Leaving Yellowstone, arriving at Antelope Island State Park, Utah


One of the buffalo in Lamar Valley

6:30 a.m. and I am packed to leave the Lamar Buffalo Ranch.  The bison don’t want me to leave the Lamar Valley.  They are blocking the road at every bend.  One huge bull has a showdown with Vanna,  I back up and go around him very slowly.  On my way, I turn on the road from Canyon to Norris and it is filled with cars.  It looks like a bear sighting.  I know I can’t stop but as I drive very slowly by, I see a black bear walking along the tree line unconcerned about all the commotion he is causing.  I drive on.


 I hit a rain storm in Idaho Falls and drive in rain and fog to Utah.IMG_4451

 I decide to stop at Antelope Island State Park, a cool place a little north of Salt Lake City on the Great Salt Lake.

IMG_4463  It is about 9 miles from Interstate 15, a quiet place on the Great Salt Lake.  I had learned about it in one of the blogs I follow.  They said there were lots of mosquitoes but luckily I had only a few flies.


Campsite 18 at Antelope Island State Park

 The pictures don’t capture this magical place.  I really enjoyed it and want to return here.
Antelope Island State Park has a nice campground but bring your own water.


It’s hard to capture the beauty of Antelope Island

There is a quiet vastness to The Great Salt Lake.


Early morning in Antelope Island

The next day I wished I had more time to explore Antelope Island but I was headed home and had to drive through Salt Lake City.  Next stop Mesquite, Nevada.


Virgin River Casino in morning

I decided to stay at the Virgin River Casino for the night.  It is in Nevada just leaving Utah and crossing a little bit of the Arizona Strip. It is too hot for a campground.  I have stayed here before, it’s a no extra’s hotel and the price is right.  No bedspreads, which is fine with me and a $6.95 prime rib dinner special.  I dipped into the swimming pool and after watching a little t.v. I headed to the restaurant.  The prime rib special was excellent.  The next a.m. I was up and on my way at 6:30 am.  Home was my final destination.

Here I am home and looking forward to my next trip.



Beginning Fly Fishing in Yellowstone


Buffalo walking in road.

I left West Yellowstone to go to Lamar Buffalo Ranch and the Yellowstone Institute’s Beginning Fly Fishing Class.  I was filled with nervous anticipation about my ability to fly fish in Yellowstone.  It was raining as I drove along the Madison and fly fishermen were out at every turn in the river.  The buffalo were walking the road.


Fog in the a.m. at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch. I’m in cabin 12.

I had cabin 12 to myself at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch for the beginning fly fishing class.  We met at 9 a.m. the next morning.  Our instructor talked about fishing gear.  There is so much gear.

I wonder if there is as much fishing gear as painting gear?  We practiced knots for line to tippet and tying flies to tippet.


Ready for fishing.

We went outside at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch to practice casting.  A short time late we gathered up our gear and headed to the Lamar River to practice our casting.  The water was murky, muddy from last nights rain and not good for fishing but good for practicing.  We spent most of our time outside on the rivers.

The next day at 8:30 a.m with lunches and fishing gear we left to fish the Yellowstone River.  I was excited.


Yellowstone River


The confluence of the Yellowstone River and The Lamar River. The bigger river always takes the name.


Happy Fisherwoman at the Lamar River.

We hiked down to the river and started to fish.  I had some bites but couldn’t reel them in.  The day was beautiful the river was beautiful.  I was thrilled to be fishing on the Yellowstone River.  We walked to the confluence of the Lamar River and the Yellowstone.  The Yellowstone River is the only River in North America that is free flowing and not damned.  In the evening we went back to fish on the Lamar River until the buffalo started to move and sent us back to the ranch. I was getting better at tying my flies and casting.  A few bites. The water was still murky.

On Sunday, the last day we packed up our gear and headed to Pebble Creek to look at Aquatic Insects, from there we went to fish on the Soda Butte River.  It started to rain.  My tippet was tangled then I lost my fly, the new fly got caught in my pants and so it went in the rain.  The good part was the beauty of the lamar river valley.  It ‘s hard to get upset in such a beautiful location.  In the afternoon we went to another part of the Lamar River.  We hiked about a mile from the road to the river.  Another beginner caught a 14″ Cutthroat trout with the help of her husband.  I felt good about tying my flies and casting into the river.


Fishing at the Lamar River.

Tomorrow I head home.  I hate to leave.  I wish I could take a few more days and practice my fly fishing on the Madison River.



Along the Madison in Yellowstone

My hiking adventure ends on Friday morning with a talk from our guide about Bison and Wildlife. Bison or Buffalo?


