Monday, August 20, 2018

Young Moose

While camping at a forest campground along the Madison River, I enjoy walking along the river at sunset .  It is quiet and only the fast flowing river is gurgling - the only sounds present.  As I look for signs of wildlife, I spotted a young moose in the distance.  It had not noticed us, and Nikki and I sit quietly on the river bank and enjoy its presence.

The Moose

As the sun sets in the West
I walk down to the river
To enjoy the quiet as dusk falls.
Puffy clouds linger motionless in the sky
And the raven comes to drink 
At the shore of the fast flowing river.

In a distance, a moose quietly approaches the river
Grazing on the new grass and the sprouting willows.
She is small, maybe a juvenile that just left her mother
As she prepares to have her next calf in the spring.
The young moose is tentative, stepping here and there,
Drinking from the water to quench her thirst.

What will her life be?  
She is save here
Having been born into the park, 
Protected from the fiercest predator 
That hunts with guns.

The river flows in its eternal rhythm,
The clouds turn pink in the afterglow of the setting sun.
Nikki sits quietly on my lap as we enjoy the scene.
All is still and my world is at peace.

Meggi Raeder, May 2018
Bakers Hole, Montana

... the journey will continue.
Til next time,
Meggi and Nikki

Friday, August 17, 2018

Getting up before Sunrise

 Leaving the Tetons for Yellowstone NP

Mothers Day.  Sunday, May 13,  

We’ll celebrate on the road since we are moving on from the Grand Tetons to West Yellowstone today.  After several days of staying put at the Gros Ventre campground, we have a busy start of the day with returning the rented car to Hertz at the Jackson Airport, and taking care of our RVs:  dumping the tanks, filling fresh water, stowing everything away inside -  all before leaving around 10am.

Bisons, Tetons NP

I put a new Cd with Cowboy music on and take a deep breath and I am ready to roll driving north under blue sky and puffy white clouds.

On my way, there is a bear warning of a mother and cubs on the road.   Rangers are along the road, but unfortunately for me the sow and her cubs had already left for the backwoods.

But its not only the BIG wildlife that attracts my attention.  This little magpie is singing a lovely song.

I enjoy the drive north with beautiful scenery and soon I enter Yellowstone Park National Park where I cross the continental divide at high altitude 3 times and meander at altitudes of 7900 ft and higher.  Lewis Lake and Yellowstone Lake are still frozen and in the geyser basin region, snow still covers the banks of the Yellowstone river.  Winter is still holding on here.

 Leaving the Tetons

 Entering Yellowstone NP

 Madison River

Meandering River near the Geyser Basin, Yellowstone NP
High Water from the Snow Melt

At the Madison Junction, I enter the campground only to find it busy and without the anticipated electricity. Meeting up with my travel companions, we decide to proceed into West Yellowstone where we camp out for the night at Branding Iron Pony Express RV park.  Although not much more than a parking lot, the  shower and laundromat are welcome and I enjoy the hot water of a clean and spacious shower.  I almost always prefer dry camping to RV parks, but the lack of shower facilities in many dry campgrounds gets old fast.

Clean and spiffy, we celebrate Mother's Day at Bullwinkles in town!

The journey will continue...
til then, Meggi and Nikki

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Grand Tetons NP

Oxbow Bend, Tetons NP

Thursday-Saturday, May 10-12, Teton NP, Gros Ventre, 

We explored the Teton Village, a ski area just West and outside the NP.  A tram brings skiers and - in the summers hikers - to the top of the mountains...  alas, we are in the shoulder season and the tram did not run until later in May.

In the little community of Wilson we went to the grocery to add some odds and ends to our pantry.
After an enormous traffic jam ... it took us over one hour to get back to Jackson, we enjoyed a good mid afternoon drink at the Cowboy bar, a famous watering hole in Jackson.

Back at camp, the clouds gathered and just before dinner the skies opened to a thunder and downpour ...  good to clean my front window by having the windshield wipers do the work!  Wet weather in the forecast....!

             Jackie with Nikki siting on my RV door steps              Ominous Clouds - rain coming!

Rain, cloudy, rain, rain, cloudy.... and cold in the mid 50 ties.

The next day, I took advantage of a break in the rain on a cloudy early morning to walk to the A loop in the campground.  Since Gros Ventre is an enormously large campground, we walked about a mile to reach the other end.  During a previous Autumn visit, moose had hung out there in the morning.  But today, none was found.  

I had a leisurely morning after my walk and used it to write while enjoying 3 cups of good coffee!

Later, we went for brunch to Town, Jackson, and choose Cafe Genevieve where the Eggs Benedict were yummy.  The town square is surrounded by galleries and small shops, perfect for browsing, and for admiring the beautiful paintings and other art.

