Monday, August 19, 2013

Working Our Way to Old Faithful...

We bid goodbye to Carol and Duane and Colorado Springs and headed northwest. Colorado is absolutely beautiful, no one will ever argue that statement. As we drove along, on our way to Aspen, (to see one of mom's first cousins), we were reminded time and again of God's Wondrous Works. We decided to stop for lunch at the Westside cafe in Vail. For my friends in Texas, the temperature at about 12:30 was a very breezy 60 degrees...we were cold!

We arrived in Aspen mid-afternoon. Aspen is a very cute town but not easy to get to. It's not "on-the-way" to anywhere so I guess you call that a "destination." Mom's cousin, Frank is better known in those parts as the "Aspen Goldsmith." He has a shop on E. Cooper. Frank is a jeweler and is a gifted designer of jewelry which he sells, of course, in his shop along with pieces from other designers. Unfortunately, we were unable to stay in Aspen long enough to meet up with his wife, Piper, but we did enjoy a good, though short, visit over some delicious coffees. We'll see you at the reunion in October, Frank and Piper!

Soon, we were back on the road, this time headed due North to Wyoming. If you've been following our trip, via my posts, you might remember my description of New Mexico at the beginning of this voyage...I described Southern New Mexico as being so barren of life, there is no excrement to be found. Well, Southern Wyoming may share that distinction. We drove for HOURS and never saw another car nor any other life forms. We stopped at one gas station/potty stop in a town that boasted a population of...wait for it...75. How the heck do you even count yourself as a village when your population is 75. My real question is, how many of the 75 are sheep? We FINALLY came to the town of Rock Springs, Wyoming and spent the night...nothing memorable about that, (in fact, I had to ask mom where we stayed...OK, maybe I was a little tired that night). But, the next day, as we headed for Jackson and points north, like it did in New Mexico, the scenery started to change.

Jackson, (aka Jackson Hole...I don't know why the same place is known by both names), is fantastic! Its sort of a combination of a small "old west" town where you almost expect to see locals riding their horses down main street to the "general store," and a modern city. There are art galleries next to western wear stores which are next to restaurants and ice cream shops. Art galleries, museums and art supply stores, however, are everywhere...very cool, diverse, eclectic feel for this town. Like so many places we visited on this trip, I would love to come back here and explore the area over the course of a week or more.  

There is a very cute park in the middle of the downtown area, its pictured on the right. At each corner is an arch, like the ones shown in the pics, made of antlers. I have no idea whether the antlers/horns were ever a physical part of any deer/elk/antelope species, but the look and feel of the grand entryways is unique and we both loved it. Inside the park, people (locals? tourists? combination?) sat, visited, played, picniced etc. It was idyllic, no question about it. Who wants to go back with me?
Not far North of Jackson is the Grand Teton National Park. The best word to describe the park is WOW! The mountain range is magnificent! (I have a picture of myself pointing to the peak known as "Grand Teton" but I figured the caption "look at those tetons" was just to sophomoric and I decided to be a mature adult about it and chose not to use that particular photo, but, use your imaginations).

We spent more time at Grand Teton than we thought we would, (partly because if is so beautiful and partly because we both had "bootie lock), so we arrived at Yellowstone later in the day than we originally planned--a common theme during this trip. Anyway, it had also started to rain...A LOT! We decided that, despite the warnings we had heard about lodging in Yellowstone being difficult to come by, (our friend Melissa suggested that we book a room there about three days before we started this little journey), we decided to give it a shot. Well, guess what...the people two ahead of me in line got the last room in the park...(expletive-deleted). Oh well, one of the very nice "gift-shop people" suggested that the nearest town, West, Montana, might have rooms. We phoned and they did so we were set.

Did I mention that it was COLD!
West, Montana, it turns out, is on a path that would take us right past "Old Faithful." PERFECT! We drove over to see the geysers. I don't know exactly what I was expecting but "Old Faithful" is actually one of several geysers in the area. Actually, there are several different geyser "basins" within the park...pretty cool...(as long as you don't dwell on the fact that that largest volcano in North America is immediately under your feet and could potentially spew millions of tons of rock, poisonous gas, molten lava etc...well, you get the picture). Anyway, we were there in time to see the show.

One of the most amazing things about the geyser's show was that it really does go off at a regular and predictable interval, (yes, I know that's why they named it Old Faithful, but it was still cool to see that it lives up to its name

So, after the show, we stopped for a bite to eat and headed west, out of the park, to West, Montana. Another very cute town. This was also our farthest planned point west so the morning marked our "turn for home." As much as that sounds like our trip was nearly over, we still saw several exciting sights and had more exploring to do...



No comments:

Post a Comment