A Travellerspoint blog

Dog sledding in Wyoming

9 January 2015

snow 30 °F

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From the minute we were picked up for this adventure we were promised that dog sledding would be the highlight of our trip to Jackson Hole. We went for a half day tour with Jackson Hole Iditarod and they did not disappoint. From the very beginning you could sense their love for all of the 170 dogs in residence. It took a bit of time to get gear, people and dogs sorted but it was great once we got going.
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It is quite a noisy production to get going but right off the bat Curt was doing the driving of our sled. The group leader, Mary was in front of us ith her team and then we had 6 dogs pulling us. One of them even was the leader of a team to do the Iditarod in Alaska. Shortly after we got going I was able to stand on the back of the sled with Curt and put a bit more distance between me and the dogs rear ends.
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After about 45 minutes of sledding through just pristine landscape we stopped for a "picnic" lunch of chili and hot chocolate. Here we got a chance to meet a couple of our dogs, Patsy and Poptart were our leading ladies. Poptart is 11 years old!!
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After lunch Curt and I were both drivers of our sleds as here was another couple who didn't want to drive so we had to break up. They also changed a few dogs and many times I had to put all my weight on the break to keep from passing our leader. But what a wonderful experience that was had by all.
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Once we returned to town we spent the afternoon at the Old Town Tavern watching Kansas City beat Houston in the playoff game.
By 6:00 it was time to meet the rest of our Natural Habitat group for dinner. Our leaders Kevin and Paul have been doing this for 14 years and seem very knowledgable. There are 13 in our group and seems like it will be a great one. We had a welcome dinner at the Wort with either salmon (me) or skirt steak (Curt) and a wonderful apple crisp. We are all excited to start our wildlife viewing tomorrow!

Posted by ErinDriver 20:28 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Snowmobile Riding in Grand Teton National Park

8 January 2016

overcast

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Scenic Safaris took us on the best snowmobile trip we have ever been on. We had a great guide in Mikey and a small enough group that made it a bit more enjoyable than those of past locatins. The morning was foggy again for the ride to Grand Teton but we were quickly off on a well groomed trail at a really descent speed.
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Before long we came across big horned sheep in the road and a ram pretty close by. We were able to stop and take a few photos before moving on to one of th locations of a camp site along the river.
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The next stop was at an elk head laying in the road. Mikey felt it was likely this was dragged their by wolves as he could see their prints on the road.
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We made it to an elk feeding ground where he again mentioned they seemed very edgy and that wolves were likely in the area. We saw a distant coyote but no wolves. After the turn around we hit the same sheep in the road on the way back.
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After the ride back we quickly headed to Pinky G's which had been featured at Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. They have probably the cheapest option for lunch in the town with a slice of new york style pizza and a beer for $5.
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Later in the afternoon we walked back to Snow King Mountain for the tubing. One hour was $20 for as many times down the hill as you could stand. As one man there reminded us as he was getting in his tube "Fun isn't only for kids!"
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Right across the street from the tubing was a cute little restaurant called lift where we had hot chocolate and a beer before walking back in to town. They had the awesome US map made out of license plates! To cap off the day we split a burger and skinny fries at Liberty Burger. An absolutely delicious burgerand fantastic fries.

Posted by ErinDriver 20:55 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Snow King Skiing

7 January 2016

overcast 36 °F

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The day started a bit cloudy but that didn't stop us from walking to the slopes at Snow King. It was really a dream day of skiing. Most people go to Jackson Hole Resort to ski so Snow King was almost like we had the whole mountain to ourselves. The runs were just challenging enough and in the end the blue sky even peaked out.
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The resort has what they call the Cowboy Coaster, basically a roller coaster down the ski mountain. This was really fun and included with our lift ticket package with the military discount!! Thanks Snow King! Curt likes to brag that he never put the brakes on and what we felt when it slowed was the ride doing it automatically because we had hit 25 mph.
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After the roller coaster we took a break for lunch at Haydens Post. We split some nachos and a chicken sandwich that came with the most tasty sweet potato fries.
The downtown was just coming alive when we walked back through a few shops on the way back to the Lexington. The town definately wants to show off its western side with everything from canoeing raccoons to moose lollipops.
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Curt was pretty exhausted after a half day of skiing!
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Caldera thin crust pizza was the perfect way to cap off a great ski day.

