Tuesday, June 28, 2016


When we first confirmed we were going to take this RV adventure, we set about planning the journey. The first target for the both of us was Yellowstone. Having been there prior, we knew we wanted to make an extended stay at this, our first National Park. Thank you, Ulysses S. Grant. Don't you wish your name was Ulysses? I thought he was cool when I was a kid. He had a good beard.
So it is 1872, and "Uly", as his friends called him, signs it into law. (his detractors called him "Sissies", not a good thing...).  I'm not sure if that part is really true, but it was easy to admire him as a youth. West Point grad, Civil War hero, Great president. Cool looking.
The Act of Dedication, that Grant signed into law, creating Yellowstone as the first park to be owned and managed by our national government, was introduced by separate bills, to the Senate and the House simultaneously in December 1871. There was a significant and fervent movement behind these bills lead by a number of people who had made expeditions to the Yellowstone area. Congress was lobbied well by these proponents meeting with each member and presenting each with a monographed folio containing captioned photos of the thermal features, (now known that Yellowstone has 1/2 of the world's geysers), the landscape and the abundant wildlife. This area of northwest Wyoming, eastern Idaho and southwest Montana was a fertile hunting ground for nomadic Native Americans. It is unclear exactly why, but the area was never inhabited. This is interesting for us just having seen so much of the proof of old cultures that lived in our American Southwest. There is none of that here. It is one of Nature's masterpieces, and She likes it. We can visit and enjoy but do not make it home.
The bills passed easily, the Act was created and the path was easy for Grant. The only odd detractors were some of the era's stuffed shirts who wondered why the government would find value in creating a place primarily for recreation and leisure. Sounds like a fun group to go have a beer with.
So Nature, here we are in your Yellowstone living it for three weeks and paying tribute to your masterpiece.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Old Fie-ath-full

You'd think that the local serving TV station could get the spelling correct...

Amazing Sunrise In Grand Teton National Park

This view is a 50 yard walk from our campsite with the RV.  I woke up early, as I usually do, this morning and right away noticed a difference to the light coming into Vilia. I looked out the window, said OMG to myself,  and hustled down to the lake shore for dawn and moonset. What a way to start a day.

Friday, June 17, 2016

37 Degrees And Clear

The region is experiencing a blast of cold air and wonderful clarity along with it. Invigorating.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Jackson Wy

The National Museum Of Wildlife Art
This interesting museum lies within the National Elk Refuge just north of Jackson, Wyoming. It is devoted to paintings and sculpture of the creatures of the wilds of Nature. Works of famous artists such as, Bearon Lyons, Moose Johnson and O. Dere are on display all housed in a stone building of unique architecture.

Thanks Bob we are eating and drinking well!


Still drinking at the bar...Million Dollar Cowboy Bar

The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar. Jackson, Wyoming
This place is an American icon and I was excited to see it once again having visited last in the seventies, Cathy, as you can see, took off without me in the nineties then again a few years ago to try and lasso herself a cowboy. Thankfully, it didn't work out and she came back to me both times. The main bar has saddles to sit in rather than bar stools. There are 36 “place settings” along the bar with each setting having a circle of 16 silver dollars inlaid into the bar. It is such a great place to saddle up and have a beer. Although, the million is an exaggeration. Average silver dollars are bringing about $45 each on ebay. 16 x 36 x $45 is about $26,000. But who’s counting? I’m sure if the bar was for sale it would bring well over a million. 

Handsome Young Buck

In velvet antler. He looks too old to be with his family and too young to be fighting for a mate. Self-assured enough to be comfortable with me getting close to take the picture.

Precision Tandem Fishing

These are the white pelicans that live in the Grand Teton/Yellowstone region. I happened to see a couple close to shore having breakfast. Amazing to see them lunge in unison and both come up with a catch.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

In The Swim

Cathy has found, to her delight, that Jackson, WY has an aquatic center. She is off to swim laps in their indoor Olympic pool. She loves to do this. It is her favorite form of exercise. Along the ways of our journey, and a number of blogs ago, she discovered that she is darn competitive in her age bracket in Masters swim competitions. Masters is the national org of seniors who can't stay dry. She has won some medals in regional competitions she has found as we have rolled through areas.  It has fueled her desire to keep working out. We have been surprised at some of the towns with nice aquatic centers, like small, oil-field industry Vernal, UT.
I admire her stick-to-itiveness.  She actually had a youngster say to her after a recent workout, "Wow, you're fast". If I had been there, I would have proudly told the youth that she held the state junior record for butterfly in New Jersey back when. I don't think the record still stands, but it tells you something about this Masters' stroke. I stopped racing her before we were married, actually I stopped after our first race. Hey, I have my pride...She has added her swimming as another enjoyable element to our Vilia Adventures. Watch out Mabel in lane three at the Kansas City Masters Regional this Fall...CJ is out to get you! This girl is serious competitive once the toes get wet.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Come boat with me on the Flaming Gorge Reservoir....

Come boat with me on the Flaming Gorge Reservoir....

The Flaming Gorge From Water Level

The Flaming Gorge From Water Level

Having so enjoyed it at Powell and Havasu we rented a boat to get out onto the reservoir and take a spin through the scenic Utah portion of the Gorge. The reservoir is 90 miles long with much of it on more rolling terrain to the north into Wyoming. We lucked into a fine day of weather and enjoyed many glorious views. We cut the engine a few times in places of awe. We enjoyed a floating lunch of avocado, hard boiled egg and cucumber sandwiches, and took the opportunity to hit 55 mph, briefly for fun, in the neat inboard engine rental we had. We learned this reservoir is a fishing paradise, yielding 30 pound trout with regularity. Here are pictures of the time had.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Vernal Swimming

Good bye to Vernal...we loved all the beach/swimming/picnic spots!!! GREAT SWIMMING