Saturday, July 26, 2014

Out of Time

Saturday 26 July 2014

No pics.

Slept in until 7:20! Water Aerobics (feeling it now!). Shopping.

Did stuff for stake Primary. Ear infection improving.

Missed a reception this evening.

There must be more to this day but I can't think of it right now.

Friday, July 25, 2014

SV! Day 32

Friday 25 July 2014

Classroom. Made a teeny dent. Overwhelmed.

Faculty member's wedding reception. Beautiful. So nice to see other faculty members and hear about everyone's trips.

I am so VERY tired.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pioneer Day 2014

Thursday 24 July 2014

Today is a state holiday known as Pioneer Day. We have never really celebrated it during our entire marriage because we have always worked on this day or we have been in another state. Perhaps someday...

I went to Wal-Mart at 5:00 a.m. to peacefully shop for school supplies. Such a task each year! I love it though! I love fresh starts. I'm so excited to meet my new batch of amazing fifth graders. I hope I can be just the teacher they need.

I blogged today.

I also used the pool but because of the holiday, Jose was a little late cleaning it so I offered to help! I now know how to vacuum a pool! It was great being in the water again and a nice switch-up for my exercise.

And then I went to school. The place was busy with employees buzzing around even though we're not on contract and it's a state holiday. Teachers are so dedicated! We are a crazy bunch! I took some before pictures of my classroom. I hope it will morph into something that looks ready by back-to-school night...oh, the LIST of things to do!


Just comparing a picture of myself from last year to a picture of myself this year. K snapped both of these. The one on the right was on Monday morning in Billings. Billings seems like ancient history at this point.

SV! Day 31

Um...went to the doctor this morning for an ear infection. I now have to administer ear drops to myself. Headed to my school to sit in on 6-7 interviews with my administrators and teammates. This took about 4 hours. Never even opened my classroom door! We are thrilled to be getting a new teacher (lower class sizes), however, there are great candidates and the final choice will be difficult to make. I enjoy learning from other people during these experiences.

I also enjoy pedicures! Mine was at 3:00 p.m. That's not WHY I left the park for a couple of days, but since I was in town...why not? I also got my hair done! I went to pick up my prescription and buy some food for my stay. Talked to K and then proceeded to stay up too late once again. When will I learn? Day 31 folks! That's how it all went down!

SV! Day 30

Tuesday 22 July 2014
For many reasons, I came out of the woods. The temperature was 39 degrees at Fishing Bridge this morning. In Pleasant Grove, I saw 109 degrees. But hey, I'm flexible.

I picked up our mail, worked out, showered, and picked up the binder from my former counselor. I picked up my new counselor and we headed to the meeting where our presidency trained a ward presidency. Printed a few photos at Walgreen's. Finally made it home, talked to K, and stayed up WAAAAY too late!

And all of that was after driving 400+ miles today. I've been in so many places over the last four days...four states!

SV! Day 29

Monday 21 July 2014

Back in college Professor Harry Fritz taught me about a cool Indian named Chief Plenty Coups, a Crow. My roommate, Tiki, also spoke highly of him. I've always wanted to visit Chief Plenty Coups State Park and now I can cross THAT off my list! We also visited his home and stepped briefly into his Honors Room (he kept some photos and awards and momentos of his life locked in that room). The chief's Honors Room reminded me of John Muir's Scribble Room and it made me wonder if I'll ever have a "room." There's something intimate about visiting someone's home. We also walked by the Medicine Spring--a sacred site--the first water they drink after returning from a Sun Quest. We walked around the property and visited his grave. Love you, Chief Plenty Coups!

We drove on to Bighorn Canyon NRA (the northern portion near Yellowtail Dam). We stopped by Shell Falls after crossing the Bighorns on Highway 14. We made a brief stop in Cody for fresh groceries and I couldn't help but snap a picture of these EIGHT dogs in the back of someone's pickup! I promise there are EIGHT!!! Back to Fishing Bridge!

Pictograph Cave and Pompey's Pillar

Sunday 20 July 2014

We attended the Hawthorne Ward in Billings. Gospel Doctrine and Relief Society were sparsely attended but the whole block was great and the people were so nice and welcoming.

After our picnic lunch, we walked around Pictograph Cave State Park. Cool Indian stuff. Montana State Parks are great! Then we drove to Pompey's Pillar where Captain William Clark signed his name on a rock! Pomp was the nickname of Sacagawea's son, John Baptiste. We drove a gravel road back into Billings for the night.

"You've been invited to a social outing."

Saturday 19 July 2014

TR came home for a meal one day and told me the girls were goin' to town and I was invited! I was all for it! So this morning, I rode along with Ranger Laurie, Volunteer Sirri, and Volunteer Susan to attend a garden party in Cody, Wyoming. We purchased our tickets and proceeded to visit five different gardens around town. It was a lovely time and then we were served a nice luncheon afterward.

Leaving YELL to get to town is a little different than outings for most women who enjoy a girls' night out. First of all, we stopped along the way to check out flowers, look for moose, and peel off layers as the day warmed up. Laurie noticed the Howitzer was missing from Sylvan Pass (avalanche control...they must be repairing it?). There was a short debate about which entrance to the park was the best. We saw the rockslide area that closed the road last week forcing Laurie and Sirri to drive all the way around on the Beartooth Highway. We were all good girls and left our bear spray at home so that it wouldn't accidentally deploy in the heat of the car when parked. We did have one park radio with us in case of emergency. That's how you "go to town" in Wyomin'!

Each garden was staffed by the homeowners and at least one Master Gardener. There were also two local artists at each place creating art that would be auctioned off during lunch. Our last garden stop was the best! It was a shady back yard with a lot of seating! The lady that owned it belongs to "Sisters on the Fly" a group of women with travel trailers. She was telling us about fixing her trailer up declaring with gusto, "It's so damn cute!"

