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Twenty years ago, when Bob and Amy got married, they took a 3 month road-trip around the U.S. for their honeymoon with a stop in Yellowstone. This year for vacation they decided to go back to Yellowstone - they believe that it was (and still is) one of the most beautiful and amazing places in the United States.

This time was a bit different however ... K&K were going along, everyone would be staying in lodges and motels rather than camping, in 1988 Yellowstone had a huge fire that burned many of the trees and original walkways, and Bob and Amy were a wee bit older.

Day 1|| Day 2 || Day 3 || Day 4 || Day 5 || Day 6
Day 7 || Day 8 || Day 9 || Day 10 || Day 11 || Day 12


Day 1 (6-28-03):
Arrived in Jackson, Wyoming - got car, toured the town

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We were all so excited to arrive in Wyoming! The airport sits at the base of the Teton Mountain Range making a spectacular landing (and takeoff)! After picking up our car and checking into our room at the Wagon Wheel Village, we decided to take a look around town. One of the first places we stopped was at The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.

Believe it or not, when they said that you could "saddle up to the bar," they meant it! The bar stools were real saddles! Later on our vacation we would be going on a horseback ride, so we thought we ought to practice getting onto a saddle. It is not as easy or as comfortable as it looks!


Day 2 (6-29-03):
The Bunnery, Jackson Hole Ski Resort, watched cliff soaring, drove around the Grand Teton National Park

Before heading out on our first full day in the Tetons, we grabbed a delightful breakfast to go at The Bunnery. Be sure to check out their online mail order! Some of the best breads around!

We then drove out to Jackson Hole Ski Resort and rode the aerial tram to the top of Rendezvous Mountain. The tram took us up 2.4 miles and over 4,139 feet! The top of the mountain is at 10,450 feet - and cold and windy! You can see Grand Teton Mountain behind us in this picture.

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While we were there, we met some people who cliff soar. They use a special parachute to run off the side of the mountain and ride down to the valley below. It was spectacular!

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When we drove into the Grand Teton National Park, we were awed at the size and and beauty of the mountains. Each peak has its own name, with Grand Teton being the tallest at 13,804 feet. A great site for further information is located at http://www.nps.gov/grte/. At the end of the day, we returned to the Wagon Wheel Village to spend the night.


Day 3 (6-30-03):
The Grand Teton National Park

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There were many sites to see in the park from waterfalls to huge lakes. After checking into our cabin at Signal Mountain Lodge, we took a relaxing break on the porch before dinner. It is sort of hard to see Bob in the shadows, but K&K are hanging out on the railing in the sun. When we went to dinner, we saw a barn swallow in her nest. The red arrow is pointing to her head peeking out of the nest she made out of MUD! We couldn't believe it!


Day 4 (7-01-03):
Our 20th anniversary, Yellowstone (we drove up the west side to Madison and worked our way back to the Old Faithful Snow Lodge for the night)

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K&K were so happy to get to Yellowstone! And they knew that Bob and Amy were excited too!

The last time they were in Yellowstone was in 1983. In 1988, they watched a major fire roar through the park and burn countless acres of land. They were very interested to see how the park looked now and what the fire did to the land.

The two pictures below were taken in Biscuit Bay on the west side of Yellowstone. K&K learned a lot from a sign (actually located in the Old Faithful area) that shows why the geysers and pools of hot or boiling water have such beautiful colors.

The colors are different kinds of bacteria that live in different temperatures of water. The hotter the water, the bluer the color. The cooler the water, the more the bacteria goes to brown or black.

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This picture is of Bob at Emerald Springs in the Black Sand Basin. These springs and geysers are incredibly deep and interconnected.

The surface tension of the water allows it to become "superheated" reaching temperatures over the boiling point. Once the surface tension is broken, the superheated water basically explodes resulting in an eruption or a boiling pool.

Ranger Mike told us that a thermometer on a pole dipped in a pool will create bubbling, and soap can cause an eruption since it destroys the surface tension in a wide area.


