Wild Life in Yellowstone

BISON

One of the most exciting things about Yellowstone National Park is animal sightings. Trust me, if you go to Yellowstone, you will see you fair share of BISON. The park is almost overpopulated with herds.

When around Bison you must remember that they are Wild animals. Like all wild animals, they can be unpredictable, and charge at anytime. However, the Bison are very much use to the presence of humans, so therefore they are not afraid and they will get very close to you.

When my boyfriend and I arrived to the cabin we were going to spend the night in, I looked out the window and thought I was delusional. But I wasn’t and yes there was a Bison sleeping outside our cabin window.

WOLVES

Unfortunately, I didn’t see any wolves in Yellowstone. This was a very big disappointment for me because Wolves are one of my all time favorite animals. For some reason I have always been fascinated by them, ever since I was a child.¬†It also is very rare to see wolves and the topic of wolves in Yellowstone is very¬†controversial. And here is why…

Naturally Yellowstone had many wolf packs. But because the surrounding states, Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho mainly consists of farmers with livestock. Wolves were problematic. In the 1920’s fed up farmers gunned down all of the wolves. Later some migrated to these states but never settled. In 1995, after a long heated debate, that lasted a decade, finally wolves were transfered from Canada and reintroduced back into the park. There were three original packs that consisted of 14 wolves, that were brought to Yellowstone. Later 15 more were released in central Idaho. All of these wolves were named and monitored.

Many interesting things happened. Some left their packs and started new ones. Others migrated North. But having a predator in the park helped because the other animals, such as bison and elk were getting over populated.

Wolves are very interesting animals because they are the only animal that actually hunts for sport. Meaning a wolf will hunt down an animal not necessarily because it is hungry or needs food, but sometimes, like some humans, they hunt for fun, to brag, to practice their technique.

There are two different types of wolves in the park. One type is larger and actually does a lot of hunting, while the other is smaller and actually does little hunting but will steal food like a scavenger.

BEARS

Fifty years ago, the park was overpopulated with Bears. Why? Because people would feed them. There is a story about a mother bear that use to hang out by the camp sites with her cubs because she knew she would easily find food, from the hands of humans. It actually got super dangerous. The park now has tons of rules about bear safety and if you break them you are fined a hefty amount. So bears are very rare. However on our trip we had the opportunity to see two. We were very lucky.

Why is there all this traffic? There must be something ahead… yep it is a black bear!

see that tiny black dot. That is what my iPad captured of the bear.

My boyfriend, however, got a much better shot!

Wait maybe that is a brown bear not black!?

The best time to spot wild life is early morning or in the evening around dinner time. So, the next morning, we woke up early and hit the road. It was quite and peaceful, the only people out were mainly photographers. We spotted the photographers with their tripods and expensive cameras, so we pulled over to see what they were photographing. And yup… it was a bear!

Anyway, it was exciting seeing animals in their natural habitat. I hope when you go to Yellowstone, you will have fabulous luck and see bears and wolves.

Old Faithful

OLD FAITHFUL
As we continue on through the park, I found myself standing in front of Old Faithful. For those that do not know, Old Faithful was the first geyser in the park to ever be named. It is called Old Faithful because it is the most predictable geyser on Earth erupting faithfully every 90 mins.

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We also spent time inside the Old Faithful INN. 

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And when waiting for Old Faithful to erupt I found a bull skull to kiss!

©2012

Yellowstone

WILD WILD WEST JOURNEY CONTINUES…

Two years ago after a client of mine told me of her amazing experience in Yellowstone, I immediately yearned to go. That same year my boyfriend headed to Idaho, for a visit and ended up going to Yellowstone without me.  I was so jealous. Visiting this National Park became on the top of my list of places to go.

After spending time in Idaho Falls, Idaho, my boyfriend and I , his Mom and  Grandma, all headed on a quick 90 min road trip to Yellowstone National Park. The minute we entered the park, my breath was taken away. It was that pretty. We started on the West side of the Park which is located in Montana and headed toward Wyoming.