Leaving Gardiner, Montana

Leaving Gardiner, Montana I stop at Calcite Falls near Tower Junction.  It’s nice to be able to stop and look at the valley without 12 other people.  I will enjoy some time on my own to chill.  I enjoyed the people also but it’s very intense being with 12 people all the time.


Calcite Falls Overlook


My camera takes Panoramic pictures

I passed a grizzly feeding on an elk by Canyon.  There was no where to stop my van, as so many cars were pulled over to the side. Onward, I arrive at Madison Campground.




Madison Campsite D229 was very nice.


This is my campsite at Madison Campground.  All the campgrounds seem to fill up at 6 or 7 a.m. in the morning.  I’m glad I made reservations.

Walking from my campsite I can enjoy sketching and painting.  I didn’t have a chance when hiking.


Along the Madison. Two elk across the way are stirring up interest from the cars at the pull out. I watch the American Avocet, bird, in the bottom right of my sketch.


Along the Madison I am quite interested in the meandering river.


The Ranger house I walked to for information.


Below my campsite.


My neighbors take a picture for me, enjoying the campfire I made.

It’s peaceful and quiet sitting and painting along the Madison.  At 5 p.m. I see a duck and then 11 little ducklings.  Out pops a river otter and swims toward them.  They jump all aflutter away.  The otter swims along the bank.


I take a Ranger led hike to Harlequin Lake. It’s at a leisurely pace.


Sketching at lunch along the Madison River.

I arrive at The Wagon Wheel Campground in West Yellowstone.  I’m ready for a shower, a restaurant, bookstore, a laundry, wifi and phone service.  It seems like all the luxury you could want.  I love this Campground.


Site 21 at The Wagon Wheel Campground. It’s right next to showers, bathroom and laundry.

IMG_3056 I visit the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center.  This is Kobuk, he and his sister, Nakina were orphaned as cubs in 1998 after a landowner killed their mother and brother.  They are from Alaska.  The center, a non-profit, rescues bears, wolfs and raptors who can no longer live in the wild.  It’s mission is to educate the public.  I enjoyed my visit.

Tomorrow I go back to Lamar Valley where the deer and the buffalo roam. I will be taking the Yellowstone Institutes Beginning fly fishing class.  I know I will learn something because I don’t know much.  I’m off now to get my fishing liscense.

I won’t have phone or wifi for a few days.  Then on my way home!


This Madison River Sketch uses a lot of pen and ink.T


Hiking Mt. Washburn and Bunsen Peak in Yellowstone


Elevation starting at 8,850 ft and 10,243 ft. at the top. It’s a 1,393 elevation gain.

Breakfast at 7:50 and on the bus at 8:00 a.m. to hike up Mt. Washburn.  We all have our rain gear today as it is lightly raining.We only have the morning for our hike so the leader says we will divide into  two groups.  One group will go at a fast pace to reach the summit.  The other will go slower and may or may not reach the summit.  I think you know I will choose the slower pace and take in the beautiful wild flowers and have a chance to take photographs along the way.


The hills are covered with wildflowers!


I learn about photo bombing. The two people on the right jump into the picture and say “Photo Bomb”! The ones on the left are in my group. Who knew?


It stopped raining for awhile.


It’s miserable hiking now.

AS we are hiking one woman in my  group decides to go ahead.  She wants to reach the top.  The others decide to go also and charge ahead.  We must stay together, so I follow.IMG_2833I don’t get the concept of hiking in miserable weather to a brown building at the top,10,223 ft in elevation.  But, just as we are leaving the sun comes out an we see the beautiful views!


This is our goal!

 On the way back we past Big Horn Sheep and Marmmots come out to see us.  We race down the hill and head to Canyon to see the Waterfall at Artists Point.


A buffalo along the way.


View from Artist’s Point at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. It was named Grand Canyon before the Arizona Grand Canyon but they added Yellowstone to the title.

Thursday, our last hiking day.  It’s bright and sunny.  We are on the bus at 8:00 a.m. and go to the Mammoth Terraces.


All the beautiful terraces of hot springs on Travertine.

IMG_2900It’s great to walk the terraces in the morning.   We walk back through the forrest to our bus.

On to Bunsen Peak is 8,527″ Elevation. 2.1 miles straight up.IMG_2926


I hope you can see the Badgers!

Three Badgers greet us at the beginning of the trail.  I keep hiking and hiking up, up and up.


The Little Brown Building at the Summit

I think of the Little Engine that Could and kept telling myself:  I think I can, I think I can, I can!


