As the Grand Tetons was dedicated to my high school BFF, Krysta, my trip through Yellowstone was devoted to my mom. As a child, her mother sent all six children on “caravan” West for the summer. Mother loved recalling stories of her adventures on that big bus, camping their way across our wonderful country and throughout the Wild West of yesteryear.

She continued those adventures with my dad in their RV in the early 1970’s. They took my son, Carl, with them. They went to Yellowstone and Carl was so excited about it having his very own Biology College Professor Gran explaining everything from plants to animals to geologic anomalies.

At age 80, she flew over the Grand Canyon in both a helicopter and a single engine plane. Yep, she was quite the adventurer!

Thanks MOM for all the wonderful stories of our Wild West! You inspired me every day of your life to step outside my fears and continue to do so as you whisper to me as I drive through this wonderful country of ours.

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Old Faithful was going to take too long to perform for us so we walked around some and chatted with a couple of guys who showed me a photo of the last time they caught it on their cell. Well, that was good enough for me!

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Never understood all the hype over this event.

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First buffalo we saw. He’s definitely watching over his woman!

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Second set of buffalo down the road. Can you see the calf? It’s hiding in front of the female closest to the fence. It’s that tan fluff.

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Third larger siting of buffalo. For a non-summer visit, there sure were way too many people taking pictures in close proximity of these wild animals.

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And then everything stopped. Cars weren’t moving. There were crowds but I couldn’t see what was causing all the raucous. I thought there was a wreck. Finally, I got close enough to see this Grizzly Mom and her new cubs. There were 40+ people crowding behind the Ranger with HUGE telephoto lenses, tripods and crazy equipment like they’d been waiting there for days to take pictures of Princess Di. Really? I took these on the fly without all that and they ain’t bad for Donna Geographic, now are they?

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Uhhhh…notice anything strange about that road I’m getting ready to drive over? Ya’ think it kicked in my vertigo?

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Then we get to the part where the road disappears before your very eyes with every turn.

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Sulfur springs.

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Hot Sulfur Springs that all these crazy people hiked to. I couldn’t breathe in the car much less in the middle of all that. Yeah, this was close enough for me!

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After all the same ole same ole, I got bored and really couldn’t take any more pictures. Those last miles at 25 MPH and max at 45 MPH just felt WRONG after driving 70 MPH for days…until…I saw a small sign that said “Crossing into Montana.”

The landscape suddenly became truly interesting and I was resuscitated enough to drive Montana through Montana! Here’s a picture of Montana at that moment! She’s smiling! Well, not a big smile, but it’s a smile!

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Here’s what I mean about change of scenery!

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I fell in love with Montana the state in 2003 when Abe and I hiked Glacier National Park for about ten days. I’ve longed to come back on each journey West but was always limited but not this year! I’m way ahead of schedule and I’m playing in Montana until I have to head toward California!

HAPPY TAILS!

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