Thursday, August 4, 2011

Vacation Re-cap

I have been too busy to do our vacation justice on this blog, so I will post a few thoughts and move onto Leadville thoughts.

Sights - Mount Rushmore, Mountains, Yellowstone

Favorite parts of the vacation:  Seeing the rodeo in Cody Wyoming. Driving through the Beartooth Mountains and stopping for a lunch hike @ 9,000+ feet.  The 1st evening driving through the Hayden and Lamar Valleys of Yellowstone - We saw the most animals the 1st day.  The Upper and Lower Falls at Yellowstone.  Slowing down at Old Faithful Village and waiting on Geysers.

Family Time
Each evening we would walk over to the Lodge, carrying our games, soda, snacks and beer and sit for a few hours just chilling.  Every moment of the vacation was wonderful family time.  No TVs, computers - Just a shared experience.

When staying outside Yellowstone, we avoided any chains and stayed at small "Motor Lodges"  In Yellowstone we stayed 2 nights at cabins by Yellowstone Lake Lodge, 1 night North at the Hots Springs Mammoth Hotel and 1 night in a tiny cabin near Old Faithful Snow Lodge.  Our favorite was the cabins at the Lake Lodge.  If you are planning a trip during the busy time - Do yourself a favor and book at least a year in advance.

I ran every morning on what ever I could find
*  Mt Rushmore - After driving through the night we has 90 minutes to kill before we could go in, so we found a little city park and I ran on the road through the hills - This was the 1st of many experiences where visually it would appear you are going downhill, but actually going uphill with the background of steep hills / mountains.
*  Cody, WY - I found this great jeep road about 1 mile past the Rodeo that swicthbacked up the mountain.
*  Yellowstone Lake Lodge - Probably my favorite little run - The Elephant Back trail gave great views of the Lake Lodge and Yellowstone Lake.  The 1st day I had a 2 hour conversation with myself to make noise for animals, but then invested in a bear bell.
*  Mammoth Hot Springs - My lease favorite run - I chose the Lava Trail and there were so many scrub bushes to run through and they constantly scratched your legs.
*  Old Faithful Snow Lodge - Nice run through the power line trail and then onto another trail.  This was more like WI - Constant little ups and downs.  Where the rest of my runs were big long ups and downs.

A perfect ending 
We ended the 11 day vacation with many relatives at the annual Wolle Bolle camping weekend it MN.  This weekend started to celebrate my Grandmother on her birthday.  With her passing in the last year along with other factors, attendance was down.  My mom had 6 brothers and 1 sisters and by the time you add 2 more generations - It was still a large gathering.  I feel blessed that one time a year I get to see a lot of my extended family on my Mom's side.  This year it was fun that My sister, Ed (Boyfriend), Jessica (Niece), Corrie (Niece's Boyfriend), Joshua (Nephew) and my Dad were all there.

In the end 3,300 miles of driving.

The last few weeks were not great for training - But it was nice to get a few mountain miles in.

Good running to all!

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