Views from the summit.

IMG_2954The hiking group ends on Friday.

I am now in West Yellowstone updating my blog.  I hope to be caught up before I head back in to Yellowstone Park and Lamar Valley.  Next it will be The Buffalo lecture and camping at Madison.

Hiking Yellowstone

Monday hiking to the Lost Lake in the a.m.  A lot of uphill switchbacks.

IMG_2687Lunch under the tree.IMG_2689

A beautiful day!

IMG_2681 We drive in the afternoon to Trout Lake. Yes, I can clearly see 2 Cutthroat Throat.

IMG_2696We stop on the way back to Gardiner to watch the Buffalo beside the road.  We learn more about their mating habits.

IMG_2720Tuesday we visit Old Faithful area.  First Stop a hike to Mystic Falls.


Me sketching at Mystic Falls

Next stop we watch old Faithful Geyser erupt while sitting on the balcony of the Old Faithful Inn.


A hike up to Observation Point gives beautiful views of the Geyser Basin.IMG_2762

Castle erupts.

We walk the upper Geyser Basin.


 Grotto erupts.IMG_2789

Driving back to our motel we pass through Mammoth Hot Springs were the elk are relaxing on the lawn.

Two more days of hiking adventure but now I am leaving my  motel room and wifi.

To be continued when next I meet up with wifi.

More Adventures in Yellowstone

Driving from Cody back to the East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park are scenic mountain vistas around every bend of the road. I’m back in the Park!


The East Entrance of Yellowstone.

I see some white pelicans along the way.


I head to Grant Campground along Lake Yellowstone.  Gladly I have a nice camping spot by the lake.


Grant Campground site 321.

I enjoy walking and sketching along the lake.

On Sunday I drive to Gardiner Montana to start my Hiking class with Road Scholar.



Sketching at the lake with Bear Spray and binoculars at my side


Overlook of  Lake Yellowstone.


Lake Yellowstone

IMG_2678Yellowstone Motel is clean and feels luxurious to me after camping.  I have my own bathroom.  Yipee!

I meet the 11 other people in my group at dinner that night.  They are from Chicago, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania and California.  We go over our busy schedule for the week.

Their won’t be much time for sketching or blogging.

Next post hiking 6 miles a day!

Cody, Wyoming- Best 4th of July!

Leaving Lamar Buffalo Ranch on Friday I immediately got into a big Buffalo jam! I was going to eat my breakfast at a pull-out but instead ate while waiting for the Buffalo to cross the road.

Buffalo Jam

Buffalo Jam

To get to Cody I traveled the spectacular scenic Chief Joseph Highway.  I had to keep pulling out to see the wonderful scenery.  I met a Mother and Daughter traveling from Alaska.  They go every year to their cabins in Alaska leaving their husbands behind in North Carolina.  They told me where I should stop.


Sunshine Canyon Overlook


Chief Joseph Highway

I pulled into the Ponderosa Campground and rode my bike to the parade the next day.  The Parade for the 4th of July started at 9:30 a.m. and lasted  90 minutes.  It was good and had just about everything.  I found a shady spot behind a tree and watched it.  Later I got in line for a hamburger.




That evening the mosquitoes came out but I could see fireworks from the pop-top of Vanna.  It was the perfect spot.


Fireworks from top bunk of Vanna.


Sunday was a quiet day.  I was lucky that the Ponderosa Campground had a laundry.IMG_2465

Also a T.V. to watch USA win the World Cup.

Monday and Tuesday I rode my bike to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West Museum.


 One admission includes 2 days.  There are 5 museums.  First stop for me was the Whitney Western Art Museum.  It is very well done.


Albert Bierstadt, Yellowstone Falls, 1881

There were a lot of Albert Bierstadt paintings in the museum.  Frederic Remington and other western artists were represented.


Frederic Remington Riding Herd in the Rain, 1897, pen and ink wash on paper


Ferderic Remington’s Studio in New Rochelle, New York


Remington’s Studio built in 1896.


Five Buffalo, painting by Jane Quick to See Smith1983

Next I visited the Plains Indian Museum

On Tuesday I visited the other 3 museums.  Buffalo Bill Cody, Natural History and even Firearms Museum.

  The WiFi here is often hard to get, depending where you are and what time of day it is, but tomorrow Thursday,  I head to Grant Campground in Yellowstone.  I plan to stop at the Walmart in Cody for some supplies. I won’t have WiFi until I reach Gardiner, Montana and my Hiking Adventure with Road Scholar on Sunday.  Thank you for your messages I really enjoy them.