Archive for August, 2010

Travel Update: Yellowstone

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

We spent all of this morning venturing through Yellowstone National Park looking for wildlife. Before we even left the house this morning guess who showed up behind our cabin again? You guessed it, the red-tailed fox. He caught me by surprise yet again as I heard my mom yell again, There’s a coyote!

So as I frantically dashed to the car yet again to get my camera I yelled back, It’s the fox again, not a coyote!

So I run behind the cabin and spot him in a field. I thought he was hunting at first but then he started to circle and bed down.

After he laid down, I started to slowly inch forward and he didn’t even really seem to notice. So bit by bit I got closer and closer until finally I was standing right over him. I could have reached down and pet him he was so close.

He was so beautiful and his eyes were so big and curious looking. As I stood over him he heard my camera click and looked right at me with those big brown eyes. It was an amazing thing to sit there just a foot away from this beautiful wild animal and look him right in the eye. After that I didn’t want to disturb him any further so I backed off and let him fall back to sleep.

We then headed into the park looking for more wildlife. We weren’t actually very lucky on the wildlife front. We saw a couple of antelope playing in the field. But not a lot else for a while

The little baby was adorable, he was prancing around and going wild while the parent just sat there eating. The best part of the day was the black bear. Out by the petrified tree we spotted a black bear up on a hill. We took pictures of him and then I started to notice him moving so I knew he was going to try to cross the road.

He started to slowly move closer and closer to the road picking his way across fallen logs scavenging for food along the way. As always in Yellowstone within minutes the place was completely mobbed with people scrambling to take pictures. A regular road became a dead locked parking lot of people.

My mom was yelling at me to get back in the car and I probably should have listened but I wanted a good shot. I let him get a little closer than I probably should have and it was a little scary. (I did have bear mace though). He was so cool and so very close to me. It was quite the experience.

He finally did cross the road and we moved on to let the bear have his peace. We didn’t see a lot more wildlife except for a nice field full of buffalo next to the Yellowstone River.

Strangely we didn’t see any elk the entire trip which has never happened to me before. So we ended our Yellowstone trip in Mammoth Hot Springs which was mobbed with people so we headed out.

So tonight we are staying in Coeur D’Alene. The hotel situation was a nightmare! We booked a room and then we couldn’t get into it so we had a master-key open it only to realize someone was still staying there. So we then figure out they are actually booked and have to move us to a different hotel because we don’t actually have a room. This is also after we took off our bikes because apparently they would have been stolen. And let me tell you, those bikes are so hard to get on and off that rack. So here we are in a different hotel, without the lake view, and way out of downtown. It was a good day but a frustrating night to say the least.


Travel Update: Silver Gate

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

I couldn’t post last night because we were staying in Silver Gate Montana just one mile outside of the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

We started our day with the Enchanted Highway whihc is almost to the border of North Dakota and Montana. It is a thirty two mile long road that is peppered with statues ranging from ones like this to huge pheasant statues and fisherman. It i really interesting but we only saw the very begining and had to move onward to Roosevelt National Park.

Truthfully there isn’t a whole lot of stuff in Roosevelt National Park but I can guarantee one thing if you go there: great prairie dog shots. There are tons of prairie dog towns along the side of the road and they are quite funny to watch. The funniest thing they would do is squeak and stand up on their hind legs while whipping their arms in the air. It was quite the sight.

By the way none of these are cropped so you can tell just how close I got to these guys. I love their feet and hands, they are surprisingly creepy for such an adorable creature. This has got to be one of my favorite photo of a prairie dog; I caught this one in mid-yawn and it makes him look positively evil.

After that we headed into Montana, the Big Sky state.

We headed down Beartooth Pass which took us to our place of lodging, Silver Gate. Coming over the pass was a little scary because there was a storm and the mountain was cloaked in fog and mist. At some points you couldn’t see anything. It did clear up finally in the end leaving a beautiful day.

After the pass in Silver Gate we checked into our cabins which were these really quaint cabins right outside of the park. Before we even have time to settle I hear my mom yell to me as I am in the bathroom, There’s a coyote right outside!

