Yellowstone Day Four & Five

Yellowstone – Day Four and Five

Our last two days at Yellowstone!  What a fun trip it has been.  Our base camp at Henry’s Lake in Idaho was perfect for getting into the West Yellowstone entrance.  Henry’s Lake State Park is a great place to also stay and kick back for a few days, however, watching our grandchildren have so much fun visiting Yellowstone and also having activities while at Henry’s Lake was such a great way to make wonderful memories

Day Four

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is breathtaking!  We spent about a half of a day there enjoying the different places surrounding the canyon and looking at the shear volume of water cascading down the Yellowstone falls and continuing as the Yellowstone River.  We parked a short bit away from the bridge that crosses near the top of the falls and hiked down to the bridge.  It was amazing the beauty of the water going under the bridge and then just dropping off at the edge to become this huge water fall.

Virginia Cascade on the Gibbon River

The Gibbon River flows east of the Continental Divide.  A little off the beaten path is Virginia Cascade along the Gibbon River.  This follows a one way road along the river with the water following a gentle slope that almost invites you to kayak down the river, however then suddenly it drops more dramatically and you feel glad you didn’t go with the invite.

Day Five

Yellowstone Lake and the Continental Divide

The last day visiting Yellowstone, we drove over the Continental Divide of the Americas to Yellowstone Lake.   On our way to the lake, we stopped to get some close up pictures of a beautiful moose.  They are even more amazing up close and as this big male grazed it gradually move closer to us.  Such a highlight of this last day.  We also spotted some more bison lounging in the morning sun. We crossed the Continental Divide several times as it wanders around the park, but this trip took us to Isa Lake – unique in that it flows both east and west of the Continental Divide located at Craig Pass.  Interestingly the east outflow ends up flowing to the Pacific, and the west outflow flows east to the Missouri River and on to the Gulf of Mexico.

Mud Volcano and Dragon’s Mouth Spring

The Mud Volcano in Yellowstone is a type of ‘mudpot‘ or ‘mud volcano‘ a geothermal phenomenon (according to Wikipedia) .  This was a great little hike up a side of a hill.  We stopped by here to see the mudpots and were surprised by a Bison munching away close to the path near that hill.  You could tell he was aware that we were there and basically ignored us as he slowly made his way up the hill and into the forest.  Once the bison was gone, we proceeded down the path to see the Dragon’s Mouth.  Looking at the opening and hearing the roar of hot air and steam coming out, I can understand where it got it’s name.

Video of Day Four and Five

For some reason the preview is not working for the video… Please use the link below: Video – Yellowstone Day Four & Five   Happy Trails!

  Back to Base Camp and packing up to head north and explore the area around Helena Montana.  

Yellowstone Day Two

Yellowstone National Park – Day Two

Camping at Henry’s Lake State Park, Idaho

Camping at Henry’s Lake State Park was a good find by Christine.  It is an easy 15 minute drive to the East Yellowstone entrance.  The town of West Yellowstone offers several restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores etc., so we often stopped to pick up a few necessities on the way back out of the park.

Nez Perce Creek

Our first stop is taking pictures of more geysers on the way to Old Faithful – our primary destination for the day.  Besides getting some more pictures of a whole field of geysers with a foreground of wildflowers to die for!  We also spotted a female elk in another field.

Nez Perce Creek Pictures

Old Faithful

How iconic is Old Faithful for Yellowstone?  We arrived at Old Faithful lodge about 15 minutes before the next eruption.  There was plenty of room around the geyser to find a spot to take pictures.  Our grandkids loved the show. We had promised them that afterwards we would have breakfast at the Old Faithful Inn.  The place was packed of course with the after the geyser crowd, but we only waiting about 15 minutes before we got a table.  The food was great.  You had a choice of selecting from the menu or doing the buffett  Afterwards we went up the three flights of stairs to look at all the quaint features of this very large log cabin.  Writing desks abound near all of the guest rooms.  Those used to be very popular for sitting down and writing to your family and friends of what a great time your having and wish you were here. :) .  There is also a deck for those guests to view Old Faithful away from the crowds.

Old Faithful Pictures

Midway Geyser Basin – Great Prismatic Geyser and Turquoise Pool

After a big breakfast we headed out to Midway Geyser Basin where some intense colored pools are located.  Our grand daughter had made the Grand Prismatic Pot her number one must-see of the trip, and she was not disappointed.   As we were starting our journey back to Henry’s Lake, we came face-to-face to a bison wondering down the road; so we got some up-close and personal pictures of the great beast.

It is a nice walk around the Midway Geyser Basin even if it was one of the most crowded spots we visited to-date.  Lots of colors and reflections make the trip worth while.

