Sunday, June 23, 2013

American Old West Tour Day 3-5

DAY 3:

After a nice dinner in West Yellowstone, (Mike had the elk tenderloin and I had the bison. So yummy.) we rested up and headed into the park the following morning. We took this photo with the "little camera" so I'll have to crop it together later. For now enjoy. 

We were off to a great start on day one in Yellowstone. Within 10 minutes we spotted a bald eagle perched on a tree overlooking the river. 'Merica! 

We decided to drive the lower loop on day one in order to make it to our dinner reservations at the Old Faithful Inn. 

Bison! Delicious. 

A lone female elk. 

Mike likes rivers. 

We took a short detour off the main drive and came across these beautiful falls: Firehole Falls

Back on the main drive we took a short hike around the geysers surrounding the Old Faithful Inn

We decided to stop and wait for Old Faithful to erupt... She was a little late and Mikey's ears got cold...

Look! They named one after Mike!

Finally, there she goes!! Not quite as impressive looking so far away on the camera but it was 100+ feet into the air. 

Morning Glory pool

A bull elk just off the road from Old Faithful
A crowd had formed while we were taking this shot when we overheard a grown man ask the nearby ranger, "Is he here everyday?" 
These people vote.  (<--Mike's comment)

Some mule deer around the lake. 

The Upper Falls of the Yellowstone Grand Canyon

We got a couple photos like this. Imagine you go to see the Statue of Liberty and ask an (American!) bystander to take your photo, and they manage to maneuver the camera in such a way to totally obscure the Statue of Liberty. As if you said to them, "Hey, you know that thing you came all this way to see? Make sure you don't get that in the shot."

The Lower Falls

This was attempt #2 with random photographer #2. First one had us exactly covering the falls, again. 

Back to the historic Old Faithful Inn to celebrate our 2 year anniversary a few days early. 

This was the table in which Bonnie and Clyde were finally captured. 

DAY 4:

For day two in the park we drove around the upper loop around Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Roosevelt. 

Just outside of Mammoth we spotted this wolf just off the road eating red fox. This happened to be when the "big camera" died on us. I say died but what I really mean is the auto focus quit working and mike and I are too camera stupid to figure it out. So the remainder of photos are from the point and shoot. 
No worries, we did get it "fixed" in a camera shop in Jackson Hole. It is in need of a good cleaning after our dusty travels. 

No really, mike really likes rivers

We ended our last day in Yellowstone on horseback. This was actually a great excursion that Mike planned for us. (Actually, he planned the entire trip!) We were part of as all group and our guides took us out for a 2 hour back country tour of Yellowstone. Our tour then met up with a couple other tours and wagons for a chuck wagon style dinner at sunset. The food was great, music was flowing, and the campfire coffee was actually really nice. 

After our tour, not far from the dinner site we saw a black bear! Apparently there was a momma bear and two cubs in the area but they stayed pretty hidden. 

Gorgeous. By the way...this was taken at about 9:30-10pm. So weird how bright it was!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

American Old West tour day 1-2

Our trip started after Mike finished up out processing from Luke AFB where he was transitioning to the F-16.  We figured we had a golden opportunity to take a whirlwind tour of the western USA over my only free week between rotations until I graduate from PA school in December.  Our trip took us north from Phoenix through Flagstaff for lunch, then on to Antelope Canyon in northern AZ...unfortunately this part was delayed by a serious accident (we were not involved) and by the time we made it there, we had missed the last tour of the day by 22 minutes.  So, that stunk.  Already on the books for next time! So we pressed on to our original objective of Monument Valley, which straddles Arizona and Utah (and technically is within the Navajo Nation).  We were there for sunset, a quick night at our hotel, and then back out there for sunrise the next morning (Day 2).  All this in less than 24 hours from the start!
  After sunrise at Monument valley, we headed north towards Utah, climbed a mountain face in the car (a bit unnerving for me - Mike was happy Tokyo drifting the switchbacks until I made him stop), stopped at Natural Bridges National Monument, then on to Arches National Park, and then further north to Park City, Utah for the night.  We celebrated 4 years since our first meeting on a rooftop along Main Street!  
   The next morning, we were back not the road, this time on a mission to go directly through Salt Lake City to Yellowstone national park.

 Here are quite a few pictures

Day 1:
Leaving Phoenix Monday morning we made it to Flagstaff for lunch at one of the local breweries we visited it February. First stop of many! 
After many stops and an attempt at visiting Antelope Canyon we made it to Monument Valley!

We loaded up on beer and coffee before crossing this state line.

A little fun waiting on sunset...

You'll see at lot of this... Wait for it. 

Day 2:
After a short night's sleep we were back for sunrise.

A little fun at our pit stop for gas

The scenery was incredible. 

The map didn't say anything about going up a sheer cliff face. 

This road was amazing and frightening. 

At the top


Yea, my 33 year old husband is 15

And again...

Finally to Park City, UT for night two. This was our view and accommodations 

 We celebrated 4 years since the day we met at a rooftop bar, not unlike the one in which we met (Boatyard)

The bar was really tall...

Day 3:

I'm scoffed for window shopping in Park City but we HAVE to stop for this...

Ending day 3 in West Yellowstone!

Xoxo mike & jen