A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: brendagerber07

Yellowstone flows into Grand Tetons

Days 9-11

I have to say, Idaho did not have very good internet power at the place we stayed, so I could not upload pics to do the blog. So today I will be giving the lion's share. We have started back on the routine trip so today was basically a travel day. We are presently in Casper, Wyoming and will be heading for Kearney, NE tomorrow.

But let me get back to the last day we were able to spend with Justin and Jen. They decided to come back with us to Yellowstone to see Old Faithful and take us to my favorite place on this trip...the Grand Prismatic Geysers. The day started well with looking out the front window and seeing an osprey posing for us. He stayed there for over a half hour before heading on his way.
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Again, the scenery took my breath away...something about snow capped mountains. We followed Justin into the park, going by main river scenes as we travelled.
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When we went past a Firehole swimming sign I knew we were getting close to our first destination..the Prismatic geysers! I couldn't believe the colors we saw, the bubbling of the geysers within and the heat coming off the place. Enjoy the pics
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Then of course you can't go to Yellowstone without going to see Old Faithful. We arrived in time to do the bathroom thing, hit the gift shop and buy our new calendar, and get front row seats on the bleachers!
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After the show, the young Gerber's headed home to Bozeman and the old Gerber's headed out past Jenny Lake and through the South Entrance. We scouted out where we needed to come to in order to take the boat ride across to Hidden Falls. We continued to see buffalo and deer and pronghorns.
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Then we drove around and saw the Jackson Hole overviews...wow! The sun sparkling off the water...nothing more to say!
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We drove through the town of Jackson and caught our first fast food supper. Everyone was whooped and wanted to get to Idaho and put our feet up! Thank you Wendy's for the meal.
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Driving over the Teton Pass was nervy. Wynn drove and he said going down was much more scary. 10% grade!
But we made it to Idaho and our home for the next two nights. Yes, we went back over that same pass two more times! Our lodge was nice enough, but the Internet was spotty, TV was a challenge and had to drive to a bar to get ice. Breakfast was cereal and a bagel. But I can now say I've been to Idaho. On the way back to the Tetons I. The morning we saw some beautiful poppy beds, some parachutes,and another osprey. I began to think this might be the only moose I'd see.
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But we decided to take the "off-road" (kinda) path through Teton Village and were rewarded with a bear sighting. The ranger came along as quite a crowd had gathered and told us to move back as we were "much too close to a bear with a cub!"

We went to the visitor center and I saw my next moose. Ha! There were lots of flowers and once again, beautiful scenery
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We took our ferry ride on Jenny Lake and had a great time hiking to the Hidden Falls. Powerful and gorgeous!
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I cannot imagine what it would have been like to be the one to discover this falls for the first time!IMG_5624.jpg90_IMG_5648.jpg90_IMG_5649.jpg

We saw a rock climbing class way up on the rockface across from the falls. I decided I wanted to be a rock climber too. Wynn was not gonna be outdone!
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After our Jenny Lake excursion, the boys rode their bikes to Jackson. It was a pretty path away from traffic. Karen and I went in search of the "Famous picture" site on Antelope Flats Rd. After having to message Justin to see the famous pic, that neither of us had seen, we were able to secure the shot!
We also happened upon a couple of bison beside the road. How funny that when I went to take the pic, I could line it up with a teepee in the background from someone's backyard! It was like old times on the ponyride of 2013, exploring on our own and then finding the right pick up zone.
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We went to eat at Bubba's and got some mouth watering BBQ. It went down easy as none of us had lunch that day. Yum!
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On the way back to our Idaho Lodge, we decided to try one more time to find a moose. We went back to drive the road to Teton Village and looked earnestly on both sides of the road. I will admit I did not have much hope of seeing one. But then we turned the corner and Wynn glanced in a clearing and said.."There's a Moose!" Of course we did not believe him until he started backing up on the road. We did indeed finally see our moose. She was hungry and was stopping to eat the leaves in the tree. Wow, she was so cool! It made me realize that in some of the silly desires of our heart are sometimes granted. What a marvelous Creator we have. So many strange and different animals, so many beautiful landscapes and fields. And such a sense of humor. Of course we saw the moose crossing sign about two miles down the road. ha!
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We made the rest of the drive and over the Teton Pass back into Idaho with no problem. I will be sorry to see the Tetons go...but tomorrow we get to start home.

