08/29/2014 Betsy

END OF SUMMER CELEBRATIONS   IT’S CHRISTMAS IN AUGUST   It is a tradition from the early 1900’s that Yellowstone National Park celebrate Christmas on August 25th.  Each of the areas in the park have their buildings decorated and orchestrate their own celebrations.  At Bridge Bay Campground the Xanterra group (these are the folks who actually manage the campground and keep in going; we work for the Park Service) invited us hosts to be part of their Christmas in August celebration. In July we put our names in the hat and drew two names for the “Secret Santa”.  We were lucky…

08/29/2014 Betsy

GRAND TETONS – STILL GRAND!   We drove through the Grand Tetons NP loop down to Jackson, WY.     WHATS IN A NAME: Until 1880’s many of the natural features went without names.  The Shoshone called the mountain range “Teewinot” meaning “many pinnacles”.  French Canadian trappers referred to the Grand, Middle and South Teton as “Les Trois Tetons” or “The Three Breasts”.  Early explorers called them “Pilot Knobs”.  The name Jackson came from trapper David Jackson.  In 1872 Hayden Expedition named Leigh and Jenny lakes after the guide Richard Leigh and his Shoshone wife.     A busy little…

08/29/2014 Betsy

SWIMMING MOOSE   Spotting moose is difficult as they are not around the park in plain view.  In fact, I’ve only heard of one sighting so far of moose.  The elk are appearing here and there and the deer are in the meadow.  But no moose …. yet!   On our way to Jackson Hole, passing Lewis Lake, I saw a moose standing in the water.  Actually at first I thought it was a large rock and then my brain screamed “MOOSE”.  I then screamed MOOSE!  But it was a ways down the road before we could pull over. By…

08/29/2014 Betsy

GRIZZLY BEAR BEAUTY!   We’d been hearing about a premature rut and a downed bison with a group of grizzlys and two wolf packs hanging around the carcass.    Of course that was while we were working and by the time we got out to take a look the carcass was pretty well picked over. After about four days a steady rain and cold temps, we ventured out to Hayden Valley to find a grizzly and we were not disappointed!  He was absolutely beautiful. GRIZZLY BEAUTY Now that I have the binocs, I got a great…

08/27/2014 Betsy

CAMPING ON THE MADISON RIVER   It’s August 17 and the sky is a beautiful Montana blue – big sky they call it.  You’ve been looking forward to this week all summer your last getaway before winter sets in and you’ve planned a camping trip along the Madison River at Rock Creek Campground  just west of Yellowstone Park. All eight of the official campsites at the Rock Creek CG filled up by early afternoon and as evening opened up, others arrived settling for unofficial sites further up or downriver.  The evening was alive with voices, campfires and children laughing. Your…

08/27/2014 Betsy

CHIEF JOSEPH SCENIC HIGHWAY   Leaving Cody, Alex and I took WY 296, Chief Joseph Scenic Highway which hooks up to the Beartooth Highway fourteen miles southeast of Cooke City, MT.    This 45 mile scenic highway is absolutely beautiful as it winds through Shoshone National Forest, the Absaroka Mountains and then passes through Dead Indian Pass crossing Sunlight Creek Bridge, the highest in Wyoming.   CHIEF JOSEPH SCENIC HIGHWAY Throughout this area and in Yellowstone, you see reference to Chief Joseph, the leader of the Nez Perce.  Chief Joseph or Joseph the Younger, in 1877 he…

08/27/2014 Betsy

HEART MOUNTAIN RELOCATION CENTER   HEART MOUNTAIN This was a heart rendering trip outside of Cody to Heart Mountain Relocation Center where the Japanese Americans were excluded from the West Coast during WWII.   The Japanese Detention Center was turned into a national monument.  Heart Mountain was chosen for its remoteness yet convenience between Cody and Powell.   Before the war a major irrigation project was started with constructed canals, buildings and some infrastructure.  It was also adjacent to a railroad spur and depot where internees could be off-loaded and processed. The center opened in 1942 with internees…

08/27/2014 Betsy

  A FEW DAYS OF SUMMER … IN CODY We packed up the MH and headed down to Cody for a few days.  Guess we are getting our two days of summer; it’s 90 degrees in Cody vs 74 at Lake Yellowstone. Alex commented that he didn’t know whether to keep his jacket on or off given the temperature difference in the sun and shade up in the Park.  In Cody, it’s a no brainer – jacket off!   Cody Rodeo opens with pagentry A NIGHT AT THE RODEO Can’t come out west and miss the…

08/27/2014 Betsy

  Alex’s Yellowstone Adventure August 6th   Waited all summer for Alex to arrive and here he is!  He was scheduled to fly from Orlando to Denver then Bozeman on the 4th.  However, bad weather across the US delayed the flight into Orlando by 4 ½ hours which meant he wouldn’t make the Denver to Bozeman connection.    The next flight out here on Frontier was Wednesday so we had to push his arrival back two days.  But, finally at 10:40 PM, he arrived in Bozeman and our whirlwind tour of Yellowstone and surrounding areas were to begin! Spent the night…

08/03/2014 Betsy

LIFE IN YELLOWSTONE Six Weeks Later   Hard to believe July is  over.  Weather has been pretty consistent … in the 30’s or low 40’s at night and high 60’s to low 70’s during the day with one or two days at 80 degrees.  Sky has been a relentless blue, cloudless and the sun up here is strong!  When it is overcast it is somewhat of a relief!  One thing for sure, if you sit in the shade, it feels 10 degrees cooler than in the sun.   OUR “CAR”   We share a golf cart…