Archive for August, 2012

A Beary Good Day

Posted in Uncategorized on August 31, 2012 by carshamus

I woke at about 6am and walked out to the veranda to see a lovely sunrise developing, so I grabbed the camera and went to the front of the hotel grabbing a coffee from reception on the way. It was a beautiful morning on the water and it was so peaceful watching the sunrise.

We then packed up and headed to Glacier National Park. It was a lovely park but the massive amount of road works kind of spoilt the views somewhat. It is super dry here and not the green hills that we had imagined. The glaciers were however a sight to behold.

 

 

 

A highlight of the day was seeing a white mountain got and his kid up close. They are interesting looking creatures.

 

We then headed to East Glacier to our motel for the night. When we got to our room we opened it to find peoples belongings in there opps. We went to reception and they worked out that they had double booked us. They were most apologetic and said they would upgrade us to a cabin. We were asked to follow the manager with our car,,, we headed out of town and then onto a long dirt road in the woods of Montana. We were beginning to wonder what on earth was going on until we came to a gorgeous little cabin on a hill. This was a real treat as it had just been built and it had a huge deck overlooking the pines. It was perfect. It was hard to leave this little haven but on we must go. After a coffee we headed to Many Glacier an eastern part of Glacier park. We had only just entered the park when a heap of cars pulled over up ahead. We got out watching a huge mother grizzly and her cub walking along the shore of the lake, the cub rolling and playing in the grass then running and bounding to catch up with his parent. It was amazing. We then drove to Many Glacier and this spot was gorgeous, there was a rather large motel built on the water’s edge, a perfect spot. There was a definite chill to the air by now.
It was then time to take the short drive up to the Canadian border; I was so excited to cross into Canada. We then took the short drive into Waterton Lakes our home for the night and had a look around. At the park entrance we spotted a bear jump out of the water and into the thick long grass and go out of sight. A great welcome to Waterton Lakes. Waterton is a very cute town on the lake and after having a look around we decided to take a drive out to Cameron Lake, the best place we have seen so far with scenic views of the lake, mountains and glacier. What a gorgeous spot with still water and people canoeing and spending time on the lake. This was a really gorgeous spot. On our return trip to town we had to stop suddenly for a Black bear on the road, he walked right on down the road and up to our car touching it, we were so close.. AMAZING….


It has been a Beary Good Day

From Yellowstone to the Bison

Posted in Uncategorized on August 29, 2012 by carshamus

After leaving Yellowstone we had a big freeway drive through Montana as we were heading to Flathead Lake in Polson. It was a driving day with only one major highlight, we took a detour to the Bison National Range, we are certainly giving out National Parks Pass a workout. We wondered after the lack of animals at Yellowstone would we see anything but we should not have worried. As soon as we left the visitors station we came across a large herd of them. They were right near the car and crossing the road in front of us. There were many calves as well.


We then took a drive up and over the area and saw some elk as well feeding at the water there. It was amazing to see so many bison in one area. This was a great detour. We then headed to our water side motel overlooking Flathead lake. Now time to go and sit out on the jetty and relax.
Chillaxing……..

Yellowstone

Posted in Uncategorized on August 29, 2012 by carshamus

We got up early ( I seem to start all my entries this way) and  went up to the Lobby of the Jackson Lake Lodge to get a coffee and sit and watch the sunrise. There was rain overnight so the sky was a lot clearer than the day before which was laden with smoke from the fires in Idaho that had blown in. We got a spot on the elk motif covered lounge at the front window overlooking the Teton Range.  The sky became a soft pink as the sun rose.

 

After heading back to the cabin and packing up we headed to Oxbow overlook to take some photos of the mountains reflected in the water there. We then drove back to the Mormon Barns to get some shots in the early morning light. After heading to Jackson Hole and refueling the car and us we then headed towards Yellowstone.

We stopped along many of the hot springs and walked along the pathways looking at the bubbling pools and all the amazing colours they create. This was the highlight to the trip to Yellowstone this visit. Yellowstone on the whole was very dry and we only saw 3 bison throughout the whole park. Even the Mammoth Hot Springs was dry except for a few little sections that were still active. If we had not been there before I would not have known what all the fuss was about.

As we were driving out of the Park we came across a family of Elk in the small township of Mammoth Springs. We stopped and took some photos. The Elk were causing quite a commotion being right in town, drawn there by the lush green grass that was not to be found anywhere else.

Our motel was only a short drive from Mammoth still in the park and we took a walk and found a bustling Pizza joint for dinner called Outlaw Pizza.  It was a great pizza but we could only eat half of it, it’s kind of strange to us but they put parmesan cheese on their pizza here.  Yummy either way.

Night ya all from Montana……………..

 

The Grand Tetons

Posted in Uncategorized on August 27, 2012 by carshamus

We enjoyed a bit of a sleep in today and then headed to the restaurant at the motel for a lovely breakfast. We then set off to the Tetons. We drove to Jackson Hole and spent a little bit of time looking around the town, I love the use of antlers in this place, very creative and they are everywhere. We shared an Espresso Buzz ice cream and headed on.
I had wanted to go toSchumacher Landing a place that I had read about that was great for photos. There was a lot of haze from a bushfire down south and the view as we drove towards the Tetons was not looking good. We turned off and headed down to the landing. There were a few people there so we took a walk along the waters ‘edge. The sun broke out and we were able to get some promising photos of the Teton Range reflected in the water there. We met a couple from Milwaukie and chatted to them about some good places to visit in the area. This place was wonderful with chipmunks scurrying around and so many dragonflies I lost count. The cloud was rolling in so we decided to leave this gorgeous place.
We headed to Mormon Row, a road of old Mormon barns that are very popular photographic site. As we were heading down Antelope Flats Road we saw cars pulled over to take some photos of a Proghorn that was feeding there. We stopped too and took a few shots of this obliging fellow.
A little further down the road we came to the barns and spent some time in the area taking photos. I am hoping to get back in the morning for sunrise, but we shall see.
We then headed into the Teton National Park and took a drive through the area, unfortunately the weather was taking a turn for the worse so we headed to Jackson Lake Lodge out home for the night. After getting organized we headed back to Jackson Hole for some dinner before coming back to the lodge and spending the rest of the evening in the lodges main room watching the sunset over the Tetons through the massive wall of windows on a comfy Moose motif lounge and drinking coffee while someone played the piano in the background, ah tis the life….
And now back to our little cabin in the woods…..

