A Travellerspoint blog

June 2012

Sad to Leave the Tetons!

June 28

June 26 - Our last day in the Tetons was a good one. We went back to Pilgrim Creek Rd. and saw the bull moose again. It amazes us how close people get to wild animals! Once he whipped around and people scattered for a minute or so. Then they were right back where they were. When we were in Custer State Park in South Dakota, we saw a man put a young child about 15 feet away from a buffalo to get a photo.
We try to go to Leeks Marina for pizza and Greek salad our last night at Colter Bay. It was a gorgeous night. I needed my light jacket to eat on the porch, but it was worth it. The sky and view was beautiful. Hayden enjoyed chasing a ground squirrel while we finished supper.
This year, we hit the peak of pine pollen season in Colter Bay. I am talking clouds of yellow for days!!!! I'll be cleaning pollen out of the camper for days after we leave here
June 27 - We traveled through Yellowstone N.P. on our way to Ennis, MT. It is always sad to leave Colter Bay and the Tetons, but traveling through Yellowstone was a treat. We saw a gorgeous bald eagle in a dead tree on river bank and several elk. As we neared Ennis, we could see a forest fire. The clerk at the campground said about 4,000 acres had been burned so far. They had winds of 60 mph the day before which did nothing to help fire fighting efforts. We got set up and did laundry. I missed my microwave and toaster oven and 3G and the Internet, so getting the full hookups again was a treat! Good thing Colter Bay does not have them, or we would never leave!!!! Actually, Colter Bay does have a full hookup campground, but the cost is about $70 a night. We paid $10.25 a night with our geezer passes at the no hookup campground there. Can't beat that!
June 28 - We left Ennis and traveled to Missoula, MT. We have never been to Missoula, but our son worked here for several weeks installing patient information systems at their hospital. On our way, as we passed through the tiny town of Harrison, MT, we saw a meeting in progress. It was about the fire. Across the street were lots of tents where the firefighters slept. God bless them for their service!

Posted by KayHorton 14:26 Comments (0)

Yellowstone and Tetons

June 17-22

Our first full day in Yellowstone took us to Old Faithful and the geyser basin. We walked the boardwalk to the Fountain Paint Pots and a beautiful hot springs. Old Faith Inn and Old Faithful Visitors' Center were a treat, as was Old Faithful. This visit no other geysers in that area were performing for us as they were the last two years. Still, Old Faithful is always impressive. Hayden was super impressed!
The campground had no electricity when we got back. It was a very windy day, and a downed tree had interrupted power. We needed bread, so we went in the Fishing Bridge store. The workers had flashlights and a clipboard to help you find items you needed. The cashier did not give us a lot of hope we would get power that night. We came back to the camper and put the frig on gas and turned off the electric hot water heater. After a couple of hours and many off and on sessions, the power was restored. The mosquitoes are really bad here. We try to rush in and out to keep them out of the camper, but we have killed quite a few in the camper and still hear them buzzing around us at night. Ugh!!!!
One other thing, I heard on the TV before we left Cody that the humidity was 13 percent. Can you imagine! Of course, it does a number on my sinuses, but I like the cool temps that come with the low humidity.
June 18 took us through Hayden Valley, the canyon area, and Mammoth Hot Springs. We saw four or five coyotes, many elk, a black bear with two cubs, a grizzly bear, and lots of water fowl. The Artists Point was a great view of the Lower Falls. We ended up seeing four beautiful falls – Upper, Lower, Tower, and an unnamed one by the road. Hayden enjoyed the day, and we did, too!
June 19 – Dragon's Mouth Spring, Mud Volcano, Mud Caldron were our agenda for today. It gives me the creeps to see how violent the action right below the surface, deep below the surface to the surface can be! And may I add, P-UUUUUUUUUUUU!!!! It really stinks in this place. Any time you see steam in Yellowstone, prepare for the odor of sulfur wafting through the air. This place had a unique odor, or should I say stench. Still, it was very interesting! We got to see a white pelican and a bald eagle today.
June 20 – We left Yellowstone and headed for Colter Bay in the Grand Teton National Park. Although I miss full hookups (mainly the use of my microwave and toaster oven), it is one of our favorite places. Bubba's BBQ and then shopping at Smith's for groceries. We bought some ground bison for burgers tomorrow night. One should not come West without a bison burger!
June 21 – Phil went to the store to get the cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and afterwards we rode to Jackson by way of Jenny Lake and through Moose Junction. No moose. In Jackson, Hayden and PopPop rode the stagecoach. Hayden loved it. He got to sit up top with the driver. Then, it was lunch at Bubba's BBQ, grocery shopping at Smith's, and back to the camper.
June 22 – We saw a MOOSE!!!!! A BULL MOOSE in all his glory!!!! Hayden got some phenomenal shots, too! He was so excited!!! We were on our way to Jackson Lodge to use the internet when we saw him off the Bridger something or other Road. Phil did a U-turn as soon as he could, and off we tromped into the thicket to see the moose. He was mostly hidden by the bushes he was eating, but we waited. We were rewarded with some great shots and eventually he crossed the road and took off for the woods. What an awesome site!!!! We have been blessed so much with Hayden (and us) getting to see all the animals we hoped he could see out here. We are hoping he gets to see mountains goats in Glacier.After we got set up, we went to the store to get a loaf of bread for sandwiches. The deli/bakery bakes some huge cinnamon rolls. There were some left from breakfast, and Phil showed Hayden what they would have for breakfast tomorrow. After lunch, Phil and Hayden went to the Visitors' Center in Colter Bay. In the evening, we rode up by the dam and stopped at the Willow Flats overlook. We saw some Sandhill Cranes, but no moose. We are on the lookout for moose!

