Our Journey...

Think we forgot to tell you a lil bit about what sort of vacay we're on! Last September of 2011, Dad retired. He and momzers got an RV and decided to plan a trip across the country, visiting national parks on the way to Maine (where's that?) for a family reunion. That's a long trip from northern California! Anyway, this blog is now a record of our travels across the good ole U.S. of A. and even Canada - plus all the things we get to do and see! We started our journey mid-March and hope to be back in NoCal by mid-October - yeah!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

From Wyoming to Iowa!

Hello all- it's been a while for us - Mom's having a tough time with the new blogger, but here goes!  Cody is certainly a wild west town and first thing we did was explore Yellowstone NP!  Since passage from Jackson was closed when we were there, we swung around via Lander to Cody and entered the Park from the East Gate - woo hoo - look how beautiful Yellowstone Lake looked as we drove around it.  Obsidian Beaches just gorgeous with snow-topped mountains!

We checked out the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, below, and saw the lower falls in full glory.  So amazing!

And Sammie found a super spot in which to take a refreshing dip (we were glad the rangers didn't find us heh he!)

We loved seeing these buffalos - well, just about everywhere in Yellowstone!  The iconic symbols of the west!
 
How cool is it to see HOT, hot, hot sulphur stuffs pouring down into cold streams?  We were amazed!

So after a wonderful stay in Cody, we headed NE and checked out this sign on our way to Sturgis!


...But not before checking out this incredible site - Devil's Tower!  WOW!  We took a little hike around the base of this monument and enjoyed all the views from the top.  Then... we had a picnic near a Prairie Doggeh Town at the bottom - still amazing views!


Incredible views!


And near Sturgis, we found a holy Sioux site called Bear Butte.  Just gorgeous and a lake to boot for us to swim in!


Below... have you ever seen Mt. Rushmore in snow?  Tears seem to drop with runny noses, but we still had a great time seeing this incredible monument to four awesome presidents.






And below was one of our fave lakes in the Black Hills - Sylvan Lake; the only place where Mom hooked a fish, but couldn't land it!
And here we are in the South Dakota Badlands NP - check out the colors of these strata!  The pink were colored from crustaceans many thousand million hundred and... well... you know... years ago!
THE Badlands, fur shore!
Luv fest!
Well... we had to stop in Mitchell, SD to see this a-maize-ing Corn Palace heh heh!
These pics are so out of order, pals - we had a photo of "Welcome to Iowa" but it seems to have disappeared.  Anyhoo, we thought this cool photo would do as well to welcome you to the newest state we've never been to!  Wait til you see where we've been hangin' for the last couple of days!
Here are the famous bridges of Madison County!  Mom and Dad played us the movie a couple of weeks ago so we could brush up on our Iowa bridges!
Here's Avalon swimming under the most famous bridge of all; the Roseman bridge - we both had a ball dipping our tootsies into the river here!
We had a pawsome campfire last night, then went to check out another stone bridge today that was also featured in the "Bridges of Madison County."  Happy Trails to y'all!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Monster Catch-Up!

Here we are, trying to play catch-up, but we keep tellin' Ma that it's futile!  She most definitely needs to post every few days heheh!  (She's been flummoxed by the new blogger, cause it hasn't let her post lotsa pics that are BIG until today, when she finally figgured it out!)  We're gonna attempt to bring yous alls up to date since Moab, which is hilarious, since we didn't update our Moab fun except on Facebook (check the posts out here and there at this place: http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=709652356)   Below...


...is Mom's and Dad's fave arch that they saw.  It's name is Mesa Arch - in Canyonlands NP.  Until they came to Moab area, they'd never seen or been on a mesa (wow - the views) or seen pictographs or petroglyphs.  What a stunning vista!

And here we are sitting in the shade (after running around a bit, investigating...) under an amazing boulder full of pictographs.  It's called the "Birthing Rock" and you can see why by looking in the upper right corner of the boulder.  We had to pack up and leave the next day... for Fort Bridger, Wyoming, via Provo, Utah. 
After settling down, eating and sleeping that first night, we took off to explore Flaming Gorge!  Guess what we saw by the roadside on our way there?  A major rarity!

