My Two Favorite Dorks

My Two Favorite Dorks

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Trip, Part IV: Yellowstone, the Rockies and Home Sweet Home

Todd and I, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
I spent so much time on my first two trip blog entries that I have lost some steam by the last two. I let the pictures guide the narrative last time, and I think I will do the same for this one. (I also have ulterior motives: I have to catch you up to speed on my health and I have an upcoming work trip to Vancouver - I have never been - which I'm sure I will want to blog about and from which I will also hopefully have lots of cool pictures.)

We met Todd's aunts in Ennis, MT for lunch the day of our departure. After that, we drove through Yellowstone and Cooke City on our way to stay in Cody, WY that night. Unfortunately it was dark after we left Cooke City and we missed some of (what I hear is) the very best scenery in those parts. Not to fret, there was plenty of other beautiful stuff that we saw.

Some stuff we saw in Yellowstone:

A "this stuff should be obvious" wildlife warning
Pretty waterfall
Purple wildflowers
The famous petrified tree - stone!

Beautiful evening scenery

Bison (and baby bison!) in the road
About as close to a bison as I ever want to be

Stupid car trying to drive around a bison...guess who would win that race?
More BIG bison crossing the road in front of us
More pretty scenery

Todd looking for wildlife...we saw plenty!
We stopped in Cooke City for dinner - no cell phone reception! This place is so quiet it feels like a wild animal could walk out onto main street at any time.
We spent the night in Cody, Wyoming, about 1.5 hours past Cooke City, and started out the next day south toward Rocky Mountain National Park near Boulder, CO. The trip through Wyoming was eerily desolate with the strangest most inconvenient road construction I'd ever been through. Traffic would have to stop but there was no telling how long you would be stopped in the hot, summer sun...5, 10, 15, 20 minutes. Grueling.

Much of Colorado until we got near the Boulder area was surprisingly flat. We made our way to Estes Park (a place about which we do not have much good to say besides its convenient location), about 10 miles outside of Rocky Mountain National Park, which we wanted to explore the next day. (Side note: the city we stayed in and the area around there, including the park, have all been influenced by the massive flooding in the past week - crazy that we were there just four weeks ago!)

Rocky Mountain National Park was amazing. The altitude was a killer: I was super-duper having to wear oxygen the entire time in Colorado basically - but especially in Estes Park (about 6,000 feet) and on into the park (up to an astonishing 12,000 feet!!)

Here are pictures from Colorado (Rocky Mountain National Park) unless otherwise noted:

Cool canyon wall on way to the park
The closest I ever got to seeing a moose - sad!!
Picnic with the cutest - and most photogenic - chipmunk in Colorado
Crazy bikers all over the park
An elk chillin'
Crazy high elevation! This was the only time in the history of forever (me on oxygen) that my saturations were ever better than Todd's!
A marmot, I think, or some other cute mammal
Rocks and appropriately named place!
Elk in the road!
Another picture of the elk crossing the road - daddy behind the others
An elk coming down the slope - he moves so gracefully for such a large creature (notice the blight affecting the trees here)
Elk stopping for a bite after holding up traffic and crossing the road
Winding roads

A cute bird


Elk grazing
Elk grazing on a hill...if you haven't noticed there are a LOT of elk in Rocky Mountain National Park

Seriously high!

Now after from Colorado: One night in Goodland, Kansas; one night in St Louis, Missouri; one night in Knoxville, Tennessee.
A wicked storm on the horizon in Kansas - thankfully we stopped for the night before it so we didn't have to drive through the huge lightening and hail it produced. Not much else to say about Kansas...
Our awesome $80/night ex-train station hotel in St Louis...score from Priceline! Amazing architecture, huge open lobby with stained glass windows and swanky rooms to boot.
My friend Betsy and I outside Suttrees in downtown Knoxville, TN - we stayed our last night with her, her adorable dog Stella and her cat Chicken.
Finally! These mountains (an artsy pic of the Southern Appalachians) look more like home...

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