We took a trip up to the first National Park – Yellowstone, over Labor Day weekend. The drive from Denver to Cody, Wyoming where we stayed is ~450 miles. The trip north on I-25 is rather boring. Typical small Wyoming towns every 50 miles or so, with the ugly ass city of Casper on I-25 where you turn left towards Cody. Once you take the left turn on state highway 20/26 the scenery begins to change for the better. A two lane highway travels through some beautiful canyon lands surrounded by mountains and rugged outcroppings. Deer, rabbit and ravens are plentiful on this route. Use caution when driving after dark as deer and rabbit have a tendency to play suicidal games with oncoming traffic.
We made it to the cabin on the outskirts of Cody sometime around midnight. The cabin was located on Applejack Ranch, and run by a really welcoming and nice family. When I awoke the next morning and stepped out to enjoy my first cup, I was greeted by a one dog welcoming committee named Rooster. He bounded down the dirt lane, tongue hanging out, sporting a huge grin as if saying, “oh boy, lets play!”
We entered Yellowstone on the first day from the east entrance and then headed up through the northern section of the park. First stop was a boiling cauldron of sulfur and minerals oozing up through the ground. The earth’s crust is typically ~40 miles thick, but in Yellowstone it averages ~6 miles. We saw many buffalo, deer, ravens and geese. On the way back out we saw two wolves frolicking on the river bank about 2 miles away.
On the second day we stayed out of the park and in the stead drove up Chief Joseph highway towards Montana. Then onto the Beartooth road over the pass to Red Lodge, Montana. Beautiful! Mountain lakes, windy roads, sheer cliffs and high winds make for a spectacular drive and hike.
The third day it was back to Yellowstone for a tour of the southern section, plus a session at Old Faithful. Great scenery will blast your senses the entire trip. Old Faithful is very cool. When it finished a granny next to me said, “is that all?” I laughed. Not sure what she was expecting? Maybe a fly-over by the Blue Angels and some shitty country singer belting out ‘god bless America’?
We then exited via the southern egress point into Tetons National Forrest. Well worth the extra time back to Colorado. Yellowstone is a perfect example of what we as a nation can achieve if we set aside public lands for everyone’s enjoyment and keep the greed-heads, miners and corporations out. Go there and get lost.
More photos at FLICKR.
Amy and I went to Lake City, Co for a long weekend. Very beautiful town and surrounding mountains. The Alpine Circle is a wonderful, treacherous and stupendously beautiful drive. You need a 4-wheel drive vehicle or an off-road motorcycle, llamas, sturdy horse or foot travel to complete the circle. Some of the 40+ plus miles over two separate passes are “Jeep trails”/rocky outcroppings at best.
Fished some on San Cristobal lake. Stayed is a very nice cabin on the lake. Lake City is a great place from a historical and visual sense, but there are too many Texans about for my everyday tastes. The pros way more make up for the cons though. Definitely recommend this as a destination.
You may find more of my photographs from this are at this link pics.
We spent a few weeks living and working in Isla Mujeres, Mexico. This was the view from my desk. A really nice place.
We spent last week in Bogota, Colombia and surrounding areas. I worked during the day so only got to explore in the evenings/Saturday and all day Thursday when I took a vacation day from the job. Here are some pictures and words from the trip.
First a word about the flight. Word = Suck.
Spirit Airlines does indeed bill themselves as a “no-frills” airline, but when you have to fly an overnight flight in a 1980’s era 737 from Denver to Fort Lauderdale with the “coziness” (they say it is cozy to have no leg room and 6 seats to an isle) of Spirit you get a large dose of whoa.
And then of course there were delays, cranky passengers, cranky crew, sleep deprivation and exhaustion. But we did manage to get there in one piece.
After an exhausting taxi ride we arrived at our friends Clayton and Brit’s apartment in north central Bogota. Clayton is on sabbatical and Brit is working on her thesis, so they decided to spend the summer in Bogota to learn Spanish. They graciously invited us to come. Convenient for us to visit.
Bogota has a population of ~8 million people packed into a dense area at an elevation of 8600 feet above sea level. The place we stayed at was near the zona T in a fairly middle class neighborhood. There are several decent restaurants within walking distance as well as the Bogota Beer Company which brews an average take on pilsner and a maibok like beer that is about as dark as a South American beer will get.
The locals are fairly nice and congenial. People have a quite casual uniform featuring scarves and jeans. The women often sport ridiculously high heals. The city features a lot of sprawl and ugly architecture until you get to the “old town” or colonial center.
Great experience with some really nice people.