Showing posts with label Wyoming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wyoming. Show all posts

July 13, 2016

Wednesday Nibbles - Summer Vacation Edition

The weeklong summer vacation is over. It's actually been over since Sunday afternoon, but you know, needed a few days of recovery before sharing something on the blog.

Our trip from Mt. Rushmore to Yellowstone to Grand Teton/Jackson to Salt Lake City was not a fishing trip, so if you read this blog purely for the fishing expertise (ha!), feel free to click off now. However here's a quick week in review, via captioned photos...

Day 1 & 2: Rapid City, SD / Crazy Horse / Mount Rushmore

Wheels down in Rapid City, and there was quite a storm on the horizon to greet us!

The hotel had a small lake out front, this was the only fishing I'd do on the trip.
Bass put up a good fight though.

The bus. Home away from home for a week

Didn't know what to expect from Crazy Horse.
They've evidently been blasting and carving since the late 1940s.
It's quite the sight, much, much bigger than Mt. Rushmore.
Maybe I can get back in a few decades to check the progress.

Down the road about 20 minutes from Crazy Horse, there's a spot on the highway where you can stop and see Washington's profile peer from the side of the mountain with no other presidents (or sign of the park) in sight. It's cool, but kind of eerie at the same time.

I was pleasantly surprised by Mt. Rushmore. Figured you just went and stared at the side of a mountain. Instead, there's a whole complex with walking trails, museums, etc...
Could have spent the whole day there if we had the time.

Day 3: Repositioning to Cody, WY

Day 3 was pretty much a waste, we were in the bus pretty much all day as we moved from Rapid City, SD to Cody, WY. Did catch this "wild" pic of the girls in the Wyoming visitor's center.

We drove by Devil's Tower...

Stopped for lunch in Sheridan, WY...

Drove through the Bighorn mountains...

Before ending up in Cody for the night - home of Buffalo Bill, and never-ending cowboy-kitsch

Day 4 & 5: Yellowstone

The first day was kind of rainy, but we did see a lot of wildlife.  Bison, bear, coyote, elk, & deer

And some really cool old park buses

Elk can walk on the travertine

But we stuck to the boardwalk to take selfies in front of it

The following day's weather was much better.
All of the thermal features were amazing

As were the falls in the canyon

The photo doesn't do this one justice!

Wouldn't want to swim in that hot tub

Gotta take a picture of Old Faithful, right?

More pools

Standing on top of the hill looking down at the river surrounded by geysers was breathtaking.
Two days were not even close to being enough to sample Yellowstone's wonders 

Day 6: Grand Teton / Jackson, WY

On Friday we headed South from Yellowstone down Rockefeller Parkway through Grand Teton National Park

We stopped several times along the way - there were so many scenic views

I mean come on, is this for real?

The highlight was a lakeside picnic lunch

I'm not a holy man, but the view out of this roadside church window was amazing

Once we reached Jackson, we took a ski lift up to the top of the mountain overlooking town

And then descended to take in the Cowboy meets Hippie vibe

Watched a street performance (don't worry, the good guys won)

And washed the day down right

Day 7: Repositioning to Salt Lake City

The last real day took us to Salt Lake City via Logan Canyon

Lilly approved of the scenery

I approved of lunch. If you're ever in Logan, UT, Angie's is amazing.

Our trip ended with a tour of Temple Square

With beautiful architecture

But no Tabernacle Choir, (they were on the road).

And after that, a night of sleep, then home to Florida the next morning.

Our vacation went so quickly, but it was certainly a memorable one. I feel like I shared so many pictures above, but I took TONS more. So many neat things to see and experience.

As for the bus tour aspect, I'm not certain I'd do a bus tour again, as I felt that while we saw a lot of incredible things, we really didn't get to spend enough time at any one particular place to really enjoy them. We kind of figured that was going to be the case heading in; it was sort of like when you go on a cruise ship and visit several ports of call, but spend a lot of time "at sea."

It was more a quick sampling of some magical Western sights, many of which I know we'll head back to in the not too distant future. K.C. is already scoping out a return to Jackson & the Tetons, and I just saw so much beautiful water out the bus window that was screaming to be fished!

