I've been suffering from lack of pet angst.

So I went out and bought a Beta. Otherwise known as a Siamese (or in some circles Chinese) Fighting Fish.

I named him Pedro. Pictures to come.


I got woke up early yesterday morning by my mother asking me if I wanted to go with her to the Airforce Base to attend an Airshow. At first I was still part asleep and didn't think much about going anywhere, but after I gained consciousness I decided that going to an Airshow sounded pretty cool after all.

Driving out to Fairchild through road construction and what not, we weren't sure how easy it would be to get on or what not, only to discover that they had it specifically set for the public. Easiest time I've ever had getting on an Airforce base truthfully.

First thing they had for the walkthrough was a C5.

I also found the F117 to be pretty flippen' sweet as well. They actually did three overhead passes with the F117. I know they didn't even go near what this jet is capable of.

Stealth bombers are pretty sweet. . .

We also got to see Tim Weber in action.

Didn't get a lot of good action shots of Tim Weber (check out his website for those) but I did get a photo opportunity plus a signed autograph. Autographs were something I started collecting in Kosovo.

Meanwhile, there were these old school pre world war II airplanes that they had flying in formations. They were pretty cool.

Getting ready for take-off.

And of course, the action shots. . .

They had the Canadian Skyhawks parachuting as well (dang, didn't get pictures) which was pretty cool. I have seen the Golden Knights before in San Antonio, some amazing stuff they do, makes me want to go airborne myself. *sighs*

The highlight of the show was of course the Thunderbirds. Precision flying is sweet, and what was also pretty cool is the fact that one of the pilots is a woman. That's pretty hoorah in my opinion, especially after you see what these people do.

Getting out of the Airforce base however, well, that was another adventure. They say that there were 30,000 people there or something insane like that. Meaning that traffic exiting the airforce base? Outragious.

Apparently one of my blog readers saw me there. I got an email from him after I got home asking me if perchance I had gone there, he thought he may have recognized me.

Small world. Still, an eventful day. Glad I decided to get up and go to it.


YNP : Parting Shots

Well, I guess I better come out and say it.

I'm no longer working at Yellowstone. I just came home this morning, ending the season a little early. I did enjoy the job, but there was some circumstances that came up that made me realize that I got what I wanted out of the job, I saw Yellowstone (though there are parts I'll have to go back to in the future and catch), I worked with horses and got them out of my system, and overall the season was good.

However, like all jobs, working at Yellowstone as a Wrangler was a job. It was a hard job with long days, and it wasn't always peaches and cream. I didn't always get along with my fellow wranglers (my interpersonal skills with my coworkers is something I could use some work on) and I kind of wished my exit went a bit different, but I realized that I needed to be home right now.

I didn't just up and quit (ok, so maybe I did), I did give it some thought, it was just something I needed to do. I think the one thing that bugs me about the whole circumstances is that I don't like the feeling fo quitting. However, apparently my family knew I was going to come home early, and overall, considering I just got back from Kosovo six months ago, I need to get my life in order with school this fall along with a bunch of other things that going away to Yellowstone caused some conflicts.

Overall, home is where I need to be. I can say I worked as a wrangler in Yellowstone, and now I really need to focus on the question. You know, the big question. What in the world am I going to do with my life?

Meanwhile, I learned a lot about Yellowstone. Here are some parting shots.

Sitting at the front of the wagon giving commentary. This is one of the few pictures I got of me doing this job, and I look like I'm about to eat somebody or something.

Giving commentary for the Stage Coaches. My driver told me I gave a perfect 'pat' pose.

Rawhide and Me. Somebody I will truly miss, it was hard turning him loose for the last time.

One sight I really won't miss that much is the bison on the road.

Goodbye Yellowstone. Until we meet again.

YNP : Geysers

Yellowstone is really quite known around the world for one thing.

Thermal features.

Unabounding wilderness comes in second, but when people think of Yellowstone, they truly think of the geysers. Well, along with waterfalls this last weekend, I checked out some Geysers and other Thermal Features as well.

Lesson learned: Geysers are cool.

Jet Geyser

Jet Geyser is one of the geysers down in the Fountain Paint Pot area. Its directly related to Fountain Geyser and Morning Geyser (which was going off when we went through this area, but I didn't get a picture of) and gave us a little show. Nobody was taking pictures of it, so I got a couple snap shots.

