Wildlife abounds in Grand Teton National Park. During our first few hours here, we saw a chipmunk eating flowers and a heard of elk, in addition to everything you see below. I am now faced with the terrible decision – which is the cutest National Park animal – a pika or a marmot? Or the Prairie Dogs from Wind Cave?
Nothing Gold Can Stay
by Robert Frost
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
This little Carolina Anole put on quite a show yesterday at the Gulf Islands National Seashore. We watched, rapt, as he changed colors from bright green to brown. Then, with a flourish, he proceeded to pull the old skin off his tail and eat it. Perhaps not your idea of a tasty snack, but incredible to see nonetheless.
We’ve now been on the road for four months, long enough that our former lives are just a hazy memory. We’re in our Winnebago Groove.
- Miles driven by Patrick: 10,000ish
- Miles driven by Aimee: Look! Was that a squirrel?
- Miles hiked: 367
- States/Provinces: 14
- National Parks/Monuments Explored: 26
- Scenic Byways Traveled: 22 (yes, we really have a list of all the Scenic Byways we’ve driven) Continue reading
Having lived my whole life either on the West Coast or in Minnesota, I’m familiar with scenery painted in greens, blues and browns — pine-filled mountains, lakes, meadows rimmed with leafy trees. Utah was a contrast to all of that. Created with a completely different palette of deep red and terra-cotta, the steep-walled canyons, graceful arches and arid desert were impressively beautiful in a way I’d never experienced before. We spent two and a half weeks exploring all five of Utah’s National Parks and part of the Grand Staircase area, doing some of the best hikes of the trip and discovering a burgeoning new love for canyoneering.
A full week of throbbing music, dust storms, midnight bike rides and art exploration at Burning Man made returning to the regular world feel a bit dull. So little neon, few enormous sculptures, no steam punk octopus cars shooting flames. The only obvious antidote to all that human-powered stimulation was to immerse ourselves again in the much more humbling beauty of nature. So, after a quick stop in Eagle Point to deep-clean the Minnie and a whirlwind tour through the Bay Area visiting friends, we set off to Yosemite and the majestic Eastern Sierra. Continue reading