Posted by KayHorton 14:08 Comments (1)

PopPop and Hayden Loved Cody!

June 14 - 15

Hayden said he could stay a week here, but we only stayed two nights. He and PopPop went to the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum. Hayden liked he gun collections the best. They also went to the Sierra Traders Outlet, but they did not find any bargains they wanted or needed. Last night they went to the rodeo. I have not seen Hayden so animated as he was when they came back from the rodeo. I was already in bed, and Hayden came and jumped up in bed to tell me all about it. The only part he did not like was the calf roping. He thought that was mean. He has a tender heart! The bull riding was his favorite.
So, off we go today to Yellowstone and then the Tetons. That means no constant wifi or cell phone reception for 11 days.
GO GAMECOCKS!!!!!! It will be tough to not be able to watch the game(s)!

Posted by KayHorton 07:32 Comments (0)

Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument

June 13

Hayden had been looking forward to going here because he studied about Custer's last stand in the Battle of Little Big Horn this past school year. We took the bus tour sponsored by the Crow Agency and had a Crow Indian as our tour guide. We had taken the tour last year, but this guy knew a lot more. As a result, the tour was even better than last year's. It was amazing how similar his information about the battle was to the park ranger's presentation. There were no good guys or bad guys in this battle. There were two sides fighting to preserve their way of life and culture. Of course, the Indians paid dearly for that victory. It is a sobering and sad place, but very interesting. Hayden really enjoyed the museum there, too.
As we were walking back to the truck, I heard someone calling, "Kay! Kay!!!! Kay!!!!!" At first I did not look around because who in the world would I know who was there? Well, it was Susan (formerly Makla) and Scott Lyons. Susan and I go way back to childhood. She lived in the same neighborhood. Later, we both taught at Camden High School, and her sons and my son were and are friends. Small, small world!! It was a joy to see her!
Then we headed to Billings for the night. We went to Walmart and a couple other places to take advantage of NO SALES TAX!!!! Last year, Phil bought his Ipad 2 here.
Phil had wanted to take Hayden to Pompey's Pillar, but Hayden was not very interested. It was a good thing because we did not get back to the camper from shopping until well after 5:00.
Tomorrow we go to Cody, WY, where Phil and Hayden will go to a rodeo. Get along little dogies! I will enjoy my quiet time. hahaha!!!!

