Friday, June 29, 2012

Nature's Force

Water from the Yellowstone River seen flowing down 109 feet (33m) of the Upper Yellowstone Waterfall, one of the two major waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park.
I wished the trees did not obscure the view below, but the scenery is breathtaking nevertheless.
A late May snowstorm was just starting and you could see some snowflakes on the trees.

- Karen

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Yellowstone Geysers

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- Karen

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Like Clockwork

What is that old saying?
"Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds."
I guess it is the same for visitors coming to see the Old Faithful geyser at Yellowstone.
The geyser was shrouded by the snow, but people still waited to see it.

Like clockwork, it erupts almost every 90 minutes for 1-1/2 to 5 minutes.
When it got closer to showtime, even more people came outdoors.

Perhaps these people were smarter by deciding to stay indoors at the Old Faithful Lodge to watch the geyser through the windows.
It was so warm inside that some even ate ice cream while watching the nature show and the silly tourists outside.

- Karen

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bison Stampede

If you are tired of my bison posts, I promise this is the last one in the series.
As we drove through the park, we came across more bisons just as the snow started to really come down.
We drove parallel to them for a little while as they began to run for cover.
You would not want to get in their way.

- Karen

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Bonding

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- Karen

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bisons Roam Free

The highlight of my trip in Yellowstone National Park were the encounters of the free roaming bisons on the road.
Yes, they caused traffic jams, but I think these were stoppages visitors did not mind.

You drive along and all of a sudden you might see one or more in front of you, on the left side, or on the right.

It was such an awesome sight and wondrous experience.

During our evening drive back to our cabin, we encountered this slow moving herd.
Several calves clung close to their mommas as they crossed the highway.
Watch this video I took posted on Youtube.
With a male bison weighing close to 2,000 pounds and a female at half that weight, it got a little scary as two bisons started "headbutting" next to our car. We quickly maneuvered out of there as soon as we could.

With a bison population of 3,000 to 4,000 in the park, you can't miss them.
All the previous photos on this post were taken inside our car except for this one where a bison wandered into our cabin area during a snowstorm.
I ran out as quickly as I could to take a picture.

- Karen

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Animal Crossing

This was my first trip to Yellowstone National Park so I wondered if I would encounter any real wild animals, not statues. :)
After driving only a few miles, we spotted an elk or is it deer?
One good way to spot an animal in Yellowstone is to first spot groups of cars parked along the side of the road.
It is a sure sign they have found something interesting to look at.

Another few miles away, we saw another one about to cross a stream.
I was cheering at this point hoping he/she would cross because I have only witnessed such a sight on television.

Okay, almost made it to the other side.
Don't worry, he/she arrived safely.

- Karen

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Painted Buffaloes

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- Karen

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Friendly Greetings

We felt very welcomed during our first visit to Montana.
Mr. & Mrs. Bear even came out to greet us during a hailstorm.

When it stopped raining and hailing, a bear waved to us as we passed by.

This grizzly was a little grumpy being awaken by the loud thunder, but still willing to give us a sympathetic bear hug for enduring the bad weather.

This one was a little sad because business was slow so I went inside the store to look around.
I hope he had a smile on his face afterwards.

Pete swaggered up in roller skates and offered us some old-fashioned western hospitality by welcoming us inside his eating establishment.

When we were tired, the little cubs offered us their seats and entertained us with chats about their day.

- Karen

Friday, June 08, 2012

Ice, Ice, Ice, and Snow

What do all these West Yellowstone, Montana eateries have in common?
They are all selling something cold like ice cream or shaved ice.
The outside temperature was in the low 40's with a chance of snow at the time of my visit a few weeks ago.
Business must be tough during the off-season.

- Karen

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - La Palma Restaurant

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- Karen

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Niagara of the West - Shoshone Falls

Did you know there are waterfalls in Twin Falls, Idaho that have a vertical drop taller than Niagara Falls in New York?
After seeing both, it doesn't appear so, but the data says Shonshone Falls is 212 feet high whereas the tallest of the Niagara Falls is 167 feet.
Named after the Indians that lived in the region, this land purchased by the Adams family and in 1932 they donated the it to the city and requested it be "forever held for park purposes only for the beneficial use and enjoyment of all the people."

There are information boards for visitors to read about the park and falls history.

Here is one of several overlooks for visitors to venture out to get a better view of the falls and river below.

I thought it was odd, but there is even a "gift shop" at this public park.
The lady behind the counter was very friendly, but probably bored this time of year with smaller number of visitors to the area.

- Karen

Friday, June 01, 2012

Bridge and Canyon Tour

Two weeks ago, I posted a picture of an iconic bridge in Twin Falls, Idaho called the Perrine Bridge.
This is the visitor center not far from the bridge.
The bridge not only serve as a path to bring people across the Snake River, but adventure seekers also use it for BASE jumping with parachutes. BASE stands for objects to jump from such as a Building, Antenna, Span, or Earth.
I don't know much about parachuting, but at an elevation of 486 feet, is that enough time to open a chute and land safely?

Nearby is a statue of Mr. Perrine who was an early settler in the area.

Not only was it a thrill to see the bridge, but to be able to walk on it on both sides was a real treat.
A few easy steps take you right up, but watch out, it is very windy!
To the left is a monument to the daredevil Evel Knievel in his failed attempt to jump across the canyon in his a steam-powered rocket in 1974. He didn't make it very far across before his parachute opened and he drifted to the ground below. Locals told me he left town in the middle of the night still owing the townspeople and others money so he is not a well-liked figure so I was surprised there was a monument in his name.

It is a heavily crossed bridge during rush hour, but here is a rare view of it empty for the moment.As we spent the hour on the bridge walking and admiring the views below, we encountered no other pedestrians.

From the bridge, you can see the visitor overlook, cliffs, and river below. If you enlarge the picture, there is a man standing on the edge of the overlook to get a perspective of its enormity.

Look straight down and you can see boaters cruising the river on this warm late afternoon.

Someone stuck a fake $2 bill to the bridge railing. Up close, you can see it is an advertisement for Casey Neistat's website.

The pedestrian walkway takes you below the bridge so you never encounter traffic to cross over to the other side.

Here is the view from the other side of the bridge.

- Karen