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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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This and that…

As you may have guessed, my cousin is a great tour guide.  If she ever visits me in Florida I won’t have nearly the number of places to take her for adventures.  I don’t get to sit with my computer online and plugged in like I did at home, so later I will notice pictures I meant to include in a post but didn’t.  Or I will think of something I meant to say about a photo after I already posted it.  Like this one from the ski resort.


That’s a little bit of snow nestled in a crevice there in the center.  a couple of Texas kids climbed down to some snow a lot closer to the trail than that one, and took great delight in throwing snowballs at their parents.  Of course they were excited, and therefore scaring me half to death, but their parents said that all they wanted to do on this trip was to see snow.  I also missed some other details from the resort.07-24-20flowers at the resort.jpg07-24-20hikedetailswithMary07-24-20totheresortrock.jpg

And there was a hike with Mary the day before also.07-24-20hikewithMary.jpg


This is musk thistle, and it’s invasive.  Mary wondered if they’d given up on getting rid of it because we’ve seen it everywhere we’ve been.07-24-20muskthistle

And if you ever find yourself heading from Jackson to the Grand Targhee ski resort you will pass through the town of Victor, ID, where it would behoove you to stop at the soda shop for a ‘world famous’ huckleberry milk shake.  Of course I got one, and yes it was good. 07-24-20victorspecial.jpg07-24-20victorspecial2

See the guy in the background drinking his own huckleberry milk shake?  He recommended it and then asked if I liked it and of course I told him I did.  He said that he comes over the Teton Pass just to get his favorite milk shake!  Now that’s a fan!


The feature photo is from the morning drive on the day of this hike with Mary.  It had stormed the night before and we didn’t expect much from the day.  But as I drove to Jackson the sky was beginning to show some promise.  It was hard to believe that those huge mountains were totally hidden when I started driving, and then they began to peek through.  And another glorious day ensued…

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Slide Lake

Sunday my cousin and I walked the trail at Slide Lake, a favorite place of hers.  To get there we tackled roads nearly as rough as the one I had been on the week before, the road my cousin said that everyone who lives here knows better than to travel on.  She wanted to find “The Wedding Tree”, a spot where many locals choose to get married, including friends of hers, but she hadn’t ever been there. 07-19-20mooseweddingtreeWe also stopped to take pictures of the red hills and old wagons, plus the horses and cows who were observing us as we checked out the scenery.  One stop to see a couple of ravens who had caught our eye resulted in a quick glimpse of a moose and calf as they were heading Into the woods.  I resolved to go back to see what I could see another time.07-19-20mooseravens07-19-20mooseredhills207-19-20mooseredhills07-19-20mooseredhills307-19-20mooserockface07-19-20moosescene207-19-20moosescene07-19-20moosewagon207-19-20moosecalf07-19-20moosehorses07-19-20moosewagonBut I’m forgetting to mention the Gros Ventre Slide, scene of an event that changed the scene in this area.  And named the lake in the process.07-19-20mooseslidesign07-19-20mooseslidescene

And a tease of sunset on the way home.07-19-20moosesunset

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A bump in the road…

Two places I wanted to go to while I’m here in the Grand Teton National Park were Jackson and Idaho Falls.  I had been to Jackson 28 years ago when Charley and I came to Yellowstone.  Charley said that he had gotten ‘wilderness’ out of his system after that trip due to the lack of TV stations available at the motel we stayed at.  In all of Yellowstone also.  And I’ve found that the situation hasn’t changed all that much.

But yesterday I decided to go to Idaho Falls, and I let the GPS choose the route, and I believe that I may have used up a couple of my nine lives on the trip.  A narrow, windy road, which became a narrow, windy, rutted road, and just when you thought it couldn’t get worse it did.  A 2 1/2 hour drive turned into a 4 1/2 hour drive.  Part of which I had to do in reverse and uphill when I chose the wrong fork in the road.  It was mind boggling to drive through a forest of burned trees on such a tiny road.  For some reason I really felt the horror of what a fire like that must be like.  But then that landscape gave way to a forest of Christmas trees on both sides of the road.  And that eventually gave way to what I thought were Birch trees, but I was corrected by my cousin that they would have been Aspens.  As upset over the road as I was I couldn’t help but enjoy the scenery.07-13-20dandilion07-13-20aspens07-13-20oldhouse07-13-20lupine

Idaho Falls probably had more to see than just the Riverwalk with it’s statues, but that’s all I did.  A two mile walk around a lake where you see the falls along the Snake River, and a view of the Mormon Temple across the way.  It was a lovely walk, but I rushed it to get back to my little home on wheels.07-13-20riverwalkwolfes07-13-20riverwalkwolf07-13-20riverwalkram07-13-20riverwalkfalls207-13-20riverwalkfalls07-13-20riverwalkdoeandfawn07-13-20riverwalkbears07-13-20riverwalkantlers07-13-20riverwalktemple

