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Old 06-14-2019, 12:42 PM   #9621
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Very Blue!
Having travelled up and down the East Coast of the US, I can tell you Oceans and Bays should be brownish green, with about 3 inches of visibility.
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:25 PM   #9622
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Old 06-16-2019, 08:02 PM   #9623
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Today we hit The Bighorns, getting through the cold and rain on the eastern side to closer to Ten Sleep. We hit some forest service roads that most folks only take on 4-wheelers and side by sides.







The wildflowers are amazing up there.







This two track adventure brought to you by 4Runner....





The road we just came down is the top point there...



A cold homestead



needs a good heater



Birds were nice too. 31 species in 3 hours.

Dark-eyed Junco



Mountain Chickadee



Red-tailed Hawk



Say's Phoebe



Western Tanager



Western Wood-pewee

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Old 06-16-2019, 08:12 PM   #9624
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Absolutely amazing photos Tina. I am glad you are finally seeing Spring up there.
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:27 AM   #9625
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Yes and no. It was in the 40s and 50s up there yesterday. Still snow in a lot of the higher elevations. It's been raining on and off almost every day. We did have a handful of days that got up to about 80, but only about 5-7. The other day I was pondering if it was possible to get through the whole summer and only hit 60 degrees.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:33 AM   #9626
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Great pics!!!
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:18 AM   #9627
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okaugust View Post
Yes and no. It was in the 40s and 50s up there yesterday. Still snow in a lot of the higher elevations. It's been raining on and off almost every day. We did have a handful of days that got up to about 80, but only about 5-7. The other day I was pondering if it was possible to get through the whole summer and only hit 60 degrees.
It is definitely a slow start to Summer even down here. It is unusually mild for mid-June. I get the feeling the heat is just a week or two away.
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:24 PM   #9628
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Fantastic!
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:58 PM   #9629
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Originally Posted by Lickety Split View Post
It is definitely a slow start to Summer even down here. It is unusually mild for mid-June. I get the feeling the heat is just a week or two away.
I think the heat is here ...



And ... outstanding images, Tina!
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:40 PM   #9630
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While in Pragues Wenceslas Square, we saw a group of vintage World War II vehicles being escorted through traffic ...
https://vimeo.com/344426541

I noticed a single Jeep just sitting on the side, not leaving with the others.





The driver was in WW2 period uniform with 82nd Army Airborne patches. Not quite sure what the passengers uniform was (helmet camera mount & velcro patches not 1940's issue). I made a comment about the rest of the patrol was leaving them ... no response. Neither spoke English. They were part of a Czech Republic based WWII reenactment club, tooling around the city.
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Old 06-25-2019, 04:34 PM   #9631
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Nice!
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Old 06-25-2019, 04:36 PM   #9632
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Nice shots as always Doug. The Czechs are good people. Misha, our last Au pair, was from Praha. In fact, the youngest is visiting her in Sydney today. I have to settle for West Texas in July.

It sure didn't stop me from getting soaked on the ride home today.
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Old 07-07-2019, 07:29 PM   #9633
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So after a crazy couple of months at work where my boss left and hasn't been replaced, and employee turn over, working every Saturday, I got a week off. Only to come back to even more work chaos. But it was a great week off! For our 12th anniversary we were too tired to go too fire, so we decided to set off all over some of our favorite Wyoming spots, remote and otherwise, alternating camping and hotels....wherever did we go....

First my daughter came up from Denver, which was great. We live in a place we used to vacation, so why not start here?

A local hiking trail...





Hey, that's my kid, and a board member here, AnnaMai, though she doesn't have a motorcycle right now, she's all grown up and getting all over the place.





The trail is Red Grade Spring Trail, and it has some great flowers, and goes through about four different kinds of ecosystems over a couple of miles of a figure 8 loop.



The next day, Sunday, she headed home, and we took off for Guernsey State Park and our first yurt stay. I may be spoiled by yurts now. More on that later, but I will start off by saying it's a great place to ride out a incredible thunderstorm while you heat up a camp meal on your propane stove.





They've got some cool decades old structures



And very friendly camp dogs! Oh wait...



And while the beach area is packed with wall to wall RVs and people, the yurts off the water and the upper cliffs were almost people free.



And, it turns out, a great place to find a Peregrine Falcon....

Not a great shot, but considering it was flying around about 50 mph...



What's that you're making for breakfast over there? Camp food again, yuck!



The heavy rains have really got the overflow area going.



Hey look! Oregon Trail ruts! Don't ask me why they went through solid rock instead of the prairie that was all around.



And over at Register Cliff, where people have been etching their names on sandstone for over 100 years, though mostly from the 70s and 80s (19s not 18s so much), there are Cliff Swallows...annnnnnd.....



At first I thought they had just mudded in some unusual way around the nests, until I realized what I was looking at.



Holy moly, never seen a Bull Snake on a cliff wall raiding nests before....



It was rough on my Prime Directive, but I love snakes too, so I had to walk away.



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Old 07-07-2019, 07:44 PM   #9634
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Then it was on to Laramie, and some more good birding areas.



Chestnut-collared Longspur




Common Nighthawk - if early in the morning or at dusk you look up and see a largish bird flapping around erratically, and making a great croaking noise, it's probably this guy eating bugs.



Forster's Tern



Golden Eagle



Horned Lark



Lots of great grassland birds, McCown's Longspur



Wilson's Phalarope



But another thing I love about Laramie are the rail yards. Not only is Altitude Chophouse and Brewing a block away, but the rail yards have a fantastic old bridge over them, and you can stand up there and feel and watch the trains come through. It's been a photo favorite of mine for years.





