Bigfoot – near Mount St. Helens, Washington

November 10, 2015

One thing we found was that Big foot is well, big, in Oregon & Washington.

Stories even went so far as to say that sightings pretty much stopped after Mount Saint Helen’s exploded in 1980.

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So it goes without said that some people believe that the volcano killed him.

At least the one in that area.

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This statue was actually the replacement for the original one that was badly damaged when Mount Saint Helen’s erupted.

May God bless your socks off!

Rachel

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Hood River Lavender Farms – Hood River, Oregon

November 9, 2015

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I love lavender.

I will generally pick it out for a scent in candles, lotion, hand soap, even hand sanitizer.

Knowing this, Handsome Hubby suggested we visit a lavender farm as Oregon & Washington has a lot of them.

Did I mention how awesome my husband is?

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He even overheated the car’s engine just to get us there.

(We had the camper attached and had to go up a steep hill, only to find out that there was another way that wouldn’t have been so hard on the engine… ah well… you live and learn.)

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It was truely a fun place.

However, we got there with thirty minutes to spare.  So while I was in the store.  The kids entertained themselves with bubbles.

I tell you, the air smelled wonderful.

My thought, while shopping in the store was, “I bet they don’t have many irate customers, since lavender is a stress reducing and calming.”

Anyway, it made ME giggle.

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This is one of my favorite pictures of the day.

We took these right before leaving with my essential oil (that they make themselves!) and my lavender, pear, cherry marmalade.  The marmalade was good, but was a bit too strong of lavender.  If I were to make it, I would have liked a little less.  Weird coming from me, I know.  I just wanted to taste the cherry & pear too that they also grew there.

2015-07-25 17.16.57Overall though, it was a great stop and oh, so worth it.

May God bless your socks off!

Rachel


Craters of the Moon – Arco, Idaho

November 7, 2015

I had never heard of Craters of the Moon before when Tim suggested we go there.  At the time, we had seen so many parks that they all started to look the same.  We needed something drastically different.  Craters of the moon fit the bill.

Ok, so picture this.  You’re driving along a hilly countryside like this one.

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And then you start seeing black spots dotting the landscape.  At first they look as if it was caused by a fire, but then you realize it’s black rock.

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I realize this picture is a little blurry, but it was quite windy that day.  In the distance behind Princess, you’ll see a black spot.  It’s similar to where she’s standing, black rock.  According to scientist Craters of the Moon was a major spot for volcanos, thus all the black rock.  As the earth’s crusts move, the volcano moved eventually landing in what’s now Yellowstone.

2015-07-16 16.10.20This one is called Inferno Cone.  The cone is made up of little black rocks that reacted a little like sand.  At the top of that hill in the distance, it actually goes up even more.  No one was more glad than I to actually make it to the top.

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It was windy that day and it blew even harder at the top, but it was worth it.

Another fun aspect to Craters were the lava tubes.  Lava tubes are formed when the lava forms bubbles and then cools.  It feels a little like going caving, but the landscape is drastically different.  At least every other spot I’ve gone caving is covered in trees, I don’t know about you.

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Inside the tubes didn’t go far, at least the one we went in, before hitting a spot that had had the roof crumble.  So there was an abundance of light.

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And last, but not least, are Spatter cones.  It’s really just like it sounds.  It’s a cone that formed because of lava.  However, while lava spattered up like hot bacon grease out of the cone, no lava actually flowed out of the cone.  It just spattered, cooled, and hardened.

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Ok, fun story: We were up near the mouth of this spatter cone looking around when we took this picture.

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The rails are there to protect people from falling in and climbing around the cone.  We found out that Superman could put his foot between the bars.  Don’t worry, his foot didn’t get stuck.  But as Handsome Hubby took this picture, Superman’s shoe came off on the other side of the fence.  The part that goes straight down.  Luckily his shoe landed next to the fence and not down the hole.  But there were some anxious moments while we tried to figure out how to get his shoe.  Needless to say, this is what we think of when we see the spatter cones.  We did get the shoe back.  I think C.J. or Princess were able to reach it by putting their arm through the bars.

May God bless your socks off, as He has ours!

Rachel


Arco, Idaho KOA

November 6, 2015

The Arco, Idaho KOA was one of our favorite campgrounds on our trip.

It was cheap.  It was nice.  They served waffles every morning for free.

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It had a nice playground.  It was cheap.

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They had pool that Handsome Hubby and the kids used quite often.

(I’m a whimp, what can I say?)

And it was cheap.

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They also had a daily ice cream social that at the end, a Park Ranger from nearby Craters of the Moon would come by and share information on the park.

