Monday, February 18, 2019

A Yellowstone Winter

At the end of January my wife and I drove up to Bozeman, Montana to get ready to start a Muench Workshop in Yellowstone National Park. We’d been to Yellowstone in September and were  really excited to see it in winter. We allowed 3 days to get from Tucson to Bozeman, but it only took two as the weather was clear. Took a drive to look at the scenery north of town on our spare day.

Next morning we set off for Gardiner to meet the rest of the group, and Juan and David, our leaders.
We stopped to take a few photos on the way.

One of the spots we stopped at was Mallard Point, or View (I forget) overlooking a horseshoe bend on the Yellowstone River. On our return, a week later, the river was frozen solid!

Once at Gardiner, we checked in to the hotel, (very nice) and then went out and had a quick look at Mammoth Hot Springs.

Since it was cold and gloomy, and we were tired, we headed back to Gardiner, took a nap, and met the rest of the group when they arrived. They were later than expected due to airline delays. We'd chosen to drive since we didn't really trust the weather.

During our workshop, we spent three days in a snowcoach in the area around Old Faithful.
On the way out from Artists Point, quick reactions from our driver Doug saved us from what would most likely been a nasty accident with a speeding snowcoach in the middle of the road. This put us in a ditch, but nobody was hurt, and a large tracked vehicle from Mammoth winched us out in short order.

A very enjoyable and productive week in Yellowstone NP with Muench, and thanks to David and Juan.
Weather went from snowing hard to brilliant sunshine, and from quite cold to not really that cold.
Lots of Bison, some in the road! Elk, Big Horn Sheep, Moose, Coyotes, Red Foxes and lots of Magpies! The park is totally different in the winter, only a couple of places were immediately recognizable.

Monday, January 7, 2019

French Polynesia cruise.

At the beginning of December, my wife and I flew to Tahiti for a Windstar cruise on the Wind Spirit, a four masted modern sailing ship, to celebrate her 70th birthday (my wife’s, not the ship). The whole experience was amazing, wonderful crew, great food and we loved the ship. We flew to Papeete on an Air Tahiti Nui A340, great cabin attendants but the seats got quite uncomfortable after a few hours, maybe a sign of our age. Spent the night at the former Le Meridian in Papeete, very nice. A thoroughly enjoyable trip, the ship is quite small, about 150 passengers. We enjoyed it so much we signed up for a two week Caribbean cruise on the Wind Surf, a bit bigger and the fleet flagship. The snorkeling was wonderful, little blue fish quite inquisitive and we absolutely fried ourselves, despite living in Tucson where we know better. Delightful evening on a little islet at Bora Bora with a sunset and fire dancers.

Air Tahiti Nui Airbus A340, LAX

Good wine!

Margie celebrates her birthday early! Champagne and Bloody Mary.

Sunset over the Pacific

Half way there.

View from our hotel room

Hotel beach

Hotel pool

Papeete from the ship

Wind Spirit stern, spa and pool

Attending tug, departing Papeete

Pilot boat, sunset, Moorea in the background

We start sailing


Tahiti from Moorea

Palm tree lovers?

MSY Wind Spirit, Moorea

Sailing at sunset

Polynesian dancer, on board demonstration

Local brew

Control panel for setting the sails

Wind Spirit, Taha'a

Bora Bora fruit stand

Rainbow, Bora Bora

Islet at Bora Bora

Sunset, islet at Bora Bora

Fire dance

MSY Wind Spirit, Bora Bora

Goodbye to the Wind Spirit, Papeete, Tahiti

Papeete, Moorea in the background

Sunset, Le Meridian beach

Goodby Tahiti!