As we worked our way back to the Old Faithful area, we took a picture at the entrance to the Biscuit Basin. It was a weird moment. We vividly remembered this hill from 20 years ago - and remembered the photo we took back then. Take a look below to see the then and now shots. Unfortunately, many of our old photos have faded through the years - not even the computer can do a lot for them.

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Although we saw a lot of buffalo, the above picture was the first male moose we saw. A ranger had to point him out to us - and even then it took binoculars to see him. He was laying down, so all we really could see was his head. We outlined his head in the picture on the right to show everyone how well some of these animals are able to blend in with their surroundings when they rest.


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Bob, Amy, and K&K checked into the Old Faithful Snow Lodge to find that there was a basket of wine, cheese, and crackers that Jenny and Scott had ordered for us! We were blown away - and a happily tearful at the thought of it. It was our 20th anniversary - and every day has been a joy to share.

We decided to take a late stroll on the wooden walkways and watch the sunset over Old Faithful. A perfect ending to an exciting day. We have decided that we will be back on our 40th anniversary - to celebrate and remember how lucky we were to find each other.


Day 5 (7-2-03):
Old Faithful Geyser Basin (south), through Madison (west), Mammoth Hot Springs (north), Tower-Roosevelt, Canyon Village (east)

Old Faithful is just as faithful as ever - on average every 94 minutes Old Faithful blows for between 1 1/2 to 5 minutes. The average height of the eruption is 130 feet. It spews up to 8,400 gallons of water at an average temperature of 204 degrees!

There is a webpage that has a live webcam of Old Faithful where you can see the geyser go off and all the people watching it.  http://www.nps.gov/yell/oldfaithfulcam.htm

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In the morning, we all got up early to take a walk around the Old Faithful Geyser Basin walkways. The first picture is of all of us with the steam vents and geysers behind us.

The next picture is Amy and K&K standing next to spasmodic geyser. It rarely blows, but it is always boiling. The sound is so incredible! You can hear each of the geysers, springs, and pools from a long way away.

Oh ... and we forgot mention, they smell like sulfur - they stink!

We saw a lot of dead trees from the fire of 1988. Most of the trees are Lodge Pole Pines - they grow straight and tall and are great for building. These pines do not have a very deep root system since the water is so hot and near to the surface.


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We saw many signs in the park reminding everyone to stay on the walkways and to be careful around the geysers. They were written in every major language and posted everywhere. This one brought the message home.

Above and on the right is a picture of a buffalo wondering through a geyser basin - yes, in the middle of it - he even walked across the wooden trail. Ranger Mike told us that buffaloes and other animals fall into the geysers and pools on occasion. When they do, they die - and the area smells like buffalo stew for days. You can still see some of their bones in some pools.

We heard that one buffalo stood over one of these steam vents for days in the winter trying to stay warm. The problem was that when he moved away, all the steam collected on his coat and made water, which then froze to ice. The buffalo died a few days later - he froze to death.

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K&K were impressed when they saw this buffalo taking a nap outside the back door of the Old Faithful Lodge. As you can see, he was taking his mid-day snooze just a few yards from the hotel doors and practically on top of some children's bicycles - they weren't too happy about it, by the way.

The park rangers taped off the doors and the walkway with yellow caution tape. But, that did not deter the vacationers from sneaking around the tape for photos (this one is through the lodge window). These buffalo look tame - they are not!

We heard a tale about a mother who saw a buffalo in a field - daddy jumps out with the camera while mom and her 5 year old son walk up to it to get a "great" photo. Mom proceeds to set the 5 year old ON THE BACK of the buffalo! Dad was still taking pictures as mom and the child were gored and killed by the buffalo.

Signs and flyers remind everyone that these are wild animals, not tame beasts!


