Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hello Summer

Ah summertime...  The best time of the year.
June 21 is my favorite day of that year.  It's the longest day of the year...
It's the start of Summer and all that it entails.
To me, the start of Summer is the renewal of hope.
A blank page just waiting to be written upon.
So many things to do, so many places to go, so many stories to be written.
And the whole summer to write them.
Today it stretches before us...  just beginning...  just waiting.
Happy Summer to all of you.
May your stories be as great as I hope mine are.

My Summer started as my Spring ended....
In a Bison Jam.
A bison on the road....  How Rare!
Notice how it's winter coat is falling off.


Today was the start of summer and to celebrate, the National Park Service opens up the National Parks free to the public.  The normal entry fee is $25.00.
We have our $80.00 annual pass so we've already made that back 10 times over.

Anyway - the park was very busy with all the people taking advantage of the free day.

Where do they come from??  Yellowstone is not exactly close to anywhere.

Our first stop for the day was Old Faithful again.  I checked the web and we knew when to show up.
Today the weather was more conducive to a halfway decent photo.


I bet I've seen it go off 30 or more times and I never get tired of it....

We then headed north then east across to the Canyon area of the park.

On the way we pass several geyser basins.
If you look closely at this picture you will notice that the steam has colors of red, blue, orange and ??
The picture only does it a little justice.


I've passes this basin countless times and this is the first time that I've noticed this.
I'm guessing that the colors of the water and soil are reflected in the steam.
Another Yellowstone surprise!

Crossing over to the East side we next visited the South Rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  I haven't been to this side in many years and forgot how pretty it is.

The view of the Lower Falls from Artist Point is breathtaking.  Remember these falls are 308' tall or almost twice as high as Niagara Falls.


Artist Point was also the setting for todays self portrait.


Little did I know in the morning, but we both put on our new long sleeve Yellowstone T-shirts.
We had the same shirts on.... yuck.  I might as well been wearing the one that says "stupid"

After the Canyon, we headed back over the pass to the West side.
On the way we took another side road to Virginia Cascades... a one-way trip thru a canyon along a beautiful stream.

This is a picture of the mountains headed west over the pass.

We are camped near the base of those mountains.


Tomorrow we spend our last day in the park.

We will head back over to the east side and visit one of my favorite places in the park:
The Hayden Valley.  
The valley was named after a sailing bud of mine.  
It is one of the best wildlife viewing areas, very remote, and super beautiful.

In closing, I want to send out a special Thank You to Tom, Jackie, Bob, and Margie.
When we heard that there had been a bad storm at home and that our yard was a disaster, we were naturally concerned about just how bad the damage was.
Being so far away and helpless to do anything about it compounds the worry.

Thanks for checking things out and telling us all was ok and thank you for cleaning up the yard.
That was so kind and thoughtful of you.
It's great to know you have our backs.







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