Monday, October 25, 2010

Granite Hot Springs Camping

Obviously, I was a complete dork walking around the pool in
a bikini with a blow-up turtle around my waist.
And I wasn't sure if I would be able to wiggle out of the turtle. 
I'm sure I scared some foriegn tourists.
This is the second annual Granite Hot Springs camping trip that I have done with my family. This year my good friend Dot and her kids came along too, seeing that it's fall and our husbands are busy with hunting season!  Being October we had to be fully prepared with extra warm clothes, mittens, down sleeping bags, and hot toddies for the mommies.  It was a great trip and much needed since I had just gotten back from the east coast a few days prior. From Lander we went through Pinedale to get there and through Jackson and Grand Teton National Park on the way home.

Now, if we can only figure out how to get there in winter... dog sled?

Sunday morning this was such a welcome sight after waking up to very cold temps in our tent.

View from the campground. There was a light dusting of snow on the mountains.

The U.S. Forest Service Granite Creek Campground was effectively closed for the year, but a few sites are intentionally left open for hunters and people using the hot springs, and these are free.

Bison in Grand Teton National Park.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NYC - 82520?

What are the odds of running into someone that you know on an unplanned day trip to NYC? Jody's explantion is that, according to her friends, she gets "cosmic" when she has a drink. I wonder what would have happened if she had downed TWO drinks in that bar in Greenwich Village? And what about the number on our homebound train - zip code 82520 - Lander, Wyoming?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Moment of Bliss - Happy Tomatoes

Today was a warm and sunny October day. Just beautiful; one of those days so perfect that they help pull you through the cold and dark winter months. I am visiting my dad in the hospital in Denver where he is recovering from major back surgery.

And I had planned to work remotely but instead I took a break from the hospital and walked to a nearby community garden. If you are picturing me climbing over the fence, you should know that Dad's physical therapist, Charlie, has a plot there and gave me the combo to the locked gate.

The community garden is a wonderfully eclectic place with random plots filled with different ideas of what consitutes a garden. Plus I love gardens in the fall. The plants continue to give and give long after the gardener has thrown in the towel (or trowel, sorry). We've had a long and warm fall, and hey - we all get tired of watering, weeding, and frankly -- how much can a person can?

I wandered through the plots, admiring all of the late season fruits and vegetables. And then I spied the most amazing pergola covered with the best grapes I have ever tasted. They tasted like champagne and had tiny seeds. So I just lay there for awhile, enjoying the filtered sunlight through the grape leaves.

After meditating on the grape-leaf-October-dappled sunlight, I roused myself and found Charlie's plot. He has a number of different heirloom tomatoes inclduing pear tomatoes and cherry tomatoes - plus a big raspberry patch.

You know how when a cherry tomato is perfectly ripe and falls off the vine on it's own? I found one today that I swear had fallen off the vine picoseconds before my arrival. It was warm from the sun and warm from the ground and when I popped it into my mouth, I almost got teary-eyed.  It was that good. It was like the perfect culmination of summer on a perfect fall day. It make me unbelievably happy.

My summer tomatoes on a feta cheese, artichoke and black olive pizza.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Crazy October Week

In the past week I have traveled from Lander, Wyoming to Hartford, Connecticut to Mt. Grace, Massachussets to Times Square and Greenwich Village in NYC to circumnavigating the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming, complete with camping and a soak in Granite Hot Springs in the Gros Ventre Mountain Range. And finally, driving through Grand Teton National Park. My big jaunt through Wyoming this weekend was some sort of way for me to slough off the east coast vibe and recharge before heading to Denver. Pics to follow.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New England Fall Hike - Textures

In October I attended the Land Trust Alliance Rally in Hartford, Connecticut.  The first day there I went on a field trip to Massachusetts ~ on a beautiful fall day.  Here are a few photos from a six-mile hike through lands conserved by the Mount Grace Conservation Land Trust.  The views were pretty, but I what I really loved was the textures of the forest.  These were taken with my point and shoot Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS Digital Elph

Chesnut burrs.

The highlight of my entire east coast trip was seeing these newts.
 I think they are red-spotted salamanders.

Mushroom on a log.