Think I am just thinking.

Words are but thoughts made visible.

2009 Yellowstone – Bull Elk in rut.

What could be more exciting than being witness to two bull Elk fighting for the right to mate with the herd.

Two Bull Elk fight for mating rights.
Two Bull Elk fight for mating rights.
Bull Elk lock horns.
Bull Elk lock horns.

The dominate male on the right was successful in deterring the rival bull from sticking around.  Minutes later the rival on left, turned and headed back up the bank into the nearby hillside.  Shorty there after, the winning male bugeled his success to the females down by the stream.

   This September visit to our first National Park, resulted in some of the best wildlife spotting we have ever been lucky enough to witness.  After starting our visit out in the Old Faithful and Upper Geyser Basin area, we worked our way back around to Lake Yellowstone and then headed up past Canyon and Tower and then up to Mammoth Hot Springs, taking stops at each along the way.  The fall season ended up being a bit more of a challenge, as the road between Old Faithful and the Norris Geyser Basin area was closed for road construction.   Just north of Mammoth heading down toward the north entry gate near Gardner, we happened upon a large herd of Elk along the river one early morning. 

    Viewing two male bull Elk fighting over the right to mate with the herd was something we each thought we would only see on a TV show.  To witness this first hand, was something we not only felt lucky about, but truly privileged.  The National and State Park systems are assets which each of us needs to make sure our government representatives know is appreciated and always in need of their continued support and protection.

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September 26, 2009 Posted by | Elk, hiking, Time-off, travel, Wildlife, Yellowstone National Park | , , | Leave a comment

Yellowstone, then and now.

As we contemplate heading toward Yellowstone, I realize looking at some old family photo’s that our visit will be somewhat different than those of some of my ancestors. 

Travel as it was in the 1880's.
Travel as it was in the 1880’s.As can be seen, my Great Grandmother had a slightly different mode of transportation into Yellowstone to work in the houskeeping department at a park lodge.  Later, she was joined by her sister, who possing as someone older than 18, which she was not, was able to work along side her sister in what had to have been a great adventure at the time.  The Way We Where.

So, it’s getting time to start packing.  What to wear in Yellowstone?

The Way We Where.
The Way We Where.

We could dress in the same manner as what people in the 1880’s would have been dressed.   Perhaps something like this photo of us take a few years ago.  But considering we might stand out a bit, probably not a good choice, unless that was the goal.  Also, not the best hiking outfits!    

August 30, 2009 Posted by | Climbing, Time-off, travel, Yellowstone National Park | , , | 1 Comment

Favorite Places to go.

  Well this year we have narrowed the search down to either Estes park, Yellowstone, or Glacier National Park.  Right now Yellowstone is the favorite and in the far lead of places to go see (again).  I think perhaps a couple new picutes will be in order.  Thanks to the digital age, now more changing film every 12, 24, or so pictures.  Being able to take a few hundred between memory card changes is really a great advantage.  So, with a five or six memory cards in hand, I should be able to hold almost everything I want to take a picture of.

     Each day brings us one more day closer to getting away.  Not that we are looking forward to it or anything.

That reminds me, I need to start charging batteries.

August 26, 2009 Posted by | Time-off, travel | , , | Leave a comment

Planning on time away.

   Where to go, what to see.  It’s that time of year again, when we start thinking about taking a little time-off to do a little traveling and see some new sites.  Then again, even seeing some older sites would be welcomed as well.  You may wonder way we choose this time of year, when others make plans at the beginning or middle of the year?  Perhaps it a bit of an age thing on our part.

   No longer having to worry about the hustle and bustle of getting kids ready to head back to school is one reason.  No longer do we have to head out into the stores to find the latest in school supplies.  Of course, today it is a bit more complicated than just getting a box of No.2 pencils, half a dozen spiral note-books, a back-pack and perhaps a few other odds and ends.  Today a parent also has to think about perhaps needing to find the money for a laptop, software, printer, paper, spare ink cartridges and some high speed Internet to make it all work.

   Being empty nesters, we can now focus on where to go after school has started and the weather is still nice.  As we love to venture into national parks, Fall is a great time for those of us, who’s kids are now grown.  With school back into full swing, what we find are no traffic jams, no long lines, and some of our greatest park systems fully accessible.  Would you believe we don’t normaly even need to make reservations ahead of time.  Just pack up and go, what could be better than that?

   So, having a time picked out for sometime in September, all we really need to decide on is where to go.  A couple years ago, we decided on heading out to Estes Park Colorado and ended up in the Grand Canyon!  Another year it was Yellowstone.  Another, it was Arches National park.  So far the only place we have repeaatedly ended up at, on our impromptu get-a-ways, is Estes Park. 

    Though last year we did do a little planning in heading out to Washington.  There we gathered with another pair of family members to do some site seeing in the Olympic National park area.  We did have to purchase plane tickets and a car rental ahead of time on that one.  Additionally getting one nights stay at a hotel near the ocean was left to our traveling family partners, who just happen to live in the region.  The rest of the trip was prodominately impromptu, in that booking a place to stay was at most, a day in advance, or on the day of.  Again, the power of children back in school, really does open up availability.

   So, where to head off to this year?  Right now I am thinking West!

August 16, 2009 Posted by | Time-off, travel | , , | Leave a comment