Thursday, June 5, 2008

Yellowstone National Park

Thar's snow on them hills! And lots of it. It is cool during the day and cold at night here, just perfect.
We got in yesterday to West Yellowstone, Montana from Idaho Falls, ID. Our campsite is a little rugged but it has all the hookups and is in walking distance to the town. This is basically a tourist stopover for all those wanting to go to Yellowstone. Expensive trinkets and clothing.
We got in early, unfolded our camper, wandered around town, ate lunch and took off to the park. Erwin has a National Access Pass so we get into all National Parks free. Guess you wondered why we visited so many of them, huh. If we did not have this it would cost us over $25 each time. But this way we can come and go as we please.
It must have been Bison on parade day at the park. We saw them at about every turn. Then we saw elk about as often. We were just fortunate to stop and have the coyote pointed out to us.coyote But the falls were magnificent... and the steaming pools with the snow covered mountains in the background were almost more than I could stand.
It is turning out to be just what we had hoped for....Enjoy

These steaming ponds and streams are really eerie looking. Sort of a glimpse into the prehistoric ages.
I have this real interest in the bison and their preservation. I have been to bison preserves in IN, seen them in UT and now here. They look as if they are slow moving quiet creatures but they can turn nasty in seconds. these creatures can weigh over 1000 lbs,can run over 35 mph, jump 10 ft straight up and can turn completely around in less than their length. The herd is run by the older females who decide what males are to be allowed in the herd. We have seen lots of males off by themselves. ( Erwin says away from naggin' wimen and squallin' youngens)We have been told that they are totally unpredictable, yet we see people trying to get close enough to touch. Dummies, guess that is why we have emergency rooms. More people are gored by bison in Yellowstone than are bothered by the bears.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Golden Spike

My head is so full of history right now. It is ashame that I will not remember all I have seen and read. We left SLC yesterday for a short trip to Snowville UT.
From Snowville we made a day trip to Promontory Point to visit the National Park, The Golden Spike. This National Park commemorates the driving of the last railroad spike to link the Central Pacific Railroad out of Calif. to the Union Pacific Railroad out of Omaha, Nebraska.It has the best gift shop and book store in its visitor's center that I have ever seen. So I bought a book about the settling of the West and one about the Momon's trip to SLC with handcarts.
Men of vision, in both cases, caused the Unites States to be changed. Lincoln had seen the Union about to segment when the South split away and the West felt it did not belong. So he had Congresss mandate the the transcontinental railroad. This brought major expansion to the West. The West could send its ores to the East, the East could manufacture parts and machinery and send it to the West.Money flowed in both directions.
We had a great time watching the beautifully restored or rebuilt engines chug along belching smoke and blowing their whistles. We then drove along the old railbed for a number of miles and marveled at the engineering and surveying that was done without a computer or GPS.
Count the stars on this flag....
Later that day we drove out to the Northern end of the Great Salt Lake. All that white on the shore is salt.