A herd of male Mountain Sheep!  We wanted to bark loudly to announce our presence, but Ma and Pa kept feeding us goodies, so our mouths were full and we were furry cooperative to the pawrents.  But as if the sheeps weren't enough, there were herds of mules deeries, which of course, we needed to bark at.  It didn't do much good, cause they were perty tame...


On the way home, we had to pull over quick, cause there were just bunches of mommas and babies cows comin' down the road right towards our truckmobile with cowboys and everything.  You might just as well have been in Spain at Pamplona - whee!

So we finally made our way to Jackson, Wyoming,  where there is so much more wildlife and snow and... and...  Above, here is a beautiful male Pronghorn.

And at Grand Teton NP, Avalon dared defy the authorities' dictum and swam in String Lake in the Park!

Not to be outdone, Sammie had to investigate the lake herself!

Later, we found these gorgeous bald eagles!

Lovely Cottonwood Creek... we didn't get to SWIM!!!

And LOOK what we found again... by the side of the ROAD!!!  Buffaloos!  We barked and barked, but they wouldn't go away!

Oh how beautiful!  We are at Jenny Lake with Mount Moran rising behind - isn't it gorgeous?  If the rangers caught us here, we'd be in deep doo doo, so we didn't get to swim!

Oh dear... Momma was walking along a beach by Jenny Lake, and a bird flew off from a small pine tree.  She tried to get a pitchur of the bird, and look what she found.  She took a quickie pic, and left, praying that the momma bird would come back.  She did.


Then we took an amazing drive to Kelly, WY to Slide Lake, where we got to SWIM!!!  Here is Avalon gliding through the waters in the afternoon sun!

One of our fave scenes on the way home from Slide Lake was this buffalo drinking from a puddle in the middle of fabulous downtown (tiny) Kelly!

You have no idea how many of these prairie doggehs made us crazy!  They'd cross the road in front of our truckmobile and we jus couldn't get at 'em!!!  Oh how frustrated we were!  This was in the National Elk Refuge in Jackson - we've seen too much cool stuffs!


Okay... so Momzers and Dadzers took us to a cool place, outside of Jackson called Cache Creek.  Tons of trails where we could go offleash and boy, did we have a great time!  We got to swim in the creek and play on the trails there!

THEN... we got to go to the Bridger-Teton National Forest lands above the Elk Refuge and run our hearts out!  Look at those views!
Finally, we had to check out and leave for Cody - Buffalo Bill Country!  Pawrents freaked out when they had to drive through three (THREE) tunnels that looked like this!  They were askeered their 5th wheel wouldn't fit through this!  (But it did!)  And we arrived safely in Cody!  Below is a collage of "The Scout" - a beautiful bronze homage to Bill Cody.  We sure loved seein' it and will be back, as we are here for 4 days!!!  Be seein' ya!  xoxoxoxoxo

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Catching Up - Sammie and Avalon Style!