When we were in Montana, it didn’t take long to spot a Buffalo, they are everywhere. It is sad to say, but before this the only idea I had of Montana and Bison was when I ate a bison burger at the restaurant, Ted’s Montana Grill. But finally I am here, in Yellowstone, seeing one for real, in his natural habitat.

Buffalo in Montana, roaming free.

It was a beautiful morning when we arrived to Yellowstone. Can’t you see and feel it from this photo?¬†The water sparkles, clean, and cool.¬† The air was so crisp and refreshing. I felt like I had never breathed better. In Yellowstone, in Montana, in total peace.

Yoga in Montana.

We continued on towards Wyoming and stopped to see the Geyser. They were bubbling all different shades of greens, blues, and oranges. They got up to extremely steamy hot temperatures, I believe around 150 degrees , maybe even hotter.

Geysers in Wyoming!

Photo Journalism.

One of the most interesting facts I learned about the amazing geysers, is that the dog family is one of the few animals that can not determine whether water is hot or cold, with out using their since of touch. Because of this fact, the park has lost some wolves and other dog types due to drowning in the extremely hot geysers.

However, by the looks of it, Bison must be different. 

The ground can become unstable and actually act like quick sand, sucking whatever is on the service under. The Bison herd came to the Geysers. The leader of the herd tested the stability of the ground, and the heat of the geysers, and then the rest followed. It was an amazing site to see.

©2012

Idaho Falls, Idaho

After we stopped by the beautiful Shoshone Falls, we continued on to Idaho Falls, Idaho. Idaho Falls is four hours east of Boise, Idaho. Erik’s Grandma from his dad’s side, the one we had just visited ¬†in Boise, once lived in Idaho Falls for a very short time. She said it was the only place she lived that she hated so much that she counted the days until she was able to leave. For a quick visit, I didn’t think it was bad at all, I actually quite liked it.

IDAHO FALLS VS. BOISE

When you are driving down the highway in Boise, you will notice that everything is tan. When you look from side to side you will see foot hills, although they are tan and dried out, I actually found them quite pretty. It is a desert surrounded by mountains. The temperature got up to the low 90s. Being from DC I am use to humidity. In Boise it is a¬†dry heat so it didn’t feel that hot, it was actually quite comfortable.

In Idaho Falls, the land is much more green and fertile. There are no foot hills, but rather huge mountains in the distance with snow covered tops. It is much colder, but because it is a desert, it was 70 by day and then dropped to 40s at night. Most people that live in the town do not have air conditioning in their homes. They simply don’t need it. How awesome is that? It was nice to open the windows at night and breath in fresh air. However, we ended up closing our window in the middle of the night because the breeze turned into gusts. It gets extremely windy in Idaho Falls. ¬†The average winds are 70-80 mph. Because Idaho Falls has such powerful winds, there are farms that have Windmills to generate clean energy. Sometimes you will see one single Windmill on a property, and this Windmill generates energy for this property.

MORE ABOUT IDAHO FALLS

Finally we arrived to Idaho Falls, to visit Erik’s mom and Nana. The weather was so nice that we ate dinner outside and then later that night played with her guinea pigs.

Playing with pigs.

playing with pigs.

RUNNING IN IDAHO FALLS

Because running in a new place is my all time favorite thing to do, I bring my running shoes every time I travel. And this is another reason why I love my Newton shoes. Newton shoes are the perfect running shoe to travel with. They are extremely light weight and flexible, which makes it easy to fit in any travel bag.

You guessed it! Of corse I found time to run in Idaho Falls. I headed over to the Green Belt.¬†The Idaho Falls “Green Belt” is a paved path that runs along the Snake river for about 14 miles. I actually only ran a 3 mile loop, but it was a good 3 miles. I believe the altitude in Idaho Falls, is around 4900. So again similar to Boise, I was excited to test my body in a higher altitude. I felt like it was a little harder to breath, but that was about it. While I was running on the trail, I saw a variety of different people. There were some runners, but other¬†people were just casually walking. So the trail¬†didn’t have that athletes vibe that I experience here in DC and I also experienced in Boise. ¬†Because the people that make up this small town are either Farmers or Mormons. Mormon is part of the culture here in Idaho, Falls, so¬†I found it was interesting to run passed the Mormon Temple.

