Sunday, February 12, 2012

Slowly East

Beautiful rolling river, these next few pictures are from Olympic National Park in Washington.
 Huge logs on the beach carried there by the sea from area rivers

 Coho salmon swimming up stream very late in the season

 For my honey!
 Clouds rolling on in...
We've had an incredible week and a half since leaving Olympia, our first stop was in Idaho in an un ceremonious parking lot before reaching Montana. We got a large portion of the Rocky Mountains out of the way before getting to the park which was a bit of a relief. After a days drive through Montana we curved down south to Yellowstone National Park. Everyone says it's a beautiful park and amazing and transformative and it really really was. We connected with a great group of folks who were there to witness wolves in what is apparently one of the best places in the world to watch wolves since their re introduction to the parks in the mid nineties. Thanks to the researchers that are there all the time who help to locate wolves, and to the friends we made (especially Dennis and Pam!) that let us look through scopes to see these magnificent animals. We got to see a lone wolf howling at the moon, met film makers from the Frozen Planet movies, watched a wolf eating a buffalo carcass, and on our last day a whole group sleeping and lounging on rocks. It reaffirms so much to know that there are still wild creatures like wolves and bison and elk and eagles that live in one big beautiful environment. It also shows just how domesticated and far we've come as a civilization that we have so few of these creatures left. We don't fully understand everything that happened during our stay there, but we both feel that we've changed in some way.
Loving Montana, we checked out the Bozeman Hotsprings and loved our drive through this incredible state. Even with the Rocky Mountains the sky feels so big.

Making their nightly migration up the road, some fifty bison take up the road for a miles, this was one particular big Papa Bison. We were in the car, but you don't really feel that much safer due to their size and height which translates into 2000 pounds and taller than the car.
A Grim warning!

This is the scene that makes you want to move to Montana. This is a few miles outside of the park.

After Yellowstone we checked out Wind Cave National Park, the Crazy Horse Monument and The Badlands National Park, all in South Dakota. Tomorrow we're visiting the homeland of a lifelong inspiration of mine, the one and only Laura Ingalls Wilder. I read her books growing up, From Little House in the big Woods, to Little House on the Prairie, of churning butter, building log cabins and sod homes. Her books taught me so much as a little girl about self sufficiency and a simpler time when people did things themselves. She was one of my favorite people to pretend to be, in my old fashioned dresses I would sit on the bench in our backyard and pretend to drive an oxcart or a buggy and I spent endless hours in my old fashioned dream world! I'm excited to get to see where she roamed around as a little girl on the prairie. Hope all is well, we're making our way eastward in larger stints now,
Till next time