Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday stuff


We saw these three eagles in this nest just outside Plains yesterday, en route to meet these new Monaco friends…IMGP0891

…Dave and Dorata.  They are enjoying their relocation from Tacoma to Plains, and we can see why.  Their view is outstanding.  Dorata makes a wonderful Polish potato salad…and she sent us home with the leftovers. 

The guys enjoyed kicking tires and swapping moho experiences.  We had a lovely visit, and will see them again in Redmond.

We join our hosts tonight for a benefit BBQ out in their barn (this is for a new local cancer treatment center), then we’ll say goodbye to them in the morning.  No, make that ‘so long.’  We’ll have to come back and see them again!

Whatever you do today, make it special.  Life is good!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Ah, Glacier NP…


Lots of trees and glaciers in this park…this spot is aptly named Heavens Peak.

Nice view behind Logan Pass Visitor Center!  It was about 55 degrees at 11 am.IMGP0830These tour buses are adorable, aren’t they?


McDonald Falls was gorgeous.  I could have sat there with a book all day!


Construction on the rock wall stopped the traffic, so here is Dick taking some photos…very carefully…while we are waiting for the pilot car to come for us.

We enjoyed some sweet patio sitting and visiting with hosts Denny and Lucy late yesterday afternoon…and are considering how to take them back to Mayberry with us.  They are already wanting us to come back to see them.  This is one of the many bonuses of traveling—making new friends.

So today we are on the road to go visit another new friend, someone Dick met on, while we leave the doe and her yearling here in the yard, and a hummer at our feeder!

Did I mention that life is good?  Have a great Friday, y’all!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Neighborly inspections

Guys bonding

Dick jawing with a fellow camper before we left the cg yesterday morning.  I wonder if they kicked the tires?

Getting set up

Then, here we are set up in the driveway, facing a huge field of oats in front and to the L side…and on the R side is a fenced-in garden (to keep out the deer)…oh, I need to take a photo of that.Moho inspector

Speaking of deer, this one came over to inspect the moho.  There are two, mother and yearling, that pretty much live here in this lovely yard.  Darcy just came over to make sure we saw them, and to tell us that we must go see the longhorn steer over at her parents’ home (two doors away) before we leave.  He comes up for dinner when her dad rings the bell.  Really?  He is friendly you say?  Um, I’ll respect his space for sure.  And hope to be alive to post photos of him!

So now that Dick has a hair cut, and all the paperwork is signed, notarized and in the mail, we are heading to Glacier National Park for the day.  Oh boy, oh boy, do we love this place. 

Photos tomorrow.  Life is good, y’all!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Now Wednesday afternoon in Montana…

Antique barber chair in saloon

This photo will give y’all a hint of what we are about to go find…but hopefully a chair a little more modern than this one in Skinner’s Saloon back in that ghost town.  Dick needs a haircut…bad!  And we need to run some more errands and find a post office here in Polson.

But we did move this morning to a spot where we can see the skies (translation: get internet!).  There were just too many trees in the cg on the lake…and we were so close to our neighbors there, we could have passed the salt shaker out the window to the folks next to us.  We just don’t like being crowded.

We had admired a lovely large yard en route to the cg yesterday, so we decided what the heck…let’s stop and ask if we can park for a few nights and pay these folks for their wonderful openness.  Well, we’ve made some new friends!  More later on that.

I’ve got some beef marinating in Better Than Dale’s Steak Sauce, so we’ll see tonight if that is true.

Enjoy your day…ours is sunny and beautiful.  We are looking out over an oat field, and our host sez deer roam here and a bear, but they are all friendly.  Right!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bannack SP Mining Village c. 1862

School house first floor, Masonic Lodge second floor

Named after the Bannock Indians, the buildings in this old mining village have seen many uses.  This one above was the school house on the lower level, and the Masonic Lodge on the second floor.  Note the village name was mistaken when it was submitted to the Post Office, thus becoming BannAck instead of BannOck.

Bannack Jail

Every village needs a jail…Hotel Meade, c. 1862

And a hotel (Hotel Meade)…

Methodist Church; bootlegger cabin

A Methodist Church…next door is a bootlegger cabin…Skinner's Saloon

…as well as a saloon (Skinner’s Saloon)…mining artifacts

…and some mining artifacts…

This neat village is outside Dillon, MT.  We spent the night there in the campground, which entitled us to enter the park village for free.  It has gone from gold town to ghost town, but as we walked the street and boardwalk and explored the many buildings, we could only imagine the bustle of activity that filled the area with laughter, sorrow, gossip and greed all those many years ago.

