153710 20150716_154343This is a beautiful facility with so much more to do than just swimming.  That’s all we could handle but we both had a really good time getting a little exercise and having a lot of fun!

Now it’s time to start packing everything up getting ready to head out in the morning!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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07.12.15 Green River Rendezvous Pageant and Beard Shaving!

riderendezvous_coveredSunday, July 12, 2015 – The live, historical re-enactment, called the Rendezvous Pageant, has been a Pinedale area tradition since 1936.  The community residents relive the original Green River Rendezvous of the 1800’s. The rodeo grounds come alive with bearded, buck skinned trappers and mountain men of long ago as they gallop, holler, fight, boast, and trade and barter goods. Representatives of coming civilization are also on the scene: Eliza Spaulding and Narcissa Whitman, the first pioneer women to travel over South Pass, stroll in once again. The pageant is proudly hosted by the dedicated volunteers of the Green River Rendezvous Pageant Association, who make their own historically accurate costumes, and who produce and perform the Pageant.

I feel it was an honor to attend today’s 80th annual pageant. Roy enjoyed this event much more than the tour!! The day was beautiful, cool breezes, a couple of sprinkles, and the pageant provided a lot of  fun and excitement. If you are interested in reading highlights of the script of today’s pageant read on. If not, skip this part! Pictures are below the highlights.

rendezvoushdrThe Astorians -The story of the 1811 expedition sponsored by John Jacob Astor of New York. The party is led by Wilson Price Hunt and includes explorers John Hoback, Jacob Reznor and Edward Robinson. These men are the first non-Indians to investigate the Upper Green River Valley and see its potential for the fur trade.
Green River Rendezvous-The scene is set for a Rendezvous on the Green. An American Indian pipe lighting ceremony prepares the way. A brief overview is provided of the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade of the 1800s and its dependence on the fashion of the beaver fur top hat. The Ashley expedition of 1823 brings trappers to western Wyoming.
Fort Bonneville – Capt. Benjamin Bonneville is the first to bring wagons over South Pass. He builds Fort Bonneville in 1832 above the mouth of Horse Creek, near today’s Daniel Junction, as a strategic military post. The fort lasts only a few years, but plays a role in our area’s first Rendezvous in 1833, and it provides a theatrical backdrop for today’s Rendezvous re-enactment.
he Mountain Men-The primary historical characters in the Pageant make their entrances: Kit Carson, Jedediah Smith, Joe Meek, Jim Bridger, and William Sublette.
Shoshones/Antelope Soldiers- The role of soldier societies in Native American tribes is described, and the Shoshones make their entrance with their great leaders, Chief MaWoMa, his senior wife Wadzay Weepay, and Sun Priest Quintan-Quay.
Trapper’s Bride – Jim Bridger buys Sweetgrass Woman from MaWoMa for 5 horses. The chief drives a hard bargain.
The Horse Race –Capt. Bonneville challenges the Shoshone Chief to a horse race and wisely loses.
Father DeSmet and the Prairie Mass –Father Pierre Jean DeSmet, a Jesuit, holds the first Mass between the Continental Divide and the Sierra Nevadas. It is attended by Indians as well as trappers.
American Fur Company vs. Rocky Mountain Fur Company-The wagons of the rival company trappers arrive, laden with bundles of furs. Explorers and mountain men Tom Fitzpatrick, Andrew Dripps, Lucien Fontenelle, William Drummond Stewart, Antoine Clement and artist Alfred Jacob Miller join the action. A flurry of trading ensues.
Pony Dancers –A display of horsemanship by bareback riders.
Whitman and Spaulding – Narcissa Whitman and Eliza Spaulding accompany their husbands, Dr. Marcus Whitman and Rev. Henry Harmon Spaulding. Narcissa and Eliza are the first white women to cross the Continental Divide and are harbingers of the civilization to come.
Alfred Jacob Miller offers to immortalize all the characters in a painting for his boss, Scottish aristocrat Sir William Drummond Stewart.

rendezvoushdr
Below are pictures of this wonderful event.  The first picture below is the cast picture with everyone that was part of the pageant.
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After the event we were allowed to go out on the field and visit with the Indians, trappers, etc. Roy chose to pose with the squaws!! I posed with a priest who, when he put his arm around me for the picture, said he wouldn’t goose me!!!
We obviously have on tourist clothes. Could we stand out more!!! We really have to get cowboy shirts and hats before we go much further in this out west experience!

