Out West Adventure: A Short Photo Journal

5,500 thousand miles of road

+Β 10 national forests hiked

+Β 7 states out west

+ 6 people in confined spaces for 2 weeks

+ 3 national parks at peak season

+ 1 narrowly-missed grizzly bear

+ 1 escaped weather disaster

=Β One. Epic. Adventure.

Hiking the Tetons - Kids find a path to the beach on Jackson Lake, Grand Teton, WY
Hiking the Tetons – Kids find a path to the beach on Jackson Lake, Grand Teton, WY

Measuring Up - My foot next to a draft horse's, Coeur d'Alene, ID
Measuring Up – My foot next to a draft horse’s, Coeur d’Alene, ID
Echo Canyon - A surprise visit to a place of our Honeymoon, NM
Echo Canyon – A surprise visit to a place of our Honeymoon, NM
Delicate Tundra - Roadside overlook, Lewiston, ID
Delicate Tundra – Roadside overlook, Lewiston, ID
Aqueous Trickery - Hot Springs spillover, Yellowstone, WY
Aqueous Trickery – Hot Springs spillover, Yellowstone, WY
Veggie Humor -
Veggie Humor – “…I guess that makes me a humanitarian.” Being vegetarian on the road pretty much sucks, Anywhere, USA
Break from the Heat - A wet and chilly mountain drive from Durango to Ouray, CO
Break from the Heat – A wet and chilly mountain drive from Durango to Ouray, CO
Flash Flood Getaway - Mudslides and flash flooding wash out Hwy 24 and the City of Manitou Springs just as we evacuated, CO
Flash Flood Getaway – Mudslides and flash flooding wash out Hwy 24 and the City of Manitou Springs just as we evacuated, CO
All Aboard! - Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Durango, CO
All Aboard! – Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Durango, CO
Respect Not Fear - Raising children to respect and cherish all species on Earth through conservation and education, Winchester, ID
Respect Not Fear – Raising children to respect and cherish all species on Earth through conservation and education, Winchester, ID
Peek-a-boo Falls - The iconic Lower Falls on the way down to the overlook, Yellowstone, WY
Peek-a-boo Falls – The iconic Lower Falls on the way down to the overlook, Yellowstone, WY
Slow Speed - Eagle, Osprey, and Heron watching from the slow lane, Jackson Lake, WY
Slow Speed – Eagle, Osprey, and Heron watching from the slow lane, Jackson Lake, WY
Rays of Light - Hoping that a new Kitchen will give me the same pleasure when I get home
Rays of Light – Hoping that we will return to a not-wrong kitchen when we’re finished.
Railroad Relics - Cumbres & Toltec RR station in Chama, NM
Railroad Relics – Cumbres & Toltec RR station in Chama, NM
Steamy Sunsets - the eerie quiet of a smoking Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone, WY
Steamy Sunsets – the eerie quiet of a smoking Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone, WY
Rustic Forget-Me-Nots - Back to basics with minimalist living, Grand Teton, WY
Rustic Forget-Me-Nots – Back to basics with minimalist living, Grand Teton, WY
On Top of the World - Visitors Center after Angie puked up her breakfast in the car from road sickness, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
On Top of the World – Visitors Center after Angie puked up her breakfast in the car from road sickness, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
Lichen Painting - Clinging to a rock on the tundra, Lewiston, ID
Lichen Painting – Clinging to a rock on the tundra, Lewiston, ID
Flowers and Bug Butts - I saw my share of these, such as this thistle with a busy bee, Grand Teton, WY
Flowers and Bug Butts – I saw my share of these, such as this thistle with a busy bee, Grand Teton, WY
An Easy Uphill Hike - Horseback riding in Estes Park, CO
An Easy Uphill Hike – Horseback riding in Estes Park, CO
Amber Waves of Grain - Fields upon Fields of Wheat, ID and WA border
Amber Waves of Grain – Fields upon Fields of Wheat, ID and WA border
Beautiful Tree Skin - Aspen bark recovery, Coeur d'Alene, ID
Beautiful Tree Skin – Aspen bark recovery, Coeur d’Alene, ID
Chilly Hot Springs - Life in the clouds, Ouray, CO
Chilly Hot Springs – Life in the clouds, Ouray, CO
Logging Road Time - Many hours were spent snapping photos as the landscape whizzed by at 75 mpg, UT
Logging Road Time – Many hours were spent snapping photos as the landscape whizzed by at 75 mph, UT
Horned Lizard - Hopes that his camouflage keeps me from seeing him, rest stop, TX
Horned Lizard – Hopes that camouflage keeps me from noticing him, Rest Stop, TX
Scenic Coach - Riding the high line on the famed DSNGRR to Silverton, CO
Scenic Coach – Riding the high line on the famed DSNGRR to Silverton, CO
Holding It In - Waiting for Old Faithful to erupt...any minute, Yellowstone, WY
Holding It In – Waiting for Old Faithful to erupt…any minute, Yellowstone, WY
Nothing Like Love - Stolen nuzzles by Mama for her middleschooler, Silverton, CO
Nothing Like Love – Stolen nuzzles by Mama from her middleschooler, Silverton, CO

