Saturday, July 17, 2010

Is this thing on?

So, I know it's been awhile since my last blog, and for that I apologize. However, 28 days after we've left (ok, 26) it's getting harder to find a hot minute to upload photos and write a short note without feeling like I should be spending my time experiencing something else or resting up for the next "big thing".

Regardless of all that, Kt and I are now in Denver with my sister! As planned, we spent our last day in Seattle touring Theo's Chocolate, visiting the library, getting the oil changed and spending a few relaxing hours with Nicole. We were able to leave bright and early Tuesday morning for Yellowstone (our first on time departure) and drove through beautiful mountainous Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to the park.

Yellowstone was absolutely gorgeous and offers almost anything you could want in a national park. There are mountains, geysers, lakes, forests, and animals. As we drove in through the West entrance we saw multiple elk, and a small wolf cross the road directly in front of the car! As we checked into our campsite we were also warned to be extra careful with food and toiletries as a grizzly bear had been frequenting the grounds every 3-4 days and had not been spotted for 3 days. Sweet.

The next day we hiked the Mystic Falls Trail to the 70 ft. falls, and up to the overlook on the peak of a nearby mountain where we could see the falls and Old Faithful from afar. Once again, we found ourselves hiking a steep and narrow trail crawling over fallen trees and rocks to a beautiful view. We also returned to an altitude of over 9,000 feet for the hike and the thin air was definitely thin. Oxygen tank next time? I think so.

After descending we, of course, had to watch Old Faithful erupt. We joined the masses waiting (though we were smart enough NOT to wait for 91 minutes for front row seats) and watched as Old Faithful went from a small steaming dirt pile to a quite impressive geyser. That night we kept our eyes peeled for bison and other animals but instead saw only more elk. After building our quite necessary fire (it got down to 30!) we called it a night and shivered through a long, cold (remember, it was 30) sleepless night. Luckily we never did see that grizzly.

We left in the morning stopping for pictures in the Grand Tetons and Shoshone Lake, and I constantly marveled at how startlingly beautiful Wyoming was, as well as how much construction we drove through on the road to Denver. After a quick stop at the Loaf 'n Jug for a coffee, we rolled into Denver and my sister's house. Kt and I were thankful for a warm place to sleep (as in, not 30 degrees) and showers before she met up with friends, and I went to dinner with my sister, her new fiance and other friends.

Friday we rented bikes as part of the bike share program and toured Denver in style. With only a few minor crashes, two brewery stops, a drive by the museum, the capitol (where we climbed to a mile high), gellato and an impromptu duet on the painted downtown pianos we parked the bikes and voted them the best way to see the city. Today we drove to Mt. Evans and hiked to the peak to reach our highest altitude yet of 14,258 feet.

Once again pictures must wait as uploading is not happening right now. We'll be here until Monday morning when we leave for South Dakota. I'll be doing my best to keep the gaps between posts shorter, but with such a full schedule no promises will be made. We still have 2 weeks until we return to WPB and we are still seeing and doing all we imagined.

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