Tuesday, June 24, 2008

200 in just over a year

This is post number 200. Little did I realize it has also been a year since my very first post, a little over actually. So what is a good post for number 200? I went with the biggest change in my life over the past year, and that would be Alan. We took this photo at sunrise in Glacier National Park at Two Medicine Lake. It was an incredibly cold morning, but the water was so calm it led to some awesome reflections. We were there the afternoon before and no refections could be seen in the water. I thought it might be fun to reflect a little on this past year.

Last year at this time I was in Pennsylvania living with a very cool roommate and her two cats. I worked a bunch of hours at the hospital and traveled very little. Now I am a travel nurse, I have been to 21 National Parks in the last three and a half months, with plans for more in the future. I have a fantastic boyfriend that has truly added to the quality of my life. I am again living in the western landscape that I love so much, and have found I love living alone. I am now a believer in love and have found love for the first time ever. I have found a level of happiness and freedom I had not found before. What a ride it has been!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Roadside flowers

We camped outside the Tetons and got up for sunrise, we broke camp in a hurry and left things a mess in the jeep. After we drove down through the Tetons and got some great photos we stopped at a picnic area to dry the frost ridden tent and make some breakfast. While Alan was cooking, I wandered over to the edge of the woods to a slew of these flowers being lit up by the morning sun rays. I took quite a few photos, and love the results.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

SPS is back

Favorite Park of this trip = Crater Lake NP.

Only 1 mile of the rim road was open, for some serious snow remained. The most wonderful shade of blue to occur naturally I have ever seen. I highly recommend it. I plan to go back and drive the rim. Hopefully it will still have snow, as I think snow adds to the beauty of Crater Lake.

Friday, June 20, 2008

River Road

I had no clue as to how to start blogging on this incredible trip, so I asked Alan and he said to start from the beginning. So here are a few photos from River Road, a road outside of Moab, Utah, that is sort of the back way into town, but a very scenic drive. It includes the Dewey Recreational area. It is definitely worth the extra time and miles for this trip. The views include some amazing cliff sides with some serious red rocks, and we were lucky enough to find some wildflowers.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oh, the display

The coolest critters of the trip were these two little guys. As best as I can tell they are Sooty Grouse that live in the Pacific Northwest and Sierra Nevada ranges. We saw them on the road in Mt. Rainier NP. The male was chasing the female all over the place in full display, which according to one website I found is a rare site. I was lucky enough to get the second shot, and it is my favorite critter photo of the trip. Alan got the tail feather shot, which is very cute.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Trip

As it turns out, my trip ended up quite differently than planned. The plan was to go to Canyonlands NP, drive White Rim trail for two days, head up to Glacier NP, and camp for a week in the park and do some hiking. The first two days went as planned, until we arrived in Butte Montana and finally got some news. The weather for Glacier did not look good, they were expecting 2 feet of snow. So we had to change our plans. We thought about heading to Yellowstone, but saw the storm system was going to hit there as well, so we headed west. We decided to go to Crater Lake NP, saw Crater of the Moon NM in Idaho along the way. Once we did the mile of rim road that was open on Crater Lake, we headed north. We drove through the Columbia River Scenic area, on the way to Mt. Saint Helens, then off to Mt. Rainer, and North Cascades NP. On the way back to Glacier, we stopped at the Grand Coulee dam. After a few days in Glacier where the mosquitoes were huge, we did a quick stop at Yellowstone's upper falls, drove through the Grand Tetons at sunrise and headed back to Colorado. Some 4800 miles were added to my Jeep during this trip. It also now had over 100,000 miles. My jeep went up steep dirt hills with rocks, through giant mud puddles, forged flooded roads, ended up with the name of "KD" and preformed beautifully. As you can see, she got really really dirty, and probably traveled 200 miles of dirt roads as an estimate. It was a wonderful time, we saw some great critters along the way. Alan and I were sad to see the trip end. I was sad to have to wash the Jeep, she earned that dirt!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Introducing Alan

This is my amazing boyfriend , Alan!
Tomorrow we are leaving for a major camping expedition!
I will be out of the email and blogworld range for the weekend!
Will try to post as much as possible from the road!
So excited!!