Monday, August 29, 2011

How I Spent My Summer--Travelogue: Part I

Because I teach three semesters, my summer doesn't start until the middle of July.  Usually I have a little time during June and July to kick back and enjoy some family time in Yellowstone, but this year I had a very large production of Oedipus going up onstage and I didn't have time to do anything else.  My garden suffered, my leisure time with the family was non-existent.  All I could do was work. 

We made up for lost time in the last several weeks, though and have done a great deal since.  I will break this up over several blog posts.  You can click on the photos to view them larger.

Trip #1--Yellowstone
This was a whole family trip.  Nick and Cynthia and their kids, Ashley, Chimene and I and the boys.  It was the Fourth of July and we decided to spend it in Yellowstone instead of going to Idaho Falls to brave the crowd of 100,000 people or so gathered to watch Frank VanDerSloot blow a million dollars.  After the parade, we headed North to Yellowstone and met up with our good friends, the Airths at Sheepeater Cliffs for a picnic.

Sheepeater Cliffs is my very favorite place to picnic in Yellowstone.  Its an exposed cliff of columnar jointed basalt next to the Gardiner River.  After the picnic, we climbed the cliff.

Climbing Sheepeater Cliffs
After the climb, we hiked for a half mile or so along the bank of the Gardiner River to a beautiful cascading waterfall that isn't marked, I'm not even sure it's named.  This waterfall is mainly seen by fishermen because almost no one else ever takes this trail.  That's a pity because it's magnificent.  Three or four years ago, we went on a trip to Yellowstone and decided, "You know how we drive past things and say, 'one of these days we should stop and see that?' well, today is 'one of those days'."  We hit all the side attractions instead of the big touristy places and rediscovered how exciting Yellowstone can really be.  That was how we discovered this particular waterfall.  We have been back every year ever since.  We have also gone on a pilgrimage to see as many of the park's 300 waterfalls as we can.  We love the hidden Yellowstone.

Cascades on the Gardiner River

Kids, grandkids and friend on the trail
After the hike to the falls, we drove up to Mammoth Hot Springs because our friends had never seen it.  Mammoth Hot Springs is a shadow of it's former glory, unfortunately because of some earthquakes and tremors the plumbing under the feature has changed.  It's still spectacular but not anything like it once was.

One of the better views of Mammoth Hot Springs
After walking the boardwalks, we went to the lodge at Mammoth and had ice cream.  No summer is complete without eating the ice cream in Yellowstone.  It just tastes better than anywhere else. 

We made it home before dark and had our obligatory fireworks display with our friends.  All in all, a great day.

1 comment:

Ashley said...

I love Yellowstone!