From the town booklet:

“Bannack is not a dead ghost town, but a living classroom.  For future generations to understand how far and from where we have come, we must recall our past, both the good and the bad.” ~Stan Smith

Stay tuned for the Griswold’s next adventure, y’all!  We are off exploring today.  Go check out my Montana ‘10 photos for more photos of the village.  Click on that link in yesterday’s post.

Monday, July 26, 2010

If it is Monday, it is time to move on…

First of all, click here if you want to go to my ivylog site and check out the extended photo albums.  I try to upload new photos each night.  End of public service announcement.

Norris Geyser 3

Today we say goodbye to Yellowstone NP—Norris Geyser above…

Dragon's Mouth Spring

Dragon’s Mouth Spring (boy, was it noisy!)…


bison munching next to the road…

Picnic lunch spot

other elk, bald eagles, and this lovely picnic spot…

So long, Yellowstone.  We are grateful that the volcano beneath your beautiful exterior remained calm during our visit.

Come along for the Griswold’s next adventure.  It involves Lewis and Clark, and is less than 200 miles away.

Life is short…go exploring!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mud Volcano @ Yellowstone NP

Woohoo...this works! Dick took this video yesterday, and I figured I would try to post it.

We saw lots of buffalo, elk, and even a bald eagle. It was a great trip through the park, an a lovely picnic beside the Yellowstone River.

Life is GOOD! Have a great Sunday, y'all. The Griswolds are!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Harmless, safe bison…

IMGP0565 IMGP0564

Cute, huh?  Greetings from downtown West Yellowstone, Montana.  We’ve seen quite a few of these guys around town.  They look pretty harmless…and are certainly quiet.

Maytag Man is wonderful!  He pulled out the door-lock thingy and worked on it and got it to cooperate so I could do a couple of loads of laundry.  And he grilled the steaks last night.  What a guy!

So after getting moved to the site with electric and getting all set up, by late afternoon yesterday, we were both tired of  being inside and doing work of one variety or another, so we took a scenic loop drive that took us by Earthquake Lake (not particularly attractive because of all the standing dead trees in the water), and lots of rolling hills, cattle and horses, all seen on a beautiful day.  And the road took us briefly into Idaho…where we are heading next week.

Today the Griswolds are going exploring back in Yellowstone Park.  Maybe we’ll see some REAL bison.  There will be photos, so check back tomorrow!

Have a great weekend, y’all.  Go out and have some fun!

Friday, July 23, 2010

From W Yellowstone, MT

P1060988 (2)

These three lovelies played in Polecat Creek for quite awhile yesterday morning before we left.  And our neighbor saw a BEAR earlier!  Dang, we missed that one.

We are in a FS cg…last night had to take a site with no electricity but we are about to move over to an electric site, since we’ll be here until at least Monday.  That means setting up the internet again…which took two hours yesterday:(  And I tried to do a quick load of laundry this morning, and my washer won’t unlock, holding our laundry hostage.  Another problem for Maytag Man to solve.  Mohoing is not for the faint of heart.  Or for folks who aren’t handy at fixin’ stuff.

So that’s life on the road for the Griswolds.  We did go into town for a few supplies and for pizza…and we found the motel where we stayed back in ‘99 when we were out here with a group snowmobiling.  Everything looks different without all that snow!

Time to close up and move…then set back up.  Life is good…well, except for that locked washer.

And a very happy birthday to SIL Logan!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wildlife and outhouses…

Early visitor This was our early visitor in the campground yesterday morning as we were enjoying our coffee.

Brown herons

Then after dinner I happened to glance up at Polecat River and saw two brown critters walking among the tall grass, assuming they were deer.  Wrong…we aren’t sure what these two guys are, but they are huge, maybe brown herons?  They were certainly graceful, out searching for their dinner.

Outhouse to be demolished

Perfectly functional outhouse is now gone, replaced by this one…

Outhouse, new

Our tax dollars at work…or waste…no pun intended.