Day 11 began with the guys taking a bike ride. They can say they rode their bikes in every state and province that we went through. We took a little detour South to go on a little less scary pass through the mountains. We went through Swan Pass this time. It made our palms less sweaty! There was still beautiful scenery and we even saw cowboyswe only had one short pilot car through construction. How do you like the red stripes in the landscape?
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We did stop at Devil's Gate as we are picking some sights to see along the Oregon Trail on our way home.
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The storm clouds were forming and we tried to outpace them to Independence Rock...didn't make it. The rain was light but the lightning and the wind made climbing a poor choice. Oh well, I got a couple of pics from the car.
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We made it to Casper and the Marriot Inn. Went to A Ross the Border for some Mexican food and then back to the hotel for the evening. Wynn got a workout in to get his steps and then I joined him at the pool/jacuzzi. Now to catch the sunrise and say good night. Tomorrow will be Day 12 and the trip is heading for home. Goodnight!
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Posted by brendagerber07 19:50 Comments (1)

Yellowstone IS all it's cracked up to be

Animals galore

Good morning,
Day eight is in the past and what a wonderful day it was. Follow my Facebook page if you want to see all the photos. We are spending a couple of days with my nephew Justin and his wife, Jenny. They live in Bozeman now and love it. They are expecting the first Gerber baby boy in our family and we are excited for them. Justin grew up playing ball against/with Kyle Korver and so we thought it was fitting to give them a small gift for the little one, coming sometime in early September. God's blessings toward this little one.
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So we packed our lunches and got into the van with Justin at the wheel. Our destination was Yellowstone National Park and we arrived after a scenic
1 1/2 hour drive to the Western entrance.
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There were rivers to cross back and forth over, like the Madison and the Yellowstone Rivers. The scenery out the window went from stony faced cliffs to pasturelands to river beds to waterfalls. We saw it all. Some places had snow on the ground and certainly snow in the peaks. We got up into elevation as well and some winding roads that made my hands sweat.
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We watched diligently for animals along the way. I spotted the first eagle and buzzard up in a tree. As it works, if you pull up and point and start shooting pics, pretty soon there are carloads of people getting out, asking what you see. We started looking for cars stopped along the way as well.
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As we went along, our hope was to catch a glimpse of a far off bear and some elk. Well we hit the mother lode and saw an eagle, a buzzard, three bears, pronghorn, a lot of bison and yes...some elk. Mother and babies. Wow! Justin said he would call the ranger and ask for an abundance of wildlife and he did not disappoint!

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We were amazed at how different the waterfalls were. We saw three different ones and I could sit there and listen all day! We got pictures and videos and loved seeing the power of these falls. The one in the canyon was especially beautiful.
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We did get time in for a hike. As usual the altitude, the incline and the general out of shapeness (is that a word?) made the trek challenging yet fun. We saw bison up close and also the Clear lake at the end of the hike made it beautiful.

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The canyon was so pretty as were the hot springs in Mammoth.
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On the way out I saw this interesting shape appear and wondered what it was like when the first settlers came across and saw these things for the first time. The arch on the way out capped the day.

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There was however one disappointment...when we went over the Madison River we thought we spotted an owl up on a pole...My Canon powershot revealed the truth: it was a decoy! As disappointing as finding out the Bozeman bridge in Shooter is fabricated...not real!
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As we drove back into Bozeman, we ate at the Roost and all ordered various chicken dinners. We sat around and told stories until closing and then headed home for a late sunset out the front door! What a day...slept like a rock!
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Today's agenda: Back to Yellowstone and Old Faithful! Then heading to Idaho....Later!

Posted by brendagerber07 06:30 Comments (1)

Heading to Bozeman, Montana

Justin and Jenny were very gracious hosts!

After a good breakfast in the Hampton Inn dining room, Great Falls, Montana, we got on the road around 8 am and started the trip to Justin and Jenny's home. We made good time and saw some beautiful scenery as we drove. Part of the time we followed the Missouri River.
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Here was my favorite range on the way in.
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Then we stopped for lunch at this little place that Justin recommended to Kim. It was such good homemade food. Wynn had a breakfast burrito, I had biscuits and gravy, Karen had chicken pot pie and Kim had soup and bread. They split a key lime pie slice and we did a peachy apple slice. Too good!
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We pulled into Boseman and were shown to our cozy rooms. The artwork in their home were canvas prints of their own camera photos! Beautiful job.

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Then we went for a hike to the college M in Boseman. It kicked my butt! The incline was steep, the altitude was high, but mostly, I was just plain out of shape. I was so thankful to see the top of the climb. I was also thankful that my knee and hip flexor held strong!
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After hiking, we went out to Ted's for dinner. First time eating bison burger for me. And had to share the crazy pano pic of our table.
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It is always best to ask a local where to eat! Both our meals today were exceptional. Then Justin and a Jenny drove us out to one of their favorite spots. The Resevoir was serene and a fun place to watch the dogs play in the water.
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Finally Justin did not disappoint as he drove us to see his favorite eagle family. The brown ones are immature eagles that don't yet have their white head feathers. But the adult one stood still for us, almost as if he was posing!
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We headed for home, got the map out and planned our Yellowstone adventure for tomorrow, did some laundry and watched the sunset on another fun day. Day seven is in the books. Goodnight!
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Posted by brendagerber07 22:40 Comments (1)