Posted by KayHorton 18:00 Comments (1)

Jewel Cave in the Morning and Back to Chief Crazy Horse

June 11 and June 12 to Sheridan, WY

We decided to go to Jewel Cave on the recommendation of my cousin Tina, and do the easy tour riding an elevator to one room of the cave. Arriving 30 minutes early to get our tickets, we had time to browse around the Visitors' Center before going into the cave. Our group gathered and was listening to a talk by a ranger who was going to lead our tour. About that time, the revenge of Pizza Hut lunch hit me. I decided I had better not desend 240 feet to a bathroomless cave, so I missed it. Phil and Hayden enjoyed it, but I took my camera in the dash to the rest room. Hayden did not have his, and Phil's phone camera just did not do justice to it. Oh well, next time for me.
Then we went back to Chief Crazy Horse Memorial. We wanted to do the bus tour, see the dancers, and the laser light show. The bus tour was really good. We got a much better view of Chief Crazy Horse and learned a lot of information. Korczak (last name starts with a Z, and I have no idea how to pronounce it) was contacted by tribal leaders and asked to do a bust of Crazy Horse. They wanted America to know the Native Americans also had good, brave leaders. Korczak had a better plan, and the elders agreed. Korczak was an established sculptor and told the leaders he would do the project for nothing. As a matter of fact, he started buying land around state parks and national parks. With the money he made from those sales when contacted by them to buy his property, he was able to buy all the land for the project, which includes plans for a Native American university, a medical school, schools, medical facilities, etc. He never accepted a dime from the government. When he started, he had $167 and worked alone. It is quite a story. He died in 1982, and his family has continued the work. He never got to see the face completed. There is now a corporation that will never accept a dime from the government. If the whole family were to die, the project would continue. He had 10 children. Most of them work on the mountain. His wife Ruth still lives in the log cabin he built that is attached to the part of the museum that has his sculpture, artifacts, collections, furniture, etc. Our bus drive said she never goes to bed until all workers have gone, at least an 18 hour day of work.
Another thing I admire is that not one thing in the gift shop is made outside North America. They only have enough money to employ about 10 workers for the actual mountain project (not counting the workers in the museum, office, etc.). Most of the money is made there from entrance fees, bus rides, gift shop. There are also fund raisers and some corporate donations, like equipment from Caterpillar. They will not accept money or gifts from any one or organization or company that has any strings attached. So, the project will not be completed in my life time, but it would be cool to see the horse's head finished within 30 years. I'd only be 93..... That reminds me. Korczak had a huge steel knocker put on the inside of his tomb in case he wanted to come out and see the progress. Gotta love his sense of humor and love for the Native American people.
Then came the laser light show on the mountain. Hayden liked it much better than the Mt. Rushmore evening show. It is truly impressive, and I'd encourage anyone who can go to Chief Crazy Horse Memorial to see the laser light show. The entrance fee is good for two days. You could spend a day just in the museum!
We got out of bed this morning to head to Sheridan. I did a really dumb thing by bringing in the bedroom slide without checking to see if the cargo door was closed. I about ripped it off, and caused my poor Phil an hour and a half more of work before we could leave and then another hour and a half after we got to Sheridan. He is so good and did not fuss at me and even consoled me. God sure blessed me with a good man!!!
For all that work, I cooked him a good supper (not quite so heart healthy) of mac and cheese (1% milk, 2% cheese), hamburger steak, green beans, and I made banana nut squares for dessert. Hayden rather enjoyed it, too!
I think that brings our trip up to date. We go to Little Big Horn Battlefield tomorrow on the way to Billings, MT. Phil will probably want to take Hayden to Pompeii's Pillar where William Clark (of Lewis and Clark) carved his name on the rock, as did others. It also has a neat museum. Then we go to Cody for two nights, and Phil and Hayden will go to a rodeo.

Posted by KayHorton 19:10 Comments (0)

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