Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Earthquake Lake

So we left the Tetons for Yellowstone NP, expecting to catch a campsite somewhere in the park. It seemed reasonable. Grand Teton has gone to a first-come/first-served system, and late morning or early afternoon arrivals had good luck. Not so Yellowstone. YNP is still on the accursed reservation system, and, after searching three different campgrounds, we gave up and drove on to West Yellowstone,  another town we have visited often. At this point, satisfied with our "vacation," we had decided to head on to Missoula and get on with things there. Considerable wildfire smoke appeared in the direction of Bozeman, down the Gallatin River, so decided to do the Madison River instead. En route, we came upon Hebgen Lake, an old friend from snowmobiling days, and then Earthquake Lake, which we'd driven by several times but really never stopped to appreciate. A beautiful Forest Service visitor center explains what happened there in August of 1959.
Long story short: the big 1959 quake caused a giant landslide which dammed
the Madison; a number of people died and many more were displaced; the lake
remains, but Mother Nature is having her way, and it is slowly draining

The slide

Helpful model

Jackson and West Yellowstone Scenes

Two very different places in the same bio- and economic systems, different histories, trajectories, but still of interest...
Four season tourism still the main thing in Jackson; apart from seasonal care of

The antler gates at the city square, unchanged through the ages

Sic transit, Gloria...some things do change...the old Teton theater is now a pizza
joint, the tobacco shop gone

Today's Art Nuvo mystery...note the nouveau effects...curiously, it is a coffee
shop called "Liberty"; the hostesses were not imprerssed that "Liberty" is one
of the names of art nouveau in Britland

First view of the Tetons leaving Jackson

Best "keep calm" sign in a while

In the Madison Valley

No kidding

Bear-proof bins in West Yellowstone

Bear-proof poubelles

Aptly named

Authentic hand-lettered sign in West

Monday, October 15, 2018

Tetons, 2018

We spent a lazy week in or near the Tetons, passing through Jackson, staying at the Gros Ventres campground initially, then mostly at Signal Mountain. The weather was great, the wildfire smoke we encountered all across Nevada and Idaho had disappeared, and we did little more than take a couple lake-side walks. It is good to do nothing, and, after you have done nothing, to rest. We did reminisce, however, on our many visits to GTNP since 1970.
First view of the Tetons, 1970

Vicki at the Colter Bay visitor center, 1970

On the summit of the Middle Teton, posing with the next day's climb, the Exum
Ridge of the Grand; 1972

Rebecca in the Tetons, 1982

And Rachel, on yet another Wyoming trip, 1983

Approaching from Jackson, 2018

At the Gros Ventres campground; Buck Mountain rises above the hill; I'd always
wanted to climb Buck Mountain...

The Grand and Mt. Owen peeking over the hill

At Gros Ventres

Attempted escape at the String Lake parking lot

Mt. Moran from Leigh Lake

Bear presence has increased since our visits in the 70s

Not at a federal pen?

Helpful map of our walks around Leigh, String, and Jenny Lakes

Teewinot, the Grand, Mt. Owen, Symmetry Spire...climbed all of them except
Mt. Owen

Ice Point, Storm Point, Symmetry Spire, the hanging canyon, and Mt. St. John

Cathedral view from Jenny Lake

Us, there, 2018
Encampment at Signal Mountain

Interim Update, October, 2018

We rolled into Missoula September 6th and, thanks to the Rotts' letting us park Le Sport at their vacant rent house down in the valley, we were able to spend nearly 4 weeks, staying put, working at our storage unit, seeing friends, and, very occasionally, relaxing. The big news is that we downsized again, going from the 12 x 30 foot unit we rented in 2007, to a cozy 10 x 20 unit. This after much re-packing and re-labeling, many trips to Goodwill, the Missoula Public Library, the recycling plant, and so on. There was still much to go through, many memories and much documentation, and many decisions to be made. We are in Washington now, having visited one of Vicki's high school friends in Poulsbo and toured Olympic National Park, about to cross the river into Oregon, on our way back to Middle California. As decent wifi appears along the way, I will resume blogging.
The Claw of Doom at the recycling plant...

Friday, August 31, 2018

Ten Years And Counting...

Ten years ago, August 31st, 2008, just retired, we embarked on our present journeys, leaving Missoula, stopping in San Francisco just long enough to re-group and say good-bye, and then winging west to Tokyo and then Beijing. Most of it is recounted in my original blog post, We celebrated our ten years last night with a nice steak dinner and a movie...and a little champagne and Obidos liqueur. Interestingly, and coincidentally, we are in the Tetons, enjoying a few days of R&R en route to Missoula. Grand Teton National Park was our first love and still favorite among the great national parks. We found it in 1970 on our first cross-country road trip--we already had the travel bug--and have returned more times than we can count.

Eventually, I suppose, we'll stop traveling. But not in the foreseeable future. We're still having too much fun.
A room in our Missoula apartment, just hours before departure...all to be put in
storage, given away, trashed...

Sleeping arrangements the last few nights in Missoula, after our bedroom
furniture had gone into storage...

Final packing at Rebecca's

First picture of us together, embarked, retired, at the
Forbidden City

My first artsy blog post

The counter on our website attests to all this...

Celebrating ten years...we thought we'd compile a list of the 100 best sites and
experiences of the ten years...but we reached a hundred well before even the
first year was over...maybe we'll do a list of 1,000...later

Pinecrest, 2018

For the last week or so of the summer, we had planned on taking Penelope camping in Yosemite, with five nights in the Valley and three more at Tuolomne Meadows. Alas, big wildfires were encroaching and then burning in the Park, and eventually the Valley itself was closed. We drove instead to Pinecrest, in the Stanislaus NF, north of Yosemite but the same geo- and bio-system, a place we'd visited before, and spent seven pleasant days and nights there with our grand-daughter. In retrospect, Pinecrest was probably a much better choice anyway, much more kid-oriented, with a lake, swimming beach, boat rentals, fishing, big general store, and even a small lending library. Penelope enjoyed it and probably will want to return.
Just beyond Escalon, Le Sport's alternator went out; we drove back into town
and found the Main Street Garage, where owner Mike worked after hours to
get us repaired and back on the road; only in a small town...; above, an apparent
Art Deco church in town

P enjoying one of Grandma's home-made healthy popsicles

When we arrived at Pinecrest, smoke from the O'Donnell Fire thirty miles up
the road to the Sonora Pass, had invaded Pinecrest Lake; we retreated to the
camper to reconsider, research other options, reconsider some more...

By early afternoon, the smoke had blown off and stayed well away the whole
week we were there

Our campsite

P at the beach with new-found friends

Fortunately, our site had a natural stage; P needs to dance...

Fishing with Grandpa

Fishing can be very slow...

But still a fun experience

Between visits to the beach

Neat place

Among the big trees

Breakfast scene

Later, fooling around with Grandpa at Nordstrom's; photo
by Penelope

At a yakatori restaurant in Los Altos--her choice--
celebrating her first day of second grade