The Bubbling Mud of Yellowstone

Posted on May 26, 2012 in nature, photography, Travel

In the middle of Montana, Yellowstone National Park sits on what is now considered the largest Super Volcano in the world.  All around this park, signs of internal distress within the earths crust is evident.  No where is this more evident than in the multitude of bubbling mud pots that collect almost everywhere within the park.  Mud Pots are sorts of acidic hot springs that contain a limited amount of extremely hot water and lots of mud.  What you get when these mud pots develop is a little bit of boiling water under the crust of the earth and lots of mud.  The mud pots because they have various colors within the park are also called paint pots because they resemble artist pools of different colored paint.  The only difference is that the mud pots are boiling and mud is flying everywhere.  The mud pots produce this really cool steam but the steam smells like boiled eggs and actually makes your eyes burn.  You want to stay around the mud pots, but the tremendous amounts of steam, fog and general bad smell make you want to leave after a little bit.

These mud pots spell trouble for dogs and travelers to the park.  Just a couple of months ago, a dog jumped into the area where the mud pots were and cracked through the crust and literally boiled himself alive.  The owners friend, jumped in the pot to save the dog but alas he fell to the same fate.  One generally does not want to venture off the beaten path in Yosemite because it is quite easy to break through the ground and end up in one of these boiling mud soup pots.  It is quite an amazing place, full of beauty and danger.

I liked this bike

Posted on May 18, 2012 in Travel

I have always liked bikes.  Actually my first major purchase in life was a motorcross bike back in 1980 and I used the first paycheck I ever got to buy a mongoose motor cross bike from some guy down the street.  I think I paid $150 for it and I rode that bike everywhere until it got stolen while me and my sister were in a department store in Chula Vista.

Since that time I have probably owned about 5-10 more bikes and about the same number of scooters. There is something about riding on two wheels that is pretty appealing to me.  In Jackson Hole, we were walking past an interesting alley way and I saw a very interesting bike laying against a brick wall.  The bike had the coolest lines and looked so retro and original that it caught my eye.  What is funny is that the very next day, we were in a bar in the same city and the bartender there told us that he saw us taking pictures of his bike.  He told us the story of it.  It was built in 1957 and the original owner used it to ride their paper route.  They sold it and this guy left it in the original condition. The bike was so cool and had an interesting story.

Million Dollar Cowboy Bar

Posted on May 14, 2012 in Travel

It’s quirky. It’s cool and it’s for cowboys. Well that is at least what they want you to think as you enter one of the most unusual bars that I have been to in my life.  This bar is known for the fact that you have to sit on horse saddles at the bar.  When we told everyone we were coming to Jackson Hole.  The first thing that they said was that we had to at least stop by and take a look at this place.  It’s located in the center of Jackson Hole and it is a place where everyone goes to take a picture of themselves sitting at the bar on a saddle.

Kevin relaxes on the dance floor of the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar – like a cowboy would.

The bar serves Whiskey and beer.  Kevin had a beer, and drank it like  cowboy.  Guzzled it down and then contemplated on horses and such

City Slickers aren’t sure what to do when they walk up to this bar.  It’s like riding a horse – you just need to hop on and it all comes to you.

I am not sure if this is a real bear or not but this was the only bear I saw on this trip and it looked like it wanted to eat me.  I am glad it was in a glass box.

There is room enough for lots of cowboys at this bar. Set em up and knock em back.

Most of the beer served in this joint is locally brewed at Snake River Brewing Company.  It’s a nice famous brewery from Jackson Hole.

The bartender even had a cool bike.  It was built in 1957 and it was all original.  Cool stuff in Jackson Hole Wyoming.

El Caro No Worko

Posted on May 12, 2012 in nature, photography, Travel

Today marked day 2 of our stay within Yellowstone National Park.  Call it luck of the Irish as my car broke down in just about one of the best places you could break down.  Unfortunately today however we found out that they had to special order the part from another state and have it federal expressed by Monday to the location.  Apparently Range Rover does not open on weekends so that is going to have Kevin and I stuck yet another day here in Yellowstone.  I guess the word “stuck” is all based on your perception of the problem.  Things could be worse but this means that Kevin and I will have to do some fast driving on Monday night to make it home by Tuesday. I think we are still on mark to travel over 3500 miles on the road in less than 7 days.

Kevin and I spent the whole day driving through most of the park – actually we drove all around the park and could probably now become Rangers since we know the park so well.  We saw even more wildlife today – Bison, Osprey, Orange Bellied Beavers, Cranes, Elks and Ravens.  We also saw some amazing waterfalls today – the most intense and large that I have seen in my life. The lower waterfalls in Yellowstone must be seen to be believed.  They were loud and millions of pounds of water we pouring over the side of the cliff every minute.  It was a pretty awe-inspring site.

We finished off the day watching 2 elk wade across Yosemite River and pause to drink water – now that was another great day.

