Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Creature encounters in Yellowstone

Besides the beautiful landscape Yellowstone offers wildlife viewing to its visitors. For sure you will see the American bison, but we also got to see brown and black bears (for very short periods of time or from very far), elk, coyotes, squirrels, chipmunks, prong horn antelope, etc. I have no good pictures of the wildlife but I do have a good story. So here is my guest blogger, my husband, relating a "little" incident we experienced. Hope you enjoy it!

So, we were vacationing in Yellowstone NP last week. It is simply an amazing place. There aren't many places left in the world where you can stand on a mountain top and view a spectacular landscape as far as the eye can see in every direction that hasn't changed in ten thousand years. If you are into the outdoors at all, its a place you should try to visit.

Anyway, we're staying in a cabin outside the NE gate, hiking everyday and crashing in blissful exhaustion every night. Half way through the week, I wake up at 3:00 AM to noises outside the cabin. There is an animal outside the window next to the head of my bed. A BIG animal. Grunting and growling. No problem, it is outside and we are in here. Nothing to worry about. Except now in addition to the grunting and growling I hear sniffing and scraping at the window. I try to sneak a peak through the window but all I can see is a BIG shadow lurking next to the window. Ok, let's assess the situation. It's the middle of the night and a large animal is sniffing at the window. It's most likely a bear. Based on the size of the shadow, its probably a grizzly bear. And it is separated from us and a cabin full of left over dinners and snacks (we haven't exactly been following "clean-camp" rules in the cabin) by a mosquito screen and sheet of double pane glass. We have no phone in the cabin, cell phone coverage is non-existant, I have no bear repellant spray, and the cabin offices are a 100 yards down the road. Ok, I'm feeling a bit anxious now. If the bear come through the window should we bolt out the door? or out the other window? or lock ourselves in the bathroom? Hmm, how stong does that bathroom door look? Not very. Do we run for the car or the cabin offices? How fast can I get my family awake and out the door? Knowing my kids, probably not fast enough. Might lose one. Or two. That wouldn't be good, the wife wouldn't take it well. Hey, I can heat up some water in the microwave to throw at it, or maybe I should just throw the whole microwave. This is the way my brain works at 3:00 AM when I'm hyperventilating.

At this point the wife wakes up wondering what the hell is going on. I share with her my assessment of the situation and she supportingly decides to share my sense of panic. This goes on for a while, until my wife hears a second animal outside. A second bear? that doesn't make any sense. We then see a bison come walking out of the shadows toward the cabin while at the same time the beast who was in the shadows next to the window steps out into the moon light. It's a huge bull bison. If you have never heard the noises a bison make up close, let me tell you they sound an awful lot like the ones you would expect a bear to make. But then what the hell do I know about bear and bison sounds, I grew up in New Jersey. The second bison was soon followed by an entire herd, and soon our cabin was completely surrounded by bison grazing in the moonlight. I have no idea what the hell they were doing in our cabin grounds, ten miles outside the park, in the middle of the night. I read a lot about Yellowstone wildlife preparation for this trip, but I don't recall any mention of bison being nocturnal.

What's the moral of the story? Noises in the night aren't always what you think they are. And, always keep a microwave nearby. Just in case you need to throw it.

Next post about sewing...promise!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Yellowstone National Park

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

So how can I describe the natural beauty that surrounded me this past week? Words fail me...and remember I speak two languages. All I can say if that you enjoy the outdoors this area is a must see.

view from our cabin/cabin

We stayed outside a little town in Montana, Cooke City about 5 minutes outside the Northeast entrance to the park. If you could drive at 60 mi/hr through town it would past you in a minute. We had no cell phone coverage and at our cabin we had intermittent wifi. It was wonderful to be disconnected, really.

First breakfast in Cooke City, temp 50s in the morning and night, high of 70s during the day, zero humidity

We did a lot of driving, and we covered most of the park except for the southeast corner. We saw thermal pools, geysers, we did wonderful hikes (at least one a day) and we visited Cody, Wyoming for a change of pace. Hope you enjoy the pictures!

View on the road, at least once a day

Chromatic Thermal Pool, the color comes from living organisms!

I hiked up a mountain!(Specimen Trail)

Enlarge this picture to see DH and DS2 on top of the mountain at the Petrified Wood forest!

Two spots of the Beaver Ponds Trail, the wildflowers were amazing!

Enlarge to see bison in the background

Beautiful Canyon hike

At the Roosevelt Gate

Next post will be by a guest blogger who will relate a funny encounter (although not at the time) Stay tuned!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Gone hiking

So I have been teased endlessly by my family (yes all males) about my "stylish" hiking boots. But seriously if you were presented with two pairs, priced the same, both comfortable and both perfectly suited for the job, wouldn't you pick the pretty pair? These have been worn and they are very comfortable, I feel confident my feet won't be bothering during our hikes in Yellowstone this week. How excited are we you ask? Very!!!!

With all the trip preparations going on these past week I lost my sewing mojo and the Patrones top is still not completely cut out. But as you can see I caught the Granny Square bug so I have been crocheting instead. My knitting needles will go in my luggage so that I can work on the sleeves of the Louisa Harding dress, when we are relaxing indoors.

Hope you all have a wonderful week, I'll be enjoying the cooler temperatures of Montana!

PS: I just found out we will have WIFI in our cabins so I will probably post at least once from there.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

It's here!

Today I received the knitting book I won in Andrea's giveaway. Thank you again! It will be going on my road trip tomorrow when I go visit family up north.

And since my intention was never to tease (Karen) here are pictures of the magazine and the top I'm working on. I decided to cut it in the blue fabric I showed before to go with my Simplicity skirt, if later I don't like them together I can still use the top with something else.

Patrones no. 290

Have a good weekend everyone!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

A little bit of crocheting

This crochet rug has been finished for quite a while, at least a year, and it waited in a bag to be sewn together. It is made with Lion Brand Kitchen cotton and I think I also used Peaches and Creme cotton. The pattern is free now, I paid for it many years ago. I made it using colors in my kitchen so it would give my knees some help while I do dishes. My husband says it won't last clean and he is probably right but I'm willing to give it a try.

I decided the rug needed to be finish because I fell in love with the Flowers in the Snow blanket. This blanket with the flower-like Granny squares in its white background makes me so happy! I know is another item whose practicality comes into question, but so far making this flowers has been a joy and an addiction. I am waiting for some more yarn with brighter shades of the colors I already have, this flowers are not happy enough for me yet! If you are on Ravelry the designer has more pictures of the blanket. Finding cotton blend DK/Sport weight yarn has been hard, so far I have used three sources to find a variety of colors. The great thing about this pattern is that you make your flower centers and then crochet them together while you work the final round in your choice of color background (in my case it will be white like the original)
In sewing news, I traced a Patrones top that needs the seam allowances added and then I can cut it out.