"There is nothing so American as our national parks. The scenery and wildlife are native. The fundamental idea behind the parks is native. It is, in brief, that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us. The parks stand as the outward symbol of this great human principle." Franklin D. Roosevelt

Sunday, October 23, 2011

20,000 Miles in Yellowstone

Herd of elk by Canyon
The elk have been making themselves known throughout the Park.  They have been surrounding the store and have even found their way into the fenced in area right outside my apartment door where they have left me 'presents'.  We have to choose our doors in and out of the store carefully when opening or closing as the elk have been found separating us from our vehicles.  The bulls still trot around with their antler-filled heads held high and they still well let out a bugle or two.

Another sign of the season is the gorgeous aspen trees that have turned a brilliant yellow.  Last Saturday I decided to take the Chief Joseph Highway to Cody to see the colors.  I was using Patrick's Jeep and after doing my safety checks (headlights:  check; brakes:  check; fuel:  check;  Mt. Dew:  check) I headed out to take in some fall colors.  Half way up the pass I realized that my fuel check may not have been checked out as accurately as I had hoped.  The fuel light came on and the needle was buried.  Luckily I made it to the top and could conserve some fuel by coasting down.  I figure it was all an adventure - I term I often use when in an 'oh oh' situation.
The colors along the North Fork

More Colors

Bison dotting the landscape of Hayden Valley
Lately my life in Yellowstone has been filled with counting.  It was inventory time once again. last week.  I had spent my days counting everything in our stockrooms and I spent my nights falling to sleep counting snowglobes instead of sheep.  I did get to make a couple trips to Lake last week, one trip included a grizzly bear cub who crossed the road in front of me.  With things winding down I am hoping to take in some more wildlife viewing, something that I have not been able to do much of.

Grand Tetons
 This weekend included a much needed trip through Grand Teton National Park to Jackson.  I have put 27,000 miles on my car this past year (over 20,000 miles in Yellowstone alone) and I was desperately needing a new vehicle.  We left Lake at 8:30.  We came across this mama elk with a nursing calf in the middle of our lane on a curve.  This shows why it is so important to not speed through the Park.  Anything can be right around the corner.

The Tetons were gorgeous and I was happy to be able to get a picture of them.  My previous trip there the mountains were obscured by smoke.  We looked at a couple vehicles and I finally saw one that I loved.  While Patrick checked out the tires, mechanical thingies underneath the vehicle, etc. I was admiring the awesome stereo and ooohing at the sunroof.  I am now the proud owner of a great vehicle with fantastic sound and a glass roof ----  oh yea, and it is mechanically sound.