A view of one of the great waterfalls at Yellowstone at a location called Artist Point.  It could take your breath away it is so beautiful

Everywhere you look within Yellowstone is like a picture perfect postcard.  This place is called the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.  Can you see why?

Kevin’s smile reveals the terror within his heart as he grips the railing to avoid plunging down through the raging waterfall.

Kevin slapped this surprised Bison on the Butt Cheek as we drove past him.  The Bison literally walked right beside our car – close enough to touch,  or in Kevin’s case, close enough to launch a butt slap on him.

This elk was slightly annoyed that we were watching him wade in the water and have sips of water.  Eventually about 10 cars were lined up taking pictures and trapping the poor elk in the water.

Burned trees are everywhere in the park.  That comes with the territory as boiling hot springs and mud pots spring up in random places and burn everything around.

Burned tree sticks create a barren landscape in some places.  Barren but still so beautiful.

Kevin sits on one of the picturesque park benches in front of a waterfall.

Hello Mellow Yellow

Posted on May 11, 2012 in Family, Travel

We drove 11 hours yesterday and arrived in Salt Lake City.  This morning we got up early again and drove another 5 hours to arrive in YellowStone by 1:30.  We are really working hard to see many places and so is my car.  Actually when we got into the car it broke down and I had to call the emergency service to help us get the car fixed.  They ended up towing the Rover all the way back to Salt Lake City where we had just come from (5 hours away) to get it fixed. If they are able to fix it we will get the truck back tomorrow so we can continue our travels.  For today we ended up renting a car and seeing some amazing things.

In the first 1o minutes in the park we saw Buffalo, Elk, Antelope, Eagles and a Wolf.  There is so much wildlife here and it is fantastic. Yellowstone is truly a national treasure.  We are going to stay here another day and take in some more of this amazing place.

The have recently discovered that YellowStone – the entire park is a super volcano.  The park is basically a big crater.  There is hot water, rocks and sulpher springing up everywhere.  It is a dormant volcano but if it blows it is going to be huge.

Kevin walks into the fog of sulpher along the steam path.  These paths are everywhere in Yellowstone allowing visitors to get up close and personal with the various craters.

It is pretty chilly here.  Today was about 45 degrees.  Much different than the other parks that we have visited.

All the way to Arches

Posted on May 11, 2012 in Travel

A 6:o0 am wake up call followed by 6 hours of driving across the desert lands of Utah, and they call this a vacation?  Sounds more like a job.  Well Kevin and I did just that to make time to visit one of the more interesting places and parks in Utah – Arches National Park.  Arches is  known for preserving over 2000 sandstone arches in the middle of the desert.  In 1929 the US created it as a national monument and it is truly a spectacular places.  Kevin and I spent the day finding spectacular photo opportunities in this awesome place.

SandStone Arches – There are over 2,000 of them all over this national park.  It is amazing that they are still standing.

Almost all of the Arches and formations have unusual names that try to describe what the formation looks like.  You can get very creative with many of the names.

This was one of the first formations that we saw in the Park.  It was so large and formidable.

There were some of the formations that Kevin was particularly fond of and insisted that I take some photos of him in front of. I am not really sure why.

Zoom to Zion

Posted on May 9, 2012 in Family, Travel

After waking up in Las Vegas and saying a quick goodbye to Phil the Dash Nash we were back in the Range zooming our way to Zion National Park.  Zion National Park is located in the remote areas of Utah not far from the Arizona border and it is basically a magnificent canyon that contains the highest sandstone peeks in the world.  It is pretty awe inspiring but you have to wonder as you travel through the huge canyon if you are going to get your head clobbered by a bolder.  When you look up 1000 feet or more at these huge peeks you can see huge pieces that have broken off and fallen into the valley below. Kevin and I kept sharp eyes all around us and we were prepared to duck and run for cover if we saw anything coming for us.  It was a beautiful place – another great day and some great photos.

The SandStone peeks at Zion are beautiful and are said to be the highest in the world.  We heard thunder and thought there would be storms today.

On the way we spotted this tree in the middle of the desert.  There were shoes hanging all over the tree and we had no idea what that meant.  Nice shoes too.

We hiked and hiked and hiked and hiked.  The Canyon is not huge but we kept seeing beautiful places that we wanted to get too.  Our feet are sore now.

Kevin wore the soles off his shoes and he kept slipping down the mountain because all the treads are gone.

By the end of the day we were beat.  Well, we will do it all again tomorrow when we head to Arches National Park. We should be in good shape by the end of this.

Road Trippin to Wyoming

Posted on May 8, 2012 in Family, Travel

Kevin and I decided to take a little last minute adventure – one that should take us on a 3,500 mile round trip up to Wyoming and back.  Our first stop today was Las Vegas and on the way we stopped by a small town called Baker.  We found an old abandoned motel that looked like it might be inhabited by Zombies but we weren’t completely sure actually.  The adventure begins.  Tomorrow – Zion’s National Park and hopefully no Zombies tomorrow.