We'd like to start out by woofin' our "hi's and hellos" to our buds - we've been a mite bizzy in the last week or so; have tried to keep up on that book of faces (heh heh!), but we're not even doing so good on that one! So... this post is furry long - so fasten your saddle cinches and set tall on that horsie; we'll tell you some tall (but true) tales!
Firstly, the other day we got to go to a neat-o place called Ken's Lake, which is surrounded by red rocks (what else is new?), a waterfall, a sorta scary jeep road, hiking and biking trails plus the La Sal Mountains! Oh yeah... and a lake!
Here I am, first to jump in and I must woof, I look a bit like an old lady (like mom?) floundering about in there. I'm just lookin' over my shoulder for a stick or something to be thrown to me!
Then we DID spy dad with a couple of wooden ones...
After a few tosses, I had to shake all that water from my furs!
Then we had a little tiff over one of the stickies!
Then Avalon got zoomies! We spent quite some time there and then walked along a trail to see the waterfall, which was actually several falls - bootiful! (We got to wade in some of the lower pools!) For Part the Second, we're gonna narrate the tale we were told by Momma and Pa about their adventure into the Fiery Furnace - sounds sorta scary, eh? It's not too bad!
At Arches NP (where we are NOT allowed to go - so rude...), there are many places for humans to go and see so much beauty. We're all sort of on "gorgeouscountry" overload at this point, but find we always have plenty of room for more. There are apparently over 2500 arches in the Park, and our pawrents wanted to see some on a furry special hike - to - the Fiery Furnace!
As you can see by this signage, a permit is required for access; either one has to sign on for a tour with a ranger or be ultra experienced in backcountry hiking. There were about 15 other people, and they'd all been warned not to go if they had a fear of heights or of squeezing through tight spaces in rocks. Also, there'd be some minor technical rock scrambling and boulder hopping over a few steep crevasses - ya think? Too late... Mom and Dad had sealed their fate and signed on!
So, from the parking lot, the Fiery Furnace looks like the above picture. A ginormous labyrinth of tiny finger slots that humans could easily get lost in, but not us, of course!
Here is our intrepid leader, Ranger Victoria Allen. She was most knowledgeable and taught Momzers and Dad tons of stuff using words we still don't get like Cryptobiotic Soil and plants and all the ways arches are formed and the differences between bridges and arches and oh, we are simply exhausted already!
So the beginning of the three hour tour (we're not kidding!) started at 3 P.M., on a perfect day. They spent a few minutes in a sandy wash, studying desert plants and THAT SOIL! It was neither too hot or humid (never here!) and as the day wore on, the sun cast the rosiest glow on the sands and rocks, making everybuddy look a bit pinkish!
The first arch they saw was "Kissing Turtles" Can you see why?
The light was playing beautifully colorful games on all the walls, just like the above picture!
Here's a boulder hop Mom did, using a helper's arm - Dad told us he jumped all by hisself!
Here's Mom and Dad going through "Crawl-Through" arch, which technically isn't an arch yet, cause it has to be three feet tall/wide, but for the day, it was a "baby arch."
Another canyon later, the pawrents experienced "Walk-Through Bridge." The difference between an arch and a bridge is how they are formed. A natural bridge is formed mostly by water running through it and an arch is formed by the erosion of sand grains, little by little, in the weakest point of a cliff (that becomes an arch). Mom's fave ) definition is: "An arch spans a valley of erosion."
At any rate, here's Mom listening to a talk and then watching a demo of Ranger Allen doing the "Penguin" walk over a crack in the rock - a sorta climbing move.
She's so coordinated!
After everybody got across the crack, they ended up in a rock alcove that had a huge pothole in it - and several really small potholes as well. And also...
TWO incredibly cool arches! Known as Skull Arch, the pair, together with the rest of the wall, look more like their namesake upside down, than rightside-up heh heh!
We loves this shot of silhouetted Dad in a slot!
Here he is, strolling two more bootiful cliff walls. By this time, it's prolly about 5:15 P.M. The rocks are really starting to glow, although you can't tell in all the images.
And as he and Mom pad along on some cliffy slickrock, look what they see up above as they head into the alcove!
Perfectly named: "Surprise Arch!" It spans 63 feet, but da folks never learned how tall it was - we'll find out for you if ya like! Well... all good things must come to and our pawrents would love to thank Ranger Allen for all her fabuloso teachings and - wait! There IS more! (For more reading on this amazing place, please press HERE!)

If you can't see movie: press here.
Yesterday, Momz and Dadzers took US for a pawesomely cool hike!
And this pitchur above shows a little of where it took place. The name of this Canyon has a most unfortunate name. As the author of an article on GOMOAB.com wrote,"On a politically correct scale of 1 - 10, Negro Bill Canyon gets a 1." Please read more about this beautiful place with its important history HERE.
.We have to woof at you all about something... there are at least a million lizards here and we found several of those. Above, I am scoping one out.
Above, Avalon in action as she thinks about it... then pounces.
If you are a boy doggeh, you might not want to lift your leg here.
Momma could not find out the names of the purple flowers, but thinks they must be from the Pea or Snapdragon families. The white flowers are Apache Plume and smelled just heavenly. We loved the caterpillar and mom like the way the spider web glittered in the sun...
Avalon loved the cool waters along our hike... it was getting over 85 degrees out in the sun! The trail was lovely and shaded with this stream all along the way...
I loved to dip my claws and paws in the river, then come running out onto the soft red sands.
This was our fave pool to swim in - so fantabulous to cool off in!
We finally rounded a bend in the canyon to see a cairn and THAT in the distance! Morning Glory Bridge - isn't it spectacular?
If you can't see this vid: press movie -
We just love this area and wish we could stay here longer! Still... we get a week more - yayhoooooo!