June 27, 2016

Summer Vacation Prep Week

Dang, that snuck up quickly.

Don't think I mentioned it here before, but the Griswold family summer vacation this year is one of those week-long guided bus tours through some of the western National Parks - most notably, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, & Grand Teton, with a few stops at touristy cowboy-towns in between.

I've been wanting to see the parks for a while, like I can watch those damn Ken Burns documentaries over and over, and doing one of these tours was the only way to get K.C. & Lilly to agree to go as they require, no demand, hotel accommodations and whatnot each night. No roughing it for the ladies...not that I blame them BTW. Scheduling it near the 4th of July only means that the utter chaos and crowds will be amplified, but who cares...not me. I survived summers at the Jersey shore. And if you've been there, you know.

In preparation, the agenda seems pretty straightforward - wander off the marked boardwalks, take a dip in a volcanic hot spring, and rescue the suffering baby bison, because they're cold. If one fits in the carry-on luggage, I'll bring a tiny Tatanka home to Florida to warm up. Because that's evidently what we as tourists do now. God Bless America.

All jokes aside, I'm up against it in terms of preparation. We're out of here in a few, and with only a handful of days to prepare, I should probably get started...

I think I've got the clothing situation sort of in check, as well as the minimal gizmos & gear we're planning to bring along. It's not a fishing trip by any stretch, but I am going to bring a tenkara rod (aka the travel rod) and a fly box just in case we have down time amid our tour guide's rigorous schedule near any water. Any suggestions on what flies to put in said box?

Truthfully, I'll take any recommendations - sights, sounds, food, bug spray, bear spray, whatever - this is a totally new experience for all of us, so if anyone's been to any of the places above, I'm all ears...

June 2, 2016

Vedavoo: Back Roads & Killer Bows

Vedavoo's Scott Hunter not only makes killer slings & packs, but he does up a tenkara video right as he runs into the Pig Farm Ink guys on a river in Wyoming.

"On one of my trips back to waters outside of my home town in Wyoming, I stopped into the Reef Fly Shop to pick up a few flies for a solo mission. I snapped the lid on my fly puck, and as I walked toward the counter Jay Johnson walked through the door. Jay, Addison Berry, and Berin Wachsmann were on their way back through from a Pig Farm Iron Fly event up in Jackson, and were planning to fish the Platte that day. It's truly amazing in this industry to see how tight-knit the community really is. We're all fisherman after all - and that morning, the man upstairs brought us together for one of the greatest days of fishing I'll ever have."

Make sure to check out both websites:
Vedavoo  |  Pig Farm Ink

August 2, 2012

Fishing In Wyoming: The Recap

So let's talk about Wyoming.  Yeah, I went there for my first day of fishing on my recent journey West.  Why?  Because The River Damsel wanted to take me there.  I couldn't have gone to Salt Lake City (which I realize is not in Wyoming) without fishing with Emily -- I don't think she would have permitted such a crime.  

Would I ever had stepped foot in Wyoming otherwise?  Probably not, but I did, and I'm glad I did.

If you've already read Emily's post (conveniently located HERE), you already got the general rundown on the trip.  RD writes a good story over there on her blog, even though she thinks I never read it.  That said, here's what really happened, she left a few things out... 

The morning started at 5:30 AM.  Let me tell you, I despise waking up early to go fishing.  (I don't care when you get up, anything before 7:00 AM is early in my book, even with a 2 hour time difference).  Quite honestly, on most occasions I boycott a crack o'dawn rise, however Emily wanted to get an early start on our 2 and a half hour drive.  Thus, I sucked it up and got up and stumbled down the the parking lot to hop in the Damselmobile and go, nice and prompt-like.  That said, I refused to shower or shave out of principle.  Screw that.  I might have brushed my teeth, I don't remember...

We drove...and drove...and ate donuts...and drove...and you know what...actually you probably already know this...but get a little bit out of Salt Lake City, and there's like nothing.  Just mountains and valleys that all look rocky, dry, and generally devoid of life, spare the random ranch house here or there.  Luckily, Emily likes to talk, and I don't mind listening, so the time in the car went relatively quickly.  Oh, and yes fellow fishing bloggers, we were largely talking about you.  So there.

