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Old 08-17-2009, 12:38 PM   #31
tksbaskets
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I'm so glad I stumbled across this! Your report makes me miss Wyoming; I'll just have to experience it through your pictures! I can't wait to read more
Thanks! It is beautiful country. I should be posting day 3 tonight. I'm glad you are along for the ride.
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:31 PM   #32
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This was one of the trips I wanted to take! You are doing a great job! Ae you going on an ABD next year?
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:52 PM   #33
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This was one of the trips I wanted to take! You are doing a great job! Ae you going on an ABD next year?
Welcome brewcrew! If money were no object we'd go on another one next year. Alas, the boys are off to college and we are 'normal' people. We are hoping in 2011 we can go on the ABD to Ireland...OK to be perfectly honest *I* am hoping we can go then.

Off to let you all know about Day 3!
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:12 PM   #34
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Day 3 Yellowstone Journey Grand Tetons

Up bright and early to have our bags outside of our room by 0715. Our breakfast was again buffet style with bacon for the breakfast meat. All the other choices were about the same. Here is a shot of our private room for meals at the Wort:


Today was our first encounter with our coach transport and our driver Tim. Both were great. DH and I had told our sons that they could listen to their iPods on the bus but could NOT play their game systems. My 'cause I said so' talk included the fact that dad and I did not pay big bucks for them to drive through this beautiful country whilst their heads were in their laps playing games. With their iPod they could listen to music of their choice while still looking about. To each family their own but this was our 'deal'.

***the only disappointment of our journey and NOT Disney's fault***
We boarded the bus at 8:15 am and were on our way to the Grand Tetons. As we drove by the Jackson Hole airport I decided to snap a photo. Hmm...I didn't hear the shutter click. Hmmm...I must not have turned it on....YIKES...my Canon Rebel digital was DEAD. Not nearly dead...clearly dead. I spent a frantic 20 minutes changing out batteries (both fully charged) and swapping compact flash cards to no avail. Everything short of dancing on my head. A quick internet search on my Treo affirmed my fears - the camera was HOSED. Guess there is a little internal fuse that blows. By this time I'm in a cold sweat. My back-up camera is tucked away in my luggage under the bus. A few tears fall. DH trying for the cup half full approach - 'it's beautiful and you won't need to lug that big SLR camera'.

As we approached our hiking spot I informed Daniel of my predicament. When we stopped Tim the bus driver and Daniel had me identify my bag under the bus. Thank goodness for red luggage. Tim pulled out my bag and under his and Daniel's watchful eye I paw through my unmentionables to find my Olympus. BINGO. Turn it on and 'low battery'

Daniel and Landon both had digital cameras and their best photos would eventually be offered to our group through the Disney Photopass program. Here was another Disney difference. Both assured me that ANYTHING I wanted a picture of they would take for me. They didn't want me to worry about at thing.

I limited pictures on our hike as I wanted my battery to last all day. I did manage to get a few though. The Olympus does pretty well outside. Inside not so much and I missed the SLR and decent flash. We will carry on fellow adventurers. My glass was 3/4 full...how many people have a back-up digital camera with them and their charger in their suitcase?

***End of my camera's untimely demise***

Our group all exited and were greeted by this!


I hope I don't look as bummed as I felt.


We all grabbed a bottle of water, visited the restroom and then re-grouped as the Guntherson Family Reunion. Evidently 'organized' groups are frowned upon where we were. It was the only time I saw our guides without their name tags. Off the 30 of us marched as one happy family!

So begins the great Teton Hike of 2009
Landon took the point with Daniel bringing up the back of our group. He set a steady pace. Our first order of business was a nice boat ride across Jenny Lake. As you can see the water was clear as glass.



Now I'm not in the best of shape but I do play competitive tennis three times a week. Well let me tell you it's nothing like hiking up to Hidden Falls and Inspiration point. The hike was a challenge for me. Each time I thought I'd have to stop and rest it was time for a scheduled stop. The views were WELL worth the hike. It I can do this anyone can!

Half way to the falls:




OK, I'd caught my breath so it's time to make like a billy goat again. Up we go! Look what we found - Hidden Falls!


Luckily each family had many pictures taken at this stop (I got to rest and admire the view) We aren't done yet! Off to Inspiration Point! What a beautiful spot overlooking Jenny Lake:



Landon and Daniel passed around snacks for everyone. I passed on the snacks but was happy to take them up on a bottle of water. I let Daniel and Landon be the photogs for my family up there as the day was young. After our snack it was time to start down.

Now down was tougher for me. The 'steps' down (path was established but natural) were really tall and it killed my knees. No issues with shortness of breath or burning thighs like the way up. I had a nice conversation with one of the other moms. On the way up conversing was NOT happening

We powdered our noses and boarded the bus for a short ride to our picnic spot by the lake.

Boxed lunch at String Lake
We had made our selection for our lunch on day 1 at the Wort. We exited the bus and Daniel took us by the lake for a fun educational talk about how the lake was named and how it formed. During his talk Landon and Tim were getting our lunches out and preparing for our picnic.

