Sunday, August 17, 2014

Goodbye Colorado!

What a crazy week this has been.  It began with our trip to Rocky Mountain National Park that I enjoyed as best I could with Early left in the car with the shakes and wrapped in a wool blanket.  After a few days he noted his leg hurt and was afraid he had a blood clot.  After looking at his leg that had turned bright red and terribly swollen we drove into town to call the nurse on the hot line.  She suggested we go straight to ER but he felt ok and leg didn't itch - just red and swollen?  What is going on - so that evening (our last night in area) we had dinner with nephew Jim and his little family.  He and son Cole (who will be 1 this month) greeted us and when wife Theresa (doctor in family) came home from work she went straight to looking at Earl.  She freaked out and immediately called ER and insisted on coming with us to see the doctors there.  What a long evening as you can imagine if you have ever been in an ER!  Theresa's being a doctor helped to speed things up some but still took time.  They did an ultra sound and did find a blood clot and released him with 3 prescriptions... Oh fun so next morning we had the prescriptions filled and were on our way - back to the house and resident doctor!  We did make it back to AZ in 2 1/2 days of long hours of driving.  Oh my goodness, not a fun way to travel.  Still have to see doctor but we are here and all is ok for now.  More later....

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Rocky Mountain National Park

Watching the weather for this area closely due to what would seemingly be an expected thundershower each day.  Packed a lunch and off we went to try once again to see this wonder of nature.  Our 1st trip here in 2001 was too early in the year and the park was all snowed in.. did see some mangy looking elk and big horned sheep but wanted to really see the park.  So on our way all of a sudden Earl says he has the shakes and needs me to drive.  He has a coat on and gets the wool blanket out from the trunk of the car (I was in shorts and cooking already early in the day) - so I took over the driving and he assured me he was ok although he was having the chills!  He assured me he was ok for me to continue.  I stopped at two visitor centers and drove the road thru the park up to the highest point just above 12,000 ft and was thrilled beyond words!  It was a gorgeous day and the views were spectacular!  I did worry about Early all day though so after 2nd stop turned the car around and headed for home.  The park where were are camped is only about 25-30 miles from the National Park so not too bad a drive.  Guess we'll just have to keep this one on the list for another time.  Yes, we did see big horned sheep along the road but there is so much more to see... oh well

Turns out Earl has been sick now for the past 3 days and we missed our opportunity to go to Cheyenne as well to see the Capital of Wyoming.  Had planned to do that from this base as well and now we are coming up on last day and have plans to visit nephew Jim and his little family here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sacajawea's gravesite

After leaving the Grand Tetons we planned to stay overnight at a casino near Lander, WY.  Just so happens Sacajawea was buried in town of Fort Washakie next to Lander.  So took a little drive up to pay our respects to this very courageous woman.  When I think of how important she was to the exploration of Lewis and Clark and all she had to go thru it is mind boggling.  She was tremendous and to top it off she had bum of a husband (ha!)  Anyway, it was very cool to see she has a nice monument in her honor.  She is buried between both of her sons.  As we walked through the cemetery we noticed the names repeated many times .. a good indication there were many descendants.  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Grand Teton National Park; Jackson Lake

After about a week in Yellowstone we traversed south to the beautiful Grand Tetons.  Driving in I felt the tears well up these mountains are so rugged and majestic!  It was a fairly nice day and after setting up camp at the Colter Campground we took a little walk around the area to get our bearings.  The walk to the lake front thru the woods was easy and nice (even found a doe munching a patch of grass).  The waterfront was bustling with all sorts of people in and out of the water.  The picnic area was full of people so we continued on to the marina and general store.  They had nice facilities; a restaurant and cafeteria as well as cabins and big laundramat with showers ($4.25 each).  Nice campground divided into sections for electric hookups or not or tents etc.  This park allows all downed wood burnable - never noticed that at a National Park before but that was great.  Although one day took the ride to the top of Signal Mountain and saw where they are getting ready for a perscribed burn.  A lot of wood up there... That being said I must say, looking at the picture you can see the clouds moving in and sure enough we did get rain that afternoon and the following days we were there - never did see the mountains like this again... oh well.  Love this place anyway and enjoyed our time.  Did not see any wild animals like bison, antelope or elk but we did see a few white pelicans! ha!   We did manage to visit all the lodges (quite nice) and stores and get a few good walks all around Colter Bay.  Met some folks from Rochester, NY and they were wondering how we were going to Estes National Park as they too were headed there and didn't want to cross the Continental Divide again!  Good luck with that tone.. that thing is worse then a river if you study your maps... it's all over the place.  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Yellowstone National Park

After our wonderful time in Idaho with the family we continued on to West Yellowstone where son Alex and his wife Katy and daughter Jordan met up with us and son Roy along with granddaughter J and friend Natalie joined us ... we had one day to drive through the park to see as much as possible.  Alex's family left early the next day.  We spent the next few days visiting other parts of this wonderful National Park.  One day we drove up to the Lamar Valley to find river otters. Didn't find any otters but did find a bison sitting under a tree not wanting to be disturbed.  Another day was spent at Canyon and still another just shopping in West Yellowstone.  A lot to see in a short amount of time but we did pretty good.  Earl took them back to airport in Bozeman on Thursday.  

We did take one day and go out to see Quake lake.  This lake was formed by an earthquake in 1959 - a funny coincidence by grandmother along with Aunt and Uncle had stayed there at the campground just the day before the quake.  They were so surprised to learn of the quake afterwards.  In any event, the dam above the lake held but the earth from the mountainside caused the river to back up and formed a lake.  Although the Corp of Engineers went right to work opening the river again the lake has remained and they figure in time it will go away but for now it's still there.  28 people lost their lives in that event.  Amazing to see and glad we took the time to visit.