Saturday, August 25, 2012

Road Trip Day 10: Echo Lake and Placerville

Since we made it so far yesterday, we decided to take it easy. We headed to Echo Lake for one last hike - this one on one of our favorite stretches of the PCT. The weather was beautiful and the views breathtaking. After all this wonderful travel, this hike and day reminded us why we live in California.

Last stop - a night with good friends Doug and Susie in Placerville.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Road Trip Day 9: Idaho Falls to Reno

We weren't necessarily planning to drive 615 miles in one day, but there's a whole lot of nothing in Nevada. Every time we thought we might stop, we realized we'd be in a town where we wouldn't know what to do with ourselves, so we just kept driving. This picture pretty much sums up our day...

I tried to convince Steve to take us for world famous mud pie at the Peppermill once we got to Reno, but he said no. But we did get this adorable picture of Ethan the next morning :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Road Trip Day 8: Yellowstone & Grand Tetons

Steve and Ethan at Old Faithful
We got up early for a big day - two National Parks and starting the drive home. We headed straight to Old Faithful and then out to Yellowstone Lake before going down to Grand Tetons for a hike by Jenny Lake.

We took Ethan's first boat ride across Jenny Lake to hike a mile up to Inspiration Point, and then walked the four miles back around. It was a beautiful afternoon.

Jane & Ethan at Inspiration Point
in Grand Tetons
We had a lovely dinner in Jackson Hole (even with a pretty cranky baby) and drove to Idaho Falls for the night.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Road Trip Day 7: Yellowstone

On our first and only full day in Yellowstone,we decided to drive the north loop and hike part of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. The "hike" was about 6 miles total, and when I hike 6 miles, I generally like to see something you can't otherwise. This was not one of those. It just took you from parking lot to parking lot. There was one longer stretch between lots, so we didn't see a lot of people there, but otherwise we didn't get many views that we wouldn't have from driving, but we did get the benefit and enjoyment of walking. Regardless, it was quite beautiful.

After we had almost done the whole loop, Steve read about Yellowstone's Lamar Valley, which is called often called the "Serengeti of the West." Unfortunately we had gone too far and didn't want to turn around. Big bummer. Next time!

Jane & Ethan at the Grand
Canyon of Yellowstone

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Road Trip Day 6: Glacier to Yellowstone

One of many attempts to entertain Ethan
We knew it was going to be a long drive, so we decided to go for it and get it done in one day. It wasn't pretty at times, but we did it. There were lots of attempts to entertain Ethan. At this point, he wasn't always a fan of the car seat.

Once we got to West Yellowstone and checked in at our hotel, we thought a nice little walk was in order, so we headed into the park and pulled off at the first walk we could find - a boardwalk trail next to a river. It wasn't long, but it was good to stretch our legs.

Ethan's first walk in Yellowstone
We then headed out to dinner - a wonderful tapas place. After a delightful meal, we were pleasantly surprised to see Tarta de Santiago on the dessert menu - an almond cake that came with all our "pilgramage dinners" on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. We couldn't resist and it brought back wonderful memories!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Road Trip Day 5: Second Day in Glacier

We wanted to get up to Logan's Pass early in the morning since the parking lot fills up quickly, so we ate our leftover pie for breakfast (we had grabbed a couple extra pieces the night before) and hit the Going to the Sun Road. It's quite a spectacular feat in engineering.

Our family with a
mountain goat family
We got up to Logan's Pass early enough to snag a parking spot, and decided to hike the Highline trail, which provides amazing landscape views of the park. We noticed several people in the parking lot with binoculars trying to get a glimpse of mountain goats, but we got the real treat when we walked five minutes into our hike and there was a family relaxing right by the trail!

Steve & Ethan on the Highline 
Since it was still early morning, the mountains provided good shade on the 3.5 miles out, but the sun was shining bright on our way back. Regardless, it was a breathtaking hike with some beautiful wild flowers along the way.

We then headed out to Many Glacier to enjoy the beautiful hotel and lake. While we were sitting out the lake taking some pictures, the thunder started to rumble, so we headed inside and stayed for dinner. As we were driving back, we saw a family of bears eating alongside the road. And then as we were almost back to our hotel, we had a bear cross the road right in front of us. Steve loves the bear sightings, so he was happy.

Along Going to the Sun Road
Before getting back to the hotel, we stopped for a few family shots along the Going to the Sun Road.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Road Trip Day 4: Bonner's Ferry to Glacier NP

Ethan's excited face
After approximately 1,275 miles of driving, we finally reach Glacier National Park. Ethan is excited to be there!

We head straight into the park and start looking for a hike. A nice lady at the visitor's center tells us to try Fish Lake - "it's uphill in the beginning and then flattens out." That didn't end up to be entirely the case (the flattening out part - about 3 miles with a 1,000 elevation gain), but it was a good hike nonetheless and took us out to a pretty lake.

Naked baby after diaper
change gone wrong
Half way up, we stop for a little break to feed Ethan and change his diaper. Somehow through the course of changing a VERY poopy diaper, he ends up with poop up his back and into his hair. It's a lot of poop. In our infinite wisdom, we had packed plenty of diapers, but not an extra outfit. So he does the majority of the hike naked (in our carrier). He's a good sport.
Steve & Ethan at Fish Lake

We make it up to Fish Lake, have another rest and snack, and then head back down. It isn't until we're almost done with the hike that he starts crying. What a champ!

We head to our hotel for a much needed shower and some delicious huckleberry pie.