skywatch friday

How western is this shot? Buffalo grazing under a big old blue sky that goes on forever. This is in Yellowstone. We didn’t see a lot of wildlife, some moose in Grand Teton National Park, mule deer in both parks, a coyote trotting through the tall grass in the distance, but we did see plenty of buffalo wandering around Yellowstone, including on the roads holding up traffic! They got a lot of rain out west this year so the wildlife don’t need to come down out of the bush for food and water, good for the critters, bad for the tourists!

home sweet home

This is the part of the trail where most people (including moi!) hug the rocky mountain side of the path!

The view looking back toward the Grand Tetons. We propped the camera on a backpack , set the timer, and snapped our own pic!

Okay, maybe it wasn’t really this steep, but it sure felt like it at times!

The view looking out over the beautiful, glacial Jenny Lake. We were at 7200 feet at this point and I could really feel the altitude, which made the hike that much more challenging.

Mr. bookbabie heading back down the mountain.

The trail continues 1/2 mi to Inspiration Point over a rocky path that is moderately steep. That’s how my Foder’s Montana & Wyoming guide book describes the trail in these photos. I guess when you’re talking about the Grand Tetons you might call this trail moderately steep, but compared to the rolling hills of Michigan, I would say that this trail is very steep and at one point not nearly wide enough!

We’re home from our western adventure. Part I of our travels in Jackson Hole was spiritually renewing, Part II after we hit the road to Yellowstone and beyond was a bit taxing as one small travel trial after another piled up making home sweet home look that much better by the time we slipped between the covers of our own bed, jet lagged and exhausted on Sunday night.

Teaser Tuesdays asks you to : Grab your current read, Open to a random page, Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. I must admit, I obviously did not open to a random page and I only shared one sentence, could be the jet lag that’s causing me to recklessly break all the rules today, or maybe it’s the fact that I’m 50 now and can do whatever I want;)

teaser tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday asks you to : Grab your current read, Open to a random page, Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. Do you ever fall into a non-reading rut? I’ve been having a hard time getting into any books for quite awhile. I pick up a novel and start it but nothing really grabs and holds my attention. I know it’s not the fault of the books, my brain just feels “burned out”, if that makes any sense. When I thought about participating in Teaser Tuesday I looked around and saw my Frommer’s Montana & Wyoming tour book sitting next to my computer so that’s where I got my teaser from today. We’re thinking about going somewhere for my 50th birthday and I’ve decided that we need a vacation that is more about nature and renewal than a big city adventure like the one in Paris I was trying to plan. We’ve never been to Europe, and while we still plan to go someday, neither one of us feels like we have the energy (or the cash) to take that kind of trip right now so we may grab our cameras and head for the wide open spaces of America’s west instead!

Here’s my teaser: Grand Teton brags of its soaring mountain scenery; Arizona’s Grand Canyon flaunts its imposing expanses. But Yellowstone enchants with a more subtle beauty, hinting through its very diversity the changes undergone during a volatile, explosive past. As I was typing those two sentences it struck me that maybe I’m a little like Yellowstone. Maybe we all are. Life can be very challenging at times. Nobody gets through it without “stuff”, and some of that stuff is volatile and explosive and it changes us along with the simple passage of time itself. Our bodies get older, they sag a little here, ache a little there and as our past grows longer our list of sorrows grows too. Of course, so does our list of joys. The diversity of our experiences, the ups as well as the downs, truly are the stuff of life that make our lives both bountiful and beautiful.

Yellowstone Photo is by fellow iStocker Wallentine at iStockphoto.com🙂

skywatch friday

My son took this photo on a trip to Mexico. He and my daughter-in-law went for long walks every day venturing far outside the property lines of our resort. My son has a good eye for photography, he’s less traditional than mom and likes to find the unexpected, which in Mexico isn’t hard to do. Every day, not far from this abandoned gate, they saw a lone man with a submachine gun standing guard. What he was in charge of protecting they never could figure out and they had the good sense not to ask (or take his picture!). When I think of Mexico, I can’t help but think of contrasts; the lush tropical landscapes, treasured ancient ruins, and the rich, colorful culture of its people contrasted against a history of poverty and the horrific drug war that has recently escalated.  My daughter and I were just talking the other day about light and dark, good and evil and whether one can exist without the other. It’s always an interesting debate, isnt’ it?

Where there is much light, the shadow is deep. ~Johann Wolfgang Goethe

skywatch friday

…she stared out the car window and watched as the country terrain began to roll gently under a lovely postcard blue sky, the fields and meadows changing color like the patterns on a quilt, moving from pale greens to muted gold’s to faded browns, dotted here and there with grazing creamy white sheep and striped with sleeping grape vines strung out like martyrs between five foot posts. ~Chapter 15, Love is a Many Splintered Thing

skywatch friday

They’ll be no vacations this year to escape the cold and snow (8 more inches this weekend!) but here’s a pic for Skywatch from a past foray to the land of sun and sand. Of course, I’m actually in the sky looking down on the clouds instead of up, hope it still counts. That’s a bird’s eye view of Cancun Mexico, ahhh:)

The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious.  And why shouldn’t it be? – it is the same the angels breathe. ~Mark Twain

censored saturday

Mr. bookbabie came home Wednesday and asked me if I wanted to go with him to Tonawanda, New York, he needed to make a last minute visit to an account he has there. As you may have guessed by the photos, Tonawanda borders the Niagara River and Niagara Falls. I decided to go, mostly because I liked the idea of running away from home for a few days. We thought that we might stop in Toronto for one night too, driving from Detroit it’s about two hours shorter if you cut through Canada, so we grabbed our passports and took off…

*** I decided the remainder of this post sounded too whiny so I censored myself and just put up more pics instead:)