Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Wonderful Visit

Friday evening, Doug and Joann came over for the inaugural fire in our new, portable fire pit. We first saw one of these at our gathering in Kerrville in March and, of course, just had to have one. It all comes apart and fits into a small enough container to store in the trunk of the Saturn.

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And we enjoyed s’mores:

IMG_9325The sun doesn’t set here until around 9 p.m., but once it goes down, it gets pretty chilly, so we said goodnight as soon we started getting cold.

Saturday morning, Joann and I took a short walk on the nature trail that is near the campground. After our walk, she and Doug came over to take a look at our Wii game console and the games we have, including Wii Sports, Wii Fit and Guitar Hero. Doug had never seen any of these, so he was pretty interested to see what all the fuss is about.

Then we decided to take a drive over to see Earthquake Lake and the visitor’s center, about 30 miles from here. The lake was formed as a result of a massive landslide that blocked the Madison River during an earthquake which occurred on the night of August 17, 1959. A campground and several cabins and homes were destroyed by the event which claimed the lives of 28 people. Hot springs and geysers in Yellowstone Park were also affected by the 7.5 quake, with some geysers going off for days. One geyser, the Clepsydra, has been going off continuously since that night. It was interesting, and a little sobering, to see the effects of just a flash of time.

After we got back, we had a rest time before the evening get together out in our yard. Dortha and Mark had taken their 3 older grandchildren, Andrew, Lauren, and Zachary, to Yellowstone for the day, and we all got together to grill buffalo burgers and brats for dinner. We had a great evening of eating and visiting.

This morning, Doug and Joann were ready to go by 8. They came over for a last hug and our “See You Down the Road” and were off on their journey. Travel safe, dear friends!

A little while later, we joined Dortha, Mark, and the grandchildren for a day in Yellowstone. The plan was to take our lunch and hike the area around Tower Falls. We also hoped to find more wildlife, maybe some wolves and black bears. However, the weather had other ideas for us, and by the time we reached Tower Falls, it was raining. We kept going and headed towards the northeast entrance, through Lamar Valley, because that’s where we’d heard other folks mention seeing wolves and black bears. We saw a lot of buffalo and a few antelope, but nothing else. Well, except for the beautiful scenery, of course.

Finally, the sun came out and we stopped at a picnic area to have our lunch.

Here’s some wildlife that was hanging around the picnic area! Even with teeth bared, just for Gordon, who left a comment about our grizzly bear. Sorry it’s just a ground squirrel, Gordon!IMG_9226a

While we were cleaning up our picnic things, a lady was arriving for her own picnic, and mentioned they had just seen a bear not far back on the road. We hurried along with loading up and headed back. Not far along the road, we saw the characteristic group of cars stopped, and pulled in to see. We just missed it! There was a black bear spotted, but by the time we got there, he was no longer visible.

We continued on, and not far down the road, we saw a speck of brown out in the grass. Yes! It was a black bear! Unfortunately, it was too far away, and our pictures don’t show anything but a little brown dot that gets blurry when we try to enlarge it.

So, instead of bear and other wildlife pictures, I have these mountain scenery pictures to share:

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Wildlife, rain, or sun - it doesn’t really matter – Yellowstone is awesome!

4 comments:

Sandra said...

Just beautiful scenery photos, Ellie and your little guy with the bared teeth is cute too!

Joe and Sherri said...

Bears may be a nice picture but the ones of the mountains are best. No mountains here but we sure have a great view of the water and the trees. We will be in them mountains soon enough. Stay safe and keep those pictures coming.

Gordon said...

That is one ferocious looking ground squirrel! It definitely puts the 'wild' in wildlife. :-)

Jim and Dee said...

Yellowstone is awesome, so much to see. We also went to the earthquake area, amazing the damage and the trees that are still there. Have fun, thanks for the blog.