38 thoughts on “Out West Adventure: A Short Photo Journal

  1. Gorgeous photos Shannon! What a trove of memories for everyone. My wife and I went to Yellowstone several years ago, and it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. You must be tired, but what a great trip it must have been!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the nice compliment, Dan. It was a spectacular trip during a particularly stressful time (two summers ago). No place like The West to reset perspective, right? Life’s better now, but so full of unexpected calendar items, there’s no time for a lengthy road trip. Reminiscing only. Glad you enjoyed!

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  2. Oh! Oh! Oh! Ok, so a couple things. First, the picture of gnomie with his head out the window on the train, I kid you not I have one of my brother at that exact location doing the exact same thing!! Seriously blew me away seeing yours! Secondly, you were where I grew up!! I was raised on a guest ranch 9 miles outside the east gate of Yellowstone! I know those places that you walked and took beautiful pictures of! Norris geyser, ya, named after a distant uncle on my dads side! My maiden name is Norris. πŸ˜€ Oh this just made me so happy! I’m so glad you got to experience this part of the world! Even if it is hard to be a vegetarian here! πŸ˜‰

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    1. We like to think of it as a reconnaissance mission. We loved it so much, we are going out to see some areas we missed (like Glacier north of you) as well as stay a bit longer in the places we loved (Tetons, Yellowstone). Hopefully, going earlier in the summer might avoid some of the crazy int’l visitors. It was difficult finding parking in some of the more popular places.

      That is just cuh-RAZ-y about you and your family name. You leave me wanting to learn more about this other side of you. You know the first place the kids want to stop in Montana? BUTTE. Such a quaint little town and home of The World’s Smartest Dog (that’s a story). Cheers, Ms. Use-to-be-Norris! We look forward to heading up your way this summer. πŸ™‚

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      1. Ok well, if you go out the east gate of Yellowstone for any reason whatsoever and you drive past the Crossed Sabres Ranch, that is where I grew up. My grandparents owned it and then my parents. The lodge burned down and after rebuilding it, the bank took it. Long, sad, nasty story. The lodge that is there now, my Dad, Cowman and one of my brothers built themselves. The bank made some changes to things so it doesn’t look exactly the same as it did, and they changed all of the policies so it’s really not the same in that regard, but still… That ranch is where I met Cowman when he came to work one summer.
        I have a heart full of memories and love for that region. Maybe, just maybe, we can meet up this summer! Wouldn’t that be awesome! πŸ˜€

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  3. Outstanding photos! Thanks for bringing us all along as you wound your way through your adventure. That t-shirt is funny, but not so much for being vegetarians ‘on the road’ as you put it: Anywhere, USA. And I adore your comment with the Sawtooth Pack sign: “Respect not fear: Raising children to respect and cherish all species on Earth through conservation and education”. Beautiful! Thanks again for sharing this epic trip! Hugs, Gina

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    1. How did I miss your comment? Oh…I know. I was MOVING and pulling all my hair out. LOL

      I love when you come here, Gina. But I don’t love that we are a thousand miles (at least) apart and can’t go have a cup of tea somewhere semi-regular — or chit chat while tending each other’s gardens. Thanks for coming by! Your thoughtful comments are always welcome here.