So yesterday was chilly, windy and overcast.  We drove about 10 miles down Grassy Lake Road, where the cg is located, and found Grassy Lake, and then came back for lunch and turned the heat on.  It got colder!

We enjoyed our spot there on the Snake River, but today we are moving on, up north to the West Yellowstone area.  We hope to get in a forest service cg that has electricity, as it is time to do a little laundry and some cleaning.  That stuff goes on, no matter where we are.  Blah, blah…

Plus we want to go back into Yellowstone NP and check it out some more. 

Enjoy your Thursday.  The Griswolds are on the move!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Faithful, Old Faithful…


We arrived at the inn with about 20 minutes to spare before Old Faithful was scheduled to erupt, so we grabbed sandwiches and drinks at the deli and headed to the outside porch…to sit…and wait…and we visited with our pew partners.  Here is OF as seen through the porch structure, amongst all the oohs and aahhhs.

And then back at rest again.


IMGP0478Say ‘cheese’ next to the  big park cheeser…

Dick on Snake River

Then I dropped Dick off on the Snake River…bye, honey…be safe…IMGP0508

Whew…safely back at the campground.  Oh, we get to stay here.  The new outhouse and holding tank were delivered on a lowboy late yesterday afternoon, and we were not in their way at all.  The guys kept us entertained for about an hour, doing all the offloading, and turning the trailer around by crane.  Piece of cake.  We entertain so easily.

Hmm, wonder where we’ll go exploring today?  Wait and see.  The Griswolds are out to have fun!  And were just treated to a deer walking through our campground.

Congrats to Mayberry…we are moving up to modern times—the sale of beer and wine was approved last night!  Woohoo!!!  Now we’ll get the revenue and not just the litter.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

In the woods, near Yellowstone NP…

Polecat River at L entering Snake River

What a view!  This is the Snake River, and we are camping right on it.  For free!  That itty bitty river up there on the L is the Polecat River, flowing into the Snake River.

Flaggs Ranch cg view to Tetons

This view is looking S to the Grand Tetons…Flaggs Ranch cg view S


This view shows the river a little better.  I wish y’all could hear it!  Of course I would cut down those two dead trees if I owned this spot, but they didn’t ask me.

This is a dispersed campground (free), and there are four sites in this little spot.  That is the good news; the bad news is that it will be closed as of today so that the small outhouse can be replaced by a larger one.  The ranger emptying trash yesterday said that we might be able to stay, seeing as how we are self contained and don’t need the outhouse, but I know for sure the three tents sharing this spot with us are gonna have to go.  Poor things.

It’s beautiful and sooo peaceful.  We can’t leave for Yellowstone (which is what we want to do for the day) until we find out if we have to leave or not.  We want to stay here for a few days, and go canoeing.  Pretty please, let us stay, ranger man!

The perils of traveling.

We’ll manage.  We’re flexible.

Did I mention that life is good?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday stuff

 Jackson Hole antler arch

Here is a photo of one of the many antler arches in downtown Jackson Hole.  I don’t need one of these in my yard.  Just sayin’.


But, I wouldn’t mind having this in my back yard, if I didn’t have to put up with all the snow that goes with it.

So to answer Haley’s questions: 

“Sinks Canyon is so named because of the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie, a rushing mountain river that flows out of the Wind River Mountains and through the canyon.  Halfway down the canyon, the river abruptly turns into a large limestone cavern, and the crashing water ‘sinks’ into fissures and cracks at the back of the cave.  The river is underground for 1/4 mile until it emerges down the canyon in a large calm pool called ‘The Rise.’  It then continues its course into the valley below.”  So there you have it.

And yes, you were the ONLY child who got to go to the Chapel of the Transfiguration a long time ago, well, Brian was there, but he was a bun in the oven.  Amy, Jason, and Doodlebug saw it back in ‘07 when they were out here.

Any other questions?

So yesterday, we did make it to church on time and had to (again) sit outside, but they have at least added an awning to shade the outside worshippers.   Thank you very much!

We changed our minds on having lunch at the chuckwagon place, and instead went for dinner.  Big mistake.  The beef stew was totally bland and the meat was tough.  We won’t go back and waste our money there.

We plan to move to a different cg today, and Dick wants to go canoeing.  We had to have the canoe inspected to make sure it isn’t bringing into these waters any undesirables, and purchase a permit, so we are good to go on both scores.