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The four days of activities end on Sunday with the Rendezvous Beard Shaving. In olden times, mountain men waiting for weeks upon weeks, finally make it into town itching to rid their face of beards that have taken over their summer faces. Now they come for a traditional “Rendezvous Bear Shaving”at Stockman’s Saloon. Saloon girls step in as master barbers who shavewhatis needed and send youoffclean shaven for the season ahead.

Roy and I thoroughly enjoyed this beard shaving event. It turned out that it is an auction style thing. People bid on how much they would pay to see each person get shaved. One mans bidding went as high as $1,850. Crazy, right???? Roy and my jaws dropped when that happened! A lot of the mountain men from the pageant grew their beards out for the pageant and then get them shaved here. All proceeds go to supporting the Mountain Man Museum here in Pinedale. Everyone had a great time and we both laughed, clapped and hooted along with the crowd.

20150712_161537 20150712_162528 20150712_163318 20150712_164510 20150712_164516 20150712_165617 20150712_170330 20150712_170702 That’s the end of all our Rendezvous fun. We will be in Pinedale until this coming Friday morning. The only other thing we’ll do while we’re here is to swim and play at the Aquatic Center. Lots of resting, reading and more resting for us this coming week!! We’re off to explore the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone next!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!
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07.11.15 – Covered wagon ride, Pitchfork Western Fondue restaurant and Dancing Indians

1450267_10151955444623903_1246771444_n Saturday, July 11, 2015 – There were probably 20 events on today’s schedule for the Rendezvous.  Since I haven’t explained what their Rendezvous is, I will do that now!

This is about the original Rendezvous: The first Green River Rendezvous in our area was held in 1833. The cry 1779670_580289982108001_6143213862082352093_n“Meet me on the Green!” was a reminder and a reassurance to trappers, who spent isolated winters gathering beaver pelts, and to traders, who traveled many miles on hazardous trails. Mountain men, explorers and Indians all gathered “below the Green” to barter, sell, and swipe items such as skins, pelts, guns, trinkets and necessary provisions for the coming winter. The Rendezvous lasted anywhere from a few days to several months and was a time for trappers to cash in hard-earned furs, renew acquaintances with old friends, tell tall tales, and celebrate another year of survival with plenty of rowdy fun.

1782089_584610468342619_6222319159882081166_nThe modern day Rendezvous is a four day festival, always held the second full weekend in July where we are reminded about the lives of those in this area in the past.  Lots of wonderful foods to taste.  The skills needed by a true Mountain Man are demonstrated.  Indians show their heritage in dance. The street is closed down for a bit for street dancing. You can even see beaver skinning – which we, of course, passed on!  Rodeos are held every night, there is a parade through the town, original clothing is worn, a pageant is held (which we’ll go to) tomorrow.  I’ll share more about the pageant with pictures once we’ve experienced it.

We walked all throughout the town looking at the vendors ware and I proudly say I didn’t buy anything.  Down the main street came a covered wagon drawn by two horses.  The man offered us a ride and we hopped on. We rode through the town a bit enjoying the ride.

20150710_15535920150710_155342 20150710_155458 20150710_155731We had heard of the Pitchfork Western Fondue restaurant in Pinedale and decided to eat there this evening.  It’s all outdoors where you sit on picnic tables under big tents.  They cook your meat on a big pitch fork to your liking and deliver it to your table.  You are also served homemade potato chips, fruit salad, lettuce salad, baked potato and your choice dipping sauces for your meat.  Dessert was lemon bars or brownie and they were the best!  It was a neat experience and we left quite full! 20150710_172918 20150710_173044 20150710_173120 20150710_180152 20150710_181228We left the Pitchfork Western Fondue place to go back to the park in town where a Native American Drum and Dance Performance brought lots of folks out to sit in the small amphitheater and on a grassy hill.  They individually performed several traditional and contemporary versions of Indian dance.  Their costumes were quite colorful and some had bell like things on them that rang when they danced.  After they performed they invited everyone to join them in a circle and do a simple Indian dance with them!

20150710_18421820150710_184518 20150710_184923 20150710_185252 20150710_185756 20150710_185939  20150710_191159 20150710_191424 20150710_191901That’s it for our Friday adventure.  Saturday will be a resting day while I do some RVillage work.  We may possibly check out a nearby river to do some fly fishing!  Sunday, after church we’re going to the Rendezvous pageant which I am very much looking forward to.

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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