Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Share the Road! (Yellowstone)

Watch the video (click the play button).  This big fella growled at me (he didn't like me invading his space).  I quickly rolled up the window.  [Videos won't play on iPad/iPhone - computer only.]

He gives me a stern warning at the 0:11 mark!


This is a very common sight in Yellowstone National Park.  These guys just cross the street whenever they feel like it (as they should, it's their home).  Despite them seeming harmless, they are NOT.  More people are killed by buffalo than any other wild animal in Yellowstone.  The important lesson:  Do NOT harass the buffalo, and stay back from them!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Grand Teton National Park (Wyoming)

The granddaddy of all views - The Grand Tetons!

This was a fantastic cabin I stayed inside of the national park (Colter Bay Cabins).  Built in the early 1900s, they were rustic and charming.

The Colter Bay Marina; again, not a bad view!

Sooooo cute.  Motorists were stopped all along the street to watch this deer mother and her twins.  They were so adorable!

Annoyed by the paparazzi, they eventually scampered away!

Skillet Glacier (one of 5 glaciers on Mt. Moran)

This little guy was spying on me!

This is a gorgeous mountain range and a gorgeous national park.

It was COLD, but it didn't stop people from enjoying their water sports!

Love the dog in the boat!

There are great, easy hiking trails in this national park.  (There are hard ones too, but those don't interest me!)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Memorial Parkway (Wyoming)

This is the John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Parkway in Wyoming.  The Parkway connects the south entrance of Yellowstone National Park and Grand Tetons National Park.  It is one of the MOST beautiful drives.  The Tetons are to the west, and you will see elk, free-roaming buffalo (who cross the street whenever they want), wildflowers, birds, moose, and you are surrounded by such natural beauty.

Mr. Rockefeller was a philanthropist who made significant contributions to many national parks.  In 1972, Congress dedicated a 24-acre parcel of land as John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Memorial Parkway to recognize his generosity and foresight.

One thing I love about the Southwest and the Pacific Northwest, and this area, are their designated bike paths.  They are completely separate from the auto traffic roadway.  This bike path ran the entire length of the Tetons National Park, and there were plenty of people making good use of it.

Above & Below.  View of a glacier (one of several in the Teton Range).

There isn't a bad view along this road.

Pretty wildflowers

RODENTS?  or SWEET Little Animals?!?!

So, the first animal, I stopped to photograph thinking it was a beaver.  But, something was amiss.  The face was all wrong for a beaver.  My friend things it might be something called a "river rat".  There's a technical name, but I forgot what it was. 

This second animal was, for sure, a rat.  He was very curious about me and was following me around.  He didn't look rabid, but I wasn't interested in making friends with him.  I kept having to look over my shoulder because he was STALKING me!  But, he was SO cute, rat or otherwise!

I could feel him following me, but I'd look back and he hide from me!

This is the Cunningham Cabin (http://www.nps.gov/grte/learn/historyculture/cunning.htm), an historic landmark that is along this Parkway.  The Cunninghams called this cabin home from 1888 to 1895.  It's not much to look at on the outside, and only had 2 rooms on the inside - but, oooooh, that killer view of the Grand Tetons made it spectacular!

Fortunately, it was a very short hike to get to the cabin.  

The view along the trail was beautiful.

The inside.

Look at that view!!!

These were some horses along the trail to get to the cabin.  These horses have it MADE.  They were so fat and healthy looking.  They spend their days lounging around in this field nibbling on wildflowers, and the Tetons are their million-dollar view!

They were very friendly and sweet!

Such beauties!

Come nightfall, it's time to watch the roadway, and there are signs all along the road telling you that.  Animals of all sizes, great and small, cross whenever they want.  They own this land, so it's up to the humans to give them the right of way.  

This very large herd of buffalo decided they wanted to go to sleep ACROSS the street.  When one goes, they all go.  As I approached this spot in my car, it was at the tail-end of them crossing.  You either stop or hit them, and if you make the mistake of hitting them, your car will be totaled.  They are huge, solid animals; oh, and they WILL kill you if you are dumb enough to get out of your car and get too close to one.  These buffalo, and in Yellowstone, are wild animals and should be treated and respected as such.

Pretty sunset behind the Tetons.

Kermie and the Red Cat enjoyed our drive on the Rockefeller Parkway.