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After we left the Old Faithful Geyser Basin, we went north on though the west side roads. We ended up at Mammoth Hot Springs in the north. The above pictures are of us now and us then. It is interesting to note how the walkways have changed after they were rebuilt from the fire of 1988. In many places you are not able to get as close to the geysers as you could in 1983.

On to Tower-Roosevelt on the north-east side and down to the Canyon area on the east side where we spent the night at the Canyon Lodge.


Day 6 (7-03-03):
Artist's Point - south rim, leave Yellowstone for Pahaska Tepee Lodge, Cody, and the rodeo

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The above pictures are of "The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone." It gets as deep as 1,200 feet and 4,000 feet wide.   It is spectacular!

The picture from 20 years ago is on the left, and the 2003 photo on the right.
(What was Amy thinking when she cut her hair like that?!)


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One of the places that Bob and Amy wanted to find again was the cavern or "spring" that growled, rumbled, and sprayed sulfurous steam. It made the ground and walkways continuously shake!

We found it on the mud volcano trail; it was called the Dragon's Mouth Spring. A picture of it with two deer wandering over the top is to the left.

There is no way to convey the feeling of seeing a place where the heated underground waters boil to the surface with such force and fervor.


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The afternoon of the 3rd, we left Yellowstone and headed into Cody, Wyoming. We wanted to spend the day at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center (BBHC) and then see the Cody Rodeo in the evening.

At the BBHC, K&K met their first beaver, even though it was stuffed they thought it was cool. Then they got to learn about and ride a practice bucking bull. They put their little paws in the rope and the wrangler used the bar in the back to make the "bull" buck forwards and back. Yahoo K&K!!! Hold on!!

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The picture of the tree section shows many of the major events in the US history. If you click on it, it will show up as a larger sized picture where you can read the dates and events. Your web browser may even let you increase the size even more.

Use your back button to return to this page. 


We met Tasa and Jason Brock in Cody. K&K liked them a lot! Jason's father is the UPS man in Cody - he must have been working there forever! Everywhere we went all you had to do is say, "You know, Jason, the son of the UPS man," and you had instant friends!

Tasa and Jason are going to take K&K hot air ballooning! Check back to K&K's home page to see and read about that adventure!

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That night we went to the Cody Stampede Rodeo - our first time at a rodeo. It is not as easy or as pretty as it seems on TV. These cowboys and cowgirls have trained hard and worked hard to be able to do what they do! Even the rodeo clowns are trained professionals. As a matter of fact, the "clowns" are the ones that often help the riders out of danger!

Below are three pictures of the rodeo. The top one is of a cowboy riding bareback bronco. We learned so much about the skill it takes to do this and how the judges score the points. Next is a team of wranglers that set out to rope the calf's horns then the second one immediately ropes the calf's two hind legs - yes, while it is running and its head is roped!  WOW!  Finally, there is a picture of calf roping. K&K weren't to thrilled about this one. A cowboy follows a calf out of the shoot and ropes its head, tugs it to a stop, and ties its legs up. Sort of hard to watch for us non-cowpoke and lizards.

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  After the rodeo, Bob drove us back to the Pahaska Tepee Lodge to spend to night.


Day 7 (7-4-03):
Horseback riding, reading, relaxing, celebrating the 4th of July with the locals at the Pahaska Tepee Lodge
Dana and Heath Worstell were the wranglers that ran the horse stables at the Pahaska Tepee Lodge - they have some wonderful people there and some very sweet horses.

It had been some 40 years for Bob and since 1975 for Amy since they had ridden a horse. Dana, our guide, was wonderful. The most we had to worry about was not letting Buford, Amy and K&K's horse, and Chance, Bob's horse, eat the grass on the trail. We had a blast! And yes, you use muscles and tail-feathers  you never knew you had when you ride!

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This is Buffalo Bill Cody's hunting lodge. He would invite friends, including Roosevelt and the Prince of Monaco to stay for the hunting season - the rest of the year his lodge was a motel for all. K&K liked crawling up the rail to the door.

The Pahaska Tepee literally means Long Hair's Lodge - a friendly name by the Lakota Indians. 

