Dynamite Presidents

Today was another long day of driving that had a quick detour to Devils Tower for David and ended in Rapid City, South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore.

The highlight of David’s day, this odd shaped rock that jets out of the ground in the middle of nowhere, Devil’s Tower.

Devil's Tower - Oddest shaped rock I've ever seen.

And, we ended the day with the spectacular views of Mount Rushmore. Did you know that the faces were almost entirely – 90 percent – carved using dynamite? There’s a great trail that goes around the amphitheater at the park, giving unique views of the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Here’s my favorite of the photos. More on Flickr.

As up close and personal as you can get to the President's on Mount Rushmore.

Tomorrow, we’ll be driving toward Chicago. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s fun.

Old Faithful Rocks

The Grand Tetons viewed from Jenny Lake.

It was a long day today, so much driving. yesterday’s word of the day “ginormous” applies again today. I think we drove approximately 100 miles, and we never left Yellowstone.

The first highlight of my day (there were four) was driving through Grand Teton National Park. We stopped just inside the park at Jenny Lake, named for the Native Indian wife of one of the original explorers of the Grand Tetons. It was a brisk day on the Lake, but we were treated to a gorgeous view of the Grand Tetons with some mist around each peak.

The second highlight of my day was watching Old Faithful erupt for the second time in two days. The video is up on my YouTube Channel and shared below. I have not yet mastered the editing software that came with my camera. Expect something better when I get home from this amazing trip.

The third highlight of my day was the Fountain Paint Pot. I have some fascination with the “P” sound right now. I will randomly yellow out “paint pot” while we’re driving, just because it’s fun to say.

Fountain Paint Pot in Lower Geyser Basin Yellowstone. It gurgles like boiling paint might do.

And finally, the last highlight of my day was seeing a heard of Bison on the way to the East Entrance of Yellowstone. They were hanging out in a meadow near the Yellowstone River. Up until this point we had only seen Bison hanging out in ones and twos, but not a heard. This was also the absolute highlight of David’s day. He insisted this photo be included today.

Bison in a meadow Fishing Bridge.

Next stop Mount Rushmore in Keystone near Rapid City, South Dakota.

Yellowstone is Beautiful

We made it to the North Gate to Yellowstone.

The words of the day were “beautiful” and “ginormous.” Everything we saw today was something for the eye to feast on. So many wonderful scenes to see, we didn’t quite know where to look. All of the photos are up on Flickr. There also are a few geyser videos up on YouTube. The highlight of the day was seeing Old Faithful around 7 p.m. tonight. It really is an amazing sight.

Here’s an embedded video of one of the Artists Paint Pots for your enjoyment.

It Was a Three State Day

The day began in Seattle today with the goal to drive to Missoula, MT more than 450 miles away. The beginning stretch of Washington through the Cascades was beautiful and green with trees everywhere. The overcast day quickly gave way to blistering sun once we crossed through the Cascade Mountains.

Leaving Seattle drving through the Cascade Mountains.

The terrain from the Cascades to Idaho was full of brown fields and rolling hills. We had a quick drive through the panhandle of Idaho, and before we knew what hit us, we were welcomed into Montana.

Welcome to Montana!

While it was a long day in the car, we enjoyed the scenery and the fresh air. At one point, we had the windows rolled down and the fresh scent of pine blew in to tickle our noses.

Tomorrow we’re going to Yellowstone. I can’t wait to see Old Faithful. Another early day with lots and lots of driving.

What a Day!?

I don’t quite know where to start with today, we did so much. So, before I get started, I’m posting all of my raw photos as I go to my Flickr stream in the Road Trip Extravaganza set.

The day began with a quick walk from our hotel to the monorail at City Center. Being the SoCal girl that I am, when I think monorail, I think Disneyland. Well, this looked more like a really long city bus on a rail. Not quite what I was expecting. The ride downtown was short and left us in the middle of the shopping district. Good thing everything was closed.

A quick walk took us Pike Place Market where we saw rows and rows of fresh flowers, stalls full of fresh produce and the Pike Place Fish Market. Yes, they really do throw fish at each other. And each time something is purchased, the workers call out to each other. A very lively place indeed.

Rows and rows of flowers at Pike Place Market.

After Pike Place Market, we walked along the waterfront on Puget Sound. We passed by the Seattle Aquarium, a Norwegian cruise ship ready to set sail and more. The walk brought us to the Olympic Sculpture Park, which features modern outdoor sculpture.

The Eagle at the Olympic Sculpture Park

But, the highlight of my day was the Space Needle. So many majestic views. Here’s a few of my favorites.

Puget Sound from the Space Needle.

Puget Sound from the Space Needle.

The afternoon ended with a lovely bike ride down the waterfront. For dinner we found a delightful New Orleans style bistro called Toulous Petit. If you’re ever in Seattle, it’s a must try. Great atmosphere, great service and, most importantly, great food!

We Made It!

We made it here to Seattle. The day started at home at the Long Beach Airport. We knew it was going to be an interesting day when they began boarding with rows 11 and higher. We were on a small airplane for the two hour and 15 minute ride north. Thankfully, it was smooth sailing.

We're ON the tarmac at SeaTac.

David called some friends and we began our trip with a very pleasant sunset boat ride on Lake Union. We saw a few sea planes land on the water. It was quite a sight. It almost felt like they were going to land on the boat. We had some great views of downtown Seattle from the water.

Downtown Seattle from the middle of Lake Union.

Tomorrow the Space Needle and more.