Whatcha got on?

Tank: Alternative Apparel (in turquoise); Shorts: (Old) Abercombie; Scarf: H&M; Shoes: UGGS

When planning what to wear on this trip, I scoured the web for hiking clothes that were functional, yet I would actually want to wear again. My search came up came up short. Everything looked liked workout clothes and was still more expensive than buying a regular shirt that I would actually wear again. I knew the changing temperature swings (20 degree mornings, with 70 degree afternoons) would require me to wear several layers, so I opted for my trusty jean shorts, this Alternative Apparel burn out tank and Uggs. I was able to easily layer jackets or sweatshirts over the tank and the Uggs were switched out for running shoes once the day heated up.

Friday | Picture of the Week | Week 38

With so many pictures from our trip it is impossible to pick a picture of the week, but I decided on this one from Lower Canyon Falls in Yellowstone. The canyon lit up by the sun was breathtaking!!! This was the view from the brink of the Lower Canyon Falls facing east.

We happened upon this part of the park as the last part of our day unwound, and Mrs. I-want-to-do-and-see-it-all insisted that we had to go check out the canyon because we would not want to come back to this region once we went back to camp (all features are at least 40 minutes away from each and this particular one was about an hour from our camp at Grant Village). Turns out, we came upon this feature at the perfect time of day (5pm-ish) because the sun was setting behind us, thus illuminating the canyon walls in the most brilliant golden yellow. I promise you, the canyon really is that colorful and beautiful in person – no extra Photoshop tricks there!

This was the view from Inspiration Point facing back (west) at the Lower Canyon Falls. We were standing right below that sun flare on the right.

My dear friends, THAT on the left is the edge of the waterfall. and on the RIGHT is my intelligent husband.  I will never understand why he must walk down, off the path mind you, to stand so close to the edge!  There is nothing right there that you can’t see from the safety of the path located above! 

And this is the brink of Lower Canyon Falls. As with most waterfalls, they leave you awe struck as to how they can continually dump so much water over the edge, year after year after year. Lower Canyon falls did not disappoint and was WELL worth the 20 minute hike down to the edge.

Neither of us wanted to step away from this beautiful site, but we knew we had an hour drive back to camp and had to begin making dinner. Ryan loved watching the water fall over the edge of the cliff and I am pretty sure I could have let him stand there all day doing so.

That is one happy husband!


Word of the Day: Geothermal Features

Want to know the quickest way to sound smart and like a total Yellowstone local? Use the term geothermal in a sentence when referring to natural occurrences such as Old Faithful, hot springs, or other various unearthly things such as mud pots and other geysers.  Little fact, because we are full of knowledge about these smelly, weird, and slightly creepy features, Yellowstone has over 10,000 thermal features! These pictures are from the Mammoth Hot Springs which are located at the north end of the park. 

The National park service states, “Geyserland, fairyland, wonderland–through the years, all have been used to describe the natural wonder and magic of this unique park that contains more geothermal features than any other place on earth.” Fairyland? Wonderland? Not sure those are accurate descriptions of these guys, as I spent the day with my nose covered and laughing because I couldn’t believe how BAD it smelled. I continued to tell Ryan this is one big fart being released by the Earth. Everywhere you look, Earth farts were occurring – and more than one at time, so you can imagine something as big as the Earth releasing this “excess air” and how bad it would smell. Sulfur mixed with rottenness equals smel-ly! 

We weren’t sure what to think of these things. They were cool, but, not that pretty, yet we kept taking pictures of them. They were mysterious and intriguing because it’s as if we were seeing the crust of the Earth. I guess we were just fascinated by them as neither of had every seen anything like it before. This was copied from the National Park Services website regarding the Mammoth Hot Springs:

“Water rises through the limestone, carrying high amounts of dissolved calcium carbonate. At the surface, carbon dioxide is released and calcium carbonate is deposited, forming travertine, the chalky white rock of the terraces. Due to the rapid rate of deposition, these features constantly and quickly change.”

The park makes these cool boardwalks so that the millions of visitors every year do not disrupt the natural occurring events, such as the hot springs. 

So there you have it – the weird, creepy, kind of pretty in a un-earthly way Mammoth Hot Springs geothermal feature!

{I’m sure after my description you are all dying to go now – sorry if these are one of your favorite Yellowstone features they just weren’t for us!}

Dear Mr. Grizzly,

Dear Mr. Grizzly,
YOU ARE SCAREY! Next time we stop to admire this view,

please do not sneak up on us, it is not very nice! I know you own the park and all, and millions of people hope to get a glimpse of you every year, but I would appreciate if you would respect my space and not get so close to me because, again, YOU ARE SCAREY! Turning around and finding that you are walking 15ft from us with no car door to protect me and the bear spray safely INSIDE the car is not a comforting feeling.

I am forever grateful that you choose to continue your morning stroll without needing a snack and disappeared into the woods. So I ask, next time I see you, please make sure we are in the car first {yes, that is a picture Ryan took of me after fearfully run/walking to get inside the car}!!

Shannon & Ryan

Whoa – Yellowstone!

After an 8-hour drive from Glacier National Park, we had finally arrived and were greeted by this unexpected, inspiring rock archway with an inscription that reads: “For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People” – by far the best National Park entrance we’ve seen yet. Here is an excerpt from the travel journal, as accounted by Ryan:

“Neither Shan nor I printed our our plan so we didn’t really remember if we were supposed to stay in Glacier on 9/5 or drive to Yellowstone. Excited to see what was next, we drove to Yellowstone. Throughout the trip Shan and I developed a driving system: (1) I pack the car, organize, and clean all the compartments; (2) Shan & Ry alternate 2-hour driving shifts; (3) While I drive Shan pulls out ALL the camera gear, video camera and snacks and then fills the passenger footwell and all compartments; (4) While Shan drives Ryan puts away everything Shan pulls out. The system works well for us.

The GPS charted our path from Glacier to Yellowstone, a VERY LONG path. The first couple hundred miles were the most beautiful. Shan and I talked about how it was sort of a shame that we had to spend the whole day driving…but in reality it was not a shame at all. I love doing long drives with Shan, we always have fun and we got to spend a lot of time together.”

We were greeted by several of Yellowstone’s most well known residents – the elk, buffalo, wolves, and grizzlies.

Um, seriously these guys are huge and not to be messed with! While they get incredibly close to the car and don’t appear to be afraid, all it would take is one head butt and the car door would be crushed. Despite what people said, this scene just never got old!

At times, these bison, buffalo, tatonka, went on like this for miles and miles – it was the most peaceful sight. Looking out over the valley and seeing these natural creatures gave a calming sense that this is how the world is supposed to work. 

And then, THIS – this is what NOT to do – get out of car to film the bison with your iPad! Real winner there!

All was good and well, until Mr. Grizzly came along to say hi…..to be continued.