Monday, August 20, 2012

'12/#36 Going Back To Work For Some Rest!

I said in the last blog that things were not going to be boring for long & I was right. This past week we had some visitors. Monday evening there was a knock on the door & there was Daisy, Suzie, & Jen. The fun was about to begin. These 3 mature ladies should give lessons on how to enjoy life. There are no rocking chairs for these women. Add my wonderful bride to the mix & you have a whole bunch of crazy that will surely be loads of fun if I survive the next few days. This will be a long blog.

Day 1 started with breakfast & the laughing commenced with the 4 of them going from mature ladies to little girls in the time it takes to get Mary laughing & give Frank a milk shower. Thanks honey! I should have sat at my own table. The rest of the day we spent checking out the local sights in & around Cody. We started with Buffalo Bill Dam & worked our through Cody. Then we went to Powell for lunch. After a power nap we went to a workcamper pot luck & introduced our crazy family to the people we work with. We didn't linger after dinner because we had tickets to the Cody Night Rodeo. Mary & I had planed this ever since we knew they were coming to Cody. Pre rodeo you can go to the gift shop, meet the rodeo clowns, & get you picture taken on a bull. Yes, a live 2000lb rodeo bull named Hollywood! There was no doubt in my mind that the girls would do this. My only concern was for the bull. Everyone came out of it unharmed, including  Hollywood, with pictures suitable for posting on line! The rest of the night was a blast but we had to head home & get to bed because 5am comes awful early. Day 2 we head in to Yellowstone.

Wednesday morning we are up but the sun is not. It is tourist season in Yellowstone so we want an early start. 1 & 1/2 hours later we find the first place open for breakfast well into the park. Our next stop was West Thumb Geyser Basin. Nothing spouting but some beautiful geothermal features. The girls loved it. Next stop at Yellowstone's most famous feature, Old Faithful. We were able to get up in front of the crowd so we could see the eruption up close. Old Faithful did not disappoint. We checked out the Old Faithful Inn & I took pictures of the naughty girls on the Knotty Pine Porch. Get it? Naughty/Knotty? (groan) We headed north still looking for wildlife. So far only 1 buffalo laying on his side twitching his tail. The only sign that he was alive! Stopped & checked out Gibbon Falls. We looped back past the Grand Canyon area saving that for tomorrow. Entering Hayden Valley we finally found what we were looking for....brake lights! That means animals. Sure enough there were 2 small herds of buffalo. There was also a ranger there giving a buffalo sex education talk. Maybe more than I wanted to know. I'm glad I'm not a buffalo! Next stop home & in bed by 10pm.

Thursday morning came even earlier. This time we took the 2 hour drive on the Chief Joseph Hwy to the NE entrance to the park. Today we will see animals in Lamar Valley. Twists & turns through the forest then out into the open valley & what do we see but dozens, no hundreds of buffalo. The squealing from the back seat tells me that everyone can see them. Then the cameras start clicking. Farther on we see more & more herds. I can personally say the buffalo in Yellowstone are doing very well. Along the way we saw a couple of coyotes. Then suddenly a wolf runs right in front of the truck & up a hill. He stops, turns, & poses so we could get some great pics. A little ways down the road we spot some deer before getting to Roosevelt Lodge for a pit stop(wink,wink). Next stop, Canyon Visitor Center.

We check out the visitor center & head toward the canyon. The first stop is at the Brink of The lower Falls. Mary & Daisy opt for the 1/4 mile, 650' descent to the falls. That also means a 1/4 mile, 650' climb back. Suzie,Jen, & I settle for the overlook. Several days later the  adventurers return exhausted but excited about the falls(just kidding about the days but not the exhaustion). After a few more stops at various overlooks we headed to the south rim. On the way there are more brake lights. There are 2 bull elk grazing on the side of the road & so many people stopped that there is no place to park. Slam, slam, slam, & 4 giddy women with cameras leave me in the middle of the road with 3 options. #1 sit there & block traffic, #2 squeeze the truck into a spot the size of a Smart car, or #3 leave them behind. Fortunately someone left & I didn't have to go with my choice of #3. Lots of pics from a safe distance while idiots try to get too close. The ranger had his work cut out trying to keep them away. OH NO! It's the same ranger from yesterday, now giving a lecture on elk sex ed. TMI!!!!! The elk moved on & so did we.

 Lots more pictures & then we went looking for a place to eat lunch. We set up lunch at a picnic area & no sooner did we start eating another picnicker asks "do you see the buffalo?". We turn around & a buffalo walks right through the picnic area between our table and the next, maybe 25' away! Of course nobody has a camera. After lunch we make a short stop to see the upper falls & take more pictures. Then we head over to Artist Point for the best view of the lower falls & farther up the canyon. It has been another long day with lots of animal sightings so we head on home. Buffalo, deer, elk, coyote, & wolves make for a very successful trip to Yellowstone.

We leave the park & a mile down the road there are cars pulled over. We stop & we get to add moose to our list of sightings. It was the female & calf we have heard about recently. Mom is eating foliage from the Shoshone River while the calf stayed hidden in the bushes. We got lots of pics of the cow but none of junior. We move on.

We had a light dinner & called it a day. Friday morning we met for breakfast & said our goodbyes. I joke about being stuck in the truck with 4 crazy females but I wouldn't have it any other way. We all had a blast & I am sure they will visit us next year where ever we call home because......

Home is where we park it,
Frank & Mary

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