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I love summer days in the Rocky Mountains! Having finished a rewarding six mile hike at beautiful Piney Lake, situated in the Gore Range of Colorado, we were resting by the lake’s shore and enjoying the scenery before returning to our timeshare unit in Vail. Suddenly and surprisingly quietly, two large moose walked by us on their way to the lake. They wadded into the clear water and started munching on water-plants growing close to shore. They were not disturbed by our presence and were close enough that I was able to take some nice photos.
Moose are huge, the largest of all the deer species. Males carry massive antlers which can have a span of up to 6 feet (1.8 meters). …
Jackson — sometimes called ‘Jackson Hole’ after the valley in which it resides — is a fun town to visit. It’s situated in northwestern Wyoming, one of the most beautiful regions in the world. With the growth of tourism in the area the town has morphed from its cowboy and ranching roots to an upscale resort. But it’s not gone Hollywood — there’s still a lot of “country soul” around. Jackson’s population is just under 10,000, not counting the surrounding ranchers and the many tourists that visit.
The popularity and quality of alpine skiing and the nearby location of the National Elk Refuge and Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks have made this town a travel destination both in summer and …
Butte, Montana, is a colorful town. It was in its heyday about a century ago, and I would have loved to have visited it during that time. Butte (pronounced B-yut) was one of the largest and most advanced cities in the western United States.
As the mines around Butte have progressively (but not completely) played out and closed, the town has lost lots of its people and much of its luster. Still, while somewhat worn, it has charm. As we drove around the streets, I found this beautiful classic car parked in front of buildings that were old when it was new. Believe it’s a 1955 Chevy Bel-Air. Not in perfect condition but it seemed to be well cared for and …
Pinedale is a small town in Wyoming, the southern gateway to Jackson Hole (about a hour’s drive away). It’s situated at the base of the beautiful Wind River Mountains. Pinedale has a population of about 2,000 residents and is an important outdoor adventure hub. There’s a lot of natural country nearby for hiking, camping, backpacking, hunting and ATV adventures, and hundreds of lakes for fishing and water sports. The climate is subarctic because of its high altitude so winter is long and winter sports like snowmobiling, skating, snowboarding and skiing are very popular.
Situated in a remote region of northwestern Colorado and extending into eastern Utah, you’ll find Dinosaur National Monument. This is Green River country, the river winding through memorable rock formations and desert landscapes. But the real treasure of the region is what’s beneath the ground. You’ll find some of the world’s largest deposits of dinosaur bones in Dinosaur National Monument. Our visit today is to the monument’s Fossil Bone Quarry.
In 1909 paleontologist Earl Douglass, working for the Carnegie Museum, discovered plant and animal fossils at this site. A quarry was established revealing rich deposits of Jurassic-era dinosaur bones. Dinosaur National Monument was created in 1915, initially protecting 80 acres in the quarry area but now expanded to 210,844 …
Those of us who live near the Rocky Mountains are very familiar with quaking aspens, a species of tree I’ve grown increasingly fond of over the years. These trees have characteristic white bark and green leaves in the summer (that shimmer in the wind, hence “quaking”). The leaves turn a beautiful golden-yellow color in the fall.
Aspen trees are striking when you come across a stand of them, especially in an evergreen forest. Their white bark makes them seem like guardians or sentinels. But one of the aspens’ more interesting features is their “eyes”. Of course the trees aren’t actually watching you, but if you look at the main trunk of a larger aspen you’re likely to see dark markings against …
When most people think of Montana, images of mountains or “Big Sky country” or wildlife spring to mind. Usually you don’t think of a massive hole in the ground, but a destination of interest is the Berkeley Pit, a now closed open-pit copper mine in the historic town of Butte.
By the end of the 19th century, mines around Butte had yielded a lot of gold, silver and copper, earning the town the nickname, “richest hill on earth”. As electricity demand across America increased and more wiring was needed, the growing demand for copper made Butte a boom-town in the early 20th century. Copper mining in Butte historically had required a complex network of underground drains and pumps to lower the …
I’d first seen the Old Faithful Inn as a youngster about 40 years ago. It’s hard to miss it if you come to the park to watch the Old Faithful Geyser erupt — it’s been described as the world’s largest log cabin. I remember wandering into the cavernous 5 story (76 ft high) lobby and being fascinating by its unusual log construction. This lobby alone is worth seeing when you’re done watching Old Faithful Geyser erupt (which happens about every 90 minutes).
When my wife and I were planning where to go for our 30th wedding anniversary, we both agreed to visiting Yellowstone NP and staying at the Old Faithful Inn. That’s not as easy at it might sound. Unless you’re …