Posted by ErinDriver 19:34 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Arrival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

6 January 2016

snow

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I thought this day would never come but we did in fact finally arrive in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for vacation. After a nice visit to the Corner Bakery in foggy El Paso we had a couple smooth flights bringing us to snowy Wyoming. The Lexington hotel shuttle picked us up at the airport and we saw 3 moose on the way home. In about 15 minutes we were at the cozy hotel with free cookies and coffee.
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Funny enough our room number at the Lexington was the same as our address in El Paso.
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The hotel also had little Lexi the wolf waiting in the room. And for Mom it does note that if you take Lexi home with you, you will be charged $25.
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Before long we were walking to the center of town with light snow fall and Christmas decoations all around. It was all pretty magical. We did a little shopping, I did a little photographing and we both did a little beer drinking.
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We were told we had to check out the cowboy bar, famous for its saddle bar stools. We had a couple beers and some cheese fries before moving on.
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Next up was the Old Town Tavern which was having trivia night. I think we found a local hangout where many groups come each week for silly trivia. We had a couple of bread bowls, Curt's with chili and mine with cheesy tortilla fajita.
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At the end of trivia the guy put on his slide show this saying which I thought was pretty good one. The happiest people in the world don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.

Posted by ErinDriver 21:48 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Half of a Sunbowl

26 December 2015

snow

I was very excited to see my first football game since coming to El Paso. However I had no idea we would be dealing with snowy conditions for a game under the title of Sun Bowl. The forecast was calling for rain but as we sat down in the stadium the flurries started. The snow continued to come down until we were pretty much soaking wet. We made a good time of it until just before half time when we called it a day. Washington State University ended up beating Miami 20-14 but we watched the rest of the game from our nice cozy living room.
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Posted by ErinDriver 19:59 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Baylor University Graduation

19 December 2015

sunny

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After 18 grueling months the day of graduation has finally arrived. Curt and I flew to Waco from El Paso and my parents drove from Pennsylvania for the big day. Baylor seems to love their military and had a great luncheon for the 13 doctoral graduations from the Army and Air Force at the Baylor Club. It is in the new stadium and they had some suites opened for us to peek in.
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After the lunch we move to the auditorium for graduation. The hooding ceremony for the doctoral graduates is saved for last and really special. After that I was free from this program!
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Of course what better to celebrate with than a margarita. Ninfa's was across from the hotel Curt and I were staying in (Hilton) so we walked across and had Mexican!
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Posted by ErinDriver 15:06 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Last Rhinos Game

13 December 2015

sunny

El Paso Rhinos

El Paso Rhinos

Now that school is out and I get to be a normal person again I have time to do things like go to hockey games. The game was a blast with the Rhinos winning in overtime 3-2! And best of all Curt and I were on the Kiss Cam and won a gift certificate for flowers!

Posted by ErinDriver 19:22 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Dia De Los Muertos

1 November 2015

sunny 55 °F

Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos


We almost live in Mexico so got to enjoy some of their celebrations today. We went to a wonderful brunch with our neighbors, John and Jill, at the Double Eagle restaurant in Las Cruces. The restaurant is gorgeous and the buffet had breakfast and lunch options with mimosas included!
adobe bricks

adobe bricks


On the way to the restaurant from the car we passed this stock of adobe bricks drying in the sun.
New Mexican Front door

New Mexican Front door


I also loved this simple but classic New Mexican look. And with the little skeleton on the door.
Day of the dead display

Day of the dead display


After lunch we walked out to plaza in the center of Old Mesilla and a festival was going on. People had set up monuments to their loved ones who had passed away. Even the dogs were remembered.
A beer drinker remembered

A beer drinker remembered


Dog display

Dog display


artwork

artwork


flags

flags


A dancing group from San Antonio had some beautiful face paint and costumes. They put on a great little show in the square. What a great and spontaneous travel moment!
dancers

dancers

Posted by ErinDriver 19:03 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Another beautiful ballon day

7 October 2015

sunny

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Another beautiful balloon day started early enough to see the Krispy Kreme Morning glow. A row of balloons set up and alternated between flicker burns and constant burns that lit up the morning beautifully. It was a bit of a cloudier day today which may some photos better and some photos worse. It still didn't stop me from taking hundreds of photos:)
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After the morning launches were complete the Parabatix Sky Racers put on a performance. Basically these guys strap a fan and lawn mower like engine on their back and fly around in formation. The exhaust from their engine was nauseating so I didn't get to see much of it. Sadly after that we headed back home and the real world again :(
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Posted by ErinDriver 19:33 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Arrival in Albuquerque for Balloon Fiesta

