Monday, June 28, 2010

Day Thirty-two - Forty-two

Day Thirty-two – Forty-two:

I finally have better internet access! I will be able to up date much better now. They changed something in our dorms so I have access from my room and its not so slow. Yay! Lots of things have happened since I last wrote. I will try to get it all in here and not make it too lengthy.

The weekend after I wrote last was full of some fun activities. Friday after work we went to hike Ice Lake. The first half of the trail was a young forest. After the fires in 1988 the pine cones that fell re-seeded the entire area. Its amazing how fire is necessary for forest life to continue. The second half was a prettier trail. There was a beautiful waterfall along the way as well. After our hike we went to the town of West Yellowstone to check it out and get some dinner. (Unfortunately while trying to get some better food we got some of the worst Mexican food ever!) On the way there we got stuck in a Bison Jam. We spent nearly two hours moving slowly while the buffalo were in the middle of the road. We got home late after that trip and saw some coyote running on the side of the road in the dark. That was pretty neat.

Saturday we spent with some friends. We met a couple in the Badlands that were on there way to work here at Yellowstone. We met up with them when we first arrived and then again a few days after we started working. They invited us over to their RV. We had a great time playing games and sharing dinner. It was also fun to see inside an RV. Josh and I are definitely interested in owning one some day.

On Sunday we drove into Cody, WY on a Wal-Mart run. We walked around the town too. There was a Native American Pow-wow going on, but we ended up not stopping. We did get a nice lunch there at a historic hotel.

Monday and Tuesday didn’t hold much. We worked different schedules and it rained some of the time. Wednesday was a little more exciting. After work we went on a scenic cruise on the Lake Queen II. It was a ride around Lake Yellowstone, giving some history and interesting facts of the area. Of all the thousands of thermal influences in the park 60% are located in the Lake. But surprisingly it still only has an average summer temperature of 45 degrees. As employees we got to ride free. Many of the tours are free to employees when there is space available.

After the Lake tour we drove to Lake Butte Overlook. On our way there we were stopped by a Grizzly Bear on the side of the road. I took a lot of pictures of him. He was so cool digging around in the grass for food and rolling around. It was the closest I’ve ever been to a bear and he got a little close for comfort at times. He was really fun to watch. He wandered out of view after a while so we continued on our way. We went up to the overlook to watch the sunset. It was amazing. The sun set over the lake into the mountains. We were sitting on an old tree that fell after some fires. Most of the trees in the immediate area were dead from fire. It was interesting to see the contrast of the dead trees against the gorgeous sunset. We really enjoyed spending that time together.

Thursday I was off and did some Birthday shopping for Josh. On my way to Canyon I saw a bunch of cars stopped and decided to get out and see what it was. By the Yellowstone River there was a coyote! He was just hanging out. It looked like we wanted to cross, but the water was moving too quickly. I watched him for a while. Later that day we went to Old Faithful to try to get on a sunset tour. It started raining though, so we skipped it.

The next day we did a Full Moon Hike up Mt. Washburn. That was awesome. We started out in the evening and on our way up the sunset. It was a fairly strenuous hike going uphill the whole way. It started to get cloudy and we were afraid we would miss the moon, but on one curve in the trail we saw the moon perfectly haloed by some clouds. It was amazing. At the top the view was darkened by the clouds and I would love to go again and see the view in the daylight. We didn’t stay very long at the top because there was lightning in the distance and we didn’t want to get stuck in a storm on the mountain. The descent was much quicker. I did find how slow of a hiker I am. I didn’t realize it until I was in a group of people that hike fast. It must be my short legs. I took a picture of the moon on the lake when we got back. It was amazingly beautiful. It was much brighter in real life, but this picture shows it pretty well.

Saturday our plans changed. We slept in late because we didn’t get home until almost one in the morning. And when we got up it was rainy, so our plan to go on long overnight hike was postponed. (we realized later we could have still done it because it cleared up by noon) We went instead to West Yellowstone to see an IMAX. As employees we got some free tickets and then got discounts on a second one. The first we watched as on Yellowstone. It was a lot of history on the people that explored the area and how it first became a National Park. The second we watched was on Caves. That was very interesting. This world is full of so much variety in the creatures, the geology and just everything. It blows my mind.

This is White Dome Geyser. We saw it going off as we drove up to it, but it finished once we got close. It is located near Firehole Lake. An amazing lake that steams all over from the thermal influences underneath.

On our way home we stopped at Old Faithful to see the Geyser Basin. I got lots of pictures of the various geysers and got a good picture of Old Faithful. I have more photos, but I can't post everything. We didn’t see everything there because the area is very big. It’s an easy trip for later though.

The next day we did go on a long hike. The trail was called Cygnet Lakes. It was similar to the Ice Lake trail with all the young trees. One part opened out to a view of a meadow that was spectacular. At the end it opens into another meadow where the lakes are located. It’s strange to hike through trees and then all of a sudden be in a huge clearing. That was our longest hike yet. It was a good eight miles. We were beat after that.

We did go to check out a Ranger Museum that was nearby. It gave some history on how the National Park Service got started. It’s a great invention for our parks. After that we went to the Norris Geyser Basin. We didn’t walk all of it because we were worn out, but we saw most of it. This was probably my favorite area so far. The colors in some of the pools are just amazing. It makes me just stand in awe of the creativity of God. Why he made some bacteria to be bright orange and another green I don’t know, but it is beautiful.

Now we are back to work for the week. We have some big hikes planned for weekends and we’ll hit some more little ones during the week when we can. It’s finally warming up here. The sun is so bright and the sky so big and beautiful. I love it!

I should be able to up date a little more often now that the internet is better. Sorry I’ve been taking so long to share!

1 comment:

  1. Hey guys! Your pictures are wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing! It's good to see you so happy. Hey Heather, while you're out hiking, if you come across some bison fur stuck just blowin' around, pick it up for me, would you?!! LOL!! That stuff is pricey!
    Same ole here. Hot as can be, with heat indexes at 105+. Your jackets look great!
    love you, and still praying daily.