Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pinedale, Wyoming

“All the Civilization You Need” – that’s the town motto on a brochure I picked up in a town called Pinedale, just two hours south of Yellowstone.  My sister and I were already looking forward to seeing this little town because Lara’s husband had been through there a few years ago and had stopped at a quilting fabric store, picking up some fabric for her as a souvenir.  He seemed to really like the town and once we arrived there, we could see why.
Pinedale is a very small place, especially when compared to the two large metroplexes in which my sister and I each live.  The population of Pinedale is about 1,400 and one of the residents told me they only have one grocery store (the down side to that is that the store can charge whatever they want and get it).  I’m sure this place would not be for everyone, but Lara and I both found it to be quite charming.
As always, I wish I had more pictures, but here are some pictures taken when we first blew into town, looking down the main street:

There is a really neat visitor’s center, with this big guy standing out front:

There is all kind of information available regarding attractions in the area and upcoming events:

And this little honey stands guard inside:

Even more exciting for both of us was the visit to that very same fabric store that Lara’s husband had told us about:

Lara bought some really neat panels that certainly reminded us of the area:

And this little Halloween panel was so cute, I just had to get one, too!

The lady who worked in the shop told us that although they don’t have all of their fabric available on their website, they do have quite a bit available online.  If you are interested, there is a link for the Heritage Quilts Fabric Shoppe (click here).
Even though it was not our original destination, we ended up spending quite some time in Pinedale, and we really enjoyed the time we were there.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fraught With DANGER!

“Fraught with danger” – yes, that pretty much describes our recent road trip to Yellowstone.  There were not only warning signs at Yellowstone, but we received cautions and rules to follow all along the way.   We were both struck (figuratively, not literally) with just how many signs there were.  Here’s a little sampling of the warnings that we received:

Some signs had more than just one warning:

Here’s yet more warning:

Even the VA medical facility in Sheridan had safety on its agenda:

This sign didn’t even have a warning, leaving us to wonder just what might be lurking ahead:

On the drive from Yellowstone to Sheridan, Wyoming (via Cody), we ended up going through the Big Horn Mountains.  I would put that drive up against all of the roller coasters in the world…I have never gripped a steering wheel so hard.  As if navigating the steep angle and switch backs were not enough, there was a sign warning us to watch for loose livestock.  Sure enough, there were cattle on the road:

Since there was a little pull-off area and we were both feeling a little queasy, my sister and I took a little break and hung out with those cows for a while.  This little honey watched us from across the road quite intently the entire time:

Later on in that mountain pass, we were surrounded by sheep (and I do mean surrounded, even though the view in the picture doesn’t fully show that).  A group of them decided to cross the road just in front of us:

My sister just fell in love with the little “black sheep” and it was fun to see it scurry to the other side:

I’m feeling pretty lucky that my sister and I were able to make it to Yellowstone and back without incident!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Yellowstone 2012 – A New View

I actually went to Yellowstone this year.  I had not really planned on it earlier  (since Alan had a car, he drove himself this time), but my sister expressed a desire to go and so our first big road trip together was born.   It was just the two of us, and we headed out on Saturday, September 15th.  In all of the trips that I made with Alan, I always got near Yellowstone, but since the park was not yet open, I never went in the park when he was with me.  Another difference with this trip was that I didn’t blog as I went (for a variety of reasons, one of which was that internet at the locations in which we stayed was either very slow or non-existent).  Since I can’t remember where some of my pictures were even taken, the posts from this adventure will be done by subject matter instead of chronologically.
When we first arrived in the Old Faithful area, we stopped at this building and called Alan to tell him that we were there:

There was just one problem – we were at “the general store(?)” while he was actually at this building (the Old Faithful Inn):

He walked down the little trail to meet us, and after some hugging and more hugging we all decided to go see the Old Faithful Inn (he works in the gift shop that is located inside the building).  We wanted to see this historic hotel, and I got that good-looking guy to strike a little pose for me as we entered:

Looking around the lobby, it sure is a substantial building!

We had already assumed that without reservations there would be no way that we could stay there, but believe it or not we were able to secure a room for just that one night.  When we looked out our window, we could see the people gathering to wait for the Old Faithful geyser to make its appearance:

It was so fun to get to just sit and watch Old Faithful right outside our window!
Alan was working the next day, so my sister and I decided to do a little souvenir shopping in his store.  Here’s what it looks like when you first walk in (I ended up snagging some of the bear pajamas for my mother):

I couldn’t resist getting a picture of him in action…

…Although I get the feeling he really didn’t want me to….

Since we were only able to secure a room at Old Faithful for one night, my sister and I drove to the town of West Yellowstone, and I’m pretty sure we got the last room in town.  We returned to Old Faithful to meet Alan for dinner, and I finally got to see where he lives!  The dorms are tucked away, hidden from the view of Yellowstone visitors, and I’m pretty sure that I drove right by it without ever even knowing.  Alan says that he was lucky to get one of the nicest dorms this year:

When we entered, we knew that we were going to have to behave ourselves:

Here’s the view looking down the hall:

Here’s a picture of Alan’s roommate’s side of the room (Alan’s was not quite as presentable):

There are a couple of these shelving units so that they have a little storage:

Mandy had send a little care package for Alan, and although he liked the gloves and Jolly Rancher candies that she sent, his favorite thing of all was a little album filled with pictures of his number one girl, Paisley:

Alan was off work the next day, so he was able to meet us for some more shopping, eating, and walking in West Yellowstone:

It was so, so sad when the time came for me to leave him, but I must say that it was exciting and quite comforting to finally have the chance to see for myself just how happy he is, and just how much Yellowstone is home for him.  Yes, the view in Yellowstone is wonderful…

Thursday, September 13, 2012

You Have to Love a Girl....

Who can make herself at home just about anywhere!