Goodness, this blog is getting an awful lot of views. In fact if everyone who has visited had swung by my funding page and donated just £2 ($2) I'd already be on my way. That literally is how easy it is to help someone like me, who's sitting here asking random strangers to help her out, to get me on my way. Just £2 ($2). What can you buy with that these days?
I thought I'd continue on from where I left off on Monday, but explaining to (telling you) where I will be going - notice the use of the word WILL? There is no way this isn't going to happen for me, no way at all. I have that much faith in life giving me exactly what I want. It may not be through the funding pages, I could meet a rich man who loves me oodles, who wants to spoil me with trips to the USA and Norway. I could win the lottery, at which point I'll be trawling fundraising pages as a paying person, donating and sharing my wealth among people who are asking. I could even find the friend who wants to travel with me suddenly comes up the money for us both, or people who have stolen and borrowed from me might decide now is a good time to pay me back (yes, yes, I know there is more chance of snow falling on me right now (I'm sat inside and the outside temperature is currently 17'c with not a cloud in sky, although stranger things have happened). I'm well aware those last 2 statements (the friend and borrowers/stealers) aren't likely to come up trumps, but they don't need to for the universe and life will provide me with exactly what I have/am asking for. Of that I can 100% guarantee you. How can I be so positive? Because if I'm totally honest life has never let me down yet (not really). It's not going to start now. It always provides me with exactly what I want (within reason - there are times when miracles are not possible which is why so many people I have loved are no longer here).
On Monday I covered the first few days exploring around Jackson Hole and the Grand Teton Mountain range. Today, we move on to Yellowstone. We'll take a slow drive from Jackson stopping off at points along the way which might be of interest to us. There's only 128 miles we need to travel between the 2 hotels, so that gives us plenty of time for photo stop off points, whether they be due to a stunning scene or some amazing wildlife. Apparently moose are quite hard to find so imagine how fabulous it would be if we were to come across one. The same with a wolf. How I would love to see a wolf in it's natural habitat. Obviously I don't want to be close enough to it to startle it, or have it call it's friends and attack (they are wild animals after all) but to be able to photograph either of them (bears too) from a safe distance, watching them as they go about their day to day life would just be amazing. What a treat. Something I am sure I would never forget. No amount of wildlife program on TV, or seeing them in zoo's and wildlife parks, can ever take the place of seeing such creatures in their own habitat.
I'd love to say we are staying at the Yellowstone Inn right in the heart of the action, with Old Faithful just outside the door, but have you seen the prices for that place? Nope, we'll be in a budget hotel 30 or 40 miles away - it's a good job we don't mind travelling to see things. :)
The next day we'll head off to Old Faithful itself (do we call it a he, or she?) where I plan to learn as much as I can about how it all works. At school I loved geography and geology but I am not an academic person. While the friend I will travel with could sit and read every book, absorb what he is being told and understand it fully, I have to be somewhere, experience it, for it to even register. I'm just one of those people who cannot retain information from a book, tv show or even a movie. I've read the same book 4 times and each time there have been bits I've not remembered. Not because I have a brain injury, but because I don't really absorb from text - odd when I can write so much!! I know the basics about the thermal basins but unless I actually see it for myself then I'll never quite grasp it which in one way is such a shame when I have such a thirst for the knowledge. Oddly if they have those boards with information on I'll be able to read those and remember; I believe that is just because I am there. I learned about D-Day at school. Spent 2 years studying the 2nd world war. Spoke to brave men who were there, but it wasn't until I went to the beach at Omaha a few years ago that I actually understood it. I learned more in those few days being there than in the 2 years I was studying. Yes, I'm proud to say that everything I learned is still in the memory banks. That's how I know it's not a brain problem.
Along with Old Faithful I'd love to see Biscuit Basin, the Fountain Paint Pots and the prismatic pool. Mammoth Springs is also on the list, although I'm not sure if we will have enough time to fit it all in. We do have day 4 there free as well so I guess what we don't get done on our 2nd day we could try and do then. Who knows, we may even change our mind about our day 3 plans.
Those plans are to visit the Grizzly bear and Wolf discovery centre. Like most people I have a fascination with wolves. I've been lucky enough to stand just 15ft away from one (it was in a park over here behind a wire fence) but it was close enough for me to really get a good look at one. One thing I've never heard though is one cry. To me, if I could hear that I will die a happy woman (when my time comes in 50 years and not a moment sooner). I'm not sure how big the place is or how long we can expect to stay there, so we may just have a lazy day after if we're finished with it quite quickly. It's a play it by ear kind of day.
Our final official Yellowstone day will again be spent exploring the park - visiting the places we've not made it to during our previous days, or maybe going back to somewhere we really liked and wanted more time at. Who knows, we may even find we've done a night photo shoot the previous night so could spend the day in bed (highly unlikely for I don't want to waste a minute of exploration time if I don't have to).
If you have any good tips on places we should try to see while there, please do let me know.