29 Aug 2014

Teton Special

I liked the Grand Tetons so much I bought a cap (I lost my old one so needed a new one) then I discovered that Teton means breast! So now I am walking around with hat that says 'big tit'! I am sure some would not argue!

The Tetons are spectacular and we actually waited a couple of days for the weather to improve, and it did. We did a fantastic walk and had lunch twice on the terrace of a Hotel with the whole of the Tetons across the lake. To the East of the Tetons is a wide valley (42 miles across) with Lakes spread along the the length of the range, so the sun is in the right place for amazing views/photos for most of the day.

I have finally seen the smallest tent in the world and the animal count is increasing. Another Moose. An Elk that ran through our camp site (the site was set in the woods with about 10 meters of forest between each pitch). About 50 metres beyond the site it stopped to eat and I managed to get right up to it, to my amazement it then lay down looking right at me! We didn't see Yogi in Yellowstone, but we did see a girl doing Yoga in the middle if the Lake and also saw Woody Woodpecker.

Went for a ride in the hills today and managed to run over a snake! About 2 cm wide and 400 cm long inches long. At first I thought it was a stick, then a dead snake then realised it was alive (this was in seconds as I was moving quite quickly, fortunately), sorry I didn't get a photo - or of the bloody dog that chased me past a house on the way back.

Finally a few photos of Buffalo Bill pass, between Cody and Yellowstone on the way to the Tetons, this of course was before the Tetons, but they had to come first!

Now to Utah, loads more parks and hopefully some better weather!

23 Aug 2014

Yellowstone Smellostone

Just a point before I begin, I would like to thank all those that have made comments but would be grateful if you want us to write back please put your email address in your comment and we will delete it before we publish, otherwise we have no way of contacting you.

We are now at Cody in Wyoming, the home of Buffalo Bill. We went to a western cabaret yesterday evening followed by a Rodeo. We were dubious about the cabaret but turned out to be excellent, especially when they played the dual, with violin versus guitar and the food was good too. But that is as far as it went as the Rodeo was awful, with most of the performers looking bored to tears with a constant barrage of rubbish from the commentator and a clown in the ring. There were a few kids of 11 to 15 riding wild horses and they did look keen, but the best bit was when they invited 3, 16 to 18 year old's from the audience and got them to galope round 3 barrels with different coloured sponge poles between there legs. After which they but full sized dustbins over them (i.e. down to or below their waists) spun them round 5 times and told them to galope round again. with encouragement from the commentator 2 of them ran straight into the outer fence and that was the highlight of the show.

Prior to that we spent 3 days in Yellowstone and to be honest found nothing of great interest until the last day. Once you have seen one foul smelling bubbling steaming pool you have seen them all! The trees are interesting because there roots boil and arteries clog, which kills them, but they can apparently stay standing like that for 100's of years.

Fortunately we arrived at Old Faithfull 35 minutes before it was estimated to blow, so we sat with about 3,000 other people and waited. It actually took 44 minutes and did put on a fairly spectacular show, but I am glad we hadn't waited for hours (like some we sat with).

The best bit was Yellowstone's own Grand Canyon and this was worth spending some time at. I am not sure whether my pictures quite do justice to the amazing colours in the Rocks. If anyone else goes I would suggest driving down the west side, with the Canyon and the mus pools, it would be rude not to go to Old Faithfull (but find out the next predicted blow time before you go).

We met a woman from Salt lake City who was quick to point out she was not a Mormon, and told us that there were not as many Mormons as you would think. She told us that a recent survey said that 40% were Mormon and the other 80% were other faiths!  Chris told a guy asking us about our trip that were going down to Argentina and he asked her where that was! Another was asking about previous trips and we talked of Mongolia, he said he didn't know where that was because he did not do Geology at school.!

After Yellowstone we went over Bear Tooth Pass (about 50 miles west of the top of Yellowstone) this was superb, even though it was quite cloudy. At the top of the pass almost 11,000 feet) we were looking down on the clouds. This was well worth the detour and with very few people.

I mentioned someone asking about our trip, but this literally happens at least a dozen times a day and if we charged a $ a photo we would have about $500 by now, tent up or down. In fact there was a queue of 5 people waiting to take photos as we came back to where it was parked in Yellowstone. Very few people have seen a roof tent before and many ask 'did you make it yourself'.

We can now add Osprey to our wild life list and the two in the nest are actually chicks ready to leave the nest, apparently there were three that morning, and when we went looked again about an hour later there was only one. Plus some more Bison blocking the road. Oh and a grizzly in the trees I could not get a shot of.

Now to Buffalo Bills Museum and then on to the Grand Tetons.


17 Aug 2014

And into the USA

It has been 12 days since my last confession (as we have had insufficient connection to update the blog). Initially we continued our half term holiday with a 3 day stop in Revelstoke in the foothills before Bannf. A nice site with a lake, a couple of bike rides into town to watch a free band with a couple of beers and a couple of longer bike rides for me. We then went back to Lake Louise and Banff, before moving on to the Kananaskis state park to the south, found a superb camp site and I did one of the best off road bike rides I have done for a long time, after borrowing a map from a fellow camper. We skirted Glacier Park as it looked busy (and they wanted $18 to just go in for a couple of hours), so headed for the US border (and got a magnificent view of the park on the way).

After all the tales told of troubles crossing into the US we were through a 5 minutes, we told him about our bear spray and remaining Cherry Bomb (we gave the other 3 away) and he waved us through.

For the previous 16 days it has been hot and sunny, but the night before we went into Glacier Park it rained and the 'Going to the Sun' road was covered in cloud. We drove through thinking we might do a return trip but it was extremely busy, all parking spots taken and took 3 hours to do 50 miles, so maybe we will come back another time! We skirted round to East Glacier intending to go to the Blackfeet Museum, but hit torrential rain, so headed south until the sun came out.

The next couple of nights we stayed in small town camp sites that were cheap and friendly, and yesterday we stopped in a small town for supplies, saw a poster for a Farm Rodeo today, found a small camp site, went to the local pub for a few beers and then went to the pre Rodeo BBQ and dance (a few more beers, no dancing). Went to the Rodeo today (which was good fun) and we are now just on the edge of Yellowstone Park, so hopefully we will get good weather tomorrow.

No bears recently, but we have seen a wild dear, a coyote walked through our camp (makes a change from a bear), and an Elk. We also saw the first Land Cruiser!