The picture above is a view from the Green Belt. In this picture you can see the Mormon Temple and the Snake river.

FOOD FOR FARMERS

In the morning we went out for breakfast. We went to this place that was attached to the local hotel. This was by far one of the best breakfasts I have ever had.  The place is known to have tons of local farmers as regulars. Farmers like a big breakfast, so everything was fresh and home made, and the portions were huge.

DOWNTOWN IDAHO FALLS

We then headed downtown, to browse the local yarn shop. I’m a knitter, so whenever I travel checking out the local yarn shop is a must. The yarn shop was very nice, but the rest of downtown Idaho Falls was just sad. Being from DC, I live in a bubble and have not felt the recession, but walking around downtown Idaho Falls, reality hit. Most of the shops had closed, and it felt like a ghost town.

Yarn Shop in downtown, Idaho Falls

So that sums up my trip to Idaho Falls, Idaho. My next post will be about my adventure hiking through Yellowstone.  So stay tuned.

©2012

The Shoshone Falls

So my adventure to the Wild Wild West did not just start and end in Boise. My boyfriend’s Dad’s side of the family lives in Boise, but his Mom’s side lives in Idaho Falls. So that is where we headed next, but on the way we stopped in Shoshone, to see the Shoshone Falls.

Shoshone is about two hours east of Boise. It is famous for having one of the tallest waterfalls in the USA. This park reminded me of Great Fall, one of the parks that is 20 minutes outside of my home DC. I wish I had been in hiking clothes so that I could have explored a little more, but instead we just stayed close to the Falls and took pictures. It was beautiful.

The Shoshone Falls

The Trails

Rocks and Trails

plants that look like cotton

The Shoshone Falls and Dam

The Shoshone Falls

Rainbow

Shoshone

Erik and me!

Shoshone

Boise, Idaho

East Coast Girl visits the Wild Wild West continues:

According to my boyfriend, the plan was that we were heading to Boise, Idaho for ¬† his Grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary, and then we would drive four hours to Idaho Falls to visit his Mom and Nana. I was excited about the trip, because I hadn’t been to Idaho since we first started dating seven years ago. My memories of Idaho were so-so. I don’t remember hating it, but I don’t remember being wowed in any ways either. I was also only nineteen years old, young, immature, and very closed minded. Back then I was city girl, passionate about fashion and art, and although I still am those things, as I grow, I find myself appreciating nature, and seeing beauty in other ways.

Although, we were exhausted from an overwhelming week of moving into our new house, our 6:30 flight went smoothly. My boyfriend and I arrived in Boise, Idaho at 11:00 am. Then the partying began, literally.¬†We spent three days partying with his ¬†family. We attended a birthday party, a graduation party, and his grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary.

Downtown Boise

After every party, we headed down to downtown Boise for more drinks and food. And to my surprise, downtown Boise was quite fun. It is by the university, Boise State, but it has more of a liberal urban feel, rather than a college town vibe.

This may sound weird to you, but a person’s hair reveals a lot. It can reveal who they are, and what they are about.¬†¬†I am a hairstylist, so I began to understand the people of a city or town and I determine the vibe of a place by what hair trends I see. Downtown Boise, continued to surprise me, I saw lots of great hair color, classic high-end cuts, but then I also saw a lot of dreadlocks.

To my surprise, I also saw some familiar shops. There was an Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Lululemon. I also spotted a Bikram Yoga studio, and a running shoe store that had Newton running shoes.

I am a foodie, who also loves a fresh brewed beer, high quality wine, or a unique cocktail.  So of corse I hit up some of the local bars. One night we ended up at Matador. It was a tequila sipping bar, that also had a wide range of Margaritas. My favorite part was that the Margaritas on the rock were made from fresh fruit juices instead of a mix. They also had really good appetizers.

My boyfriend’s cousin’s birthday party was at a bar call Solid. Solid had a variety of unique cocktails, and fabulous appetizers as well. But my favorite part was the desserts. We devoured a S’more.¬†

There was also an Irish pub in downtown Boise. We went over there because they had a live band.

