Last day of July: I'm setting up my new desktop computer. Compared to my laptop, this machine is super powerful. 500GB harddrive, 3GB memory, two optical drives, IEEE1394 ports, loads of USB ports, and an amazing 19" flat screen. This if for my dissertation research- insurance and speed and storage space. However, my desk is covered with wires as I have both computers up and running, loading files on the new one, transferring files from the old one. I'm psyched.

I'm also psyched because my husband's sabbatical is coming to and end and he is coming home. Big Smile!
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Squirt had a super time rock climbing and backpacking in Humbug Spires, Montana. We've been home all weekend getting re-acquainted with the indoors, and today I made this anniversary video about his past year.


Today was not such a good day. It started out alright; we took a walking tour of campus, went to an awesome natural foods store and had a picnic lunch at a park by a river. But later in the afternoon, Dan decided to go play Frisbee Golf while I browsed art galleries. I got a phone call while downtown- someone ran a red light and plowed into Dan while he was entering an intersection to make a turn. He saw it coming and tried to get out of the way so he wouldn't be hurt, and he wasn't. You can see that the driver's door was the only thing spared- like a church untouched by a tornado that ravages a town. This car hit him so hard, it spun him around and then the car hit him again in the front. Everything in the back that had been so meticulously organized in drawers and boxes with Velcro closures and rope tie-downs was thrown into chaos. The bike handle scraped a gash in the ceiling and ripped off the interior light.

We spent the evening having dinner in our room, Dan talking with our insurance company, trying to decide what to do next. Is the car safe to drive home from Montana through Wisconsin and then to Virginia? Is it totalled? How much will the other driver's insurance company pay? So many questions. In the morning we will try to get some answers.

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Today was a lot of driving. We drove up the Bitterroot Valley, stopping along the way to see interesting things. We spent an hour in Jackson Hot Springs where we swam around in the slimy greenish brownish pool of very warm water. Then we went to Big Hole where there was a battle between the Nez Perce and the government who wanted to move them to a reservation. This photo is a memorial where the horrible battle took place. We tried camping again, tried to find a B&B or an interesting hotel in the valley but decided after dinner to just drive on up to Missoula and stay at a motel. Pictures of Missoula to follow!
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7-19-08 continued

We got to Bannock just in time to see a staged stagecoach robbery. It was very entertaining. Bannock is a state park and once a year they turn it into a sort of western Williamsburg, and it's free. People dressed up in period costumes, vendors selling western goods, lots of food, music, demonstrations of blacksmithing, candlemaking, gun shooting, and we were allowed to walk into any old house or structure. The last residents left Bannock in the mid 1970s, but it really cleared out much much earlier than that when the gold mining went sour.

We decided to camp tonight and picked a site at Miner's Lake. It was mosquito infested and I was covered in DEET and sunscreen, and the water from the hand pump was brown. The fire I made was really good though, and I had a sweet s'more and some perfectly browned marshmallows.
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We checked out of our cabin today, so I took some final photos. This was a really special place and I will always have fond memories of our six days there. We ventured out to visit a special annual event in Bannock, which will require its own post.

This is just some crazy dwelling we spotted our first day... and I said, "hey, look at that fort!" then noticed that it was named FORT. I got a photo from the car on the way out of the area.
The entrance sign to the Wilderness Edge Resort.
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Today we ventured into Yellowstone for the third and final time. I wanted to see the Grand Prismatic Spring since it's featured so prominently on calendars and post cards. We had to climb up this very rocky and steep hill to get the perspective necessary for this photo.
The yellow and purple flowers of Montana are so beautiful. Some are a pale, buttery yellow, some bright yellow. We decided to check out of our cabin tomorrow and venture into some other wilderness.

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7-17-08 continued

This is Cliff Lake where Dan went fishing in a thunderstorm.
He caught us two trout which I breaded and pan fried for dinner.

Earlier in the day we went on this hike and ran across some cows and a real live cowboy with his cow dogs. It was very interesting watching the dogs interact with the cows.
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Today we decided to take it easy and hang around the cabin. We hiked up into the hills and saw a cowboy and some very curious cows. After lunch we had a thunderstorm while Dan was fishing on the lake. He said it even hailed. Pictures to follow...


Today we went back to Yellowstone and visited the Norris Basin. Here's a bison we saw from the car.

The Norris basin has some really beautiful geysers and pools too. I love the way the trees are reflected in this photo.

We hiked down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and saw the falls of the Yellowstone River. A guy from the Netherlands took this photo of us. The hike back up nearly killed me. I counted over 300 steps. The canyon actually had steps down. That particular trail is called Uncle Tom's Trail.

The sun was setting on the North Rim of the canyon and it was really beautiful. We had dinner in West Yellowstone after a full day. We got to eat really good pizza! Tomorrow we're just going to hang around the cabin and Dan is going to fish for supper.
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This is a view from our cabin of the main building and another couple of small cabins. It's so pretty here at Wilderness Edge.
Today we went into Virginia City and Nevada City. This is Dan in one of the old buildings of Virginia City, a ghost town preserved as a sort of museum of the old west.

Nevada city has a train museum and we got to poke around in some old trains. It also had a really cool music museum of old timey automatic music machines. You put a quarter in and a violin plays or horns play or an organ plays. Cool stuff.

We finished up the day with a show called the Brewery Follies. It was too bawdy for my taste, but some of the skits were funny. Dueling flashlights stuck up people's noses was funny.
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We made it to Yellowstone today. These are three photos of Old Faithful blowing off some steam. We witnessed this with like 300 other tourists!

There were so many beautiful geysers and blue pools and steam vents that I can't post pictures of them all, but this is a photo of Morning Glory Pool and I think it's really beautiful. Yellowstone is an amazing place. We're going back again to a different spot.


We left Squirt and Butte and started making our way to the cabin we had rented for a week. This is the beautiful Madison River. I think it's the most beautiful river I've ever seen. (Sorry, Rivanna...)

Little cabin in the woods. This is our home away from home for the next week.

We took a mile hike to the nearby Cliff Lake at sunset-- which is around 10pm here. Dan plans to fish on this lake and catch us some trout.


Yesterday was a 12 hour traveling day. Squirt and I drove to Dulles, took an unexpected taxi to Reagan National, flew to Salt Lake City, then flew to Bozeman Montana where Dan met us at the small airport at 11pm Montana time, 1am EST. We were tired. This is a photo I took the next morning from the hotel. They don't call it Montana for nothing! We drove to Butte, Montana this morning to prepare to drop Squirt off for his Outward Bound adventure.


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Jes and I spent four hours moving her furniture out of her apartment today. We used a friend's truck which had no power steering, no AC, and a very strange clutch. We moved a bed, bed frame, dresser, big mirror, chair, desk, and boxes and bags of clothes. We took the chair and some clothes to Goodwill. This couch was too heavy to lift so we took a picture of it to try and FreeCycle it. Since it's a really yucky couch, we tried to make it look "inviting" :)






Four animals live in this house. Four people, four animals, four cars clogging the driveway. My camera lens stopped autofocusing a few weeks back so I had trouble getting these four pictures of the animals.
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