Somewhere in Wyoming (obviously)
Somewhere in Wyoming (obviously)

There you have it.  Photographic evidence that I was in Wyoming.  We passed through the land of jackelopes after we had spent some time visiting Amy’s family in Denver.  We joined my dad as he drove through Denver on his way to my brother’s wedding.

Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park

Along the way we visited both Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park.  Given that it was Father’s Day weekend, the parks were surprisingly deserted.  Normally you hear about multi-hour traffic delays in the parks due to the massive crowds but not this time around.  They had a long, late and difficult winter in that part of the country so maybe that is what was keeping people away.  Either way, the weather was mostly agreeable for our one-day visit and we were able to see most of the highlights on our way through the two parks.

After attending my brother’s wedding in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana we went to Helena to visit with my family.  Helena’s valley and the surrounding mountains were incredibly green this year thanks to the wet winter.  We took a number of drives up into the surrounding forrest and the wildflowers were absolutely stunning.  I spent almost all of my summers as a kid in Helena and I don’t ever remember it being that green.

The winds of cheap airfare carried us from Helena, Montana to New York, New York (via Los Angeles, of course) and from there we bussed it up to Boston just in time to catch the Fourth of July fireworks on the Charles.  Our three days in Boston were spent visiting with friends, eating at some local favorites and preparing for the next leg of the trip.  We even took advantage of the last few days that remained on my Community Boating membership.

A beautiful red-flag day for a sail on the Charles
A beautiful red-flag day for a sail on the Charles

From Boston we continued on to Los Angeles to visit with Charles, one of my travel junkie friends.  Charles was kind enough to let us crash at his place in West Hollywood and we made good use of the time by picking his brain on potential travel destinations.  He has completed two round-the-world trips and dozens of shorter trips abroad so he is basically a walking Lonely Planet.  Aside from the normal travel brainstorming and talk of recent changes to airline award programs, he was also able to give us some practical first-hand advice for the Cook Islands – our next destination!

Downtown LA from Griffith Observatory
Downtown LA from Griffith Observatory
The Good Old U. S. of A.
Somewhere in Wyoming (obviously)
Somewhere in Wyoming (obviously)
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park
A sage grouse showing his stuff.
A sage grouse showing his stuff.
Old Faithful
Old Faithful
Traffic jam in Yellowstone
Traffic jam in Yellowstone
Snow banks in Yellowstone, in late June!
Snow banks in Yellowstone, in late June!
Warning statements in many languages but honestly I think the picture covers things pretty well.
Warning statements in many languages but honestly I think the picture covers things pretty well.
Yellowstone's Grand Prismatic Spring...pity it was raining
Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring…pity it was raining
Yellowstone Lodge
Yellowstone Lodge
Hiking through refridgerator canyon
Hiking through refridgerator canyon
Canyon Ferry Dam at the headwaters of the Missouri with all its spillways open.
Canyon Ferry Dam at the headwaters of the Missouri with all its spillways open.
Helena's Sleeping Giant
Helena’s Sleeping Giant
Loaded up and ready for the streets of New York City!
Loaded up and ready for the streets of New York City!
A beautiful red-flag day for a sail on the Charles
A beautiful red-flag day for a sail on the Charles
Downtown LA from Griffith Observatory
Downtown LA from Griffith Observatory
Some heavy metal from Heathrow on short final
Some heavy metal from Heathrow on short final
Charles and I watching a Delta 777
Charles and I watching a Delta 777
An all-too-short visit with Charles, one of my travel junkie friends
An all-too-short visit with Charles, one of my travel junkie friends

Jun 222011

Just a quick post from sunny Hamilton, Montana.  It’s the day after the summer solstice as well as the day after my little brother’s wedding.  We had a picture perfect weather yesterday for the ceremony from the Trapper Peak Overlook in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley.  Fortunately all the guests made it up the forestry service road and back down again for the reception that followed.

Now that my duties as best man are finished I will do my best to get the blog posts flowing within the next couple of days.  I still have a couple of weeks worth of Bolivia to write about including an incredible visit to Lake Titicaca.  After that I will explain where we are headed once we leave Montana.  I can promise that some exotic destinations are in the not-too-distant future – we will be flying over 19,000 miles in the first two weeks after we leave the States on July 10!

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