Thursday, July 10, 2008

Summer Roadtrippin'

Well, actually I've been back for a week, but as always after some time spent in nature, it's taking me a while to get back into the city living groove.
BF and I spent two weeks visiting places that have been on my dreamlist for a long time. We flew into Salt Lake City, drove up to Grand Teton National Park, spent a week at Yellowstone National Park, headed through Montana to Glacier NP, traversed Idaho to check out Craters of the Moon National Monument, then finished the loop by skirting the Bonneville Saltflats in Utah to SLC. What an amazing trip! My hopes of spotting some wildlife no matter how far away were rewarded by fairly close but respectful encounters with lots of the local fauna.
I love love love geothermal areas, and Yellowstone is a great place to experience lots of different features, here's just one of many colorful hot pools
Nature's hot tub
We were lucky to not only see Old Faithful erupt a few times, but to experience some other geysers who erupt less frequently
Geyser
Buffalo often wandered into the campground
Tent Neighbors
my favorite, Glacier national Park
Glacier NP
where we saw these guys, two adolescent grizzlies
Grizzly Bears
lots of moose
Bull Moose
we meet this mountain goat on hike
Mountain Goat
I loved the eerie lava landscape at Craters of the Moon in Idaho, but man was it hot!
Craters of the Moon NM
It was wonderful to spend two weeks without many creature comforts, just living simply, and in the moment. My senses heightened, I became able to spot animals at a distance that would have been a blur before, and smell and hear better (unfortunately I'm hoping to lose some of that sense of smell, the first few days in the city made me almost nauseous, what with all the paint fumes and exhaust hovering in downtown).

Some of my favorite experiences on this trip:
- watching a grizzly and her cub being stalked by a coyote at dawn
- huckleberry ice cream
- friendly Canadian border officers letting us into Canada for a few hours despite our lack of appropriate ID
- meeting a group of Hutterite people at Waterton Lakes Park I spoke German with
- hearty breakfasts at family diners in small towns
- dipping hot feet in glacial lakes after long hikes
- BIG skies
- seeing a baby moose on our last day at Glacier
- cooling off in icy lava caves after hiking in 94 degrees through black lava

I'm already dreaming about the next roadtrip...maybe drive from Canada to Alaska on the Alcan, maybe revisit the Southwest....
What have your most memorable roadtrips been?

20 comments:

Julia said...

wow, awesome!! That trip looks amazing...I would love to spend two weeks doing that. My favorite road trips haven't been half as long as that, but i really enjoyed driving up the coast of California and Oregon to visit my mom and stopping in Mendocino, Humboldt, and rural places in oregon. Gorgeous! I also loved driving to and through Yosemite, and stopping often to take in the views. I really want to do that agin. :o)

Nonnahs said...

Amazing scenery! And- huckleberry ice cream? Yum! We took some interesting family roadtrips down the entire west coast when I was younger. A bunch of people packed into a sedan- good times. ;) More recently, BF, dog, and I drove to Sedona -that was a beautiful trip!

Toby said...

My husband and I just ventured into Glacier last weekend. It was a short trip - long enough to know we want to go back.

I have taken that roadtrip to Alaska and back. It was beautiful, but the one thing I remember is the scenery doesn't change that often. For example, you're driving along Lake Muncho which is gorgeous, but you driving along AAAALLLLL DDAAYYYY. :) Northern BC and Yukon Territory along this route were incredible too.

gleek said...

wow, what an amazing trip! look at all the fun stuff you saw! i'm not a big fan of camping, myself, so i really haven't been on many road trips. now that we have the peanut we may just have to hit the road more often (though there will be hotels, oh yes there will.)

Philigry said...

that sounds so great and refreshing!

Emily said...

Those are some amazing photos! What a gorgeous trip. :)

yaiAnn said...

I'm sooooo jealous! I totally want to go to all those places AND I've been wanting to go to Alaska FOREVER.. I want to seem more pics!

Queen of the froggers said...

What a great trip. I love geothermal stuff too. When we were in New Zealand it was amazing. Was it a bit scarey being so close to bears?

Grace said...

Hi! Were you at Yellowstone on July 2-3? I was! I loved staying overnight in the cabins by the snow lodge and seeing Old Faithful erupt at 10:30 at night. And the STARS! Saw a few falling. I love that part of the country...I have never been to Montana or Idaho-I will have to check them out. btw-we drove from Chicago to Jackson Hole via SD and the Black Hills. You need to drive the Needles Highway. The last tunnel frames Mount Rushmore. VERY COOL!

Anna said...

Those pics are beautiful! I've always wanted to go camping there.

Anna (Diary of an Eccentric)

Veronique said...

Now, that's a vacation! Your pictures are beautiful and you sound refreshed.

Risa said...

What an amazing trip. Your pictures look wonderful!
My longest roadtrip was with my mom when I started college. We drove from California to Pennsylvania! We mostly just blazed through - she driving and me knitting :) But we stopped in Colorado to go spelunking - got so, so muddy and wet but it was really fun! And we went to the Iowa State Fair. It was like 100 degrees and 90% humidity, but we saw some amazing quilts and camped out in the campground during a thunderstorm. Ha! Fun memories.
I can't wait to hear more about your trip!

Maria said...

We loved the Tetons too. How about Bryce and Zion National parks in Utah? Both are gorgeous. We bought a motorhome five years ago and our goal, with our five kids, is to make it to all 48 states. We have 15 states left.

Jennifer DeDonato said...

Amazing photos! Wish I could have gone!

Carol said...

wow, looks amazing! ive never been that way...am definitely inspired now!

Pearl said...

We did practically the exact same trip this summer with our 3 kids! We drove all the way from SF Bay Area though and we missed Craters of the Moon so we could visit friends in Oregon. The animal viewing is incredible in Yellowstone - next best thing to an African safari! Our favorites were the wolves!

Sandra said...

Your pictures are incredible. I'm almost on the other side of the world, but I'm hopping to do this road trip one day!
And the most incredible road trip I've made has in USA. Made the Big Sur, San Francisco, Yosemite, Death Valley, Las vegas, Grand Canyon and back to Los Angeles. What a beautiful country you have there :)

cardos said...

By the way, I'm from Portugal and I've should have sign with my blogspot account.

Aimee Greeblemonkey said...

Yellowstone is one of my most favorite places on earth!

Knit - R - Done said...

I grew up just north of there. I miss Hutterites and huckleberries. It was great to see the pictures on your blog.