PhotoHunt Saturday: Words

Welcome to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar in Jackson Hole, Wyoming! The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is no ordinary bar. This gallery-like atmosphere is an awesome display of the true Wild West. The decor alone will keep you fascinated for hours at a time. Wyoming’s landmark watering hole for spirits, beer and wine, The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is located right on the town square in the heart of Jackson. It is famous for its western cowboy flare motif, complete with a large collection of western memorabilia, unique knobbled pine architecture, cowboy murals, animal mounts, and genuine saddle barstools. The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar is known world wide for its western dancing and live entertainment. Some of the finest entertainers on the country music scene have been known to hit the stage here, including Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Jr., Asleep at the Wheel, Hoyt Axton, Glen Campbell, Tanya Tucker, Willie Nelson, Commander Cody and the James Cotton Blues Band. The best times in Jackson Hole are had at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar!

See more PhotoHunt Saturday pics here!

waiting for the light

There’s a gravel road off Highway 89 in Grand Teton National Park that leads to a creek and a beaver dam. The pond the industrious beavers have created conveniently reflects the Grand Tetons in the distance and it makes for a quiet and scenic spot for photographers to capture the beauty of the mountains. The thing is, you can take hundreds of pictures of views like this but when you look at them later they never quite measure up to the real thing. There were times on the trip when I had to force myself to put my camera down and just be in the moment, to take in my surroundings without trying to “capture” something in my viewfinder for future screenings. Looking back on our vacation I know we didn’t do enough of that. We ran from one end of the park to another looking for animals and views to photograph, we hiked up a mountain, our goal was to make it all the way up and we did. At the top of the mountain we took a few pictures, drank the remains of our water, and then headed quickly back down. We wanted to experience as much of the park as we could knowing we may never get back there…plus we needed lots of pictures for the photo album I was planning to put together once I got home!

We are a busy, goal orientated society. It’s the American way to keep your eyes on the prize, to see and take and always be on the lookout for the next challenge, the next conquest. The older we get the faster the years seem to fly by and I can’t help but wonder if that’s because we are always seeking, always counting on tomorrow to bring us the better job, the baby, the love, the good health, the closure, the peace of mind, that dream vacation and whatever other dreams our little heart’s desire. We say it’s the journey that really matters yet we spend much of our lives chasing the results. I like how the photographer in my photo has stepped away from his camera. Perhaps he is waiting for the light to be perfect before he takes the next photograph, but I hope not. I hope he was enjoying the moment, not looking forward or backward, but simply looking out.

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

Wayne County Court House in Detroit, Michigan

We’ve been having blue, blue skies here for the past few days and summer-like temperatures. It’s been wonderful to get outside and plant my flowers, good for the spirit and my legs too, I have plenty of soar muscles from all the bending and squatting! Hope you all have a great Memorial Day weekend and I also hope you pause and take some time over the next few days to remember and honor the men and women who have served their country and made the ultimate sacrifice.

The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. ~Douglas MacArthur