We’ve seen a few antelope, elk, and possibly a herd of buffaloes, but they have all been from a distance not Kodak worthy.  Amy, that eagle nest is still up on the pole near Moran Junction.  We see  a little activity there each time we pass by.IMGP0411

So that is our Monday.  How is yours?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday at Grand Teton

Rain greeted us yesterday morning while we were watching the Tour, which was fine by us, but not so fine for photos when we finally went for a drive.  Hopefully, the sun and clouds will cooperate today so that I can get better photos.  IMGP0372

IMGP0376We did go check out the chapel to confirm the service time today (10:00a), so we will be worshipping here this morning.  It is such a peaceful setting.IMGP0375

And afterward, we are going here for lunch.  Amy and Jason will remember this place from when we were here three years ago, carrying on the family tradition.  Dick’s parents brought their kids here back a looong time ago.

We drove on into Jackson Hole and poked around a bit, then caught a terrific presentation at the visitor’s center.  A local author and teacher (Kenneth Thomasma) gave a presentation on Lewis and Clark and their very important guide, Sacajawea, and her valuable role in getting their expedition across country safely.   He brought history alive, and has written a book about Sacajawea, using the actual journals of Lewis and Clark.  When Thomasma found out that a female was going to be featured on the new one-dollar coin, he lobbied long and hard to make sure Sacajawea was indeed that woman.  As a result, he was invited to the White House for the unveiling of the coin!

I, of course, purchased this particular book, which he signed, and with each book, he gave an uncirculated Sacajawea coin.  How ‘bout that!

Whatever you are doing today, remember how blessed you are!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sinks Canyon State Park

Sinks Visitors Center birds of the air

Sinks cave entranceThe Visitors Center at Sinks Canyon was awesome.  Small, but one of the best we have seen.  Lots of displays for kids of all ages to enjoy and appreciate. 

And right outside is this incredible scene above—the Popo Agie River is fast and mighty as it dashes down the hill into this underground limestone cave.  The river winds its way one-quarter mile down the road, where it then pops out at The Rise.  These fat trout are enjoying being fed by the many tourists  standing on the platform.Trout at the Rise

After leaving the visitors center, we drove another scenic loop road back to our campground.  Another fine day in America.

So now the Griswolds are out enjoying the Grand Tetons today.  Be still my heart…they are beautiful.  Batteries are charged and ready!  Missy, behave while we are gone.

Enjoy your Saturday.  We sure will…and will have photos to prove it!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Uh oh…a chip of a different kind…


The road outside Rock Springs was long, straight, and almost empty.  One car was coming toward us, and all of a sudden we heard a whap…a rock was thrown FORWARD that hit out windshield and left a dent and the beginnings of a couple of spider veins.  Thankfully, I had phone service and quickly found a repair place in town where a guy worked his magic, and the spot is almost good as new.  Spider veins disappeared, crack is filled with special glue, and $20 lighter, we hit the road.  Stuff happens; we adjust.


This is another Red Canyon that is located here in Wyoming.  We are seeing more ‘green’ here, and lovin’ it.  And we found a very interesting sink hole on our scenic road trip in the car yesterday.  I’ll post those photos tomorrow.

So today we are moving to a major destination…near the Grand Tetons.  Love, love that place!  What a beautiful country this is.  Get out and go see as much as you can.  We are!

Happy Friday, y’all!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Saying goodbye to Utah…

Flaming Gorge Dam, UT

We arrived at the forest service cg, got set up, and headed straight to Flaming Gorge Dam (above), so named by John Powell because the sun on the rocks looked to him as if they were on flame.  He was the first here, so he got the honor of naming it!  We drove across the dam for these two photos.Flaming rocks

Flaming Gorge bridge 

This bridge was interesting, so I couldn’t resist a photo.  We crossed it before the dam.IMGP0297

And the lake was pretty, but we got more trees shown here than lake.

We are happy to be leaving Utah today, heading next door to Wyoming and some of our favorite places.  Tonight we’ll stay in a FHU cg so that laundry can get done, but then we’ll return to the forest service campgrounds.  Amy/Jason, we are going back to that one in Moran Junction where we stayed in ‘07.  Wish y’all were here!

The weather is fantastic.  And no rain on us today for a change.  And no sign of Theodore, Simon OR Alvin!

Life is short…make fun of it!  We sure are…