Rodposse Photo Challenge: Icicle Wheels at Yellowstone

Rodposse has a new challenge, and this time it’s ‘WATER’. I decided to enter my photo of the icicles which formed on our wheels when we visited Yellowstone National Park. Although it was May, the daytime temperatures hovered around -8 C.  If you like my photo, please would you click on this link, or the one below, and then like my icicles.  Thank you so much in advance. I know I can count on you. 🙂


Rodposse Photo Challenge: Water  – Challenger #23

Ailsa’s Travel Theme: White

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”  Jimmy Hendrix

Ailsa’s travel theme ‘White’, is in honour of the 30th anniversary of ” International Day of Peace.” She has some wonderful white images on her post, which you really mustn’t miss.

My contribution to the theme is a few of my whitest nature photos, starting with this one from our 2010 trip to Wyoming. On our way to Yellowstone National Park, we encountered some of the snowiest and coldest conditions that we’d ever had to drive in, and this was in May. 🙂

From cold to hot, here is one of the amazing geysers we encountered. It looked just like a boiling cauldron, and to see the snow and ice around the rim was really bizarre.

Here we have more white water, but this time at Niagara Falls. What a wonder to see this breathtaking sight from the Skylon viewing tower.

Talking about white water, I thought I’d slip this one in of our son having fun at the start of his white water rafting adventure at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

When our daughter and family were living in Vancouver, we went up to Whistler for the day. It was certainly very white there, and I don’t think I’ve ever shivered so much in my life.

Of course, nature isn’t all about hot, cold and wet; there are also the beautiful wild animals. We got quite close to white lions at a wild-life park in Johannesburg. This was the Big Daddy of them all,

and I’m sure you wouldn’t want me to forget the gorgeous white tiger cubs, would you? 😉

I hope you enjoyed my white pics, and wish you all a very happy, relaxing, and peace-filled weekend.

Cuddly Grizzly Bears and the Grand Tetons


Day 8 of my Yellowstone trip. May 5th 2010

The Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Centre is next on our to ‘do list’, so off we drive to the west entrance of Yellowstone Park. This centre provides an opportunity to observe, learn and appreciate grizzly bears and gray wolves.

The first guy we come upon is this huge brown bear. These adult bears generally weigh between 100 and 600 kg (220 and 1,300 lb).

Here’s looking at you. 😉


Next up were these playful twins. They were having such fun together, but of course they were well matched with one another.


Unfortunately, the only Yogi Bear we can find, is this stuffed one. I know it might come as a shock to some of you, but I think the real Yogi Bear died a long time ago.;(


The grey wolves are mostly hiding away, but we see this one, which isn’t at all interested in entertaining the visitors, and appears to be sleeping.

There are quite a few stuffed animals there, and this Polar Bear is the biggest of the lot.

Here is a display of Black Bears, which are the smallest and most common bears in North America.


After seeing all there is to see, and eating lunch at the cafe, we’re bouncing along the bumpy road on our way to Jackson Hole, where we’re to spend the night before flying back to New York. There’s more snow lying around now and we’re back into Wyoming and on the Teton Pass. I want a couple of pics, but the snow is so deep in the lay-byes, that we can’t stop until we reach the top of the Pass. We finally find a place to pull in and the snow drift at the side is really tall, three to four metres high!


A young woman skier suddenly  appears over the top of the drift with her two dogs, and they all pile into a truck. Hubby takes pics down each side of the Pass and says he can see the rooftop of a hut, peeking out of the snow on the other side of the drift. As he gets back into the car, snow blows off the top, straight at him.

The high peaks of the snow covered Teton Range, which is estimated to be between 3 and 10 million years old, rise almost 7,000 feet from the valley floor.

We’re on icy roads again, but we’re old hands at this game now, and I’m relaxed. The scenery in this region, is magnificent.

Coming out of the Pass, it’s only ten more minutes to Jackson Hole and our last night in Wyoming.

It’s quite a ‘one horse’ town, with only about 10,000 inhabitants, but it has an ‘olde-worlde’ charm, all of its own.

The town square has an antler arch on each of its four corners. These were built in 1950, and have recently had to be replaced. One arch requires 10,000 lbs of antlers which come mostly from the National Elk Refuge, just north of Jackson Hole. No Elk are harmed for their antlers, as they naturally shed them each winter


We’re back tonight at The Rustic Inn, warm and cosy, and looking forward to a good night’s sleep and another of their absolutely delicious breakfasts with crispy bacon to die for, before flying back to our son’s house in New York. It’s been a wonderful and exciting few days and we’ve made so many happy and fantastic memories during our adventure.”