Daniel keeping us informed:


Daniel received a call that it was lunch time. All the boxed lunches were lined up by family name. Landon had even placed checkered table cloths on the picnic tables for us! Lunch was our sandwich of choice, chips, chocolate chip cookie, and an orange. I choose the hummus and cucumber sandwich on pita and recommend it. The guys all had turkey and said they were good too. We all had water to drink. As far as boxed lunches went they were just fine.

Back on the bus and off to Yellowstone! We had a bit of a drive. Landon and Daniel came though to ask the Junior Adventurers questions about Jackson Hole and the Grand Tetons to earn stamps for their passports. I was able to answer questions for stamps in my journal. Luckily I was able to answer them. WHEW. Both guides were great with all the kids (senior adventurers included).

Next up Yellowstone National Park!
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:46 PM   #35
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Yellowstone National Park

We entered the park and could still see the effects of the huge forest fire of 1988. I never knew that the Lodge Pole Pines only release their seeds from the pine cones under extreme heat. Now the only fires that are fought are ones caused by man. If there is a 'natural' fire it is let to burn unless it is a risk to human life or structures. Interesting.

We stopped at to look at hot springs and mud pots. Daniel was very informative here. He and Landon both had a little 'gun' that the adventurers could point into the water to see the temperature. Almost 200 degrees! The clearer the water the hotter the pool.




Off to the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Here there was cell phone service but no internet. Our rooms were ready and we received our keys from Landon as we exited the bus. No need to worry about luggage. Our rooms were 1006 & 1008. Want a tour? (if not don't look )


Our bath:


Desk:


Little vanity area:


***warning - stuffed animal alert***
In our room was an adorable stuffed bison. He was of course available for sale. The proceeds went to Yellowstone. I felt good about that as I forked over my ~$20 for him. As we never checked-in or had a credit card on file I did go to the front desk to pay for our bison. He as supposedly available with a wolf and another couple of animals in our gift shop but they were sold out (as they were all in the rooms) DH was hoping there wouldn't be a stuffed horse at our next stop!
***end of alert***

The gift shop was right down the hallway as was the Geyser Grill quick service restaurant. We had free time until our private dinner on the second floor.

Dinner at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge
We were assigned a banquet room for our group dinner this night. When we entered the Jr. Adventurers had decided they were going to have a 'kids' table Daniel and Landon said they would see how it went. Surprisingly it went well. I did position my self to not directly view the kids table however.

Dinner was 'A Taste of Yellowstone' with bison chili - delish, salmon - very good, wild boar - tasted like pork , and a hearty salad. Dessert was vanilla ice cream and huckleberry cobbler - also delish. There was a nice balcony off of our dining room. After they were done with dinner the Jr. Adventurers all went out and commenced a game of 'tag' (or so it seemed as they were running back and forth across the balcony) They were happy and the door was closed so they weren't really bothering anyone. You could see Old Faithful 'blow' from over the rooftops. Our guides gave each family vouchers for the next morning's breakfast and day 5's breakfast. We could get anything we wanted from the Obsidian Dining Room right in our lodge.

Around 8:30 pm our family went back to DH and my room to play Euchre. I had purchased a deck of cards earlier in the day at the gift shop. We found that this game is largely a game played in the mid-west. If anyone wants to learn I posted a link above.

I LOVED NOT having a TV in our room. Our family would never have spent 2 hours playing cards together. We put our little night stand in between the beds for our card table. The next morning we were due to meet in our lobby at 0900 so off to bed!

Next up: Day 4 - Trail Blazers
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:37 PM   #36
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OMG, your camera issue is my nightmare!!!! Now I'm definitely bringing the old Canon with me just in case! It uses AA's so it's pretty good for a spare...

You got some great shots anyways, but it must have been hard "budgeting" your pictures!

Hmmm... the box lunch sounds like just what I expected; a diabetic's nightmare! I've already warned ABD that I'm diabetic, I hope they manage something I can handle for our box lunch.

It's been DECADES and DECADES since I've been to Yellowstone. I really must go back. What an amazing, bizarre place!

And that hike in the Tetons looks spectacular! Glad you survived the hike.

Oh, and I'd never HEARD of Euchre until I moved from Southern California to Ohio!!!! Every time I play I've forgotten the rules...

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Old 08-17-2009, 10:19 PM   #37
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OMG, your camera issue is my nightmare!!!! Now I'm definitely bringing the old Canon with me just in case! It uses AA's so it's pretty good for a spare...

You got some great shots anyways, but it must have been hard "budgeting" your pictures!

Hmmm... the box lunch sounds like just what I expected; a diabetic's nightmare! I've already warned ABD that I'm diabetic, I hope they manage something I can handle for our box lunch.

It's been DECADES and DECADES since I've been to Yellowstone. I really must go back. What an amazing, bizarre place!

And that hike in the Tetons looks spectacular! Glad you survived the hike.