 

Four States in One Day

Posted in Uncategorized on August 26, 2012 by carshamus

We started out early, nothing new there as we had a long drive ahead. No real stops along the way. Just a short post tonight with the highlights being that we went from Moab in Utah, crossed into Colarado, then in and out of Utah and then into Wyoming. Four states in one day. It was over an eight hour drive. We saw deer, antelope and lots of cows. We did stop at a local market and took a walk around a really pretty town Vernal in Colarado full of flowers everywhere in the main street. We also drove through the largest concentration of dinosaur fossils near Disnosaur National Monument. We arrived at nearly 5pm at Alpine so another long day…. off to The Tetons in the morning.

Delicate and Mesa Arches and the Chipmunks

Posted in Uncategorized on August 25, 2012 by carshamus

We left the motel in the dark this morning at about 5:30am and headed to Arches National Park. Our mission to climb the trail to Delicate Arch. When we got to the carpark at the trailhead there were three cars already there. We began the 3 mile round trip to the arch. This was an uphill climb over rock faces and large rock mounds. It was a huffing and puffing climb but when you rounded the rock ledge at the end of the climb you were rewarded with the grand view of the arch. There was a family there and one other couple. The family soon left and we had the arch pretty much to ourselves. It was an amazing sight. The sun had just rose on our way up the trail and some sweet cloud was hanging nicely about. We took lots of photos from the viewing ledge then walked down and to the arch.

I headed back up to swap my lens and some local chipmunks who like the rustling sounds came to see what I was doing. One sat on my backpack on the ground having a good sticky beak.

We did not want to leave this place but soon the people came and we took the route back down to the carpark, passing a wall of very well preserved petroglyphs of some deer and a coyote. By the time we got back to the carpark it was full.

After leaving we took a drive through Arches National Park stopping at Balancing Rock and a number of different spots along the way. It is an awesome park.

We headed back into town for some coffee and breakfast and then to the other side of town to Dead Horse State Park. Dead Horse point was at the end of the drive and was an impressive display reminiscent of Horsehoe Bend near Page, Arizona.

Canyonlands National Park was our next destination as we wanted to see Mesa Arch. We arrived again at the trail head and took the walk down to the arch. There were quite a few people here as we got one of the last carparks here. When we got down to the arch it was such a fantastic sight, one we have been looking at for years on our desktop theme and now here we were. Patience is the key here and you just have to wait out all the people wanting shots on, near, under and sometimes over the arch. After waiting we were rewarded with a few minutes alone time (except for ranger again) and hopefully got some good photos.


The ranger said that most mornings at sunrise there would be at least 100 people there. Unbelievable! After walking back to the car we headed on and stopped at a number of overlooks including Grand View at the end of the Canyonlands drive.
We had now been on the go for about 10 hours or more so it was time to head back to the motel. Leaving Utah and heading to Wyoming tomorrow……

Mesa Verda, Animals, Rain and Low Lying Cloud

Posted in Uncategorized on August 24, 2012 by carshamus

Another early morning found us at the Mesa Verda National Park world famous for its high concentration of archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings once home to Ancestral Puebloans. Shortly after passing the entrance to the park we came across a small bear grazing on the side of the road. A small little fella that bounded off once he saw the cars. We headed to the Mancos Valley overlook and to our surprise were greeted with cold air when we got out of the car. The temperature had dropped considerably the higher we went. We then decided to head directly to the Spruce Tree House the best preserved cliff dwelling and one of the very few that was a self guided site. We bypassed all the cars at the visitors centre in hopes to beat the rush. Our plan paid off and we walked down the steep descent to the site with only one other couple and a ranger there. The couple soon left and we had the place to ourselves for a short while. This was awesome to be able to take it all in, walking up into the rooms where these people lived thousands of years before. It really is so well preserved. I have no idea how they got into these places though, they certainly did not have the trail we had to follow way back then.
After the walk back out of the site, a bit of a tough go being at such high altitude we headed to the Cliff Palace overlook. This is the largest of all the cliff dwellings and is an amazing sight from the lookout; you could just imagine the people there living under the rock awning.


Further along, we stopped at the Far view sites a mesa-top farming community and reservoir. On the way we managed to see a jackrabbit, a coyote and later a mule deer. We then headed to the other side of the park called the Wetherill mesa trying to outrun the change in weather and rain as a storm was fast approaching. We got to the car park area and took a tram ride in a loop to see the Long House and Kodak House. The Long House is the second largest cliff dwelling visible from an overlook. It had stated to sprinkle as we were leaving the last overlook and the tram driver put the plastic covers down. Just as we reached the carpark the ranger came over and said a bad storm was approaching and we rushed to the car just as the rains came down.


Driving out of the park was an experience with heavy rain, rock falls, low cloud cover and flooding over the road it was a slow drive. There were times that we could not see 2ft in front of us.

The rain has stayed with us most of the journey to Moab and has just abated about 20km from our motel…. Hopefully tomorrow the clouds will part and the sun will shine.