no matter where you go, there you are

Saturday, February 19, 2011

the clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness - john muir

Coming down the west coast, our first stop/drive through was home to some of the largest trees in the country; Redwood National Park. Our adventure along the Lady Bird Johnson Grove wasn't long, but it was one of my favorite parts of the entire vacation. The trees were one thing to be amazed by, but the sunbeams pouring through them, refracted in all the fog was jaw-droppingly beautiful.

really tall tree and you still can't see the top

Not only were the surroundings breathtaking, but the hugeness of the trees gave us a lot to "play" with. We could stand in their trunks, climb them a little (not sure if that was completely okay...), and make a show of how big these trees really are.
molly's head is there in the middle where the two trees join

The Redwoods were fantastic and definitely something I would have loved to explore more. The grove we visited was one of the few accessible areas that wasn't a big hike so it was convenient for our day-trip purposes, but given the chance I think taking a long hike amongst the giant redwoods would have been delightful.

Friday, February 4, 2011

geysers galore!

In the first week of our travels, we spent a few days at Yellowstone National Park. On our second day of touring Yellowstone National Park we began at the mudpots, but I will save that adventure for another post. This one is all about the geyser basins located on the west side of the park. Starting our afternoon with the infamous "Old Faithful," we watched its eruption then wandered along the boardwalks admiring the bubbling waters, plugging our noses at the sulfur leeching from the earth and eagerly anticipating the eruption of dozens of different geysers. The weather was gorgeous, sunny with big, fluffy clouds sporadically passing through, and although there were plenty of tourists about, the park didn't feel overcrowded.

Looking on a map of the geyser basin and seeing how many there are, I'm not going to recount all the names of each and every geyser but highlights were the Lion quartet, Giant Geyser, Castle Geyser, Sawmill Geyser and of course, Old Faithful. Intermixed with all the bursts of water scattered about were a number of blazing hot pools. Doublet, Liberty and Sapphire Pools were my favorites. The ultimate spring however was the Grand Prismatic Spring and the large pool right nearby that I don't remember the name of. Another feature, non-thermal, of the area that was intriguing were all the rivers and streams flowing about. Especially when you could see all the burning hot water from the springs flow into the icy rivers. The juxtaposition of these two elements was really interesting.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. These are just a sampling of all there is to see...

Lower Basin:

Old Faithful...right on schedule
treacherous landscape
the springs looked like ocean caverns, where's the bottom?
Lion Quartet
Castle Geyser
Lion erupting; viewpoint from Castle Geyser
unstoppable Sawmill Geyser
loved the reflections here
one of the many rivers flowing about

Middle Basin
Sapphire Pool...wonder where it got its name?
looks like something out of Star Wars

Upper Basin
massive, hot spring pool
hold on to your hats...this wasn't the first
not my picture, but i want you to know how amazing it is
gorgeous pretty