Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Return from Yellowstone

Hello little blog-o-sphere, I’ve missed you! We’ve returned from a very long vacation: Visits with family in Sandpoint , ID and Missoula, MT with family, then 8 nights of camping in Yellowstone National Park. 3500 miles of driving. 8 nights in a tent – luckily the air mattress didn’t pop, but it gets COLD at nighttime up there…which is fine, until you contemplate going to the bathroom.

I saw some amazing things and took 6.5 GB of pictures. I’ll be a long time processing the pix, and I’ll be sure to show you some of the best, but it’s going to be a slow process. It took me a couple of days to work my way through the mountain of laundry, and recover from sheer exhaustion, because although this vacation was fun, and FULL of awesome visual stimulation, it was in NO WAY restful for me. My hubby caught many fish, Liam was happy 95% of the time:


and Logan was happy 80% of the time,Mammoth_0506

so it was a great vacation.

Today I thought I’d share some of the pix of wild life I took. I’m lucky to have a decent zoom lens, so these close-up pix were taken from a safe distance away. I can’t believe how many people ignore the rules about staying far away from the animals…2 people have already been gored by bison this summer alone!

We had many chances to catch a glimpse of an elk from afar:

Elk-Sighting-#1-3 Elk03 Elk09

but on our last day, we came around the corner of a walking trail and who did we come upon but a young elk loving some big fat juicy leaves:

Liam Logan and the Elk Mud-Volcano-16 Mud-Volcano-19

This is as close as WE got to any large wildlife, and it made us a bit nervous, but not overly so, because of the fence and the age of the elk.

We did see one grizzly bear on this trip, and this one was well photographed…there were 50 cars backed up in both directions because this guy was digging for grubs on a hill right next to the road. There were 3 rangers there directing traffic, and doing there best to keep the people who had stopped their cars and walked back to see more (what are they THINKING!?!) I had plenty of time to snap 30-30 pix out the window, and move along! People, this is a GRIZZLY bear, not YOGI bear!



Most amazing of all is how cavalier some people are bison. You always know when there are some bison or elk around, because you’ll see the “bison-jam” – here’s a small one:


One the western park of the park, we mostly saw random single bison (probably 1-2/day)


However in the Hayden Valley on the Eastern side of the park, we came across a HUGE herd of them, this is just a portion of it:



We had a couple of experiences of Bison vs. civilization too. This group decided that the path from Old Faithful to Daisy was the perfect place to hang out. Here, there was a ranger keeping people back at a safe-ish distance, and answering questions.


The most bizarre was to come out of the Old Faithful area “general store” to see this guy at the tree next to the gas pumps:

Bison_0044 Bison_0048 Bison_0051

Remember, I’m using a TELEPHOTO lens…please note the idiot biker in the background, he was later joined by another friend, they stood within 5 feet of this guy. Although ultimately, adults are completely within their rights to be idiots, one park employee told me about 2 different instances of small kids being injured by bison because of their parent 1) making them stand close or 2) putting them ON TOP of the bison! One day we came around a curve in the road and were able to slow down for 2 kids crossing the road to meet their Dad who was beckoning them…as we finished the curve, we saw that there was a bison literally 5 feet away he wanted to take a picture of. Yes, there was a fence, but the fence is only a couple of pieces of wood, and if the bison charged, they all could have run from the bison into the road to be struck by a car. ARGH!

Here endeth my lecture on keeping a distance from wildlife.

And, now, I’ve got some making to do!

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Idaho Report!

We had a great visit with family in Sandpoint, Id.


My Stepsister Pam lives there, with her awesome hubby Tommy, and her cutie-patootie son Max! Looking through my pix for this post, I realize I don’t have a picture of my Mom & Stepdad, who also were visiting Sandpoint! Oh, well!

I had a little trunk show, that a bunch of her friends who work at the Coldwater Creek main office came to. Believe it or not, all this stuff fit in 1 and a half Rubbermaid totes!

DSC_0002 blog

Showing off my journals for the 1st time:DSC_0007 blog 

Pam & Me!


Me and the boys – Logan needs to learn to stand still for a picture!

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Of course, I forgot to take pix during the event, but a lot of fun was had by all!

Liam spent each day fishing with my husband in the nearby streams. Logan, Max & I got a short visit to the beach at Lake Pend Oreille.

Tommy & Max (Hold your horses ladies, he’s happily married to my stepsister!)DSC_0142 blog

Logan having fun:

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Max is NOT so sure about the beach!