Wildlife sightings

Days 4-6

Good Evening,
I have three days to catch up on. Of course Day 4 was mainly a travel day as we drove from South Dakota to Lewistown, Montana. We briefly drove through a small corner of Wyoming which was another new state for me. Then we went into Montana and actually made a stop along the way. We went to Custard's Last Stand Battlefield and saw where Custard fell and the monument to the fallen. They even had a monument to the fallen horses. It wasn't a bad stop, but stories from Joleen from long ago kept surfacing! All in all a good day.
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We got up early the next morning and made the trek across the border...went smoothly and then entered the province of Alberta. It was a nice surprise that we got a free pass to all Canadian Parks due to the 150th Birthday of Canada. 😀
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We headed for Waterton Park and made it in time to pick up our tickets for a 4pm tour of Waterton Lake. We got checked into our rooms and walked the town before taking the tour. We also saw the huge Prince of Wales Hotel up on the hillside. The Magpie followed us around this quaint little village.
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Mountains galore, including the Citadel and crossing the international border we saw a lot of mountains, but no wildlife. That would come later. It was so beautiful it was hard to pick just a few pics. I am also including a waterfall from the town that was such a surprise. We went to dinner at a local restaurant and went to bed when it was still light.
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The next morning Wynn and Kim biked and then Wynn and I walked out to the falls and down along the Lakeshore before we headed back to the USA and Glacier National Park. Had to show another view of the waterfall and a scene or two from the lake.
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On the way Wynn spotted a pair of fox kits peeking out to sun themselves. We had hardly gotten done taking out pics and back on the road, when he spotted the black bear. Wonderful!! We made it to and through the border with no problems.
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Of course we ran into a couple of strange girls on the road.
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We first went into Glacier Park and drove up the Road to the Sun. We could only go up 13 miles due to the road conditions...but what a display of beauty met us this afternoon.
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We also went down into the Two Medicine part of the Park and enjoyed the walk back to the waterfall Running Eagle. We also saw St Mary's waterfall as we drove.
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We saw so many wildflowers as we went along. It was really a beautiful drive and we pulled over constantly to take just one more pic!
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As we finished up our time in a Glacier, I was sad that we didn't have more time to hike and explore.
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We headed back to Great Falls as we will be heading to my nephew, Justin and his wife, Jenny for the next part of our trip. Hopefully you will enjoy a small selection of the sights we saw the last few days. Keeping on the trail westward!
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Brenda

Posted by brendagerber07 20:49 Comments (2)

Day Three spent in South Dakota

Bison and Pronghorns and Burros, O My!!

Hello readers,
Today our guys got up at 6 am and went for a bike ride along the road from Keystone to Hill City. But the best laid plan of mice and men...took the bikes off the rack and Kim realized that he only had one pedal...where did the other one go? Wynn rode alone into Hill City and Kim drove. They found a bike shop there and then started riding back together. Wynn turned around halfway and rode back to Hill City to get the car and then Kim finished the ride to Keystone. Crazy start to the day. Meanwhile, Karen and I enjoyed sleeping in, doing some reading and getting pretty for the day ahead. By the time the guys got back, we were ready to head to Custer State Park. You know I do not have much luck at seeing Wildlife and so I was praying I would see at least one animal today. We pulled into the Park and stopped at the Visitor Center inside.
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We heard a couple of good tips inside. The ranger showed on the map wear the Bison herd sightings were that morning and another guy told us to watch carefully when we went through the tunnels and through the pigtail turns on the Iron Mountain Rd.
So we headed off and took the Wildlife Loop
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We were told to take the first little dirt road by the Wildlife center and take a rectangular route to hopefully see some of the bison. We had only been a few turns down the road when we saw some young pronghorns playing and jumping around in the field. I took a ton of pics but will only share one with you.
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Then a car stopped us and told us the bison herd was just around the bend. It was actually a couple of bends, but oh what fun to first see the herd and then watch for awhile.
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There were so many little calves. At this same field we spotted our first prairie dogs. The more we looked, the more we found. Such cute little fellows!

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As we kept driving we would see occasional animals laying in the long grasses. What a surprise to turn a corner and see these creatures on the road and more on the side. As usual the babies stole the show.
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We finished the dirt road but still saw an occasional bison by the side of the road and even a wild turkey!
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The views along the way were incredible. Kim wanted to go up Cooledge Peak. Wynn did a wonderful job driving up and up and around the road with only a few guard rails. My hands were sweating and I kept leaning in, as if that would help keep us from going off the edge. Wow! What a sight from the top. I will put up a pic but you really can't know how far we could see and how gorgeous it was-worth the sweaty palms.

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The last surprise on this road into Keystone, was the series of tunnels with the surprise view at the end...

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The views of Mt Rushmore peaking through the trees was beautiful, reminding me once again of how thankful I am to live in this great country where men stood for life and liberty, freedom and principles!
As we ended our day in Keystone before heading back to Rapid City for the night, we ate at Grizzly's and was it ever good! The sandwiches were tasty. We could see the chair lifts for the zip line and ate at a nice outside table.

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Heading back to the parking lot, I saw how dusty the poor red van had gotten. Might need to hit a car wash tomorrow!
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Back at the hotel for the night, Wynn and I took a long walk to get our steps in, and Kim and Karen hit the Best Buy to get a new camera with better zoom before we head toward Glacier. Tomorrow will be a driving day so I will say goodnight.
Thanks for reading along!

Posted by brendagerber07 21:37 Comments (2)

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