When we finally reached Wyoming, we cruised main street Kemmerer like a bunch of lost tourists gangstas, rollin' into the Kum & Go (yeah, that's really the name) to pick up our fishing licenses.  In case you didn't know, the Kemmerer Oyster Ridge Music Festival was that weekend, and all 47 residents of town came out to celebrate.  Kemmerer is also home to the original J.C. Penney store, you know, just in case you weren't aware of that bit of Americana.  Could I make that up?

Oh...the fishing...we did that too.

So we hit the Ham's Fork River in a couple different spots.  All on random unmarked pull-offs along a road in the middle of nowhere while also braving shotgun blasts from private land owners.  Was it beautiful?  Were there fish?  Damn straight.

We pretty much spent the day working our way downstream (yeah, I said downstream).  I primarily fished a bugger and then later some dries (graciously suggested by the folks at Western Rivers Flyfisher), while RD stuck to an assortment of proven nymphs.  She's a filthy, dirty nympher...there ain't no changing that.  Even when she had a momentary lapse in judgment and fished a dry, she still had a nymph dropper.  But I shouldn't poke fun, she out-fished me probably by a handful on the day.  I don't know, I don't count.  I was impressed.  She ain't know...for a girl.

I'd bore you with more river and fish pictures, but I already posted an album on Facebook a few days ago.  Most of you have already seen (& "liked") it, and to those that didn't, what the hell is wrong with you?

Now let's talk about "the incident" on the way home.  It wasn't all Burt Reynolds & Sally Field if you know what I mean.  (As the passenger in the car, does that make me Sally Field?)

Yeah, The River Damsel got nabbed for a speeding ticket.  She didn't get into the real details on her blog, so let me set the scene.  We're stuck behind some pickup truck towing a 4-wheeler and something else random like a toilet, going like 40 MPH on a 65 MPH road.  Road raging because she wanted to scamper back to Utah to hit the Weber River on the way home, Emily punched the gas to pass...which we did...and we were in the clear cruising along at a nice clip.  

With potty trailer in the rear view, we settled in for the rest of the drive back while maintaining speed.  Emily was enjoying a milkshake and I was fumbling with cords to recharge a dead iPod in search of bad '80s rock.  Neither of us were probably paying all that close attention to the road ahead when a cop car materialized out of nowhere.  Like really nowhere.  

He tagged us for doing 75 in a 65 and a $70 ticket.  C'mon Cletus, 10 MPH, really?  RD tried to pout her way out of it, (I mean since things like the internet haven't reached Wyoming yet, he wouldn't have recognized the two celebrities sitting in front of him) but I'm sure in the eyes of the trooper she was guilty at "Utah" on her license plate.  If only I had a T! sticker on me for bribery.  Damn it to hell.

They don't use flashing lights to stop you in Wyoming

That excitement behind us, and legal 75 MPH speed limits ahead, we sped off to close the day off at the Weber.  To be honest, after Wyoming, fishing the Weber was a little anti-climactic.  Following a quick wade through sheep on the way to the stream, Emily quickly tagged a fish, I didn't, and we packed up shop after no more than 20 minutes.  

(C'mon RD, up the megapixels on that cellphone camera)

I think we were both tired out, but she really just wanted to show me one of her favorite fishing spots.  It was nice of her, and a very cool little spot, despite the case of whirling disease I now surely have acquired from the quick jaunt in Utah water.

So to close, a lot of the above post had my usual snarky tone, but to be 100% truthful, my Wyoming fishing experience was pretty much unforgettable.  It makes being back in the office sitting at a desk staring at a computer intolerable.  

A big thanks go out to The River Damsel for showing me around both Wyoming & Utah.  They just don't make country like that in my neck of the woods.  The fish were feisty, the scenery was spectacular, the weather was cooperative (despite a morning sprinkle), the conversation was great, & the company was even better.  You simply can't ask for much more...well...a couple more hours of sleep would have been nice...