Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Adventure Continues - Blowing Down the Road

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it...People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.
Alice Walker, The Color Purple, 1982

{This post has taken longer to put together than the entire trip. I don't want to download any more photos to Blogger for a very long time.}

Middle son, Jordan, and I continued our adventurous trek through Wyoming. After a good night's sleep following a day of geological delights, the Thermopolis hot springs, and the Buffalo Bill Historical Museum we headed out from Cody to take on Yellowstone National Park.

Finally Yellowstone.
This was our first view of geothermal activity. Smoke coming up out of the rocks on the roadside.

We stopped at places where we could read signs, like this one explaining that grizzly bear live in places like this.
When we turned around to look on the other side of the road, our jaws dropped. Damn, it was a bear. Right there in the middle. A grizzly bear. We watched him swim all the way to another island. He definitely swims laps faster than me.

From Yellowstone Lake to the Yellowstone River.
"Hey, we'll take your picture if you'll take ours."

The water was bringing it.

Jordan liked taking pictures of the Cutthroat Trout, waterfowl, and bugs. Me?
I had to take a picture of my shoes, of course.
Then, we spotted the buffalo.
They got closer...
and closer...
and a little too close.
Hey, big boy.
I made Jordan a bet that park rangers bring these guys in on a truck in the morning. Set them up beside the road. Then at dusk, come back, blow a whistle, and the buffalo all file back on the truck. Sleep in a barn overnight.
Jordan just looked at me, wondering how he ended up with me.

Onto the sulfur mud springs.
Nice. Bubble, bubble. Gurgle, gurgle.

Another stop light in the middle of no where. At least this one had actual workers, doing something.
This was Jordan's favorite part of the trip. After enjoying the hot springs the previous day, I couldn't wait to find another spring. We ventured to the Madison Junction campsite. Big signs said you had to register to drive through and Jordan pointed to them as I drove by. My guidebook said to go to a certain campsite, park at the bathroom, and find a small trail. We found it and then found the scene above.
You can see how the water was bubbling.
This one too, That little section in front of the river was hot, hot, hot, but certainly soakable. Several hikers passed us as they headed downstream to a more well known swimming hole. They didn't have my guidebook and I most certainly didn't share what they were passing.
I didn't make Jordan go swimming again. And a few miles down the road, he said, "Are we done with the hot spring hunting now?"
I closed my hot spring book, earmarked with several more spots.
"Yes, we are."

Onto a spot for lunch.Salmon jerky, elk sausage, Brie cheese, carrots, bananas, cinnamon bread spread with honey. Animal crackers. Wine for later.

We moved from the beautiful water to this -- the Geyser Basin.

Paint pots.

Reminded me of the blue in the Caribbean

And then, Old Faithful. Jordan and I sat there for 85 minutes waiting for it to go off. Just as it began to bubble, my camera died. Go figure. Jord covered me though. He got 21 pictures of it.
We drove away from the multitude of tourists and buses and back into the country. As we came to a rare intersection, I spotted a moose cow right by the road. As Jordan was teasing me that I didn't have a camera ready, we came upon all these cars parked on the road.

Had to stop, see what was going on.

Bear JamOur second grizzly of the day. Everybody was scrambling around to get good photos. Poor park rangers trying to keep people from standing on the bridge and getting run over. Some people running to get the shot. Crazy.
After a pleasant night at the Grant Village, a bison burger eaten in a restaurant right on the 141 mile around Yellowstone Lake, we headed out the next morning. Came across this group on a float trip.

As the Teton Range began to peak out at us through the haze, we came across a herd of elk. Due to bear activity, we couldn't walk further into the area.

Then incredible beauty rose before us, and we hit every roadside stop to take it in.

"Hey, we'll take your picture if you'll take ours."

Happened upon this church - The Chapel of the Transfiguration

I'm thinking I would have a hard time concentrating on the sermon in this incredible place.
A side note - two days before, we were driving through a small Wyoming town. Came across a church with a big white sign on the side. OPEN SUNDAYS.
Cracked us up.

On to Jackson - and lunch. A pesto calzone accompanied by a Teton Ale.

Our hotel room - The Anglers Inn
A walk about town. All the sidewalks are made of wood and Jordan's boots sounded cool against the wood. Kind of like the old westerns. Just needed a horse to leave at a trough.
Town Square
Dance Hall
Delphiniums. I so can't grow them at home.
The best part of the restaurant where we ate dinner. (Youngest son, Ian, was right. Don't eat Mexican in Wyoming.) Loved the artwork, though.