Superman has an arrowhead, in case you can’t tell.

I can’t remember if they were coming from or going to swim.

They swam frequently.

May God bless your socks off!

Rachel


Buffalo Bill Center of the West – Cody, Wyoming

October 18, 2015

This was a huge museum, with actually 5 museums in one.  There was so much to see and experience.  There’s no way I could possibly accurately go in to everything.  So I’m going to try and give only a few highlights.

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So the first thing we saw, wasn’t even in the museum itself.  During the summer months, someone makes beans, biscuits & coffee over an open fire.  Each person gets to try a little.  They were some of the best I’ve had in a while.  I think there’s something about that open fire that puts just the right flavor in it.  Or maybe it’s just me.

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This is a representation of Buffalo Bill’s Show he put on twice a day, almost every day of the year.  The Native Americans, according to what we read at the museum, held him with high esteem because he tried to accurately represent the Native Americans and treated them with respect.

2015-07-09 14.11.12All those dots all over the map is where he took his show in the United States.

2015-07-09 14.11.25And if the picture’s not too blurry, this is where he took his show in Europe.  I can’t imagine taking a ton of people, plus horses  and bison across the ocean in a boat, just to “take the show on the road”.

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And this is a representation of the state, with Yellowstone National Park mapped out.

There was lots more to see, native american artifacts such as beautiful ladies gowns, tools and mockasins.  There was an area just for guns.  There was also a large area that showed the different levels of what animals live in the different areas in Wyoming.

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This was in the garden area of the museum.  This lady had a falcon and…

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this gentleman had a golden eagle.  She was so heavy that he needed help to support her.

May God bless your socks off!

Rachel


Yellowstone

October 16, 2015

Here are some of the more famous things we saw from Yellowstone.

Waterfalls is one thing that the park is know for.  We didn’t do a lot of hiking to see some of the bigger ones, but we did see a couple smaller ones.

2015-07-07 19.28.39This is Gibbon Falls.  I don’t think anyone but Tim & saw this one.  The rest didn’t want to get out of the car, or couldn’t.  I don’t remember which.

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This is a roadside waterfall.  This was the first thing we saw in the park.

Old Faithful.  Need I say more?

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We waited a good half hour to an hour to see this.

Geysers are another famous attribute of Yellowstone in which “Old Faithful” is the most famous.

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This is a picture of Sulfur Cauldron.  The geyser itself is right about Caleb’s head, but what I especially like about this picture is their facial expressions.  No one ever tells you how awful the geysers smell.  It smells a bit like rotten eggs or someone passing gas in your face, constantly.  Thankfully, some places are not as smelly as others.

2015-07-07 14.50.22This is the West Thumb Geyser.  This is pretty much all it did.  I don’t think it ever did any more.  Still, it was neat to see.

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I think this is a great representation of the Upper Geyser Basin.  There were more geysers like “Old Faithful” that smoked, some that didn’t and even one that went off right about the time we saw “Old Faithful” go off again.  But the land around everything was orange or rusty and some places that were a clear or a pretty teal color.

The “Artist’s Pots” or “Paint Pots” is an area were the pools of water are colored in almost erie colors.

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This is in the “Paint Pots” area, but wasn’t really one of the pots.  However, this was the kids favorite spot.  It bubbled up like hot mashed potatoes and the bubbles splatted hot clay in every direction.  The kids thought this was hilarious, especially Seth.

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Here’s an example of a red pot.

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And here’s an example of a blue one.

And finally, here is Yellowstone Lake.

2015-07-07 13.23.28The cool thing we found out about Yellowstone Lake is that it’s the biggest lake in the world, at mountain elevation.

May God bless your socks off!

Rachel


Yellowstone – The not so famous stuff

October 16, 2015

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When I think of Yellowstone, I think of “Old Faithful”, gorgeous landscapes, and erie colored pools.

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What I didn’t expect was to see things like this: tree graveyards, that have just started to come back to life.  Fire rages in the park on a regular basis, though we didn’t see any.

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What I like about this picture, is what you really can’t see.  Right outside the park, people live their normal lives.  It’s sort of a “Well, duh!” But it’s something you don’t think about.

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The animals were something else I didn’t think about.  I guess, I expected to see animals.

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But I never thought I’d see this guy.  And no, this is not in a gated park.  This guy/girl was just passing through.  There was a ranger near by to make sure no one got hurt – the people or the bear.

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And… the front gate – you never think of that either.

2015-07-07 13.19.20May God bless your socks off!

Rachel

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