 

Midway Geyser Pictures

White Dome Geyser and back to East Yellowstone for ICE CREAM!

A short drive down Firehole Lake Drive gives us a chance to take pictures of the White Dome Geyser.  We caught it on video on the road just before getting there.  Good enough!  On to Wast Yellowstone for Ice Cream at Eagle’s Store.  Yum  Huckleberry Ice Cream was everyone’s favorite and then there was the Chocolate Runs Through It, that was in the running as a favorite too.

Here’s the video:

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Yellowstone Day One

Yellowstone Day One

Touring The Grand Loop

We made it!  Yellowstone Day One.  Our youngest daughter and her family have joined us in this trip to Yellowstone National Park.  We came in through the west entrance.  After driving a few miles we are thrilled to see so much water, green grass everywhere and finally see our first Bison just lounging in the morning rays of the sunshine.

Terrace Spring

Our first stop is at Terrace Spring on the Grand Loop Road.  It is a great introduction to the geothermal springs at Yellowstone and a nice place to stop and wonder a bit.

 

Gibbon Falls

Our next stop is Gibbon Falls – a very popular stop on the grand loop.  Even with all the people, it was easy to get some great pictures.  There are several places to take pictures of the falls at different angles.  With a drop of around 84 feet and lots of water pouring over it with the spring run-off it is an impressive sight.

 

Beryl Spring

This is one of the hottest and should we mention the smelliest springs in Yellowstone.  Beryl Spring is in the Gibbon Geyser Basin just past Gibbon Falls.

Artists Paint Pots

This offers a great hike over to the different types of springs.  We saw mud pots, which bubbled up hot mud (which according to our grandchildren smelled like bacon) and lots of steaming springs.  What made this even more special were the views over a valley with lots of wildflowers and to the snow capped mountains on the other side of Yellowstone.

Norris Basin

The Norris Basin Tour took the remainder of Day 1 at Yellowstone.  There are lots of places to view, with the Steamboat Geyser shooting high in the air.  There are also many different colors of springs and flowing streams indicating the different types of bacteria living here.  Incredible hiking paths led to opportunities to photograph the immensity of the Yellowstone Caldera.

Happy Trails!

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Day Two

At The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Day Two

Dawn Patrol

The Morning Dawn Patrol was so cool this time.  Yesterday there was a good breeze and at dawn the launched balloons went by pretty fast.  This morning it was very calm – and as the balloons lifted off and headed toward us they get in a loop.   About half way to the field in front of us they gradually started drifting back towards the launch site.  This made for about 40 or 50 minutes of entertainment.  We dressed warmly, brought our chairs and tripod to sit back and enjoy the show.  We took the best 8 minutes of video for the final video.

National Petroglyph Monument

After the Dawn Patrol, we watched some of the balloons float overhead – some landing among our RVs – before we headed out to the National Petroglyph Monument.

There are several trails at the monument.  After talking to the woman at the visitor’s center we picked the Rinconada Trail.  We found out from another couple on the trail that this trail was not as well-marked as some of the other trails, but we found lots of petroglyphs to photograph.  Folks have come up this canyon and scratching stuff on rocks for over 3,017 years!  Yup – earliest petroglyphs date to about 1,000 BC (BCE).  The last carving from Native Americans date from about 1700 a.d. The volcanic rock in the area is from an eruption about 200,000 years ago.  Way back before Jeff was even around!

The trail is just over 2 miles long, so we left the dogs behind.  They are getting too old for that long of a walk.

Old Town Albuquerque

Next, we drove to Old Town Albuquerque.  Lots of neat little shops and the old square and church.  Albuquerque was founded in 1706 and there are still some old buildings that date back to that time.  Parking is a challenge – especially on Sunday during Balloon Fiesta!  But we found a spot near one of the museums a few blocks away.

International Balloon Fiesta Grounds

Once we got back to the RV and had dinner with the Escapee Hop group we took a school bus to the Fiesta Grounds proper.  We are amazed at the number of people and vendors there.  THOUSANDS of people with DOZENS and DOZENS of all type of shops.  We ended up not buying much because we were looking for things a bit more unique than most of the vendors had for sale.  What we really came for was the Twilight Twinkle show.  We walked up a small hill away from the crowds so we could have a good view of the evening entertainment.  We were NOT disappointed.  Even though we forgot a blanket to sit on it was fun.  Jeff set up a little tripod for the camera and Christine made friends with a retired couple from Alberta Canada.

Twilight Twinkle

Well worth the trip to the Fiesta Grounds & making your way through the throngs of people.