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We then got to visit with even more family, we spent the evening with Andrew’s sister & brother-in-law in Missoula, where I finally have normal speed internet.

But NOW…it’s off to Yellowstone, land of NO INTERNET! Wish me luck! AAAHHH – 8 days without blogging, reading blogs, twittering…whatever will I do???

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Greetings from Idaho! We drove 1400 miles in 3 days, and we’ve got a fun filled couple of days ahead of us in Idaho with family! While the men of my family are off getting fishing licenses I thought I’d check in with my goals for June:

Item Date Due % Done
RAA newsletter 6/8/09 100%
30 Going Green Journal Covers 7/4/09 100%
Little Wallets 6/30/09 20%
4 warm clutches 6/30/09 100%
Dye scarves(24) 7/5/09 100%
Tote for Co 6/30/09 0%
Laptop bag for Mary 6/30/09 0%
AFHS Application Due 6/30/09 100%
WEBSITE! ?? 15%
Camera Bag for Liam 6/30/09 100%
2 Baby Quilts 6/30/09 0%
5 cool clutches 6/30/09 0%
Laptop bag for Liz 6/30/09 0%
Large Messenger for ME! 7/3/09 0%
Cool Colors quArt 6/30/09 0%
Laptop bag for Liz 6/30/09 0%
3-d Birdhouses 6/30/09 0%
3-d Row Houses 6/30/09 0%
Art Book for Sue B. call 6/30/09 100%

This month’s plans took a back seat to decorating, and then a big left-hand turn when I got a bee in my bonnet to place a big wholesale order for the 100% post-consumer recycled paper Eco-Jotters. I ended up making 30 awesome journal covers in time to pack in my trunk for the trunk show I’m doing tomorrow here. So that one little line on my to do list turned into a much bigger project, distracting me from other things on the list, but I’m really happy with what I made, so it’s all good! I also got into a nice little groove with the boys, where each morning from 10-noon, they played in the pool while I was dyeing on the patio. I going to keep this up when we return, as it’s perfect weather for dyeing, and they need to be out playing before it gets too hot. I’m going to try to dye smarter and dye a LOT of scarves in the summer months (and more fabric too) so I have less dyeing to do during the cooler months. Duh! it’s the “make hay while the sun shines” thing!

This month’s list will be really short, as the bulk of my time will be spent in Yellowstone, hopefully getting recharged and reinvigorated! I already had some awesome inspiration from some lichen growing around the campsite we spent a night in in McCall, Idaho:

blog lichen

The boys are having great fun tromping around in the wild:blog Payette Lake18 Logan was really taken by this rock he found:

blog Payette Lake11

So, here’s what i hope to get done in July when I return from vacation:

Item Date Due % Done
AFC Postcard 7/31/09 10%
Tote for Co 7/31/09 0%
Laptop bag for Mary 7/31/09 0%
Laptop bag for Liz 7/31/09 0%
Large Messenger for ME! 7/31/09 0%
3-d Birdhouses 7/31/09 0%
3-d Row Houses 7/31/09 0%
2 Baby Quilts 7/31/09 0%
WEBSITE! ?? 15%
Dye lots of scarves 0%
Dye Fabric 0%

I’ll miss my studio, but hopefully I’ll find more beautiful things to inspire me:

blog lichen 2

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Summer Plans

One of the reasons for my stress about to-do lists is that we’ll be spendingmax-tree-2 a large part of July visiting family in Idaho & camping in Yellowstone.

Plans include visiting with my nephew Max, and seeing his installed quilt in person – oh yeah, a good visit with his Mom & Dad, as well as my mom & step-Dad too. My stepsister Pam works at Coldwater Creek, and a bunch of her pals like my work, so I’m bringing a “Trunk Show” with me – how fun will that be?


Recommendations needed:

My older son & his Dad will be doing some serious fishing while we’re there, his younger brother doesn’t have much patience for that yet, and neither to I. So I thought I’d start some birdwatching with him, while the other 2 are fishing. I’d like to get a field guide to help us identify the birds – does anyone have a favorite bird book sized for carrying while hiking? There are so many on Amazon, it’s hard to know what to believe, and there’s nothing like picking up the book in person. So I’ll be making a trip to the local B&N, but was wondering if any readers had any personal experience with a good one!

I also want to improve my photography skills while I’m in Yellowstone, seeing as there are so many fabulous things to photograph, so I need to find a book on using my Nikon D40 that I can bring with me and read in the car. Again, does anyone have any preferences?

Here’s an amazing video that has got me wanting to improve my photography skills:

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