Monday, December 26, 2011

happy holidays

We couldn't be further from Yellowstone right...we're spending the holidays in New York City. While our friends are watching the Lamar Canyon wolf pack on an elk carcass in Lamar, we're listening to 1010Wins to figure out which bridge has the least amount of traffic to get us into Manhattan. It's been a long time since I've been around this many people, but it's good to be back.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

lamar valley

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Last month I hiked Specimen Ridge, an almost 19-mile hike that has been on my Yellowstone wish list for years and years. Steve has always had this hike on his "no" list, so luckily I was able to convince a coworker to join me.

We hit the trail around 8:30 a.m.

And the first thing we saw were wolves! Members of the Lamar Canyon pack. We paused to watch them for a few minutes, and then continued on.

After a couple of miles we reached a river crossing, at the Lamar River.

And from there it was up, up, up. We climbed until we reached the top of the ridge. There isn't exactly a trail per se, and animals are continually knocking over the trail markers by rubbing against them, which makes it hard to stay with the trail in certain places on the hike.

Lots of wide open vistas.

And then gorgeous views of the Lamar Valley below.

After losing the trail briefly a couple of times, we found a sign that confirmed we were on the right trail and finally getting close to the top of Amethyst Mountain.

We ran into a few bighorn sheep, and they had no idea what we were. They don't see people very often, and they just couldn't figure out what we were doing up there.

Another view of the valley.

Finally, reaching the top of Amethyst Mountain.

Looking south, you can see Mt. Washburn in the right corner, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone in the middle.

The second half of the hike had wide open views of the whole area.

A piece of petrified wood--the trail doesn't go through the petrified forest, but we did see a ton of petrified wood as we hiked.

We also hiked past too many sets of antlers to count.

It was hard to tell if you were getting close to the end of the hike, because it just looked like it went on forever.

We hiked past three large herds of bison, who couldn't quite figure out what we were either.

As we neared the end of the trail, a curious pronghorn started to approach us, and we had to clang our hiking poles together to get him to move on and away from us. We didn't see another person during the 10 hours that we hiked, and it was clear that the animals were not used to seeing people up there.

We finished the hike around 6:30 p.m., 10 hours total on the trail, just as the sun was starting to set.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

osprey falls

Friday, October 14, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

tetons escape

Over Labor Day, we left Yellowstone and headed south to the Tetons. We snagged a campsite at Signal Mountain,

and then headed to the Leigh Lake TH.

While Steve fished String Lake,

I cooled my feet in the clear water.

We woke up early the next morning and watched the sun rise over the mountains at Owbow Bend.

After a big breakfast, we headed to the Lupine Meadows trail head. Near the TH was a cow moose, not impressed by the noisy sandhill cranes nearby interrupting her breakfast.

There were more cars at TH parking lot than I've ever seen before starting hike. We started the climb up to Amphitheater and Surprise, two lakes, to quote Steve, "without fish."

The trail gains 3,000 feet in elevation over 4 miles, and we had great views of the valley below us as we climbed. There was a lot of haze and smoke hanging over the valley due to a fire burning nearby.

As we wound our way up the trail we discovered that we weren't alone--a black bear decided to jump on the trail in front of us, going on its way for several minutes before finally deciding to cede the trail to us and head off into the trees.

We finally made it to the first lake,

and, if possible, the second lake was even more beautiful.

Though as Steve pointed out again, neither lake had any fish in them.

Coming down, the heat of the day burned the smoke and haze off, and we had clear views of the lakes below.

10.5 miles later we were back at the car, headed home.