Sunday, September 14, 2008


Last night we returned from a great vacation, or "holiday," as they say in Canada.
I may be jet lagged. Pictures will have to wait several weeks since there are so many (more than 500, I think, and those are the KEEPERS.) Here's a phone cam picture...

The route was fly Austin to Salt Lake City, transfer to Jackson, Wyoming, stay there, drive to Yellowstone, stay there, back to Jackson for a night, return via air to SLC, drive to Sundance Utah, fly home. IKE missed Austin completely.

I realized along the way my mind isn't shot - I actually managed to count (and I believe accurately) that our return flight was my 476th airplane flight. Not included: blimp, ultralights.

Despite earplugs, I must note the girl with the broken ankle in 1C, just in front and across the aisle from us last night, nattered for 2 hours 38 minutes non-stop. Drugs? Pain?

Noted, and there will be much more follow-up as the lag wears off:

People in Utah universally drive far over the already high speed limit.
Gas stations near SLC airport are well hidden.
IKEA makes a pretty darn good SUV! I preferred it to the XTERA we had later in the week. Okay, it was a KIA. Surprise surprise!
Yellowstone has many yellow stones.

We saw 5 moose; pronghorn, elk, squirrels, chipmunks, horses, cattle, geese, ducks, stork (or egret or whatever), hawks, bald eagle, too many bison to count (not to include the one Terri ate part of... it came with Lobster. Surf and... Prairie? She also had antelope at another restaurant. I tasted: Bison, chewy, not bad - Antelope, okay, but maybe that was the prep and gravy which was tasty.)

The naturalist we hired for a photo trip of exploration assured me there were no snakes in Wyoming (or maybe she said poisonous ones.) Anyway, later we encountered her at the lodge office and wrapped around her hand was a snake! A baby boa named Derek. Boa Derek. Anyway, I freaked.

Yellowstone is incredible. Jackson was beautiful; not so much the town which was fine (and where I had one of the best meals EVER) but the view from our room, which I will eventually post, ran to the mountains and what appeared to be thousands of feet below into the valleys. I lost count of the "wows." We saw so many shades of beautiful that no camera could capture. These were soul-stirring colors.

At Sundance we stayed in a cottage which was owned by Juice Newton and her husband. I remember playing her music back when I was on the air in the 70s. Small world. This was pure happenstance. A VERY nice cottage, by the way, full of hubby's polo trophies and a few Juice items - the gold record, etc.

One interesting sidebar: along a trail to various geysers and stewing things, we encountered a herd of bison. They were between us and out. A ranger came along and told everyone we were much much too close to these wild animals. "What should we do?" asked Terri. "Pray," said the ranger. "There's nothing I can do to stop one of those bison and I see many people gored..." We took the long way back. Don't know if anyone was gored.

Later in another part of the park traffic was stopped as a lone bison casually walked down the yellow stripe between traffic lanes, then in this lane, then that one. We all politely waited.

Actually, bison are apparently very dangerous, and also, when they want to be, fast.

More as I unlag.

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