So naturally I flip out and rip out of the house looking frantically for my camera before he runs off. The neighbors thought I was a mad woman they way I ran out of the cabin. As I snagged my camera and run up the hill behind our cabin I saw him. It wasn’t a coyote, but a red tailed fox with a kill. So I prayed for him not to move so I could get just one shot and I did. I got one shot of him before he took off behind a cabin.

He was one of the most beautiful animals I have seen in a while with his angled face, long neck and color markings. Of course naturally I ran up the hill and into a small ravine looking for him but he had vanished. We hadn’t even been there for five minutes and already I had a wild life shot.

We decided to head into the park with the few hours of day that remained to see if we could spot anything at dusk. We found a big kill out far in a creek bed that had five grizzlies on it. The crowd surrounding the area was enormous even though you could barely discern the grizzlies from the surroundings. It was really interesting to see. I had never seen a grizzly before.

We moved on through the park and found some buffalo that we running around and across the road. We were still a little wary about buffaloes from our trip to Custard where we got charged. So I stayed in the car, standing up through the sunroof to get photos.

We then watched the sun set on Lamar Valley and the rivers. It was so beautiful.

Lamar Valley coated in the fading light of sunset was really a treat. To watch the light change the entire way the valley looked, literally night to day. It was so different and so gorgeous.

The next day was a full morning of Yellowstsone. Stay tuned for me catching up on our trip. There is even better wildlife to come


Travel Update: North Dakota

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Today was the first day of our road trip back home to Santa Cruz and we stopped for the night in Bismarck, North Dakota. Along the way during our 15 hour-long day we saw a lot of interesting things. We started out with Amnicon Falls State Park in Wisconsin which was really beautiful. The falls were really running and the water looked like a mixture of coffee and cream.

It was a really nice way to start off a long day. We spent a long time in Minnesota passing from lake to lake and we got a really good feel for the land of ten thousand lakes. After that was a long stretch of nothing in North Dakota. We did get to see the world’s largest buffalo in the middle of nowhere.

We also learned that at this place there were three white buffaloes in the prairie near by so we staked out the spot and tried to find them. We spent a long time trying to find them but they were nowhere to be seen. Just as we were giving up and leaving I spotted one of them coming out of a little ravine. Naturally I flung myself from the car like a mad woman to try to get the photo. Sadly by the time I ran down the hill he had moved behind a big tree. So I paced frantically for a short time as mosquitoes gnawed me to pieces. (yes even as I write I itch like you can’t even imagine). So we drove to the other side and lo and behold there was the white buffalo.

Sadly he was far away but still, I GOT A PICTURE OF A WHITE BUFFALO. If I had the time I would have waited all day to get a better shot but we had to move on to Bismarck. So here we are, tired and still have a long way to go. We are going to Silver Gate outside of Yellowstone tomorrow and we can’t wait to get some awesome photos. Stay tuned for more 😀


Travel Update: Heading Home

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

By 5 a.m. tomorrow morning my mom and I will be on our way back home to Santa Cruz California on a week-long road trip. We will be heading across the top of the US  all the way to Seattle and then straight down to home. I am excited to be on the road again and to go home in order to see all of my friends and family.However going home is bittersweet. I will miss Bootjack dearly, its serenity, its untainted beauty, and all of the wonders of our compound. I will miss the lake and the water. I will miss the bald eagles. I will miss the flowers. I will miss the storms that come sweeping across the lake. I will miss my grandpa until I see him again. I will miss the library. I will miss everything. So thank you Bootjack for a nice summer, I will see you next year.


Shout Out: Hotel Bed Hopping

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

My little brother and I were having fun jumping on hotel beds and trying to get some air-borne pictures. He was doing tricks and just having fun jumping around while I took photos.

So this is a shout out to my little brother, thanks for being weird and going along with my shenanigans all the time. Stay golden pony boy, stay golden.

P.S. whenever you landed on the bed it looked like you were being eaten by the mattress or as if a black hole was sucking you in that happened to be at the center of the bed.

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