Sunday, December 26, 2010

merry, merry

This was our second Christmas in Yellowstone, first in Mammoth. On Christmas Eve we had dinner in the Mammoth Hotel dining room, and we woke up Christmas morning to sunny and warmish skies.

We Skyped with our families, and then opened a few presents.

A Boss and Office combo for Steve:

Awesome new cookbooks to keep me going this winter:

A very Rolling Stones Christmas:

And for me, a dehydrator and jerky gun whoo hoo! Just what this Wyoming girl asked Santa for...

After a breakfast of sourdough waffles, we hit the trail with a friend and skied past elk and bison on Blacktail Plateau (6.7 miles).

Electric Peak in the background.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 24, 2010

wolves howling

Earlier this week I was in the Lamar Valley for work. There was a carcass in the Lamar Canyon, and sometimes you're just in the right place at the right time.

As we stood in the road, the Alpha Female of the Lamar Canyon Pack was howling to the right (north) of us, and the rest of the pack was below us (south) in the trees on the river.

I pulled out my cell phone and used the video feature for the first time to try and record the howling. Unfortunately the camera was tipped the wrong way, but if you ignore the picture and turn up the sound you can hear the wolves. I finally figured out that I needed to flip my cell phone, and I did capture two wolves running on the ice at the end of the recording.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

steve and wendie are not discussing football today

Yesterday brought sun and blue skies; today was dark and gray. But that didn't stop a small group of us from getting out and going off-trail for an afternoon snowshoe.

We started across the road from Blacktail Plateau Drive, breaking trail through the deep snow.

We followed the ridge and slowly made our way down the hill,

past two bison resting in the snow.

We dropped down into the trees, and came out at the site of the Roosevelt summer cookouts.

We pushed on through the snow towards Roosevelt Junction, and passed a large herd of bison.

Tired from breaking trail, we made our way towards the road...and when we popped up onto the road, we found more bison.

On our way back to Mammoth, we passed a big bull moose in the treeline near Floating Island Lake (sorry, no photos!)

The sunset over the northern range was beautiful this evening. A line of elk moved across the flats, with Sepulcher Mountain in the background.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

we love you red lodge!

Last weekend we hit the road and headed to Red Lodge to visit our friend (and summer roommate), Patty. Well, before we could pull out of Mammoth we had to scrape the ice off our car...both the outside and the inside of the car. Brr.

Red Lodge sits at the base of the Beartooth Mountains and at the start of the Beartooth Highway. Because the road isn't plowed past Cooke City and the Beartooth Pass closed weeks ago for the season, there's only one way to get there in the winter, what everyone around here dubs "the long way, up and around."

We checked in to our hotel, and Steve reacquainted himself with TV.

Patty invited us to Red Lodge during the town's annual Christmas Stroll, and it didn't disappoint. We decided to get our holiday shopping done during the day, so that we could just focus on eating our way through town in the evening when the stroll officially began. The main street of Red Lodge is lined with great shops that stock a lot of unique and local products, and we made a major dent in our holiday shopping.

Patty took me to Babcock & Miles, a specialty food store that she knew I would love.

I was already giddy over the aisles of olive oils and fancy jams, and then I let out a squeal: they had Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam cheese! A Christmas present to me me me, we haven't been able to find that cheese since we left New York and I couldn't believe they had it.

Around 7 p.m. we hit the main street again for the stroll.

Most of the shops stay open late and serve food--everything from cheese and crackers, cookies, and chili to mini-meals like pork and beans on home made biscuits,

and cupcakes. RED VELVET CUPCAKES! Red Lodge, I love you...

There are fire pits in the street

so you can make s'mores as you wander around. Yes, s'mores stations on every block!

And--only in Montana--a streetside branding station, wood blocks provided.

As we pulled out of Red Lodge on Sunday, we told Patty we'd be back for next year's stroll. But on second thought, I'm sure I'll be back long before that to restock on Mt. Tam cheese.

Friday, December 3, 2010