After three days of parties. I felt hungry. We had drinking plenty and although we had been eating plenty as well. The food we had been eating was mainly appetizers. I was ready for a real meal. So after the 50th wedding anniversary my boyfriend and I went to dinner at a place called Forks. Forks was amazing. They had all american food, but it was definitely more gourmet.

Running in Boise

Besides eating and drinking, I actually found time to go running. In Boise they have a trail along the river. Although, I think the Mount Vernon Trail (which is my regular running trail here in DC) is prettier, this trail that ran along the Boise River was really pretty too. Along the trail, I saw fly fishermen, I  ran past the Boise State football field which has the famous blue turf, and then I saw a man barefoot running. The best part was the weather, nothing could beat it.  At 7:30 in the morning it was probably 65-70 degrees and it was dry heat, perfect for running.

I had a really good run, in my Newtons, but I felt like it was a little hard to breath. I also felt like I was running a little slower, but then I remembered the altitude was different. In DC, I run at sea level. In Boise the altitude was 2900 ft. I could feel the altitude change the minute I got off the plane. I developed a headache and my body craved water. I was proud of myself for running five miles in a higher altitude than I am use to. In the DC area running can be a challenge in the summer, because we get 100 degree days with 70 percent humidity, but Boise has the altitude change.

So that is Boise, I highly suggest you go check it out.

East Coast girl explores the Wild Wild West

I have devoted tons of precious time visiting beaches and city hopping up and down the East Coast. What can I say, I was born and raised in Washington, DC. I have always defined myself as an East Coast girl, its what I know, what I love. But for the last two weeks, I have neglected my blog, and have been wrapped up in a very busy adventure exploring the Wild Wild West. 

The photo above is a picture I took from the window of our truck. Beautiful horses run wild in Wyoming.

MOODBOARD

So I have discovered a new app. for my iPad, called Moodboard. Yesterday, I was playing around with it, and I have a feeling it will be useful to me at work and on my blogs. It is a digital poster board, or cork board. It is a way to show and organize your photos more creatively. You can change the background color and add arrows. When uploading photos, you can change their angles, their size. You can add text, changing font and color. The possibilities are endless.

Good Reads

One of my favorite things to do is read, and one of my favorite types of books to read are running books! I just love to learn more, and be inspired. The last running book I read was the best seller, Born to Run.  I fell in love with this book. It opened my mind to explore a more minimalist way of running.

On Sunday, after my run in my Newtons, I stopped at Barnes & Noble, to check out what running books they had to offer. There I found Chi Running by Danny Dreyer. ¬†But then as I continued to scan the shelves I spotted, Natural Running, by Danny Abshire. What? I didn’t know the guy who invented the Newton shoe had ¬†written a book. Beyond thrilled, I scooped up both books and ran to the register.

Today I will finally get a chance to start reading. I can’t wait to dive in to both of these books. I am hoping I can get a better understanding of natural running, and also find some easy running drills to strengthen my feet and get me running more on my midfoot/forefoot.

Daily Workout ~ 5/14/12

Yesterday was my rest day, and although I worked, it felt good to just relax.

Monday, 5/14/12: Today, I woke up to a gray sky and a light rain. It was 62 degrees when I hit the trail, surprisingly because of the humidity it felt much hotter. Again I ran in my Newton shoes. I only ran a short 3.36 miles in 28:50.

When I first began my run I felt good and fast. When I headed back I felt a little slower. The whole time I was focused on running form. I tried to keep centered, slightly leaning forward. I tried to be bouncy and light on my feet, trying to land on my mid-foot.  At the end of my run, I felt more confident in my form. I felt like I was heal striking less and running good. I will admit I still felt some ponding, and some soreness. It was not pain, but even though I have been running in these shoes for a month,  it still is different then what I am use to, and a bit uncomfortable. I am not sure if this is just because of years of running in my cushioned Brooks and Asics, or if this is just how Natural Running shoes feel. I also could really feel my feet move in the wide toe box, stretching and gripping the ground as I run. I am still trying to decide if I like all of this moving and feeling of the ground.

P.S. Army 10 Miler’s Registration opens tomorrow, 5/15/12!