Wednesday, September 11, 2013

summer is over...

it's definitely been a fun summer.  i felt like we did a lot this summer.  i haven't been documenting any of it since my parents were here and we were always so busy. so let me start with our trip to yellowstone.

we had a great time just nate and myself.  we went for 6 days.  there was so much to see in yellowstone, i felt like even being there for that long we only just barely glimpsed the surface.  yellowstone is so beautiful, it has so many different landscapes.  from valleys to mountains, to waterfalls and canyons.  we did a lot of hiking, in fact the first day we walked about 10mi looking at all the hot springs and geysers.  after the first day we were definitely ready to move onto something different.  we felt like we had seen enough hot springs to last us a lifetime. =) they're beautiful though.

we were really excited for the wildlife.  after seeing all the "major spots" we spent the second part of our trip looking for wildlife.  we saw buffalos, bull elks, a bull moose, a black bear, and wolves.  i think we got pretty lucky because the bull moose, bear and wolf sightings are pretty rare.  the one thing we didn't see was a grizzly bear.  our most memorable sightings are probably the bull moose and the wolves.  apparently there is less then 100 bull moose in yellowstone and we sat around for an hour spying through our binoculars at this one moose through the trees.  nate and i both agreed we could've sat there for much longer watching him.  funny thing is we barely could see him but the anticipation of him possibly coming out into the clearing kept us there.

the wolves are amazing.  lamar valley is the spot people from all over the world come to check out the wolves.  we were determined to see some wolves before we left yellowstone.  we woke up one morning at 5am and went out into lamar looking for them.  it's not hard to miss the little groups of people with their scopes spotting wildlife especially at 5am.  they were all looking for wolves.  we got lucky this time there was a group of scientists and park big wigs with their high tech scopes.  we waited with them and got our first sighting of a wolf in the wild.  the experience was amazing!  we watched the sun come up and headed back to the lodge.  that evening we went back out to the same spot to see if we would get lucky and see another wolf.  we knew the spot to train our binoculars on.  we waited for close to 30 mins and just as nate was looking at the spot where we had seen them this morning a black wolf, the alpha male the scientist had told us about this morning popped into view.  literally for only 60 seconds.  nate was the first one to spot it because he just so happened to be looking at the spot for the brief moment he came into view.  it was pretty special.
we both agreed we could sit out there all day waiting for a brief sighting like that.  it's hard to describe,  your sitting out there usually freezing because its early in the morning or dusk.  your staring into this tiny little scope at something that is a half mile away.  you can't see it with the naked eye.  and you sit there for maybe hours at a time in hopes of seeing the wolf lift his head for a full view of his face for literally 30 seconds.  or if your really lucky seeing him walk into view for a brief minute or two.  it's kind of crazy but i can see the lure of it and definitely on a future trip we hope we get the chance again.

oh! and lucy did incredible while we were gone.  if you recall i was really worried that she would miss us.  we've never been away from her both at the same time.  so this was our first couples trip!
she did great, my parents said she didn't even ask about us.  in fact they said she was even better behaved then when we are around.  kids are funny like that, they always seem to act better around other people.  well it's a good thing because i'm planning on doing this couples trip thing once a year!

this is our little national parks passport book

gathered to see the great 'ole faithful

'ole faithful

we took a hike for this view of 'ole faithful

patterns in the geyser pools

we saw LOTS of waterfalls

mystic falls

sad lonely buffalo on the side of the road, we saw so many buffalo the rest of the trip i had to laugh at this first sighting for us.

do you see the people standing right above the waterfall?

bull elk

this is what nate often looked like, scanning the horizon

wolf spotters!

when we sat for an hr watching the bull moose

black bear

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