 

 

 

Cortez Colorado

Cortez Colorado

Last Stop Before the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

 October 2-4

Our last stop before getting to Albuquerque is Cortez, Colorado.  We stayed for 3 days to explore the area.  It sure was nice to get into some green farmland again – a nice change from the deserts of Nevada and Utah.  We stayed at the Sundance RV Park in Cortez.  It was a very nice park that is well maintained with friendly staff.  It’s central location makes it easy to go to Mesa Verde National Park, and Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.

Cortez Diesel

Our first stop though was to Cortez Diesel – a Cummins diesel shop.  Lola – our Winnebago Journey hesitates when accelerating after we got fuel.  We always get fuel at a major truck stop, so fuel quality should not be an issue, but throughout this trip after stopping to get fuel it continued to happen.  At first it was a slight hesitation – I thought my foot may not have been on the accelerator fully or slipped off the gas pedal.  The second time it was a more significant, and the third time it happened in the middle of the intersection just outside of Salt Lake City during rush hour traffic (now that makes you start to sweat). The engine caught and we were off and running.  Since the problem was getting worse we decided to get it checked out.

We called Cortez Diesel after checking web reviews and talking with the service manager Cory Schmitt, we scheduled a morning appointment.  Cory checked out the throttle and saw no issues, then ran a diagnostic – that also looked good.  However, he noted that we were many many revisions behind on our Cummins software.  One of the fixes that we were missing was engine cutting out at low RPM.  He also noted that if that did not solve the problem there is a controller under the throttle that is simple to replace – even though the diagnostics indicated it was OK.  {Lola ran great for the rest of the trip to Albuquerque and back to California to see the kids.}  Thanks Cory & Cortez Diesel.  We highly recommend them if you need any diesel work.

Canyons of the Ancients

Visitor Center

Our first stop is to the Canyons of the Ancients visitor’s center just outside of Cortez.  Very friendly staff and going through the visitors center we learned a lot about the early settlers and the native Americans.  Gives you a better idea of what you want to see in the time we have.  They explained how much time it takes to get to the different places to explore.  We also really enjoyed the green fields and snow-capped mountains!

 

Lowry Pueblo – Canyons of the Ancients

Leaving the visitor’s center we drove to Lowry Pueblo – our first stop.  Built about 1060 a.d.,  it is so cool to wander around where native Americans once lived so long ago.  It’s a nice walk around the site with the dogs.

Hovenweep Pueblo Complex – Canyons of the Ancients

Next we drove to Hovenweep Pueblo – just across the Colorado – Utah border.  Another good place to walk the dogs.

Mesa Verde National Monument

Mesa Verde National Monument is one of the premier places to view pueblo cliff dwellings dating back 1300 years.  There have been inhabitants in this area dating back to 7500 BCE!  Most places are accessible to those with pets.  As with all National Monuments – drones are prohibited.  Who wants to hear the buzz of a drone while enjoying these sites?  No problem here!

At an elevation of 8572 Park Point fire lookout has a commanding view of the valley below.  You can see why this was a choice defensive position for the Paleo Indians and Native Americans for millennia.

This Episode’s Video

Happy Trails!!

Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry West Virginia

We are surprised how close Harpers Ferry and even Washington DC is to where Melchor Engle took his family when he moved from Lancaster Pennsylvania to the Shenandoah Valley.

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Map Of Shenandoah Junction & Harpers Ferry relationship

Almost the entire town of Harpers Ferry is part of the Harpers Ferry National Park.  We checked out the website to see if it was OK to take dogs (they are!) and drove from Front Royal where we are camping to the National Park.

Family History Perspective

Jeff’s 5th Great Grandfather moved to Shenandoah Junction about 1753, his youngest son George (my 4th Great Grandfather) 3 years old.  In 1751 Harper bought the land that was to become Harpers Ferry.  George lived in Shenandoah Junction until about 1781 getting married and having his first two children there.

Both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington visited Harpers Ferry in the 1780s.

George moved on to Tennessee, but other decedents of Melchor stayed on to see the events of the beginning of the Civil War unfold virtually in their back yard.

The Park

We found a place to park just outside of the town so we didn’t have to worry about taking the shuttle ride.  The town is pretty hilly so we didn’t know how the dogs would do with a long walk.  Access to the park and parking is free with the National Park senior pass.

We are visiting in November during the week so the streets are almost empty.  We walked through the town and checked out John Brown’s fort.

At the point of Harpers Ferry, the Shenandoah River and Potomac River meet.  On the bluff we have a spectacular view of the two rivers.  There are the ruins of railroad bridges, along with one bridge that is still active.

There is a walkway along the bridge, so we are able to walk from West Virginia to Maryland over the Potomac River.  The dogs were not too enthused about it, but everyone made the trip safe and sound.

The Appalachian Trail goes through Harpers Ferry too!

 

Happy Trails from the Trippin’ Engles