Sunday, August 8, 2010

Olympic National Park

After arriving in Tacoma and checking into the hotel that would be our home for the duration of the conference, we took off the next morning to the Olympic Peninsula.  It was all kinds of treacherous.  We had fog:


Winding roads:


Sheer drop-offs:


And snow!


So, being the grown-ups that we are, Jeff & I go into a snowball fight.  In July!  We also almost rescued a bicyclist who was going into hypothermia, but someone with a bigger car saved the day.  Other pictures from the park:


These are from the Ho Rain Forest.  Yes, that's its real name.  Yes, that's why I wanted to go there.


They weren't lying.  It was a big spruce tree.


Our drive home took us along the Pacific coast.


We also stopped for lunch in an overpriced Mexican restaurant in Forks.  That meant nothing to me, except that there were signs everywhere for "Twilight" movie memorabilia and swooning teenage girls everywhere.  You could even buy "Bella Firewood" and "Twilight Asparagus".  Jeff was wondering what the put on the bathroom door where Bella did her business whilst filming.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

It's Like Disney, but More Mormon

We started out early from our sweet digs at the EconoLodge and went to Dinosaur National Monument, where they have this subtle reminder of your location:

 

The shuttle bus wasn't running yet, so we took the self-drive tour.  No dino bones, but we did get to see these petroglyphs.


The scenery is very much reminiscent of the Badlands.

 
Plus there's this rock that looks like a turtle.  Or a skull.  You decide.

Our route to Salt Lake City took us back through Vernal, where the whole town is crazy for dinosaurs.


Especially the overly-patriotic ones.

 
Just outside of Salt Lake City, we stopped at one of the Olympic sites.  
 
 
We saw ski jumpers training by flying into a swimming pool.  Jeff sat in a bobsled.

We made it downtown, and saw the Capitol building.  There was also a monument to the "Mormon Batallion".


Then it was off to Temple Square.  We went inside the Tabernacle, where the choir performs.


Only outside views of the Temple, because we aren't Mormon.  There was a bride there, and she probably is Mormon.


Next stop was Antelope Island State Park.  We really appreciated having our GPS for this trip.  T,D, if you don't know what that is, ask TM.  She took that computer class at Lincoln Land.  Anyway, this is where it showed us to go:


Off-roading in the Fit - YES!  We did get there, without a waterlogged car or a call to AAA, and saw a bison.  


And that salt lake that is referred to as Great.


Lame post, I know, but I'm tired and we have to leave for the conference soon.  I'll be more entertaining later.  Promise.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It Smells Like Chistmas

After a way-too-late arrival in Stuart, Iowa, we departed the following morning for the trek across Nebraska on I-80.  We got distracted outside of Omaha with a Wildlife Safari, which included an elk standing in the middle of the road.


There were bears, coyotes, owls, cranes, and bison.  Have you ever seen a white bison?  We have.


Jeff contends that it was nothing like Tanzania, but then again I wouldn't know.  Opposite the wildlife safari was this place:


We didn't go in, but did take our pictures with missiles (sorry - they're on Jeff's camera).

We made another unscheduled stop an an original Pony Express Station in Gothenburg, Nebraska.  See how spontaneous I am when traveling?


Nebraska seems to contain a plethora of exciting roadside attractions, such as this "Buffalo Bill" fort.


Look closely:


If he didn't perish by arrow-to-the-buttocks, they he likely impaled himself on the trading post.  This gem was in North Platte.  In Colorado, we saw our first glimpses of the Rocky Mountains.


After an overnight in Estes Park, we ventured out early the next morning to explore Rocky Mountain National Park. 


This is the tundra on some of the highest peaks.  About this time, we realized how hard it was to breathe, even just taking a few steps across the rocks. 

 

Cheesy sign pictures:



C - I believe this trumps the picture of us at the 45th parallel.  And Dutch Village, but I'll let you decide that one.  After leaving the park, we drove to Steamboat Springs (which we really enjoyed), and then went on to Vernal, Utah, where we spent the night in a cricket-infested Econo Lodge.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Video - Dragon Dance

Unfortunately, I stopped filming just before the dragon regurgitated a head of lettuce.

Video - Noonday Gun

This was the least underwhelming experience of our trip.  Even C did not regret taking the time to attend.

Video - Tea at the Peninsula

Camber shows off her vast knowledge of proper English tea service.  Turn your head sideways.