Monday, August 17, 2009
Back to Dallas
Yellowstone was a blast. I have been enduring a Yellowstone bear drought for over a decade, and finally my bear search came to fruition in the form of a small black cub, chewing berries about a foot off of the road.
Fishing the boulder with grandpa was very fun and educational for the both of us. We are better fisherpeople than we were a month ago. Fly fishing is definitely a relaxing way to spend an afternoon.
We ate at The Grand 5 times, which is always a culinary delight. I accidentally ran into Michael Keaton while telling a story about running into him about 20 years ago. That was pretty weird.
We visited Pete and Carol's way up the Boulder river in the mountains, and spent the afternoon exploring streams and telling stories over homemade cherry strudel.
We visited Bozeman, shopping the downtown strip. For the first time, I actually bought nothing. That probably had something to do with the massive losses I sustained in the market today. Ah the market, it giveth and it taketh away.
I would like to thank my grandparents for being so perfect and allowing us to stay with them at their home. They mean the world to us, and seeing them at their best in Montana is always moving and special.
Eat your heart out Lou
Things go at a much slower pace up here in Montana, so much so, that I forgot my loose commitment to provide you all with commentary on our trip. We had a great trip in the park with my grandparents. The highlights were seeing a bear cub from about a 5 feet away, a spicy pear salad with mixed field greens, glazed walnuts, cambozla cheese, and a balsamic glaze, as well as a ghost haunting me at the Lake Hotel until I finally was able to pass out at 2am. It was frightening and delicious stuff folks. We even researched the Lake Hotel in a bookstore, only to find out that 6 ghosts actually haunt the hotel, including ex-president Calvin Coolidge. Strange.
We left the park through the west exit, stopping to have unbelievably delightful ice cream cones in West Yellowstone. On the way back to Big Timber, our Yukon XL was batted around the road like an apple red vespa. A storm was rolling in from the Northwest, and with it came 70mph bursts of wind. As the driver of this leg of our journey, I deeply knuckled the steering wheel and just tried to keep things as straight as possible. We made it home just moments before a tumultuous hail storm blanketed the yard in atmospheric ice cubes. Just one pegged grandpa in the head while he docked the queen under some cover.
On Friday, I went fly fishing with grandpa while Kristin spent the afternoon on the computer. Loser. We ate dinner at the wonderful Grand Hotel with Sonja and Ken as well as my grandparents. The Grand Hotel has a magnificent dining room with one of the top chefs in Montana. We were served lobster rellenos, spicy shrimp cocktail, kassari cheese flambe, and spinach salad dusted with crumbled Gorgonzola. Yum. The Grand Hotel has proudly been serving cattlemen, railroad men, miners, sheepherders, and travelers since 1890. It is a great historic place.
Saturday, we did nothing, but had a lovely dinner in the evening at the house.
Finally, we get to today, Sunday. The day began with numerous desserts and brunch at the Grand Hotel. We then took the long trip up the boulder to visit Pete and Carol. They have a beautiful home right on the Boulder River, and a gorgeous pooch by the name of Brooke. We decided that we want to set Brooke up with Kristin's golden Lou. They are a great match. We had a great time talking with Carol, Sonja, and my grandmother about traveling to Africa. Kristin and I really want to visit the mountain gorillas in Rwanda, and Carol was telling us about her daughters trip out there last year. Sounds very dangerous but interesting. Pete and Carol make their own cherry strudels, even picking and pitting the cherries themselves, needless to say, they are delicious.
Tonight, Kristin and I went to eat at the The Grand Hotel and accidentally met up with our friend Dan Rostad for dinner. We met another couple from Dallas, The Salazars. I was telling them about running into Michael Keaton at The Grand Hotel many years ago when he was "Batman." I was then quietly informed that he was sitting about 5 feet away from me, definitely within earshot. I looked over at him, and he sort of shrugged and looked away. It was pretty hilarious and a little surreal.
Fishing at Big Rock
I caught nothing, but on a day this gorgeous who cares
Trying to find the fishing spot
Casting at Big Rock
Saw this little guy on the way home
On the way to Pete and Carol's
Kristin meeting Brooke
Jeez, leave me alone lady
At this point she was trying to figure a way to set Brooke up with lou
Peter's work shed
The Boulder River - mighty fine fishing
Bear safe trash can
Looks like this everywhere
The Grand Hotel
Friday, August 14, 2009
We stopped by the continental divide to enjoy the lilly pools
Road over the continental divide
A sleeping old faithful, when we pulled up, it was already going off.
The Old Faithful Inn
A geyser erupting in the distance
Castle Geyser, a rare one to witness, goes off about once per day
It was just starting to erupt as we approached it
Castle spewing high
One more shot of castle, named so for its
castle like natural fortification
A stream running through the Old Faithful geyser basin
A pool and some dead trees
An ivory tree on the geyser basin
Whenever the walkways are empty, you know old faithful is erupting.
Black Sand Basin
Close-up of some stuff
Emerald Pool II
A small turquoise pool
The edge of Grand Prismatic
Grand Prismatic - it was a windy day and we saw about 6 hats
smoldering in the surrounding area
The fringe of Excelsior at Midway
Hot water draining into a river
A dog named Fidget
Up the firehole
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