Next morning, we picked up the local paper and had breakfast. I took this photo as sometimes I look at my children and they remind of when they were a child. Same pose. Have seen this one many times.
Of course, payback is a bitch.
Had the best Eggs Benedict. Open all day. Would go back for dinner, but... was time to get back to Jordan's ranch.
Anyone know what kind of animal this is hanging on the wall in his cabin?
While Jordan cooked me dinner, I sat on his front porch and

kibitzed with one of his friends.

Who told Jord's other friends to come by and say hello.

Next morning it was time to drive back to Denver and catch a flight home. I don't like goodbye's. I'm not very good at them. So I stole a line from my dad, who wasn't very good at them either.

"I'll see you sometime," I said to Jord as I honked and drove away.


  1. What an absolutely MARVELLOUS post! I loved everything about it from beginning to end and I too had a lump in my throat when it came time to say goodbye. You saw so much in the couple of days you were with Jordan and you have a super photographic collection of treasured memories to visit and revisit as often as your heart desires. I loved the pictures of the scenery. Simply breathtaking! What magnificent country you got to see! The pictures of Mother and Son...priceless! The strange looking mounted animal? It looks like a bunny with horns?

    There was so much to take in and so much I wanted to comment on, but each picture I scrolled to caught my breath...I'd end up writing a whole post myself, were I to share all my thoughts with you. Suffice to say, this is a post I will definitely revisit. It was food for the soul! I am so glad you got to visit Jordan and enjoy this incredibly special time together, and to once again see your little boy in the man he has become. You must be so proud of him!

  2. Wow, it looks like such a great trip and visit. That buffalo is too much!

  3. Gorgeous photos.Thanks for the virtual trip. :)

  4. Well I am glad you battled blogger to get your pics on here. They are beautiful and tell such a great story. I went on a road trip recently but not to somewhere wonderful like you did. Instead of bears my trip included...corn. It doesn't sound dangerous but trust me it was.


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  6. Amazing photos and brought back memories of my trip. I saw lots of bears and lots of buffalo and gave them all lots of room. They are both more dangerous than people realize. I wish I had my good camera back then, because I missed so many good photos Sad saying goodby to our loved ones who live so far away.

  7. Might I say I loved your shoes! Bears, elk and paint pots, wow what a trip. If I remember right that sulfur does not smell very good and yes, bears make people stupid.

    Wonderful pictures of what I'm sure will be wonderful memories for you. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  8. How have you never encountered the legendary "Jackalope"? (Part jack rabbit, part antelope). It looks as though yours was a rare double-headed jackalope.
    Your photos are wonderful. I loved the turquoise paint pot holes.

  9. Oh, the beauty was everywhere. What a trip! Almost too much to taken in, and this is just vicarious. I can imagine how it must have felt to you. Wonderful, wonderful post; thank you.

  10. I've never been there so I really appreciated your photos (and esp. the video clips!) so thanks for persevering.

  11. One of the best posts I've read in a long, long time. What a priceless experience to share with your son. I hear ya about loading the photos. That post must have taken hours.

    I visited Yellowstone (which I can't help but call Jellystone) several years ago. We were there in October the weekend after it closed. We pretty much had the joint to ourselves. An amazing place for sure.

    We spent a week in the area and then I flew home and left Paul for a mule deer hunt. (PS don't ever try to eat mule deer)

    I was teary when we got to the end of your post. BTW that's a jackalope. :-)

  12. I had no idea Wyoming was so beautiful. Why does everyone talk so much about Colorado? Having lived there, I feel I never saw anything as beautiful and marvelous as this. A wonderful travelogue, Jewel. You did a great job.

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  14. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. I have always wanted to go but never made it.

    And, I need to hang with you all--you seem to maximize the cool possible animal sightings in a short period.

  15. Wow! where do I start?!
    My husband & I enjoyed watching the river and then the bubbling geysers. The buffalo and of course, even the food that you were going to eat...... all seems wonderfully different from the things happening round here.
    The photos are beautiful,,,,,,,, well worth the trouble with Blogger. Yes, well worth it.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  16. Thank you so much for battling with blogger to get all these photos posted! The natural beauty is absolutely breath-taking... and the quote from The Color Purple is perfect.

