Monday, May 30, 2011

Yellowstone Summer?

It is good to be back in Yellowstone for another season, seeing old friends, meeting new folks, enjoying the wildlife, especially the newborns.

It also means missing some folks who didn't return this season but knowing we will stay in touch and see each other as I have with fellow employees at places like Bodie and Glacier and Minkalo.

There is a question mark in the title for a reason. Here it is Memorial Day and I am looking out my window at a white world as thick snow continues to fall. Road closures have been a constant and Dunraven Pass hasn't opened yet this year. Ice and snow periodically ( almost every day, for a portion of the day) closes some roads. Another pass closes after 10 am each day until late at night due to avalanche threat when the snow begins to warm. Still another is closed due to a rock slide. You can click on photos to enlarge them for viewing.

RVers should enjoy the little cave for my sewer connection.

That's not a snowbank; that's my car.

Spring is the time for new life. Grizzly sow and cub and mallards.

Sunset from Steamboat Point, across Yellowstone Lake

Hayden Valley

As I load these photos onto the blog I am reminded that the sun has come out a few times since my arrival. Perhaps not for long, but with fairly dramatic effects.

This grizzly is working over an old carcass. It is common for ravens to move in on the spoils of someonelse's hunt.

Where there are bears there are bear watchers and photographers.
This is the same general area and the same bear as the two photos above, but this time it was further from the road and I couldn't get a good photo so I opted to photograph the photographers many of whom have lenses that cost as much as a season's earnings for me.

Driving Yellowstone's roads means sharing them.

Winter snows collapsed the service center repair facility at Fishing Bridge.

Lake Hotel ready for guests. We miss Ted standing by the door. Not opening it perhaps, but with a ready smile for guests and employees alike. Hey Ted, hear there is even more snow at Crater Lake. Happy digging.

Long afternoon shadows on Pelican Creek and marsh.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

On the Road Again

I am in Fernley, NV., visiting and waiting out a storm. As always, I have allowed extra time to get to Yellowstone as spring storms with high winds and rain\snow are not unusual. Once it clears, I'll get myself across the state and into Idaho.

Here are a few photos from my journey between AZ and the Bay Area. It was a time of a lot of socializing. All the visiting meant my weight was not lower than last year when I saw the doctor, despite good intentions.

I won't list everyone I visited along the way.....that isn't interesting to those of you who don't know them, and those who I visited know I did. For those I missed this time, sorry. But I can't see everyone every year so I try to vary the visits. That is especially true once I reach the north Bay, where there are so many people I know from all the years I lived in the Bay Area and where Lin's family still resides.

But there were a few spring highlights. I saw two Boomer RV couples who are working full time and don't get out to some of the gatherings as often anymore. That was fun. And I got to Cousin Bonnie's birthday party. There are photos here of her, with all her balloons, entering the BART station after the party. We rode BART between her home in Albany and the party site at Maverick, a delightful restaurant in San Francisco.

Max and Harper are my cousin Bonnie's two beautiful grandchildren. These were taken in a nearby "pocket park" where Dad had them burn off some energy before the party, and at the party.

Joanne Alexakis on the beach near Ventura. Nick and Joanne attended the first Boomerang that Lin and I hosted, the infamous Pena Blanca Thanksgiving Boomerang. I hadn't seen them in several years so the visit with them in Santa Paula, CA was a good time.

I stoppped at the Escapee Co-op park near Oakhurst, CA. Besides seeing a number of friends, attending part of their annual Stage Coach Days celebration (the park is on the old stage coach road which some notables as John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt traveled. I made a side trip to Yosemite where there was plenty of water in the falls. I haven't seen it looking like this in years.

Ron Jones drove the tractor for tours of the Park Sierra Escapee Stage Coach Days event. I first met Ron and Val in a hospital room in Estes Park, CO. We had heard about each other, had mutual friends, but hadn't met face to face before that day. Lin landed in the hospital with problems (drug interaction exacerbated by elevation) and, as soon as he was on oxygen was feeling just fine. Friends Bill and Jaimie Hall checked, and when we said he was up to guests, they came along with Ron and Val.