Thursday, May 22, 2014

US - Grand Teton

We drove to the south entrance of Yellowstone to Grand Teton National Park ($25 per car) when it opened May 9. 
It was snowing, and the snow drift was so high.

We passed over the Continental Divide 3 times.

Jackson Lake Dam

Jenny Lake covered by ice

Teton Glacier 

We tried hiking the Taggart Lake trail, but a moose blocked our path.  The ranger said they can be very aggressive & we should keep our distance from it.  Signs also warned to hike in groups of 3 or more because of bears in the area.

Chapel of the Transfiguration

Menors Ferry

We didn't see any beavers around, but the 'lodge' on the river is their house.

Beavers built this dam to make a small lake for their lodge, which is in the background on the left.

Mule deer

we drove on a side road along Gros Ventre river, the view there is beautiful.

Black-billed Magpie

Anterton Creek at Gros Ventre Road

US - Yellowstone

We were in Yellowstone National Park ($25 per car) on May 7-8.

Steve face with Bison face

Upper Falls of the Yellowstone River

Bison and calf

Sapphire Pool at Black Sand Basin

Two Ribbons


Pine tree covered in frozen mist from a nearby geyser

Beryl Spring

Norris Geyser Basin

Black bear

Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces


 Bull elk

Old Faithful

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

US - Devil Tower, Little Bighorn and Bighorn Canyon

We got into Wyoming on May 5, and our first stop was Devils Tower National Monument ($10 per car).

This was the first national monument designated by president Teddy Roosevelt, back in 1906. Seeing it up-close, it's easy to understand why people have regarded this as a sacred area for so long.

Devils Tower is well guarded by a large village of prairie dogs. Prairie dogs in South Dakota & Wyoming appear to outnumber the human inhabitants.

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Memorial ($10 per car) in Montana.

Neat place to visit, though solemn.

We drove from Little Bighorn to north entrance of Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.

We found the road to the visitor center was closed, and we can just see the Yellowtail Dam far away.

We drove back to Wyoming to the south entrance of Bighorn Canyon.

The horseshoe bend.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

US - Wind Cave, Jewel Cave and Crazy Horse

Wind Cave National Park is one of the few caves in the world has these delicate 'boxwork' formations.

$10 is the adult fee for the "Garden of Eden" guided tour which is the only they had on May 4.

Geologists have a few competing theories about how these honeycombs (boxwork) are formed.

There are 2-3 different guided tours in Jewel Cave National Monument.  We joined the tour that was about to start when we arrived there. It is The Scenic tour, $12 per adult.
The long and thin formation like a 'soda straw', which is a hollow tube that has been growing so long it has connected to rock below.

There was a lot of variety rock formations, they formed by water filtering through the ground into the cave. 
These are 'jellyfish' formations.

Some of the ground above has high iron content, which contributes a reddish color to some formations, like this 20 foot long piece of 'bacon'.

The entrance fee at Crazy Horse Memorial is $11 per adult.

And the bus ride is $4 per adult to have closer view.

It has been under construction for several decades already, but progress has been slow. So far, only the face has been completed. 

They are just beginning work on his hand and the head of his horse.
This project is funded entirely by private donations.

The white statue is the vision of the final monument.