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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Up til now

The trip has been great, we left the Tetons a few days ago and are meandering through Utah soon. Dinosaur was a neat stop and Conner happened to be the 1st Junior Ranger sworn in at the new Visitors Center, unfortunately we missed the opening of the new exhibit hall that isn't scheduled til next week. That halls been closed for 5 1/2 years and contains the best samples of dinosaur fossils that the park has. The Tetons were amazing, Jen and Timmy joined us there and we hit the trail most days. On the 1st day we hiked up to Inspiration point from our campsite at Jenny Lake. The 3rd day we did a 10 mile grueling trail to Amphitheater Lake, it earned it's Most Strenuous rating with 5 miles of steady climbing. Conner did great as usual. I'm taking a hiking break and letting a wicked blister heal from the trek. So worth it tho, the views were outstanding and getting back into the Tetons is spectacular. Backpacking up there would be great. After the hike we jumped in the frigid Jenny Lake and shared a couple beers on the shore, the water was "refreshing" it felt good to be clean :) Conner made some new friends who were rooting him on to dive in. They came over and visited with us for a while, I am always amazed by how easily he makes new friends. In between big hiking days we drove the loop for views, hiking short trails, seeing the Tetons from a distance. Conner and I headed out just after sunrise one morning to see wildlife and were rewarded with Moose, Wolves, Bison, Pronghorn, and Elk. That was the same day that we hiked to Amphitheater and on that trail we saw a red tailed hawk, a bald eagle and a deer. It was a stellar day for everyone. We drove up to Yellowstone and did the loop in one day. The geology of the park is pretty cool. Conner earned his Young Scientist patch since he already did his Junior Ranger there last year. It was a long day, in the evening, we saw lots of bison, a fox catching a critter, but not much other wildlife. I have to say the Tetons are not to be missed, Yellowstone has to be seen for it's geological elements alone, but if you had to choose.... the Tetons would be my pick hands down. The town of Jackson was very friendly and we had a great time the day we left the area. We went to the rec center for a shower and found out that we could use the pool with a huge water slide... we had a picnic in a park in the center of town and then went back to play once the pool opened to kids. Who knew that would be part of the day? The highlight for me was 2 showers in a day :) I've not been painting and we're probably going to speed through the next section of the trip, we're in need of a break, funds are extremely tight and I really want to paint. It's been such a great trip, the country constantly amazes me, and I can't wait to get back to some of these places.

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