Oh, and I'd never HEARD of Euchre until I moved from Southern California to Ohio!!!! Every time I play I've forgotten the rules...

Sayhello
YES, take your spare camera. Could you imagine if I had to use disposables - gasp -

The boxed lunch was a carb-o-lishous lunch. I'm hoping ABD will accommodate your needs. You'll have to let me know.
TK
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:42 PM   #38
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Glad you are enjoying Yellowstone. We live in MT so we get to visit it quite a bit. I'm always worried when I have to let people know that there aren't any TVs. But, as you said, it gives you time to enjoy other things. We always enjoy Skip-bo. Did you get a chance to have any ice cream? They serve Wilcoxson's - a Montana favorite. It's the best!
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Old 08-18-2009, 07:12 AM   #39
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Thanks for posting your report, I'm really enjoying it. We did Southwest Splendors last year and Quest for the West was a VERY close runner up.

Imagine my suprise, while looking at your photos to see a family that was on our trip! The White's! My daughter has kept in touch with Rebecca via pen pals and emails. I guess I shouldn't have been too suprised because earlier this summer Rebecca had told my daughter that they were doing Quest of the West this summer. It was fun to see Rebecca and Jack and thier parents in your photos!

Looks like it was an awesome trip that we would really like to do someday!

Thanks again for sharing.
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:05 AM   #40
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Glad you are enjoying Yellowstone. We live in MT so we get to visit it quite a bit. I'm always worried when I have to let people know that there aren't any TVs. But, as you said, it gives you time to enjoy other things. We always enjoy Skip-bo. Did you get a chance to have any ice cream? They serve Wilcoxson's - a Montana favorite. It's the best!
We almost had the ice cream. We were too full or about to eat every time we were in the vicinity. We'd love to visit your state too. So much more of Yellowstone we were not able to explore.

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Originally Posted by tammydel View Post
Thanks for posting your report, I'm really enjoying it. We did Southwest Splendors last year and Quest for the West was a VERY close runner up.

Imagine my suprise, while looking at your photos to see a family that was on our trip! The White's! My daughter has kept in touch with Rebecca via pen pals and emails. I guess I shouldn't have been too suprised because earlier this summer Rebecca had told my daughter that they were doing Quest of the West this summer. It was fun to see Rebecca and Jack and thier parents in your photos!

Looks like it was an awesome trip that we would really like to do someday!

Thanks again for sharing.
Tammy
Hi Tammy,
We had fun with the White family. They had said how much they enjoyed the SWS trip last summer. We were lucky to have them along. Tell you daughter to say 'hi' to Rebecca for us.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:23 PM   #41
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Awesome pictures! Is there a drooling smiley, cause that's what I'd use to describe looking at those pics! Was the hike part of Yellowstone, or just on the way there?

I never thought to worry about a camera completely dying on me. Good thing you had enough forethought to have a backup!

Euchre definitely is a regional card game. I never heard of it until I moved to Indiana; it's not really crept out of the small confines of the midwest.
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:20 PM   #42
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Awesome pictures! Is there a drooling smiley, cause that's what I'd use to describe looking at those pics! Was the hike part of Yellowstone, or just on the way there?

I never thought to worry about a camera completely dying on me. Good thing you had enough forethought to have a backup!

Euchre definitely is a regional card game. I never heard of it until I moved to Indiana; it's not really crept out of the small confines of the midwest.
Thanks for reading and the nice comments!

This hike was on the way to Yellowstone in the Grand Tetons. Another one coming on day 5 I brought my other camera strictly for the rafting. Good thing too eh?

We educated a few of our group on euchre. More on that day 4.
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:19 PM   #43
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Tksbaskets--thanks so much for the amazing trip report!!!!!!

We just got back from our Q4theW trip at 12:30 last night, and I am in deep withdrawal!!! It was amazing, the scenery was beautiful, our fellow travelers were great, and I cannot say enough good things about Landon (aka--the pied piper) and Daniel (holding down the fort and looking after us all).

The best, most unexpected part of the trip was--snow in August at Brooks Lake Lodge! I'm already dreaming of going back, and can't say enough good things about the trip. Thank you again for the wonderful pictures and memories.

Turtlemom.
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:13 PM   #44
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We just got back from our Q4theW trip at 12:30 last night, and I am in deep withdrawal!!! It was amazing, the scenery was beautiful, our fellow travelers were great, and I cannot say enough good things about Landon (aka--the pied piper) and Daniel (holding down the fort and looking after us all).

The best, most unexpected part of the trip was--snow in August at Brooks Lake Lodge! I'm already dreaming of going back, and can't say enough good things about the trip. Thank you again for the wonderful pictures and memories.

Turtlemom.
Welcome back, Turtlemom! Snow in August??? Wow! That's crazier than the snow we had in May at the Grand Canyon! I sure hope you took pictures!

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Old 08-18-2009, 08:14 PM   #45
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Hi Turtlemom!
Glad I can help with the withdrawal. Snow??? We had a bit of hail but that was it. Landon and Daniel are super!

TK
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