Lucky for me I ended the day at my cousin’s house where I could enjoy a beer and her beautiful garden before I closed the book on another chapter of this adventure.07-13-20Jacksonpath07-13-20oldcar2feature

Oh, did I mention that when I was finally in the home stretch to get to my cousin’s house I found myself driving over Teton Pass?  It was probably magnificent view-wise, but I wouldn’t know because I was clutching the steering wheel and trying not to drive off a cliff the whole time.  Yup, two lives at least.07-13-20tetonsunset

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, courage, finding my way, fun, Just do it, life, live and learn, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

Westward Ho, day two…

Did this day really start in Florida?  That seems like so long ago.  I had never driven through the Florida panhandle before, and knowing that I was passing all those wonderful Gulf beaches just to the south of the highway was distressing.  I felt like there ought to be a view, or something.  I expected to be dying to stop for photos at Mobile, AL also, but maybe it was the dreary skies that stopped that from looking so enticing.  I loved the fabulous Alabama welcome center with it’s beautiful setting of rolling hills, but it turned out that I only dipped my toe in Alabama because I was in Mississippi in no time flat.

Aside from seeing signs for Laurel, MS, which made me want to go drive through the town and look for the houses I’ve seen on Home Town (love that show), there wasn’t much to see.  I was on smaller roads at this point, going through towns, and seeing little old houses looking weather worn and a bit tipsy.  I wished I dared to take a picture of that little slice of Americana, but it would have been rude.  I did see what I thought was a sign on the side of a barn, it announced, in big letters, Shelton Fireworks.  And in only slightly smaller letters underneath were the words, ‘No Smoking.”  I heard Charley say, plain as day, ‘No Shit Sherlock’.  That had me laughing for 20 miles at least.  My other take-away from driving through MS was that every time it was time to pay attention and look for my exit the skies would open and a downpour would totally blot out the view.  I began to take it personally.

My choice of the Southern of the two routes the GPS suggested was the right choice for me.  I had the cruise control on for at least 75% of the time, with a nice chunk of highway to myself.  Not much to see but an easy drive, and eventually a sign said that the Mississippi Welcome Center and rest area was a mile ahead.  I took the exit and panicked a little because the building was right there on the road and the parking lot was small and I was afraid I’d get trapped and have to back up.  But it was deceiving, there were pull through spaces for trucks, and the modest looking building I saw from the road belied the spectacular veranda and view of the Mississippi River and the two bridges, one of which I would find myself traveling over when I got back on the road.  I would have kicked myself if I hadn’t stopped.  And the bridge to the right was a railroad bridge I noticed.  It’s a shame I didn’t stick around a few more minutes because as I drove over the bridge I saw a train coming towards me heading for the other bridge.  It seemed miles long, I wish I’d gotten that picture.  When I landed on the other side of the bridge it was to the announcement that I was entering Louisiana. Three new states to me, and a lot of miles in one day, and as I drove I thought about how nice it would be to fall into comfy hotel bed, with wifi, and all the coffee I want in the morning.  So here I am, tired but happy, so I’ll just say goodnight from Shreveport LA.06-27-20BwelcometoMS07-01-20BMSbridge07-01-20BMSbridge207-01-20BMSbridge307-01-20MSveranda07-01-20crepemyrtle07-01-20MSsign


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‘This website uses cookies’, we’ve all gotten that message a time or two I imagine.  I know I do, from WordPress, whenever I’m putting a post together.  But it has occurred to me that that’s my problem.  Cookies are my problem.  Getting ready to leave on this trip has my brain on overdrive.  What to pack?  Which route to take?  Wait, I need to spray the weeds growing up in the cracks in the driveway, and I wanted another folding chair, and a haircut, and what food should I bring with me?  I should clean the house, but it will only get dirty while I’m gone.  What about closing this place up, I didn’t do such a hot job of it last time.  My uncle came behind me and took care of it.  I need to do better.  Make lists I tell myself.  I tell myself a lot of things.  And then I saw something on my quilting group about taking a cartoon photo, so I forgot about all that for a few minutes and off I went to do that last night.  I wanted to shoot bicycles for a photo challenge, that could make a good cartoon photo, but no one at all was out.  And then I realized that no matter what I did I had to take a selfie, the photo process kept turning the camera around for a selfie.  Disappointing.  Went home and made yogurt bark to use up the last of the yogurt because, yes, dealing with emptying the refrigerator is nagging at me also.  I have too many programs running in my head.  I need to clear my cache…