Later, Buffalo Bill started his Wild West Show - it toured the world for years.

We heard that when Buffalo Bill died, he was heavily in debt. His wife, trying to get out from under the bills, sold his body to a Colorado newspaper for enough money to settle the debts and receive a bit extra.


Day 8 (7-5-03):
Back into Yellowstone headed south, West Thumb, read in car in shade on side of road, back to Old Faithful Basin

Ahhh ... The Fishing Hole in West Thumb Geyser Basin ... so AWESOME! The story goes that fishermen of old told tales of a place where they could hook a fish on their lines, turn around by 90 degrees, and cook them in boiling water while they are still on the line.

Whether or not this tail is true, it was impressive to see a boiling caldron covered by lake water. They say that the otters love these warm holes in the winter - they can dive into a hot hole and fish in the middle of winter.

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Take a good look at this picture... Bob is on the left, the ranger is in the middle in a green hat, and there is a long pole thing from the right side.

The pole is an antenna. The ranger is tracking a "relocated" grizzly bear who got tagged and moved because he was "squashing" tents in an other campsite. The ranger was finding out if the bear was trying to move back to his home hunting grounds.

This night we spent in Grant Village.


Day 9 (7-6-03):
Back to Old Faithful, leave Yellowstone, into Tetons again, night at Colter Bay Lodge, Grand Tetons 
This is Ranger Mike. He told us all about the geysers and the Old Faithful Basin. K&K just loved him! They crawled up his shoulders and wanted to have their picture taken. Kimi (on the right) started to lose her balance and fall off - but Ranger Mike caught her and told her that everything was all right.

Rangers are so important! They make sure that everyone that visits will have a good time and they protect the area for all of us to enjoy for years to come! There is even a Junior Ranger Program!

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After we left Ranger Mike, we got to see Castle Geyser go off. It erupts about every 11 to 13 hours and reaches a height of 75 feet. The amazing thing about this geyser is that it can last for about 20 minutes and is followed by a very noisy steam phase of 30 to 40 minutes!

Castle is thousands of years old. The silica (a mineral glass is made out of) is dissolved in the water, and when it comes to the surface it is deposited at the cone of the geyser. Castle has a lot of silica in its waters - but even so, the silica is only deposited at about 1 inch per century! Since Castle's cone is about 10 feet tall, that means that it had to be erupting for about 10,000 years!

Here are two other cool facts about silica:
*When this silica spray hits glass (like your camera lens or reading glasses), it will stick to the glass permanently once it dries, and you can't get it off!
*When the elk in Yellowstone drink this water, the silica grinds down their teeth and often causes them to die of starvation over a long period of time. However, it does not effect the buffalo!

We cruised back to the Grand Tetons National Park and spent the night in the Colter Bay Lodge. Lovely! 


Day 10 (7-7-03):
Out of Tetons, into Jackson, return car, last night, back at Wagon Wheel Village
As we were leaving the park and heading for home (Jackson and the Wagon Wheel Village again), we stopped at a bridge ... and when we looked over the edge, we saw a mother moose and her baby taking a rest in the shade of the bridge. It was a grand site! And a good memory to exit Yellowstone with.

On our way back, we reaffirmed that we would be coming back in 20 more years for our 40th anniversary.

We spent the night, one more lovely time, at the Wagon Wheel Village.  

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Day 11 (7-8-03):
Off on a plane oh-early-thirty - to Denver, Chicago, and home to Roanoke! ... Or so we thought...

Well ... that's what the tickets said.... Chicago was under tornado warnings - we were an hour late for take off from Denver and when we did arrive, they cancelled our flight! We stayed over-night in Chicago - another adventure!


Day 12 (7-9-03):
Home at last!

Mom had a roast with all the fixin's ready for us when we walked in the door! After a great vacation, there is nothing like coming home to a meal cooked by mom, clean sheets, and our pekineses wagging their tails.



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