Friday, June 25, 2010

Foto Friday: Tetons.

The Tetons are a sight to behold as the Snake River weaves its way below them.

What a sight for a summer day.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pep talk

Nerves are high today, as I am headed off to the Jackson Hole Writers Conference. I am excited to learn, but intimidated by the "great ones"- writers- that will be there. Really, I shouldn't be, as it is an opportunity to meet them and find out their keys to success.

But I am still nervous.

I did find this quote which I will keep in mind as the conference goes on:

Excellence is aspiration with a higher goal in mind, to trust in God and reach for things of a more rewarding kind. ~Jill Wolf.

So, I have packed my briefcase bag with plenty of pens, pencils, and paper. The bag was my grandfather's and his name plate is still on the bag. He was a very successful person in life, one who knew his heart's desires and worked very hard to see his dreams come true. I'm not superstitious, but it can't hurt to carry a bag that once belonged to a person who achieved much in his lifetime.

As I head off, his story is my inspiration too.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hiking to Mystic Falls

Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park was the destination for our weekend. We don't live too far away from these beautiful places, but when friends invited us to come along we said, yes.

While the men and one of my children took off to fish the Firehole river, my friend and I searched the hiking books and found a hike we wanted to conquer: Mystic Falls and the scenic loop.

We strapped the packs filled with snacks, water, and our papooses on our backs and took off. Camera, trekking pole, hat, sunscreen, a few other adventurous souls, and freedom accompanied us along the trail.

The hike to the falls was easy, a stroll one author called it. A thirty pound child riding on my back made the stroll more of a challenge, but hearing my little boy exclaim happy noises at all the treasures along the trail made the sweat dripping down my back worth going- no matter what we saw or how far we made it.

We heard the falls before we saw them, and exclaimed at the gorgeous sight when we did catch the view. My friend and I stopped to enjoy the moment.

After pausing to take photos, we began the climb up the mountain to continue on the trail and follow the loop which would take us to panoramic views of the valley, and eventually back to our vehicle. We had the option to go back the way we came, but a quick discussion, and the same line of thought about taking the scenic route, and we were on our way.

Thirty pounds of papoose began to cut into my shoulders as the trail wound up and up and up. But at one stop, we saw Old Faithful spew from a birds eye view. Worth the effort and the aching shoulders.

We made it to the overlook and watched the Firehole river snake its way through the valley and around the hot sulfur springs. Breathtaking.

Our decent was a challenge as switchbacks angled at a decline, the ground mainly made of loose shale rock and lava rock. The little boy on my back was tired of being in the pack and was very fussy. On the steep angles he began to rock, making concentration and steady legs on the trail very important; but we made it down safely, and everyone was happy to be free of the packs.

The Mystic Falls are certainly not the most beautiful falls in all of the world, but the day and time my friend and I were able to spend there together is what made the trail special- a memory blazed in my mind. As much as I enjoy the challenge of hiking and exploring new places, sharing the opportunity with a friend makes the trail much more unique.

Here's to many more.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"The sun illuminates only the eye of man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child." ~Emerson, from his book Nature
My little boy walks in the sunshine, the light bouncing off of his golden hair. He carries a little wooden car with one wheel missing, but his grip is so tight he won't let go of his treasure as he walks down the hill. His small stature makes the hill seem like a mountain.

My little girl meanders through the dandelions looking for her own treasures as she picks a few, hoping I'll be happy with the gift from her. To her, the dandelions are as impressive as wildflowers and deserve to be loved as much. The sunlight dances on her hair too.

They are in search of a few adventures, enjoying worry-free moments of childhood.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Foto Friday: Random finds

While traveling down a mountain road and crossing over a bridge, my husband stopped to look at the water flowing underneath us. Since he is a biologist, a fly fisherman, and generally just interested in seeing what fish are doing, we often stop whenever there is a stream, river, pond, lake, or creek present.

While he studied the water, I thought I might as well take a few photos. I was surprised at what I found.

At first glance, the reflector on the post was nothing out of the ordinary, and held no reason for me to pay any attention to it. My eyes scanned right past it. Then, when I looked again, the little pliers seemed to come out of nowhere. Obviously they have been there for quite a long time. Some fisherman's gear is short a pair of pliers.

Well, here they are.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Burdened gray clouds rest over our mountains; rain escapes, as though the seams holding the clouds together are weakening. The thankful Earth soaks up the water, but we are trapped inside- unable to enjoy the day.

A trip to the library refreshes the little kids souls, and mine, searching for books to take home and read our way through the socked in storm. We find a treasure- a book on poetry of the North American Indians for children, but I know I'll like it too.

Reading the carefully chosen words of people long ago, we find a poem that changes our outlook on the day:

You, whose day it is,
Make it beautiful.
Get out your rainbow colors,
So it will be beautiful.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wyoming trust

When my family and I first moved to the west side of the state, I was selling items on e-bay. One of the ladies at the post office caught me one day and said, "Do you do e-bay?"


"Do you think you could help me sell some things?"


She wrote my name and number down on a scrap piece of paper, one that had plenty of other things written on it, and she said she would be in touch. She told me she had lots of antique items she wanted to sell, but was having trouble with her computer. She was retired and needed some extra money.

I never heard from her.

Over a year later, my husband came home with a letter from her and a couple of antique items he found in our mailbox. The letter said:


Could you sell these for me on e-bay? I'll make it worth your while. Get as much as you can for them. Ha!

What a trusting lady, to leave the antiques in my mailbox with only a letter and the hope I would sell them for her and not run off with them.

I'm glad to see there are still trusting people in the world.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Passing storms

A storm settled in over our valley last night.

We stood in front of our window and watched the clouds hustling across the sky, right in front of the mountains. The speed in which they moved was amazing.

The horses kicked and bucked as the temperature dropped and the winds picked up.

Lightning flashed close and the thunder echoed over the mountains, as if the sound touched each peak. Soon a mixture of hail and rain pelted our house and cars.

With the fast pace the storm moved, we hardly knew what had happened. Our minds had to adjust to the quick change in atmosphere, and then move on as quickly as the storm passed.

What amazes me, is how much our life parallels the storm I just described. Changes come quickly and without warning, leaving us to move along with whatever happens. At times I wish we could see the changes coming, so we could stand back and be prepared.

Even still, watching the storm move in and move by was powerful. Maybe there's a good reason why the bad storms pass quickly.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Foto Friday: Funny birds

While we were out boating on the bay side of the Keys, we floated by these funny little birds. They are perched on PVC pipe sticking out of the water.

We anchored near them for those who wanted to fish, and I watched them for several minutes. None of the birds moved.

I wondered what they must be thinking.

Resting on the PVC pipe probably meant nothing more than searching for fish, or a reprieve from flying; but to me, they looked like they were having some type of conversation. A round table meeting. Planning what to do next.

They were sure fun to look at, and definitely worth capturing in a still photo.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

They grew on the bridge

Out on Seven Mile Bridge, close to Marathon, FL, a few natural phenomenons grow out of the concrete mass of an abandoned railroad track running beside the bridge. A tree and a few shrubs have made the old tracks their home. Driving over the bridge, your eyes take a second look to make sure what you are seeing is real.

It is real, and a view from a boat helps to make the illusion reality.

How can something that needs nutrients and fresh water grow in the concrete? How did the seeds of the plants reach all the way out across the bridge and survive?

I'll probably never know the answers, but would love to return after many years to see if they still survive, and if there are any new ones growing.