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The Rustie Inn

My mother’s nickname was Rustie, spelled with an ie. Honestly, I was an adult before I realized that that’s how she spelled it, after all, she signed everything I saw as Evelyn, or Mom. I think I noticed this sign the first time I drove into Jackson, and wanted to get a picture of it.  So yesterday I finally drove into the parking lot and got a picture. I showed it to my cousin, who was also unaware that Aunt Rustie was spelled that way, but she burst my bubble by informing me that it’s actually The Rustic Inn.  I find that disappointing for some reason. It’s also disappointing that my computer battery has died, and I can’t use the computer unless it’s plugged in.  And plugs are scarce and the competition has been fierce, so I had given up on using the computer for the most part, but I beat the crowd today.  So I will be packing up and I’ll soon be on my way home. When I finally can get back to the computer I hope I can remember where I took all the pictures that are waiting for me in the camera. And looking at my photo again I still think it says The Rustie Inn. I’m stubborn that way.

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Mammoth Hot Springs…

That live and learn thing?  Apparently it doesn’t apply to me.  I had been told by Karen that it was going to be an especially busy weekend, what with a Mormon holiday and their tradition of heading to the Tetons to celebrate.  Then there was my cousin who told me that I really ought to think about running ideas for things to do past her before I plunge ahead.  She has learned a few things in 30 years of living here, she said.  Even my uncle’s admonition of being in long lines of traffic moving at 4 mph as you travel through Yellowstone didn’t come to mind.

Which is how I found myself heading into Yellowstone, not realizing that it was Saturday at first, aiming for Mammoth Hot Springs and hoping to cut to the east to the Lamar Valley and see some wildlife.  I hadn’t actually been the driver before, I was the passenger who was enjoying the view when Charley and I took our trip here in 1992.  And Karen had driven when she and I recently visited.  The drive is a bit harder than I realized, not so much time to sight-see.  And I knew my goal was a long way north so I didn’t stop at the places I’d recently been to.  With road construction it took a long time, and I was tired when I got there.  And I was already dreading the drive back and thinking I’d turn right around.

Except the landscape was so pretty, and the town was charming.  And busy, the road was packed with cars, all looking for parking spaces.  There were long lines at the general store and the restaurant.  Plus the side walks were full of families, all heading in one direction or another.  And elk.  Elk on the lawns, grazing.  Elk across the street grazing, and crossing the street periodically.  And one young ranger trying to get the people to keep their distances from the elk.  They were pushing their baby carriages right past the elk on the lawn, probably 10 feet away.  I felt for that ranger, he had his work cut out for him as the elk moved their position and it was people who had to be herded, rather than elk.07-26-20hotspringsview207-26-20hotspringsscene07-26-20hotspringsgrazing07-26-20hotspringselkwander07-26-20hotspringsdistancing

There were hold-ups on the way back too.  A lone buffalo in the road that I had to pass just feet away from the car.  I didn’t get that picture.  Another lone buffalo was positioned perfectly for me to get out and get a picture and not be too close.  Karen told me that the males were keeping separate from the herd these days.  Soon it will be ‘rutt’ season and that is something to see she said.  I’m sure it is.  Nature, just carrying on…07-26-20hotspringsbuffalo207-26-20hotspringsbuffalo

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The Silver Dollar Bar and Grill…

My cousin and I tried to have dinner at the Silver Dollar Bar several days before I took these pictures, but there was a line.  That social distancing thing.  This time I had stopped in Jackson to find a bookstore, and after I shopped I realized that the bar was around the corner and I decided to try again.  My friends had visited this bar on vacation last year and enjoyed it.  And the description reminded me of someplace I went with Charley in 1992.  Is there only one bar out west with silver dollars embedded in the bar top?  Probably not, but I knew that he would have loved this one, so I decided to stop and have a beer.  It was lunch with Charley again, it’s been a while.  And this bar is located in the Wort Hotel, which is a gorgeous stop also.07-24-20worthotel107-24-20worthotel207-24-20silverdollarbaronionrings.jpg

If you stop there be sure to get the onion rings, they were the best ever!

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Just a sight to see as you walk around Jackson…

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Camp life…

Not only are the COVID rules in place here, but so are the rules for camping in bear country also in place.  So no cooking or even eating in your camper, and all food/toiletries or anything else smelly must be stored in your car or in the bear boxes.  So it’s just easier to go out and buy coffee, but not until anything opens at 7 AM.  At home I’d go nuts waiting until 7 for coffee, but here it’s been so cold overnight that it takes me that long to talk myself into getting out of bed.  Sleeping in warm pajamas, with two sweatshirts over that, with both hoods on, fluffy socks, and all four throws over top has me toasty overnight.  But I have to blast the propane heater for a little while until I can talk myself into getting dressed and heading out for coffee.  Yesterday I got coffee and went to the marina again, drawn by the light on the mountainsides.  Then I walked the lake loop right here in the park,  I was armed with bear spray since people keep reporting seeing bears, but so far I haven’t seen them.  No moose either, but I got a head’s up on where to go to try to see them.  After such cold overnight temperatures you’d be surprised how nice the days are.  Here are some shots from the marina, both the morning shots plus a few from sunset the night before.  And along the camp trail…07-18-20marinacakyaks07-18-20morningreflections07-18-20morningreflections07-18-20morningreflectionsroots

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Charley-isms…

Charley didn’t exactly rename all the pets in the family, but he adulterated their names into a semblance of what they once were.  We all adopted his terminology also, and that includes my eventual nick-name of ‘Neemie’.  My daughter once told me that her friends asked her why she called her mother Neemie, and she said that she answered that it was a long story.  A long and silly story, actually, and it’s not my point here at all.  No, I found myself looking for “buffalumps” again yesterday.  Another of Charley’s verbal adulterations, and I decided that this time he was more accurate than he probably intended when he called them that.  Once you are lucky enough to find them, and get your big lens out and want to observe them, you discover that they don’t do much but lay around.  Once I noticed all the little birds on the ground around one that was standing and grazing I couldn’t help but make the rest of the pictures all about the birds.

We were a little closer to them than we probably should have been, but they were close to the road so if you pulled over that’s just where you were.  Eventually one looked over right at me, and I decided that maybe I ought to move on…07-14-20buffalobirdagain07-14-20buffalobirds07-14-20buffalobirds207-14-20buffalobirds307-14-20buffalopair07-14-20threebirds07-14-20buffaloheyyou

'scene' along the way, a second look, fun, Just do it, making memories, natural wonders, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Pikes Peak

Of course I wanted to take pictures of Pikes Peak while I was back in Colorado, it’s the ‘face’ of the Colorado Springs area.  But my sister-in-law informed me that there is an iconic Pikes Peak image.  You see it in all weather, used in all kinds of applications.  It’s the ‘kissing camels’ displayed against Pikes Peak.  You see the kissing camels in the feature photo.  A close up because they are so small against the overall scenery I was looking at.  What a beautiful place Colorado Springs is.  I visited here many times when my kids were little, bringing them to visit their grandparents, but not so much sight seeing.  I enjoyed all my visits here, the family was very dear to me, and I enjoyed this visit all these years later.07-04-20iconicPikesPeak07-04-20Pikespeak07-04-20Pikespeak207-04-20gardenofthegods

In the foreground is the Garden of the Gods.  It’s possible to walk in closer among the rock formations but yesterday we moved on to a hike instead.  We covered a lot of ground, with me huffing and puffing all the way…