5-6 October 2015

sunny

After our soak in the hot springs of Truth or Consequences we continued on to meet Chris and Christina in the RV parking for the Balloon Fiesta. We quickly made tracks to Monroe's for some New Mexican food. Curt follewed the lead of Chris and fell in love with Carne Adovado. I got the flat, blue corn tortilla enchiladas and they were just what the doctor ordered.
Monroes

Monroes


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Continuing on with our celebration of seeing each other again we made it to Tractor Brewery which had quite a neat inside. And more importantly for ever beer you bought you got $1 back in the form of a chip that you could donate to your choice of four differen charities. The animal rescue chairty made out pretty good that day.
tractor brewing

tractor brewing


inside tractor brewing

inside tractor brewing


brewery art

brewery art


Morning came very early on Tuesday morning so we wouldn't miss any part of the fiesta. The bus for the RV park was just outside our parking spot and we were on the grounds in less than 5 minutes. Our first stop was for a breakfast burrito to eat while we watched the dawn patrol prepare to set off.
Star Spangled Banner balloon

Star Spangled Banner balloon


The morning was a photographers dream and by the end of the day I had major cramping in my shutter finger. Hundreds of balloons were put up and launched within an hour. Shortly after the mass ascension took off we were seeing balloons that launched about one mile away. Their goal was to try to drop a marked sandbag on an X in the field to win a prize. This brought them all pretty close to all the spectators.
chainsaw owls

chainsaw owls


chainsaw competitions

chainsaw competitions


deer from chainsaw

deer from chainsaw


The vendors with shopping kept us busy for awhile along with a stroll through the wood carvings. The only other entertainment for the day at the fiesta grounds was a chainsaw competition. We didn't see that but they had up some pretty amazing carvings.
baby giraffe

baby giraffe


Christina had heard that the zoo had a baby giraffe so after a short rest and lunch at Cafe Azul we were off to the animals. It turned out to be quite good for babies. Not only was there a giraffe that was having their feeding time when we arrived, but also a baby hippo, twin chimps, and a snow leopard.
baby chimp

baby chimp


We weren't hungry after our big lunch but Christina had a previous intern that lived in Albuquerque so we met her at Nexus Brewery for a few beers and fried pickles. It was quite a long day with another to follow, but what a wonderful event the balloon fiesta is!!! Enjoy the photos.....
aquarium balloon

aquarium balloon


astronaut

astronaut


balloon refs

balloon refs


balloons 1

balloons 1


blue macaw

blue macaw


bucket list

bucket list


cartoon balloon

cartoon balloon


Chris shopping for glasses

Chris shopping for glasses


Christina and I

Christina and I


clown

clown


cow balloon

cow balloon


Dawn Patrol

Dawn Patrol


dog balloon

dog balloon


Donut vendor

Donut vendor


dragon

dragon

ele

ele


First balloons up

First balloons up


frog

frog


fun ref hat

fun ref hat


horses enjoying the balloons

horses enjoying the balloons


inside the balloon

inside the balloon


lady bug

lady bug


launch 2

launch 2


launch 3

launch 3


launch 4

launch 4


little girl

little girl


monster in the sky

monster in the sky


monster

monster


more astronauts

more astronauts


morning launch

morning launch


morning set up

morning set up


mounted police

mounted police


New Zealand kiwi

New Zealand kiwi


playing with fire

playing with fire


row of balloons ready to go

row of balloons ready to go


seahorse

seahorse


smiley face balloon

smiley face balloon


Star Spangled Banner balloon

Star Spangled Banner balloon


still waiting to launch

still waiting to launch


turtle

turtle


world balloon

world balloon


yoda

yoda


zebra cowboy

zebra cowboy


zebra

zebra


watching over his pool

watching over his pool


the other polar bear

the other polar bear


polar bear loving his ball

polar bear loving his ball


close up bear

close up bear


baby and mommy giraffe

baby and mommy giraffe


feeding baby giraffe

feeding baby giraffe


giraffe feeding time

giraffe feeding time


flamingos

flamingos


gorilla stare

gorilla stare


gorilla

gorilla


chimpanzee hands

chimpanzee hands


baby snow leopard

baby snow leopard


big hippo

big hippo


mom and baby hippo

mom and baby hippo


king curtis

king curtis

Posted by ErinDriver 20:06 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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