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  4. What an epic trip! It reminds me that it’s been a while since our last family road trip. Need to fix that. Mind you, it’s all change here as eldest heads off to start University in two weeks’ time. 😦

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    1. Hey! You’re back from your sabbatical, er, uh dissertation. Hope it all went well and that you’re settling back in to a new normal. We love road trips. Really puts us in each other’s faces, which is good to do at least once a year. The unplugged-ness of Wyoming we very welcome. Not much to do but enjoy family and nature. The best.

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  5. What a wonderful trip! The memories those kids have made will stay with them forever. I can’t wait for us to do something similar when ours are a bit older. We still do smaller version of this but I can’t wait when they can physically do more and also can understand it all more and be able to remember it well too. So glad your house is looking good. Can’t wait to see and hear all about it.

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    1. The memories is what it’s all about. But we are also building people. The kids have a renewed appreciation for life without electronics and computing, and I think they kinda liked it.

      Your time is coming, Jocelyn. I remember being where you are and the shortest trip we’d take was the 4 hour drive to the grandparent’s. I longed for the days when we could go do the really cool stuff (like Yellowstone) without fear of losing a toddler in bubbling steam pot. We have arrived!!

      PS — less than a month to go. We are on a tight time crunch now to make a lot happen in a short time. Drama all around. I’m hoping this will be the ONLY remodel I ever do; it’s not been a fun one.

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    1. Twice? Ah, no fair! The cost of our trip compares squarely to just five days spent in Disney World for a family of six. We asked the kids which they’d rather have next time. They unanimously chose the Tetons!!

      Such a beautiful place. The cabins in Colter Bay — with all there lack-of-technology and the-rest-of-the-world interruptions — is where I would like to park my butt for weeks on end. Thoreau and Muir were certainly onto something.

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      1. Aahh! You got to go to Prismatic Springs. I really, really, REALLY wanted to see that first hand, but the crowds of people in that small space — we circled through the parking lot three times — was more than we had time for.

        Your photos are stunning, as usual. Thank you for sharing your link here. I recognize that lovely scruffy face shot.

        PS — I love what you did with your blog. πŸ™‚

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  6. Had to stop and read this. We enjoyed your trip so much with your texting to Bob. Great photos. Looking forward to October !!!! Ann Zeller

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    1. That texting is something else indeed! Of course, I’m always a few years behind anything in technology, but it really helped me to journal the major events of our trip. I too enjoyed keeping contact with you and Bob through the journey.

      Yippee for October! That month is the absolute best time of year in the Houston area. Especially if you’re a birder.

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  7. Dreamy dreamy dreamy. I recognize so many of those areas- beautiful shots! I think the drive between Durango and Ouray is some of the prettiest country in the world- especially in Autumn. What a trip you had!

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    1. And I wake up this AM to hear about fires in the Park City area! I really hope you’re far from it all.

      Ouray was a magical place. Too bad it rained the whole time. Goldbelt was a fun place to eat — they even had veggie burgers on the menu so we could stick to our animal-less diet!!

      We drove close by (drove through SLC to overnight in Pocatello) and I indeed thought of you, though I would have had no idea how to get into contact. Some beautiful country to live in out there. If it was just a little less dry…

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  8. I cannot tell you how envious I am of your adventure! That’s almost exactly a dream trip of ours, except we might be crazy enough to do it camping with motorcycles…maybe not that crazy by the time we actually do it πŸ˜‰

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    1. There were many, many motorcycles on the road with us. At one point in Montana, we stopped to gas up and toilet just in time before a crowd of about 50 bikes showed up to get into queue. Just in time!!

      They were a fun crowd indeed. I say stop dreaming and start planning. Life is too short to wait.

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    1. It really was! Thanks for saying so.

      There were some harrowing drives on dirt mountain roads — barely enough with two cars to pass with one of us having to take the cliff-drop side — but thankfully, we were in the 4WD. Helped a bit. There are still some claw prints on the dash from my fingernails. You might not have made it!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Shannon, I am so impressed. Those are awesome, awesome photos. I love the humor of that t-shirt. I don’t have a favorite as they are all great. But a few stand out in my mind, such as the finger plugging Old Faithful, the simpleness of the Amber Waves of Grain. Well done, my dear friend. πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you very much, Bob. I had more fun pressing the shutter all those times and creating precious memories. I learned much about shooting from the passenger seat…will probably post a how-to about it. You know? That Amber Waves is one of my favorites too. As we drove through it, we all broke out in a loud and heartfelt “America the Beautiful.”

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