Westward Expansion!

The Bisbee family decided to expand our horizons by getting a month long look at some Western States. Also thinking it may be a watershed event in family togetherness. Basically if we don't kill each other, we must be stronger, right?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Park City Tour

We had  a lovely tour from Rory of Park City including all his projects and exclusive ski resorts at the top of the mountains. The boys are getting along great; like two peas in a pod.  Last time Nick spent the night here and now they're talking about spending the night at Nick's house.  They also made us go back to the mining museum (very cool) so they could blow up the mountains and see the holographic WANTED posters.  We wandered around and saw more of the cool mining history around PC.  Rory is very knowledgeable about the process, having gone through the work to get the mines safe around this beautiful resort we're staying at.  We went to a great brew pub and had some delicious brews. My favorite name was Polygamy Porter (you can't have just one!)

Ella was in a much better mood, and gave us no problem (unlike yesterday) and Quinn was thrilled to be with his buddy.  Rory is great.  We had lots of conversations about Middlebury, people we know, and his new life here in Park City.  He is a very astute, kind and honest businessman I suspect.  He is also a great dad.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Denver Daze

June 30, 2010 64 degrees at 7:30 am. 94 by midday.

The cousins all went to the Denver Museum of Natural History.  Cool exhibit called the human body experience.  At the beginning you get a card that records your body input.  You bring it around to all the stations and it classifies your body’s response to various inputs (sunscreen exhibit was totally scary), like hiking, riding a bike, cold and hot.  Then, they print out a record of your body health as you leave.  Oh yeah and I got to extract DNA from Wheat germ; I am scientist hear me roar!!?!   

After a lunch at home, we went swimming at the Lowry pool.  It made for  a nice cool afternoon (temps of 94 in Denver) at the pool.  The kids were all jumping and doing various dives.  Quinn wanted me to do a cannon ball so he could ride the wave (like the ocean?) After an amazing dinner of homemade pesto from the Niles garden, we all watched Wipeout on TV.  I felt a bit like a voyeur, and I can’t believe how hard I laughed!  I guess it’s true what they say “It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt; then its frickin’ hilarious!”

Lamar Valley, Yellowstone

July 4th, 2010
Wow, most amazing day filled with wildness, patriotism and joy!!  We woke in the stunning beauty of Silver Gate, Montana.  Everyone was feeling lazy so we just poked around in the morning, Quinn and I walked for a while toward Cooke City but Quinn got spooked by a No Trespassing sign and we turned around.  Then we went and put our feet into the freezing Soda Butte River.  The river is just a short hop down the road from Pat and Bill’s cabin.  Mid-morning we decided to torture our children by making them hike up to Bridal Falls.  The hike was very short but with a big payoff.  Huge falls coming out of the granite rocks, falling at least 40 feet into a freeze cold stream.  Ella ventured across the river, over a fallen tree, and then she was able to Billy Goat climb up to the big pile of snow/ice that was still left under the falls.  Pretty incredible considering we were in 94 degrees just 2 days ago. She mentioned that she was not afraid of heights, but of heights falling on her :-)

After a quick lunch, we sat on the awesomest porch and read and watched ATVers go barreling down the Bannock Trail.  Quite a few kids, without helmets, went cruising by.  I am hoping they don’t give Ella and Quinn ideas!  Around 3pm, we decided to go into Yellowstone for a "quick little tour".  We arrived at the park gates and because the power was out, we were allowed in for free. An auspicious beginning, me thinks. Pretty quickly we saw Bison, laying down acting very nonchalant.  We went cruising across the field to get a better view of them.  We stopped to see mountain goats, through the scope of a professional spotter.  By the time Quinn looked, they were gone.  He returned to the car and immediately said "See Ella?  All animals hate me."  

We then headed toward Mammoth Hot Springs (the northern entrance to the park).  That's when we saw loads of jaywalking bison, traipsing all over the fields and roads.  The hot springs were very cool, but according to Quinn, "They're not that Mammoth!".  The tiered views were in.credible as were the variety of languages being spoken by our fellow visitors. The steam rose in waves as we walked around and the smell of sulfur soon became a common background smell for all our travels. 

Back to the Lamar valley (the Serengeti of the USA)... Wow, what an incredible place!  We saw a bald eagle (bonus points because it was fourth of July!), moose, elk,  bison, 4 bears and a wolf.  We got to watch a wolf circle around the field with the hope of reclaiming her kill from a grizzly who sat gnawing it.  Alas, her intention was thwarted by the hungry carnivore.  The wolves keep mostly to themselves, so it was a treat to see, and not what we expected.  Up on face book I figured how to flip it up the correct way, sorry I don't see those controls here.