After lunch, we roamed the main drag and I even bought a pair of KEEN sandals from Wayne's Boot Shop. It was ninety degrees, pretty hot for a bunch of ladies dwelling at 7800 feet! The girls dropped me off at Wal-Mart as they headed back into the park so I could wait for my ranger to pick me up for our next weekend adventure. My suitcase was already loaded into his car. I finished one book and started another by the time he got there. We headed for Billings!

SV! Day 28

Volunteered once again at Wildlife Olympics. Met two families each with a set of triplets. I really admire these families who take their kids to national parks for summer vacation! Did laundry and packed for the weekend. K was using his headlamp this evening in the closet to better pack (the virtues of park housing). I finished my Junior Ranger booklet!!! K took me to the office to show me 12 digital images of some thermal features underneath Yellowstone Lake that NPS divers photographed about three weeks ago! Amazing!

SV! Day 27

Thursday 17 July 2014

Today is my temple anniversary but I am nowhere near a temple. Therefore, Mount Washburn became my temple today. I cannot express the joy I felt hiking 6.2 miles round trip while witnessing the beauty of God's handiwork. It was exquisite!

Ran into Ranger Harlan and his daughter near the summit. He gave me a two minute speech about all the virtues of my husband--he loves working with him!

We tried a recipe for crockpot lasagna and it turned out great!!!

SV! Day 26

Wednesday 16 July 2014

Susan and I drove over to West Thumb to go on Ranger Brian's Scenic Lake Overlook hike, a hike that Ken and I did last year. It's 2 miles round trip. Brian showed us where Preacher (my bear, see my Facebook cover photo) has been scratching his claws.

Afterward, we walked out on this really long sandbar near the Arnica Burn Area and I spied this red aquatic plant that grows like lily pads, but is clearly much different. Hm. Some of those lodgepole soldiers have tipped over and one can really see the tenacity to survive!

SV! Day 25

We had a relaxing morning cleaning up after our camping adventures. FIVE loads of laundry because everything we own was contaminated with DEET over the weekend.

SV! Day 24

Monday 14 July 2014

Hiked to Bechler Meadows/Ponds this morning. Glorious wildflowers!!! Then we drove the Grassy Lake Road and found bear grass--we have only seen bear grass in Montana. The scarlet gilia is abloom! Along the way, we dropped off as many mosquito hitchhikers as we possibly could. Our vehicle had an audible and lively buzz this morning, but through gentle persuasion and by having all four windows rolled down, we felt like it was just the two of us again when we made home to Fishing Bridge after food shopping in Jackson. Looking forward to sleeping mosquito free!!!


Sunday 13 July 2014

We went to Church in West Yellowstone, Montana. Then we drove into Idaho and back to Wyoming in order to reach the Bechler Region of the park, a considerably less visited area.

Mosquito times a trillion...

I am not even kidding.

We fought our way to Bechler Falls on a 3 mile round trip hike. We hiked along the Falls River (in Wyoming they call it "Falls River" and in Idaho they call it "Fall River"). We got to the confluence of the Falls River and the Bechler River so suddenly we were hiking along the Bechler. We actually hiked past the falls and just enjoyed the area as much as we could. We kept putting on more bug spray.

Somehow we managed to cook fajitas at our camp site. The wildflowers are endless! Our tent was relatively mosquito free and seemed like a true haven once I crawled in.

The "Disneyland" of Yellowstone Campgrounds

Saturday 12 July 2014

I worked out on the elliptical, hiked at Mud Volcano, and then went on Ranger Graham's Storm Point hike. He is Master Geology so I learned a lot! The marmots were being forward and careless. The afternoon was spent cleaning and preparing for our weekend adventure. However, rain poured for two hours. Nonetheless, we drove to Madison Campground so we could sleep fairly close to Church meetings held the following morning. We started unpacking our vehicle and K got this look on his face. I asked, "What's that look?" He answered, "It's not a good look." We had left the tent poles, stakes, and the rain fly at Fishing Bridge, forty-two miles and who knows how many bison jams away. So we discussed options. We had to have the gear for the weekend. One of us had to go back.

We thought about both of us going back. That was pointless. So then I offered, "Why don't you go back and I'll build the fire and prepare dinner so that we can eat when you return. The man looks at me and says...can't believe he said this..."You can't build a fire."

I laughed so hard!!! I explained with some vigor, "Just because I've been LETTING you build the fires all these years doesn't mean I CAN'T! Ask all the people I camped with before I met you! Ah, he cracks me up. However, I will go on allowing him to make himself necessary.

So he stayed. He cooked. I drove. And I saw the grizzly cross the road right in front of my car. That bear was hauling so I couldn't get a photo, but I thought to myself, "There's my little prize for my little sacrifice."

Madison Campground is large, reservable, and packed. It is a loud place in the evenings with kids riding their bikes around and people chatting at their picnic tables. What bear in its right mind would venture there? We didn't even bother to take bear spray into our tent for the evening. It just reminded me of Disneyland for some reason.

SV! Day 23

Friday 11 July 2014

Hiked to Natural Bridge with Susan (my second time, her first). I also volunteered for two hours at Wildlife Olympics and that was a blast! I love meeting people from all over the world. Laundry. Spaghetti and meat balls for dinner.

SV! Day 22

Thursday 10 July 2014

That photo is a pollen puddle. It rained this afternoon and afterward I went to the actual Fishing Bridge to attend K's River Reflections program. I was the only visitor so he didn't do it. I walked up to the gas station from there and just thought the swirls of pollen in the puddle on the pavement were pretty.

I am still exercising daily. Saw cutthroat trout in the river. Barely beat K at Phase Ten.