  17. Unbelievable sights.
    That grizzly might swim faster than I could, but I'll bet I could drive away a lot faster than he'd be able to!
    Buffalo just amaze me. Those HEADS! They're as big as their rear ends!

  18. Enjoyed your post immensely, your sneaking the 'little boy' shot was a favorite moment and the 'pay back' photo was lovely! Beautiful views and time with your son, Julie. Love your writing.

  19. What an adventure you have had! Wonderful scenery. Thank you for inviting us along.

  20. LOVED your tour, i have taken that loop a couple of times with great joy. thanks for sharing so many great places and shots~

  21. I have never been to Yellowstone or the Grand Tetons -- now I know what I'm missing.

    Thanks for the beautiful, awe-inspiring pictures! Those paint pots are amazing. A wonderful arm-chair travelogue -- minus being too close to bears and buffalo.

    What wonderful memories for you and Jordan.

  22. Fabulous post...loved riding down the road with you and Jordan!!!! Such good eatin' too!! Was that a jackalope stuffed and hanging on the wall?

    Ah, so much to see! I haven't been to Yellowstone in years. I can remember arriving just in time for Old Faithful who blew right on cue...thanks for the return visit...and for your delightful sense of humor along the way :)

  23. What a great trip to be taking with your son!

  24. "..Jordan just looked at me, wondering how he ended up with me."

    Haaaaaaaaa, my children also know that feeling well! My goodness, what an incredible adventure you've both had, the photographs tell it all. I cannot believe you even found a bear jam - eeeeeeeeek!! Rest assured all the time and trouble it may have taken to put this post together was WELL worthwhile, thank you for allowing us a glimpse of this spectacular road trip, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  25. I am LOVING your trip and your photos! Regarding that dang bear...he can run up to 35 miles per hour as well. Just remember, you don't have to outrun or out swim the bear, just your companion.

  26. Awww it's bewildering and wonderful visiting with our recently-adult children, isn't it? Such a beautiful trip to a facinating part of your country. Lovely images of you and your boy and all your glorious surroundings, creatures and flora. I'm sure you'll cherish that time forever.

    And that critter on the wall.. it's Buck's Bunny, of course. ;)

  27. Oh, Julie, this was the best post! What a great trip you had. I love Yellowstone and the Tetons, and you've made me want to go back.

    Did you see any of those wild jackelopes in your travels? They're native to Montana, you know.

    I wish you a gentle transition back into your workaday life, and hope this year brings you many steps closer to the coming true of your dreams.

  28. What a wonderful travelogue! Can't wait to check out those places myself. You should be a travel writer!
    I thought jackalopes were native to in, "Everything's bigger in Texas. The jackrabbits are so big they have antlers."

  29. Can I go next time? Please?

    Oh-so-fabulous! No wonder Jordan wanted this so badly.

    Oh, the guys chasing the bear up the hill? Been there done that. Stupid, I know. I didn't even realize what I was doing til I'd gotten my pic.

    This was absolutely stunning. Words can't do it justice. I'm just so thankful you shared it with us!

  30. Oprah and Gayle got nothin' on you and Jordan!

  31. What a trip! Gorgeous place--glad your son is thriving there.

  32. I haven't been there since 03. It is nice to see the repairs from the fire taking hold. I have worked around buffalo a lot and they aren't as docile as they might appear.Waht a lovely trip and photo share.

  33. My wife and I were at Yellowstone a year ago in May. Your pictures bring back great memories because we have many of the same photos from the same locations. The stoplight in the middle of nowhere is still a good example of the government at work.

    When we were there we had to deal with a blizzard and temps in the low 40's. We were stuck in our hotel in West Yellowstone for an extra day. Not what we expected in late May.

  34. A wonderful post. You brought us along with you on this trip.

    Loved the bison. And the paint pots.

    And such a lovely son.

  35. Great post! I loved the view of the mountains! The animal head mounted on the wall of your cabin is basically what the native Americans used to cheat the Settlers out of resources. It's called a Jackalope. The Native Americans would find or kill a rabbit and take its skeleton and add deer horns and claim that it was a mythical creature and that it was worth a fortune; and what do you know! They became famous and every Settler wants one! Now they are purely for decoration and add a mystical appeal to any basic cabin.


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