Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Vacation 2009

Bob and I are back from a camping vacation to the Black Hills, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Badlands, and Teddy Roosevelt National Parks. As noted in the previous post, in a moment of weakness, I agreed to this 11 day CAMPING adventure. Great news! We both survived, and had a pretty darned good time, most of the time. We ended up spending three nights in motels, and seven nights in the tent. After setting up and tearing down the tent four times on the trip, I have to say that we have the process pretty much down to a science. I am learning a lot about camping, and my husband's affinity to require the camping gear to be cleaned, stored and used in very specific ways. He has a "system" in his mind, and it takes a bit of getting-used-to. For me, this trip was all about the scenery and the animals we saw. Aside from the animals we see routinely back home, we saw: bison, elk, mule deer, prairie dogs, herons, pelicans, osprey, wild horses, pronghorn antelope, ground squirrels, and one each grizzly and black bear. We heard an elk bugle one night, and saw one fight between two bull bison. The only animals I wished we had seen (but didn't) were bighorn sheep.

The scenery is just as beautiful as I remembered it from our last trip out there seven years ago. It is impossible to take a bad picture if you remember to remove the lens cap and hold the camera relatively still. This is my favorite spot in the Grand Tetons, and my favorite picture from the trip if I must be made to choose. Yellowstone is a much larger park, and there is certainly a greater variety of interesting things to see there. But for sheer beauty, I don't know of anyplace in the world that has more of an impact on me. It truly is my "happy place" and I never get tired of the view.

I hope we will return to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. It is a place of unsurpassed beauty, forever changing landscape, remarkable wildlife, and for us, treasured memories.

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