Well we are wrapping up our Great American Road Trip. We departed Yellowstone and the guest ranch early this morning and drove to Philipsburg, MT to hunt for Sapphires! It was a 3 hour drive from the guest ranch to Philipsburg and Gem Mountain.
Sapphire mining was so much fun! Basically you buy sand and rocks by the 3 gallon bucket. We bought 6 and got 1 free – so 21 gallons of dirt. You start with about 3 or 4 cups of material. You get it wet and slosh it around and then agitate the material back and forth to bring the sapphires to the bottom as they are heavier than the rocks. You then take your screen full of material and dump it upside down on a table. We worked in the sun as it helped see the sapphires. Once you dump the material over on to the table manytime the sapphires are right on top of top and in the center. With 7 buckets we ended up with a total of about 70 ctw in gems. Most are very small and would only work as accent pieces, but we had a couple over 1 ctw each. Noah actually found one that was 1.7 ctw and very very blue. We now have to send them in and have them heat treated to help bring out their colors and then facetted.
It was really a ton of fun. Noah has great eyes for spotting sapphires! I wish we would have had more time, but you can order materials through them mail!
Yesterday morning we all went on an hour ride. Wow its been a long time since I have been on a horse! Its like riding a bicycle, only with a lot more pain! My knees hurt so bad after I got off, I almost couldn’t walk! Noah had a great time though and was taught perfect form (by me 🙂 ). Then we spend the afternoon driving up to Mammoth Hot Springs. It was one of the few areas we did not see last time we were here. Well, we were all a little disappointed. It was pretty boring! All springs dried up years ago and there was really only one that was flowing with any color to it.
But I did get a great picture of Gibbon Falls.
Today we went back to the park to fish…. well they call it fishing and not catching for a reason. None of us caught anything. It was a very breezy day and warm – we think the water was too warm for the fish to be biting. So after no fish and lunch we decided to take a drive around the loop in the park. We were driving from Canyon Village to Fishing Bridge but got turned around because of a wild fire buring in the park along the Yellowstone River. Kinda scary with the high winds, but it had just started when we got close to it and they were working to get it under control.
And of course we drove by the buffalo herd.
And a bald eagle.
After we got turned around, we stopped to see the Upper and Lower falls. So pretty.
A long day but we are headed North tomorrow. We are going to try and leave the ranch around 8 or so and try and fish about 20 minutes North of here on our way to Philipsburg. Sapphire mining tomorrow!
Well after a day driving through Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks we arrived in West Yellowstone at the Parade Rest Guest Ranch. We have a very rustic 1 room cabin right on the Grayling Creek. Much more rustic than the Teton Mountain Lodge! Today we spent the day as a guided Fly Fishing Day- It was AWESOME!
Fishing was awesome- I landed 3 trout (1 rainbow and 2 browns) Al landed 2 ( a rainbow and a brown) and Noah hooked about 14 but was not able to land any. Its amazing fishing! Our guide Peter was GREAT- his goal all day was to make sure Noah caught a fish… he had quite a few on but didnt land any- I think Peter wanted it more than Noah did in the end.
Tomorrow we will put Noah on a horse for the first time and I will post pictures as soon as I can. It might be a couple of days though cause I cant post them with a dial up connection- Ill be in Bozeman Thursday night and post them then. Meanwhile – check back for text updates 🙂
Some more random photos from the park on these days. Give it a few minutes cause there are a few to load.
No Trip to Yellowstone would be complete without a trip by Old Faithful!
We started our trip yesterday departing Dillon around 5pm and drove to Rock Springs, Wy to spend the night. Rock Springs is right on I-80 and great place to stop and spend the night- but probably nothing else. We then got up this morning and drove to Kemmerer, Wy which is the Fish Fossil Capital of the World. We drove out onto BLM land in the middle of no where to a rock quarry where we searched for fish fossils. It was very warm- in the upper 80s but there was a nice breeze blowing. Noah was a little frustrated after an hour of searching and not finding any, but I told him its kind of like fishing- its called fishing for a reason, not catching. But we were fishing for a little different kind of fish. Basically its a big limestone quarry and you are given a hammer and chisel and a spot to work. You start with a hunk of rock, any size as long as it is at least a couple of inches think. Then you start in the middle dividing layer by layer to see what you find.
Here is what they look like in the rock… We ended up with a box full!
And here is a photo take about an hour outside of Jackson Hole. Goodnight from Teton Village!
So I planted a iris probably 4 years ago and it is finally going to bloom. I had just about given up on it, and actually forgot it was even yellow. Here is a picture of the buds- hopefully it will stil be in bloom when we get back from vacation.
I love the way these poppies come up. its like the are bowing thier heads just getting ready to shine.
And I have strawberries on. I bought a couple of strawberry plants a couple of years ago, and now they are fruit bearing. We will see if they are ripe when we get back- Sure hope so.
And my roses are blooming!
I promise these are the last boring photos of my garden. Check back next week for exciting photos from Grand Teton and Yellowstone! I hope to get photos of a moose and more!! Headed out tomorrow for a grand driving tour of Wyoming and Montana!
My wild rose is in bloom and the columbine combo makes a nice photo.
We decided not to dead head our poppies and just let them go to sead all summer.
And the Pansies just keep getting bigger-
At least Im posting photos!