I would thoroughly recommend this trip to any of you who have the opportunity to go there.

Have a great day everyone.




I thought we never would, but finally, we reach Yellowstone!

Day 5 of my ‘Great American Road Trip.’ From my journal, May 3rd 2010.

“We were quite late leaving Billings, as I didn’t get to bed until after midnight, and don’t wake up until 8am. After a quick breakfast, we set off on the 3 hour drive to the NW gate of the park. We stop for yet more petrol, then get onto the Interstate 90 and are once more on our merry way. We pass builder’s and lumber yards, farm machinery suppliers, many trailer parks, and small housing estates. The scenery is a curious mixture of industrial parks and scrap yards, with the odd farm dotted in between. The railway runs alongside the highway and cows graze right next to it. This is definitely not a scenic route so far, as even the farms looked more like scrap yards.  We pass a sign to “Montana Factory Outlets,” and I read it out loud, but Hubby’s ears are tightly closed. No time for retail therapy today, even though there’s no sales tax in Montana. We pass derelict houses and barns. It seems that when people abandon them, they do just that, and leave them to rot and eventually fall in on themselves. They build the new house, sometimes right next door to the old one. We saw a new church the other day with the old one falling down right next to it. Very weird.

As we come over a rise, Yellowstone suddenly appears on the horizon, all white and sparkling in the sun. We’re still in grey wet weather though, and the trees along the route are bare and untouched by Spring.

After about an hour, the rain has stopped, the sun shines through, and the scenery improves dramatically. There’s a Rest Area, so we stop for a wee break before entering the park. Faced with a choice between McDonald’s and Arby’s, I decide in this case “Better the devil you don’t know.” It isn’t too bad, and the apple turnover I have, is so flaky that it melts in the mouth and all over the table too. Then we were off on the way to Gardiner, fifty one miles to go. We pass “Slip ‘n Slide Ranch” and then stop to take a photo of “Devil’s Slide,” which, according to the brass plaque, is where the long-horned sheep have been coming down for centuries to drink at the river. I would love to see them come slipping and sliding down that rock face, but there aren’t any thirsty sheep today.

We arrive in Gardiner and go to the Visitors’ Centre to get a map and some advice, and then we are into the Park for a mere $25 per vehicle. In the information literature, is a leaflet that says, “WARNING. Many visitors have been gored by Buffalo. Buffalo can weigh 2000 pounds and sprint at 30 mph, 3 times faster than you can run, DO NOT APPROACH BUFFALO!”  I promise I wouldn’t even dream of it. 😉

The Town Centre has its own Justice Centre, Post Office, Church, etc. and there are many buffalo and deer, grazing the grass on the lawn there.

As we’re driving further along, we see more Buffalo  crossing the road and have to stop. We definitely do not approach them.  They approach us! HELP!!!

Along the way, is a petrified tree, 50 million years old. The plaque says that it’s indistinguishable from the modern Redwood which grows in coastal sub tropical areas. This tells us that in the past, the climate in Yellowstone was very different from what it is today. I just can’t imagine this freezing place as ever being sub tropical.

Pronghorn deer peacefully graze at the side of the road.

The scenery all around us is magnificent and majestic, as the following pics show.

Tomorrow we will go to see more of the park and of course “Old Faithful” which I’m sure will be one of the highlights of our trip.”

Have a great weekend, everyone, whether you’re in winter or summer.

Weekly challenge: Close

I really couldn’t decide what to show you for this challenge, but then I remembered that a couple of years ago whilst on a trip to Yellowstone Park, we came upon this amazing 386m monolith situated in the Black Hills in northeastern Wyoming. It’s a national monument, called “Devil’s Tower.”

“What has this got to do with Close?” you might be asking. Well this site was made famous by Steven Spielberg’s 1977 awe-inspiring science fiction movie. “Close Encounters Of The Third Kind,” when it played a prominent role as an alien landing pad. This shot from the movie shows the government compound at the entrance to Devils Tower. This is actually the true entrance station to the monument, and you can even see the roof of the historic ranger station behind the cars and fencing.

(photo from Wymark -movie locations)

“Did you know that the oft used tagline, “We are not alone,” came from this movie poster.