Thursday, June 23, 2016

Meeting Back Up With The WINs

I'm headed to Oregon to meet up with the WINs Pacific Northwest circuit, but I made one more stop by myself at Chickahominy Reservoir. What a gorgeous spot, out in the middle of nowhere.

There were several really long eared rabbits around to keep me company.

I met up with the WINs in La Pine, OR. The first day we went to the Newberry Caldera, in Newberry National Volcanic Monument, where we could see Mount Bachelor and the Three Sisters in the distance.

We hiked the Big Obsidian Flow trail. The huge obsidian boulders were just amazing.

We posed at the top with Paulina Lake and the mountains in the background.

Paulina Peak was off in the other direction.

We also went to beautiful Paulina Falls, where you get a great view from the top -

And the bottom.

The next day we toured another part of the park, and went up to the top of Lava Butte.

From the top we could see Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Adams.

We did the Lava Butte Rim trail -

Where we saw lots of these guys.

We also went into the Lava River Cave - pitch black, so I didn't go very far. Even though I had a flashlight, the footing was a little tricky. It's the longest lava tube in Oregon.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I'm A Millionaire !!!

But first, let me tell you about my trip across Idaho. I stopped one night at Craters of the Moon National Monument.

And the next day, I toured the park.

There was lots of lava, but what I liked the best was all the flowers growing amongst the lava.

There were basically 3 different kinds blooming now, but this was my favorite.

There were lots of Spatter Cones and Lava Bombs.

I also stopped off in Boise to see the Capitol.

The inside is beautiful, with 4 different kinds of marble -

Although the 219 pillars are made of scagliola, a mixture of granite, marble dust, gypsum and glue dyed to look like marbel.

And of course, looking up to the dome is a gorgeous view.

Just outside the entrance to both the House and the Senate is a carpet with the Great Seal of the State of Idaho.

Outside the Capitol is a statue of Lewis and Clark meeting with Nez Perce Chief Twisted Hair back in 1805 on their trip to the Pacific.

And now for the Millionaire news - I have a million pageviews on the blog!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Waterfalls and Lava

South of West Yellowstone are 2 very nice waterfalls. Upper Mesa Falls wasn't exactly all in the sun when I was there.

But WOW, the spectacular rainbow more than made up for it!

Lower Mesa Falls was in the sun, but they need to trim some trees...

We then moved on to Idaho Falls, Idaho, and visited Hells Half Acre, a lava field right along the interstate. There was a nice trail through it.

Ron had to see if anyone was living in this cave.

We also did the Riverwalk in Idaho Falls to check out their waterfalls.

They have mostly been dammed up, but some were left in their natural state.

Lots of Canada Geese were enjoying the riverside too, right across from the Mormon temple -

Which had a beautiful statue of the Angel Moroni blowing his trumpet towards the East.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

More Yellowstone

After seeing Old Faithful and the rest of Upper Geyser Basin, we went to see Lower Geyser Basin -

And Midway Geyser Basin, where the star attraction is Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in the US, and the third largest in the world.

The colors are just amazing!

Make sure you go in the hot part of the day, so there won't be too much steam.

But wouldn't it be nice to see it from above, maybe from that hill in the back.

Well, that's what I did 3 years ago! Unfortunately, the trail to get to that hill and an unofficial trail to the top was closed this time. But the good news is that they are building an official trail to the top, with a nice viewpoint. Unfortunately, it will take two years to complete.

The next day we headed out to the Canyon area of the park. You'd think I'd get tired of taking pictures of buffalo walking down the road, but I don't.

The big attraction in this area is the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and the Lower Falls.

While in the area we saw some big elk guys hanging around.

And an osprey nest, perched on top of a huge rock column.

The next day I headed out to Norris Geyser Basin. I did the small Porcelain Basin Loop, where there's a lot of hydrothermal activity going on.

And then did the larger Back Basin loop, where the star is Steamboat Geyser. It was even erupting a little.

And then I headed over to Artists Paintpots.

It's impossible to get a camping spot inside the park, because they are all reserved, but we got a nice one just outside the park at Bakers Hole Campground, just outside West Yellowstone.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Arriving in Yellowstone

After visiting Grand Teton, the next logical step is a visit to Yellowstone. Holy cow! I didn't even get to the campground before running into a huge buffalo jam. Traffic was backed up 5 miles behind them!

Hey - wait a minute! You're on my side of the road!

This group was all females and babies, and a couple of the adults were limping. It was so sad. Either they were injured or very old.

The next day, we started out by going to see the Old Faithful area. Straight off, we went right by some elk. I guess they find it easier to travel on the roads too.

Firehole Falls was our first stop.

And then we hurried on down to Upper Geyser Basin and the Old Faithful area.

Yellowstone was the very first US National Park, named by President Ulyssus S. Grant in 1872. You can definitely see why.

While waiting for the expected eruption time of Old Faithful, I wandered around the area, looking at other geysers and pools. This is Doublet Pool.

And then I joined the other thousand or so who were waiting for the eruption. Hold on to your hat!

Thar she blows!

We then went to Biscuit Basin, where we were greeted by yet another buffalo. I hope that fisherman in the background is keeping an eye on him!

Sapphire Pool is beautiful -

As are all the other pools and geysers.

Just look at that detail!