Sunday, November 10, 2013

Aurora, Colorado and family

After leaving Gros Vente, I headed for Aurora, Colorado, and a visit with my kids and grandson.  It turned out to be a wonderful trip, with an unexpected visit to the hospital.
Grandson Joshua and his girlfriend.

Joshua and his jeep (the same one I fell out of last year)

Joshua playing soccer for Lutheran High School in Parker, Colorado.  Very athletic, Joshua is good at every sport he goes out for.  He has done well in baseball and wrestling, too.

Brian is fixing us some supper.

Here I am at the ER in Aurora.  The first time my tachycardia wouldn't stop and I ended up in the ER.  I had hoped it would be my last experience with this, but it was not to be.  More on that later.  After just a few hours, they let me go.   A few days later and I was on my way once again, headed towards Pratt, KS.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Gros Vente Campground and the Grand Tetons

I moved from Mammoth Hot Springs Campground in Yellowstone NP to Gros Vente Campground in the Grand Tetons.  There were about 20 WINs who gathered here to explore and kayak.
The campground is campsites surrounded by scrub brush and sage.

You could see moose wandering through the campground daily.  We had not only this bull moose, but another bull moose, a female with two calves and a female with a single calf.

Arriving at Phelps Lake.

You could walk right out to this small waterfall which was on the trail to Phelps Lake.

I had hung back from the main hiking group and spotted not only this deer, but an elk.  Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the elk.

Phelps Lake was carved out by glaciers, thousands of years ago.

I had always wanted to kayak the snake river.

This sign did make me wonder what to expect.  

But I guess we can be considered highly skilled since I saw no real challenge on this stretch of the river.  I do understand it can get a little more challenging just past where we took out.

It is the middle of September and the trees are already starting to change color.

I prefer to kayak in warm weather, but will put on a jacket when necessary if that is the only option.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Beaver Pond Loop and Upper Loop, Yellowstone NP

The Beaver Pond Loop is a 6 mile trail which starts behind the Mammoth Hot Springs Lodge.  It winds up the hill and through a meadow before coming to a series of small ponds, never saw any beavers though.  Then through a patch of woods before trailing back down.
First thing we saw upon reaching the top of the hill was this elk.

There was a series of these small ponds.

There was this small wooden bridge which went across the end of the pond.

The next wildlife we saw was this grouse.

Then another young elk.
Even though we didn't see any bears (which we were warned by several other hikers that bears had been sighted earlier that day), it was a great hike.

When I was at the Grand Tetons earlier in the summer, I drove the entire lower loop, but didn't drive the upper loop.  This was the what I saw on my trip of the upper loop.

The cliff was named for the Shoshone Indians, who were also known as Sheepeaters.  This basalt cliff formed the vertical columns nearly 500,000 years ago.

Roaring Mountain

All alongside of the road were signs of the volcanic activity which is still going on today.

Built in 1886, this was the U.S. Army outpost for the cavalry soldiers assigned to protect the new park.

Wandering through Norris Basin

Fumeroles or steam vents are the hottest spots in the park, and have been registered at 280 degrees F.

Whale Mouth

Steamboat Geyser, which last erupted July 31, 2013.

The Lower Falls from Inspiration Point.

Looking downstream from Inspiration Point.  Notice the intense colors on the cliffs.

Tower Falls

These herds of buffalo (or American Bison) are great at stopping traffic along the road.