Imperial Geyser

I got my own private show of Imperial, its an extension of the Fairy Falls hike, an additional 1.4 mile loop added. It was kind of neat checking it out, however I didn't see it in a major eruption, just one of its many minor eruptions, which occurs every couple minutes and can be anywhere from a couple of feet to eighty feet. Its actually has a fairly large pool for a geyser, and apparently was a big gusher in its day. However these days it is fairly mellow. Still, I got my own private show, and it was nice.

Jewel Geyser

Located in Buscuit Basin (at the back of which is the trail to Mystic Falls), wait a few minutes and you'll see this little geyser go off. It erupts every 7 to 10 minutes.

Lone Star Geyser

Aptly named Geyser, the nearest large geyser is Old Faithful. Lone Star is also one of the most regular in the park, erupting almost 3 hours exactly. I had to bike 2.5 miles to get to Lone Star, but it was worth it. Old Faithful visitors center didn't have numbers ofr Lone Star (they rely on visitors to report eruptions to predict it) so I had to take a chance and hope I would catch an eruption and not have to wait three hours for it. I lucked out, I waited about 20 minutes for it to go off, sitting with five other people. It also puts on quite a show (30 minutes), I think this is one of my favorite geysers in the park.

Old Faithful

Everyone knows of Old Faithful. Its famous for being the largest regular geyser on the face of the planet, hence the name Old Faithful. It regularly puts on a show for you, and I've seen it go off about six or seven times since I got here, three times alone on Monday.

There's this neat hike up to the viewing area of Old Faithful. I took advantage of a hiking opportunity and saw it from this vantage point and only had to put up with a minor crowd. Very scenic.

Castle Geyser

Castle Geyser is in the Upper Geyser Basin (which is by Old Faithful) and goes off every 11 to 13 hours. It puts out quite a show when it does go off, though I only saw the beginning show and snapped a picture, having heard that the irregular Beehive Geyser was about to go off.

Beehive Geyser

Named because of its geyserite cone looks a bit like a Beehive, this geyser shoots straight up. It's got a small geyser to the side that works as an indicator that Beehive is about to erupt, and thats the only sign that it will erupt. Otherwise, I would have likely missed this show.

I've seen quite a few geysers since I've been here, these are the main ones I've seen that I got pictures of. I did see Fountain Geyser erupt from a bus, as well as Solitary Geyser which erupts every few minutes in a small bubble.

I'm told I lucked out with how the Geysers erupted the day I saw them. There are a few I missed but overall, I saw quite a few.


Stagecoach Update

Did mention I was going to talk to the boss man about working stage this week. He gave me the honor and I got to drive it. Twice! Sweet!

Me, with Creep and Crawl, a couple of our Percheron Draft Horses.

YNP : Water Falls

Ok, so there is the lower and upper falls. They are pretty darn famous in fact. Truth is, there are over 200 water falls in Yellowstone. Exact numbers escape me, in fact, I don't know if anybody knows exactly how many waterfalls are in Yellowstone. I was just realizing how big Yellowstone was today. It started to annoy me.

Mostly because of driving from one place to the next. It gets old driving a hundred miles in a weekend.

This weekend, I saw a couple waterfalls.

Fairy Falls

Fairy Falls includes a bit of a hike through some burn area. Its just behind the Midway Geyser Basin which includes Grand Prismatic Spring and actually a rather pleasant stroll of about 5 miles. Knock off two miles by foot if you bring along a bike (I did). It seems you can park a bicycle at a trail head and people leave it alone. I was somewhat concerned about somebody taking off with it, but if they do, one less thing to haul back home with me.

Another 1.4 mile loop includes a trip to Imperial Geyser. Neat little geyser, definitely a recommended hike if you have the time in Yellowstone such as we employees do.

And on the way back, you can take a little climb up a hill and get a great view of Grand Prismatic Spring.

Definitely one of the coolest hot springs in the park (not literally of course, cool meaning neat). My family commented it was one of their favorite places in the park.

Mystic Falls

Mystic falls is also worth a view, behind the Biscuit Basin, catch a glimpse of Jewel Geyser while your at it. Jewel erupts every 7 to 10 minutes.

Two choices with this one. Hike straight to it and back, or you can take the loop and see the entire Upper Geyser basin. I saw Old Faithful Erupt from a fair distance away. Pretty cool.

I'll hit the geysers in another blog post.

Got another book that tells about Yellowstone Waterfalls. Plan on visiting a fair bit more of them.

Cody Gun Museum

Last week, I was in Cody Wyoming. Unfortunately my camera was on its last leg as far as batteries were concerned and I couldn't get them recharged (it eats regular batteries as an appetizer for lunch) so I had to conserve my picture taking.

