Wyoming Blog 2014
03/09/2014: After 2 and 1/2 days on the road, Candy and I (and the 2 cats) arrived at out new home in Riverton, WY.
Found out the next day that our 18-wheeler would not be arriving until Thursday March 13. We came prepared and had an air mattress to sleep on until then. The truck unloaded on my birthday and we spent the next week working many hours unpacking boxes. Each evening we took advantage of our outdoor hot tub to soothe our aching bodies.
Best time for the hot tub was in time to watch the sunset over our Wind River backyard with the Wind River Mountains in the backgroud.
Even the cloud formations here are fascinating. These “flying saucer” clouds are called lenticular clouds.
Finally getting all the furniture in place and boxes unpacked, we had 4 of our new friends over for dinner and celebrated by the fire. The orchids were a house warming gift from our friends.
After finally getting unpacked, we started work on March 31 so not much time for sightseeing. We are amazed at how many different sights are within an hours drive of here. We tried to drive up to Togwatee Pass to get a glimpse of the Teton Range, but despite it being sunny and 55 degrees at 6,000 feet, when we got up to 9,000 feet the roads were ice and visibility poor so we turned back. We did get to see a new type of precipitation (for us). We saw round balls of snow that looked like styrofoam beads and later found out it is called Graupel. These are some of the sights we saw that day:
Another day we drove up to Wind River Canyon, also less than an hour away:
04/18/2014: Finally got a Saturday free to go on a day hike. We went to Sinks Canyon State Park. There is a fascinating phenomenon that occurs here. The Popo Agie River (pronounced po-PO-zha) disappears into a cave “the sink”…
…then reappears a half mile away at “the rise”. The problem is, it takes 2 hours for the water to complete the journey, more water comes out than went in, and it comes out several degrees warmer. The mystery of “where does the water goes for 2 hours” has yet to be solved.
05/03/2014: Busy Saturday, so just took a brief run to find Red Canyon so we can put it on our list to explore in the future.
05/04/2014: The day has finally arrived! Have been wanting to cross Togwotee Pass (pronounced TO-ga-dee) which can be icy and treacherous all the way to summer because of its 9500 ft elevation. Today looked like the perfect weather for the trip. The goal? To get to The Tetons. It is so nearby that we didn’t leave until after singing at Mass, just making a half-day trip. Was it worth it? You be the judge. This is what we saw just over the rise after crossing 9500 feet…
Once down in the valley, the views just kept on getting better…
While at Oxbow Bend, I saw an Osprey hit the water and catch a fish. Here he is flying past the majestic Tetons holding the fish.
I SWEAR, NO PHOTOSHOP TRICKS. While I was photographing him overhead still holding the fish, he flew past the crescent Moon.
Heading back home, more beautiful sites along the way…
05/10/2014: . We tackled Sinks Canyon State Park again, this time determined to hike to Popo Agie Falls. It’s only a 1.7 mile hike but significant elevation gain.
Finally arrived at Popo Agie Falls. It is so complex with multiple levels and sections, it can’t be photographed all together.
Sunrise/Moonset from our deck May 15, 2014
05/20/14: Jason & Michael came to visit our new home for a week. We went back out to show them Sinks Canyon. Here they are in front of “The Sink”.
Lots more water now flowing into The Sink but still not enough to cause the overflow channel to fill yet.
05/23/2014: Playing board games with the boys and it was dark and stormy, so dark we thought it was night. I looked out and saw a complete double rainbow against the “night” sky.
06/14/14: For Father’s Day we went hiking at about 9,000 ft elevation. Before we got that high we found a wildflower meadow to explore:
We then drove up to Frye Lake with Wind River Peak in the background and found even more new wildflowers.
Next was hiking a bit from 8,800 ft elevation up to 9,000 to reach Roaring Fork Lake with Roaring Fork Mountain as a backdrop.
We decided to spend a 3 day weekend in Grand Teton National Park for our 33rd anniversary on June 20. We arrived late Thursday with this view from our cabin:
06/20/14: Anniversary morning…
06/21/14: Today’s hike will be around Jenny Lake. Along the way stopped at the Blacktail Ponds overlook.
In all the years of photographing hummingbirds, I had never found an active hummingbird nest until today. At the very start of our Jenny Lake Hike, we found a Calliope Hummingbird sitting on her nest.
We’re no longer sad when we have to leave The Tetons because we know they are always so close. Besides, who can complain when, after our first day back at work, we see this out our back window?
07/19/2014: The Annual Rendezvous Balloon Rally in Riverton
In August we had a visit from Paula and Byron (first family members to see our new home other than Jason and Mike in May). Since they had never seen either Grand Teton National Park or Yellowstone, we took them on a whirlwind tour of both in one day!
They even played their Native American flutes for us.
We were blessed to have found 2 very good new friends here, Jackson Crawford Ph.D and his wife Katherine. Katherine is a world class fire juggler/fire spinner. She gave us a show in our back yard at dusk.
September 19-21, 2014: Candy and I have always wanted to see the fall colors in Grand Teton National Park. We got lucky and arrived just as the colors were peaking.
10/05/2014: Our good friends Dr. Jackson Crawford and his wife, Katherine, took us to see the Miner’s Delight ghost town on the way to the Red Desert.
We even thought we saw some ghosts, perhaps past relatives of Katherine and Jackson?
I usually avoid posting pictures of myself, but here’s one.
Katherine’s been framed.
Jackson and Katherine on THE Oregon Trail
The highlight of the day was finding 2 herds of wild Mustangs. The first let us get quite close…
Our first view of the western side of the Wind River Mountains
We actually had a picnic lunch by the second group of Mustangs
Jackson then showed us some petroglyphs at Sinks Canyon that we didn’t know about.
Total lunar eclipse of 10/08/2014.
October, 2014, fall comes a little later at our home in the valley.
This was actually taken at midnight with the moon for illumination.
As you have seen earlier, Katherine is a fire spinner/juggler. Here she is spinning LED’s.
And now dress rehearsal for a performance at a local museum’s Halloween party.
11/16/14: One of the most spectacular and surreal winter phenomenon is hoar frost. Every morning I wake up hoping it happens again.
This first time we saw hoar frost was with the first cold blast we had in early November with 2 nights at -20 F and it didn’t get above zero for over a week.
I could make an entire blog just on sunrises and sunsets around here. Beauty like this is almost a daily occurrence yet always different.
11/29/14: Decorating for our first Christmas in our new home.
12/12/14: Possibly the most spectacular sunrise I’ve ever seen. The cloud formations were just unreal, making it look more like a painting.
12/17/14: Loved our simple Nativity framed by the hoar frost covered Aspens.
During our second chance at witnessing hoar frost, while being beautiful from a distance…
I realized that it is also amazingly intricate in close-up…
Even to the point of seeing individual snowflake crystals, realizing these didn’t fall from the sky but were formed directly on the plants!
12/25/14: Christmas day, fresh snowfall on already snow-covered ground made for a truly white Christmas.
12/27/14: We took a trip up to Sink’s Canyon to see what it looks like in winter. Snow in some areas was waist deep.
From earlier posts you may remember the Popo Agie River rapids rushing down this area…
…then disappearing into “The Sink”
Next day we headed up to the red rock formations near Dubois…