Monday, May 11, 2015

West Yellowstone and the journey home.

We left Harriman State Park to explore West Yellowstone before heading back to Blackfoot, ID.  The state park ranger had told us about some spots to look for moose on the way.
These were the only creatures we encountered, but the scenery was beautiful.
We hoped some other animals might be drawn to this reservoir but not today.  Amy thought skating might be fun but I was a little nervous about the temperature.
West Yellowstone Boundary Trail, "Grizzly bears frequent this area.  Store food and coolers in your vehicle."
After our sparkle days at Harriman State Park, the boundary trail was a little anticlimactic.
The snow was starting to melt, but we took a nice walk to a hilltop vista.
As we ate lunch we discussed bears but did not see or hear any.
The town of West Yellowstone was closed for the season and this was just the very beginning of spring.
The river was pretty.  We headed back to Blackfoot and then home to Portland after a couple more days with our friends.
We stopped at a lovely wildlife bird refuge on our way home called Deer Run.  The visitors center was quite cool with plenty of kids activities and displays to discover.
The little hike helped break up our long day of driving and was so pretty.
This was a great way to appreciate Western Idaho.
We saw some rabbits and birds.
There were no herons in the large nests.
After our short hike, we kept driving toward home.
We enjoyed traveling along the Columbia River Gorge and arrived home after a dinner with La Grande friends tired but with deep gratitude and appreciation for our time together, our friends, and the very beautiful sites along the way.

Harriman State Park Sparkle Days Part 2

After our first night in the lovely yurt, we set out on a family adventure to explore the park on snowshoes and in the sled.  I thought this trumpeter swan wing print was pretty cool.
The lakes and islands are home to many birds including the white trumpeter swan.
We saw moose prints and Gil saw glimpses of a moose in the distant woods.
We headed toward the historic ranch, enjoying the snow and views. 
The Titans loomed large in the distance.
Analise spent some time in the sled and some time in the backpack.  She is not the biggest fan of snow but did "help" pull the sled from time to time.
We wandered through the historic ranch buildings.
We continued through the ranch.
As we continued to the end of the ranch, the open fields stretched to the Titans.
Amy decided to ski for a big part of the time.
The open fields and barn were so amazing.
We stopped at the bridge to check out the swans and enjoy the sunshine.
Analise wanted to check out the bridge.
The snow, sun, and sky filled my soul with contentment and joy.
It was so peaceful and beautiful.
Gil tried pulling two girls for awhile which was a bit more challenging.
There were signs of spring in this snow covered wonderland.
Analise tried the little skis VERY briefly.
We found a small sledding hill to enjoy.
Analise sat under the tree while I made our lunch.
After lunch, we headed back to the yurt for Analise and Gil to nap and Amy and I headed out on our own adventure.

Harriman State Park Sparkle Days Part 1

 When we arrived at Harriman State Park we found a winter wonderland!
We discovered Analise does like snow if she can pull her pink monkey in the sled.  We had the whole park to ourselves with a midweek yurt rental.  We unloaded into the sleds.
After sledding to the outhouse, we took a short walk down to the snow covered lake.  The snow was falling and the trumpeter swans were singing.
We headed back to the yurt to enjoy our home away from home and cook some dinner over the Coleman Stove which was provided.
This was some serious luxury camping complete with woodstove, lantern, cookstove, and large table.
Analise "helped" unload the dishes and set the table.
Since we did not have time to go up to the ranch, Amy decided sledding on the yurt ramp would be just the thing!
The next day, everyone woke up to enjoy a snow adventure.
Amy and Analise built a snowman with the help of their daddy.
The snowman had snowshoes and a mohawk.
Amy and Analise enjoyed the cute snowman.
Amy and I headed up toward the ranch while Analise took a nap in the yurt.
I spent the whole day outside with the beautiful snow, water, and sky.
There was just enough snow for snowshoeing and pulling the sled
This was some of the most beautiful snowshoeing I have ever done.
It was fun to have an adventure of just Amy and I.  We have both missed "sister free" time and vowed to do this again soon.
The snowy field was lovely.
We headed back toward the lakes and our yurt.  The water and snow sparkled.
It was a full day outside in such a beautiful place.
I fell asleep to the sound of trumpeter swans grateful for this amazing gift of a day.