Friday, July 31, 2009

Finally! The video!

Sorry it took so long for us to get all this downloaded and formatted. I was able to whittle it down to an eminently watchable 12 minutes (broken into two YouTubeable parts). Check it out. This is better that us making you come over for dinner and the slide show.

Part 1: From Arches to Yellowstone

Part 2: From a hail storm in Yellowstone to home sweet home

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Last Day: Oacoma, South Dakota

Sorry to people who have been trying to post responses and having trouble. If it makes you feel any better, the entire post I wrote from Custer State Park got lost. The Blogger site has only been so-so reliable. We've covered a lot of ground since last writing, and with a big push tomorrow we should be back in Cedar Falls.

We made it to Devil's Tower and Nic and Julie hiked the base and climbed boulders. I picked up a Close Encounters of the Third Kind DVD, but within half an hour of starting it, Nic deemed it too boring. Oh well. At least everyone liked the Prairie Dog Town on the way up to the Visitor's Center.

Yes, giant Jim has a head as big as Devil's Tower

Nic, Julie and Devin went horseback riding today, which we'd been holding out in front of them like a carrot for most of the trip. We also stayed in a big cabin, which had been held out in front of Julie like a carrot. Fortunately all the horses they had were well behaved, unlike the poor girl on the trail ride who had a horse that kept trying to knock her off. Last night, we drove the Wildlife Loop and it worked: buffalo, longhorn deer, prairie dogs and semi-wild burrows that stuck their heads in the car to get fed.

Sure, Julie's comfortable with that

Pronghorn Deer

We also got to take a couple of hikes in the park, following a horse trail to a river crossing where we decided to throw rocks then turn back. Nic, Devin and Jim climbed to the top of a gorgeous bluff near the cabin we stayed in (getting down was a little trickier).

Finally, on our way out of Custer today, we got to stop for awhile in the Badlands. It's actually not that far from Cedar Falls, so we were scoping it out for a potential future visit, but when we drove by one of the mini-canyon outcropping you can climb, we had to stop and give it a shot.

That brings us to Oacoma (which only sounds like the Beach Boys song). It's in the middle of South Dakota, but with an early start we should be able to make it back tomorrow. And then we'll download our video and really overwhelm you with stuff to check out.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Yellowstone Pics part two

Rylan and Devin

Jeffrey and Nic (thanks for the pose, Nic)

Packing up the car for the last day of camping

A buffalo seen from next to our car. Buffalo don't seem to care at all about people, but we didn't get close enough to test out that theory.

Yellowstone pics part one

Getting ready to roast marshmallows

Almost perfectly timed

What can happen if you step off the path in Geyser Country

From Inspiration Point

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lake Tahoe Pics

Not that Ian needed any help, mind you.

We swam in the lake with the snow covered mountains in the background

But who needs mountains when you can build sandcastles

Check out Ian's superhero swimsuit. Pretty buff.

Yosemite pics part two

Yes, snow in July

Julie and Eileen

Devin at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

Nic taking a picture of the bear on our trail

Does he look worried here?

Yosemite pics part one

Nic at Bridal Veil falls

Ian at Bridal Veil falls

Okay, we really liked these falls

Us on the rocks

Devin and Julie with Eileen