Sunday, May 29, 2016
When we moved out to Wyoming I approached the wild places the same way, always hoping to find out what was and what wasn't available as I walked the mountain trails, (the ruffed grouse has nothing to do with the mushroom hunt but was an added bonus and Renita spotted it).
We did see spring lilies and lots of service berry plants, all full of blossoms, so hopefully this August we can pack and can jars of delicious jam and jellies. There was quite a bit of snow and so it seemed to us to be too early.
Now some people do cook false morels and boil them first in an attempt to get rid of the poisonous toxins. I don't like the idea of boiling first. Furthermore the toxin has a cumulative effect and so if you don't get it all out you eventually get sick and die.
Saturday, May 21, 2016
We had heard that the bears were out including one of the most famous, bear 399, (google). The number refers to the tag number on the animal but the reason she is so famous is because she inhabits an area where she and her cubs are often spotted. She is one of the most photographed bears in Grand Teton National Park.
So when we hard she was in the Two Ocean Lake area, along Pacific Creek, George and Val joined us and we headed to Grand Teton National Park. The park is fifty miles away but due to the highway construction it took us almost two hours to reach Two Ocean Lake.
Driving up the dirt and gravel road, thankfully dry, we stopped to glass large meadows. Having been told that the bears were hunting elk calves we expected to see elk in the area and Renita spotted a small herd of cow elk along Pacific Creek.
Reaching the trail head we stopped for a picnic lunch. Another car arrived and the driver asked us if we had seen any bears. We told him we hadn’t and he told us that bear 610, (google), a sow with two yearling cubs had been entertaining everyone at Willow Flats.
It didn’t take us very long to load up and head down the road to the Willow Flats area. Arriving we drove by rangers who had put out orange cones to block foolish tourists and keep the bears safe However the bears had moved into the dense willows and so we drove to a parking area nearer the dam.
Asking if the bears were still there a man nicely told us that the bears were moving our way and sure enough George spotted the sow and both cubs as they moved through a small meadow, (no surprise as George has hunted elf for fifty years and has made numerous trips to Alaska). By the time I got my camera ready they were already behind a big willow but shortly after they reappeared in another grassy patch.
They were several hundred yards away and so we used the 300 mm lens to take image after image as the sow and then the cubs mover out of sight. We repositioned ourselves further west but the bears didn’t oblige us by reappearing.
The willows were full of cow elk easily spotted by their white rumps. It was no wonder the bears were there as prey was plentiful! Talking with another man we were told that another bear had surprised a family eating lunch along String Lake.
As the sow and her cubs hadn’t reappeared we drove to String Lake but only spotted cow elk. Still it had been a successful outing as we had spotted three grizzlies. Bear 610, who is a daughter of bear 399 promises to provide lots of sightings in the future. We have spotted black bear in the Tetons but it is the first time, other than Yellowstone and Alaska, that we have seen a grizzly mom with her cubs. Clear skies
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
It's an easy drive to Lander, Wyoming before your start over South Pass. That is a short but steep ascent over the southern Wind River Mountains. I forgot to put tow hall on and so I heated up and we had to pull over to cool down. Renita and I took turns rock hounding but we didn't find any more rocks so we made it over the pass.
From Kemmerer we turned north to Cokeville. There we stopped for diesel at the Pilot station. I inserted my debit card and the purchase was declined, so Renita went in to pay. When she came out she said her phone had pinged but neither one of us could get a signal to call the bank.
Driving to Salt Pass we skirted Salt Creek. Its one of our favorite streams to fly fish but it was high and muddy. Stopping at the pass, its only seven thousand feet. we had out kayaks checked by the Wyoming Boat inspector, they stop all boats in an attempt to stop the zebra mussel, before heading to our place at Star Valley Rv Resort.
Calling our bank we went through all of our purchases for the past month and luckily the only fraud was the attempted theft in Cokeville. So we are waiting for a new card to be mailed to our mail forwarding service and then mailed to here. As we say in Wyoming, hanging is too good an option for anyone who tries to scam retired people. Right now placing such scum as bear or wolf bait seems more in line.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Monday, May 9, 2016
The next morning we hooked up for a long days drive to Rapid City, South Dakota. There we would meet up with our friends Bob and Nancy Bentley who had retired this year and moved to Rapid City. I taught with Bob in our Science Department and Nancy had just retired from her position as a Junior High Counselor.
This year warm weather allowed us to head out for Teepee Canyon and Bob and Nancy joined us for a day of agate hunting. The hardest thing about agate hunting is that most people have no idea what they are looking for but after a few hours Bob and Nancy both found great agates!
We also spent several days looking for clothes for our daughters August wedding, but to no avail.
We had a great time in the Black Hills and now Star Valley beckons so today we are going to hook up and drive to Casper, Wyoming. There we plan on spending several days as winds of forty plus miles per hour are forecast and I don't drive in such conditions. Thursday the winds should abate and then we are going to try to make it to our summer base camp/home. Clear skies
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Luckily we are used to entertaining ourselves and so we decided to drive to Lincoln to visit the Nebraska State Museum at the University of Nebraska Morrell Hall. Its website said it had the most complete elephant fossil collection in the world.
The Museum really does have the best elephant mammoth, and mastadon displays we have seen, and for any fossil buff it ranks up there as one of the best we have visited. Now we can go back and look at our collection, adding to our stories we tell when people stop by our booths! Clear skies.