Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Another Take on Vacation

Unexpected Pleasure
For four evenings and mornings I sipped my morning coffee and evening glass of wine on the screen porch at Morning Star Ranch, taking in the beauty of Emigrant Peak.  Watching the changing light and colors as the sun came over the top from the northwest in the morning and then as it sunk behind the Gallatin Range every evening was serenity itself.  I even got to watch the moon rise over the peak one evening.  Wonderful!

Great Fun
Eleven Abrahamsons hiking with five Bairds on the first couple of miles of a backcountry trail south of Mammoth Hot Springs.  No chance of sneaking up on a bear with this crowd.  The walk totally fed my long-standing desire to do a backpacking trip some day.

Most Annoying
The fickle weather around Yellowstone was hard to plan around.  Particularly frustrating, because of our tent camping and the earlyish mornings we attempted a few of the days, was the cold nights and shivery mornings.  The steady heavy rain Sunday evening that drenched us and many of our things was also a bummer, since we had plans to leave first thing Monday morning.

Mammoth Hot Springs, but it wasn't as bad as I had remembered.  Perhaps living here where the water smells so sulphury has inured me to the smelliness.  Or perhaps it is the 18 years of dirty diapers.

I love the Yellowstone Canyon area.  Besides the waterfalls, I relish all the colors, and the cliffs, and the trees hanging on the ledges.  We saw an egret's nest on one of the peaks jutting from the canyon, and we could just make out the fledgling youngsters stretching their wings while tottering near the edges of the nest.

We saw elk (just cows and young ones), one bison, and lots of little stuff.  No bull elks charging the vehicle.  No bears until after we left the Yellowstone area; we saw one about 1/2 mile away while we were heading north in the Gallatin Valley.  No moose, much to Aimee's disappointment.  Seeing a moose was on her vacation bucket list.

Unexpected Ease
Coming home with clean laundry for eleven instead of duffle bags and suitcases full of two weeks worth of dirty, sweaty, smoke-filled yuck.

Coming into Fargo at about 10:30 pm, after being on the road for twelve hours, to find all the hotels full of Air Show attendees.  Mayville had a wedding party and guests filling up their one hotel.  Grand Forks was full of Air Show attendees.  So after 1:00 am, we drove to Crookston in thick fog and found a really crummy room at America's Best Value Inn.  But in spite of all the cruddy things there, they let us all stay in one room.  We weren't going to argue.  We were floor to floor people but we only had to pay for one room!  And we got to attend church in Mayville, which was our hope.

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