And we had to visit the  famous Cowboy Bar right there on the Town Square!

On our way back we stopped at Menor's ferry and Maud Noble's cabin.

Chapel at Menor's Ferry

And moments later the rain was pounding in buckets!

Marilyn cooked a yummy scallop dinner followed by a card game.  A good day!

Stay tune for more of my 2 months long road trip.

Til then, Meggi and Nikki

Friday, July 27, 2018

Teton National Park, Wyoming

Town Square, Jackson Hole with friends and 4 dogs!

Teton NP, Gros Ventre [Tuesday and Wednesday, May 7-8] 

I woke up to brilliant blue sky with the sun peaking over the eastern mountains.  Morning walk, coffee, yogurt and fruit were on the menu before leaving on our first tour into the park planning the grand 43 mile tour.  We plan to stay several days in the Tetons to explore not only the park but also the surrounding area.

We visited the headquarter and visitor center,  continued to Jenny Lake where we walked to the lake and the dogs all enjoyed a good drink of crystal clear lake water.  Continuing north, we had a picnic lunch north of Signal Mountain Lodge.  There was still some ice in sheltered coves of the lake.  With no wind the reflections of the snow capped mountains were stunning!

Near Jenny Lake - snow still on the ground

Beautiful secluded Lunch spot on the Lake that was still partially frozen

Oxbow Bend in the early afternoon presented a magnificent photo opp. as we continued east and then turned south.  At the Antilope Flats we photographed the famous Mormon Barn with the Tetons as backdrop before returning to our campground.  

Along the way, with Marilyn driving her big rig - but we all fit into it with 4 dogs!

The famous Mormon Barn with the Teton Mountain Range in the far!

The next day, we ventured into the back country.  Our road took us to Kelly and the we followed the Gros Ventre road to Atherton Creek where we found a lovely national forest campground (host and lovely sited overlooking Lower Slide Lake).  The road was paved up to the campground but was potholed and made for slow driving.  But doable with my BigGirl!

 Gros Ventre Road outside the park

Painted Hills

Continuing on an atrocious dirt road to the Crystal Creek campground was quite a driving task!  Thank God we had rented a 4-wheel drive Yukon SUV and Marilyn was an excellent driver specifically as we encountered a pick up truck with a large horse trailer that pushed us into the deep rutted mud side of the road!  We just hoped the young guys with the horse trailer would pull us out if we got stuck!

All the way, we followed the Gros Ventre River sometimes next to us, sometimes we were high above the river with wonderful vistas.  Part of the way, the mountain side was red with ferrous red rolling hills.  It was too early for the spring flowers to erupt, but the new green was sprouting everywhere.  We passed a ranch with a 'maternity meadow' with several new born fowls and still pregnant mares.  The pasture was close to the ranch house so they could keep a watchful eye on the precious mares and fowls.


This was the good part of the road!!

Back in camp, we share a great dinner as we did every night.  We rotated 'chefs' and met at one of the other 3 rigs - since mine would not accommodate 4 dogs and their owners!.  The night I cooked, I served dinner in Marilyn's rig since it was easier than in my a bit small quarters.

Til next time ...  stay tune for the continuing journey!
Meggi and Nikki

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Yellowstone and Beyond - Reaching The Teton National Park

Monday, May 7,  Bear Lake to Jackson, WY, and The Teton NP.

The drive from Bear Lake, UT, north took us over one 7000 ft pass into a high valley to Logan. Many more mountains would follow later in the trip.  The drive was beautiful with small communities along the way, meadows with spring green and grazing livestock.  I saw snow capped mountains while enjoying mild spring temperatures.  I stopped in Logan since I remembered the old downtown from another trip.

The town of Logan was founded in 1859 by settlers sent by Brigham Young to survey for the site of a fort near the banks of the Logan River. They named their new community "Logan" for Ephraim Logan, an early fur trapper in the area. Logan was incorporated on January 17, 1866 [Wikipedia].
I stopped in the middle of town since I remembered the Mormon Tabernacle from my journey to Yellowstone 10 years ago.  Only then, my whole drive from Antelope Island to Jackson was rain, rain and more rain. 

 Both the Tabernacle and the Courthouse date back to ~1880 and are today surrounded by beautiful gardens.  Both on Main Street where the other buildings are equally old brick buildings.  

The Courthouse

Nikki and I walked downtown on a  sunny day before continuing through the Logan River Canyon in a spactacular drive up to the next pass at 7000 ft.  all the way up to Jackson Hole, WY, green meadows, small communities lined HW 89 in a pleasant drive.


After a quick stop in Jackson to stock up on groceries, we shortly reached the Teton National Park  where we easily found our spots in the campground at the Gros Ventre.  Let the exploration of The Tetons and Yellowstone begin!!

Til next time,
Meggi and Nikki