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Old 07-07-2019, 07:53 PM   #9635
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On to Chain Lakes Wildlife Habitat Management Area. This spot is literally the middle of nowhere. Just north of Wamsutter or Rawlins, and just east of the Red Desert. No amenities, no vault toilets, no tables, alkali flats, a small lake (if you can find the two track to get to it), a run down old shed and a few shallow ponds make it great for mosquitoes, as well as a few other things.

Like wild horses...



We met this fellow last year in the same area, his territory. He will run up to show it's HIS area, but he's not approachable by any means.



You don't see me.





I feel a Disney movie coming on though.



The Sagebrush Sea was abloom





Burrowing Owl!



And Great Horned in the old shed....



This is what our camp looked like, right before the second wind storm came through. We almost gave up the idea during the first one. We waited it out, but the second was pretty much blowing the tent over. We'd eaten, but we pulled up stakes (literally) and high tailed it to Rawlins to one of the last decent hotel rooms left.

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Old 07-07-2019, 08:10 PM   #9636
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The next morning we were up and moving south again, down into the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest. This was a trickier day, we didn't have any real plans except to try for some owls in the forest at night, which we did not get. We found a trail to a place called Baby Lakes, but didn't have a trail map or any idea of how long it was, so we just wandered around a lot.

Found a 110-year-old decommissioned bridge over the North Platte.









The next day we hit the Flaming Gorge area. Now I've been along it on both sides before and never have found the actual reservoir until now. It's an arid, sagebrush, red rocked area, with a huge body of water that is way harder to find than it should be in the middle of it.



But if you try enough dirt roads, eventually you find something! Water!





It really is quite stunning. I know when people say they hate driving through Utah and Wyoming, I ask if they've ever driven through Kansas instead. I love it.



Found a few rarities, one of man's favorite bird names, Bushtits!



And...while the Little Firehole Campground has two guests sharing the same parking space, and adjoined picnic spots which we shared with a monster RV, and the tent pad was a red ant den, and the people across the way had dogs that barked at everyone that went by, and Mr Pontificate two down kept is $#% generator half the night and first thing in the morning, and the wind came up again and about blew the tent down again, we rode it out, the view was worth it, and waking up to an owl and nighthawks and Sagebrush Sparrows at 4:12 was pretty cool, I may be done with tent camping.

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Old 07-07-2019, 08:31 PM   #9637
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A couple more birds from that area, Mountain Bluebird



And maybe my favorite sparrow, by song, Sagebrush Sparrow



Onward to Seedskadee NWR in SE Wyoming, a favorite spot. But like everywhere else so far, very buggy. This wildlife refuge has been instrumental in bringing back Trumpeter Swan, though this time of year they are in the reeds with their young and I didn't get any photos.

It's also good for moose.




And great river shots, no effects added. The Green River, as Mike says this river is his favorite color.



Also good for American White Pelican



Golden and Bald Eagles nest here, this nest of Balds had three young.



You can usually find Tree, Cliff and Violet-green Swallows here, and the VGSW are a favorite.



At the Slate Creek Campground just north of the refuge, a heard robins pestering a bird, a Kestrel, but then out popped a Great Horned Owl, flying off, which woke up about a dozen nighthawks, which was cool. A lot of Yellow Warblers here too.



Again, more bugs. You know you are starting out in trouble when the stores are completely out of anything with DEET in it, you are covered in whatever you can find as well as a mesh jacket, and still they are all over you. Back to the Hampton Inn for some R&R, and Bitter Creek Brewing in Rock Springs.

So where to next then? The Tetons, where we cashed in a free Marriott stay at the Springhill in Jackson, normally $556 a night in July ($120 in November). And you would think that spending 18 years in Colorado going to Rocky Mountain National Park I would be used to crowds, but I always forget, get there and hate it. Trails are packed with people, parking lots full, animals are few and far between. Got a trail recommendation from a friend to try the 40 mile Death Canyon trail loaded with grizzlies. Did I say a friend? Anyway, we made it about a mile and looked over Phelps Lake, then went back down.



Could hear birds all over, most of which I can ID by ear, but didn't find what we hoped for. Butterflies were nice though.



Drove around another fan favorite, Jenny Lake.



And hiked a bit around it too.



And tried one of the landings along the Snake River. More tourists!

But hey, we got the freakin' Tetons over here!







You think you've got mountains, please.



More bugs!





Anywho, yeah, bears they are all over. And the national parks are best in early May, October, and if you know trails no one else uses and that's the best time to find wildlife. But we found a baby bear east of the parks today on our way east again.

Doing what baby bears do, looking for grubs.





Then we routed through Alcova Reservoir on the way back to meet a super nice lady from a facebook group I set up, Wyoming Bird, because she had a rare to Wyoming bird, the Ash-throated Flycatcher, that has set up house in her nest box.



Also had a lovely Rufous Hummingbird.



Anyway, now we are home, the six month old RAV has almost 18,000 miles on it, it's our 12th anniversary, and if I don't quit my job tomorrow, pack the cat into an RV and decide to live rough, it's going to be a miracle. Thanks for coming along.
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:41 PM   #9638
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Very nice Tina! The Tetons are among the most stunning mountains in the world. And I live in a state with 10 volcanoes and gorgeous scenery everywhere you look. We are pretty damn lucky!
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Old 07-08-2019, 05:09 AM   #9639
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Fantastic photos, as usual. I would really like to visit that area of the country some day.
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:26 PM   #9640
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Fantastic photos, as usual. I would really like to visit that area of the country some day.

Closest I ever got to there was visiting family in Rapid City, SD. Should've kept heading west! (Next trip, fer sure).

Great pictures, Tina! You capture the essence & spirit of Wyoming in your images.
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