Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Memorial Bridge; Portsmouth, NH

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Mt. Carrigain (4700')

Foliage of the White Mountains

Carrigain's ridge looking up to the viewing platform

U.S. Geological Survey Carrigain Summit Marker

Viewing platform on summit of Mt. Carrigain

Terrified of heights, standing on a platform 50' the air that is swaying in the 70mph gusts

Two other hikers that had camped out and beat me to the summit at 9am

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, California

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Afton, Wyoming

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Friday, September 24, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Idaho and a little Montana

After leaving Yellowstone, I briefly drove through Montana.  I think I need more time in this state because my experience there was confusing; I'm sure it was just the one town I stopped in, but the few people I talked to all had different -- seemingly foreign -- accents, yet claimed to be locals.  The fact that one of them sounded like Crocodile Dundee yet said he lived in the town his whole life was very unexpected.  The town itself was also a mix between cheap boardwalk arcade and wild west ghost town.  The landscape, however, was amazing.

I spent most of the day traveling through Idaho, which was quite similar to Montana - absolutely beautiful but not much else to see.  While most of the state seemed to just be one big farm in the constant state of being watered, I did come across the Idaho Potato Museum.  To summarize: "The Idaho Potato Museum provides a complete information on potato history...trivia and educational potato facts.  You can also view the world's largest potato chip...Gift Shop offers almost any potato gift imaginable including potato ice cream, potato fudge, t-shirts, and, of course, fresh Idaho potatoes.  Admission includes a free potato gift."  I didn't take the tour despite the potato ice cream.

Given all the backroads, naturally I seized the opportunity to finally take the rental car off-road.  It handled poorly.  Very poorly, in fact, maintaining little traction and not having good enough suspension for even the smallest of jumps.  I'm exaggerating.  But only a little.

Also, for the first time in my life, I found myself welcoming the influx of insects I had encountered since heading north from Utah.  See, early on in the trip I had chipped my windshield while attempting to maximize my gas efficiency by minimizing my life expectancy and drafting-off an 18-wheeler.  I had spent much of the last couple of days trying to figure out how to cover up that crack so I wouldn't have to pay to fix the windshield.  The insects gave me the perfect (and cheap) solution.  My rule of thumb: any time you hit a bug, turn on the windshield wipers.  By the time I left Idaho, my windshield was a smear of thick paste and remarkably difficult to see out of.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Yellowstone National Park

Continued on to Yellowstone after Grand Teton.  Given the park is over 3,000 sq. miles and extends into three states, I only traveled through a small portion of it.  While I was surprised to find much of the park a little underwhelming (beautiful, untouched land sure, but nothing overly unique from what I saw back home), it was hard not to be impressed when I finally reached the Geyser Basin.

Snake River winding down towards Grand Teton in the distance

Yellowstone was the first national park in the world, and sits on the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest super-volcano in North America.  It is considered active and, based on previous cases, is actually past-due to erupt again.

Firehole Lake Drive

To give a sense of scale, Mount St. Helens left a crater of approximately 2 square miles when it last erupted.  Yellowstone Caldera is 1500 square miles.  When Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, its ash was detectable over 20,000 square miles away.  The last eruption of Yellowstone (considered a smaller eruption), ejected 8,000 times the ash and lava of St. Helens.

Old Faithful Geyser erupting

Great Fountain Geyser

Firehole Lake Drive