One thing I couldn't be snide on was the Cody Gun Museum. I knew some of my readers who know me from my infamous not sorry days (which has me pegged as a complete gun nut by a few people) would enjoy this. They likely even heard about it.

1500 Firearms. On the first floor.

Don't forget the additional 1200 on display in the basement!

Hand Guns, Rifles everywhere, and not a one to shoot! Just a history of firearms, every make and model you can think of.

If you make it into Cody Wyoming sometime in your life, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in general is worth a look, five museums in one. Good times had by all!

Including the resident Gun Nut.

Fred and Barney

Pony Rides

I don't seem to have any time online anymore. Whatever the case, it brings me to enough time to post random pictures.

This is just a good picture to show some of the things I do here. I enjoy giving kids pony rides.


Book Plugs!

Death in Yellowstone

Great book. Picked it up and had trouble putting it back down. Highly recommended read. I just wish it was more updated, as it was printed in 1995 and I know of two deaths since then (one in the last month since I've been there). Fascinating stories about people, some of them candidates for Darwin Awards.

Many are morbid. Good read for those fascinated by death, and for anybody who might think walking up to a bison to pet it sounds like a good idea.

Along the same lines, I think this would also be an interesting read.

YNP : Mt Washburn

Mt Washburn is on the Eastern side of Yellowstone, between Canyon and Tower. Along the road there are two trails that go up it, one is the Dunraven pass trail and the other is the Chitteden Road, which is a dirt road. If I had known at the time about the Dunraven Pass Trail, I would have taken it, as apparently it is more scenic. However, I vouched to crawl up the Chitteden road instead.

The view from above is spectacular. A good three miles to the top (and of course, you have to go back) but definitely a hike worth doing if you get the chance and you are physically capable of it.

If I find the time, I would like to climb it again, via the Dunraven Pass Trail. But chances are I'll find my time bogged down with other adventures.

YNP : The Hoodoos


That's what I was thinking. What are these things?

Well, they're rocks. Big massive piled up rocks. Just sitting a few miles south of Mammoth Hotsprings strewn about the hillside. Watch for that turn off the loop coming from the North or your bound to miss it.

The thing about the Hoodoos though is that they scream exploration. I mean, you can't help but climb them, and me being a climber type person that climbs anything that is climbable, I couldn't resist.

Hoodoos, strown about everywhere. You can spend as little as ten minutes or as much as two hours here, depending on your available time, they are everywhere and there is much to explore.

I could spend an entire day here. A recommended place to check out on your way through Yellowstone.

YNP : Family Affair

The family came and visited me in Yellowstone last weekend. Because they were here, I didn't get my usual internet time in until midweek because I wanted to hang out with them and enjoy yellowstone as a family.

I also kind of became the family tour guide.

On Friday I managed to get them a bit of a discount to come on the Cookout with me. While I was there working, I offered to give my niece a pony ride on one of the horses.

This is L3. He's got this strange brand on his butt which is where he got his name or so I think. Regardless, L3 is a weird name for a horse. I think we should call him El-Three-Pee-Oh or something like that.

My boss was mentioning that we had to get more seats for the Erickson Family reunion, though I did mention that we would need something like 20 seats if the whole family had made it.

Kids always find this little creek and play in it.

My niece and nephew like to cuddle with me, especially when we are seperated for more then a couple of weeks, and as long as both parents are right there with me.

In the meantime, while playing personal tour guide to my family the next day, we saw the Upper and Lower falls of the Yellowstone river.

Lower Falls!

And no family trip to Yellowstone is complete without a visit to Ol' Faithful!

However, despite how little known they are, the Hoodoos proved to be quite popular with the Family.

Quick pic next to the Yellowstone Sign.

And then its back to work for me. *sigh*

Work's not to bad, though. Things remain fun.

YNP : Stagecoaches

One of my jobs is to know the history behind the stagecoach. We have a stagecoach here called the Tally-Ho Stagecoach, used to transport passengers from Gardiner to Mammoth Hotsprings at the turn of the century. These are replicas, but they are still pretty cool.

I haven't really worked much around the Stagecoach since I've been here, I think I'm going to ask for some time on it this week to get a feel for it, and to change up my day a bit. Besides, they're cool.

I was in West Yellowstone at one of their museums and saw a 4-in-Hand, and they allowed you to try on the white dusters, so I thought 'Kodak Moment!'

Hopefully I can work the stagecoach angle sometime this week. I think I'll talk to the boss about it. Sounds like fun. And I love working with the Drafts.