Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Big Sky Vacation

This year's summer vacation is in Yellowstone park. It is day 3 and we are having a great time. Except for today, every day we've been hiking in various parts of Yellowstone. As usual, Bhairavi has picked a beautiful house about 30 minutes outside the park. Here's the view outside the back. This pic does not do the view justice.

In addition to our hikes through the geysers and falls, I've been running every morning. Today, I did about 8 miles up and back. The second pic is the direction of the run (pic taken from our house).

The further I went, the more I added to the run. Houses are so far apart and its just interesting to see why one person picked one view over another. After about 4 miles up, I turned around. I was running low on water (the air is thin here) and every time I'd go up another hill, there would be more roads and houses. Also, I did not want the family to think I got lost.

The runs are picturesque. You can see so far into the distance - plateaus, farms, mountains, Yellowstone River. It is remarkably detailed and rich. People live so far apart from each other. I remember this kind of thing in Dunbarton, NH, but you don't see the kind of physical separation you see here.

I can see why T Boone Pickens considers this as part of the "Saudi Arabia of wind." The winds blew so hard that it knocked down the support pole at the house entrance. We had to shut our windows as they were bending on the hinges. Many times, I'd have to take my hat off while running.

We are 30 miles away from the nearest town in either direction. 60 miles from the nearest Wal-Mart - yes they are huge out here. Could you imagine driving 3 miles to get onto the main road, then at least another 30 to get somewhere? The summer season is essentially July and August. It's been over 70 degrees (F) every day and sunny, but we are getting to see the wonderful summertime experience. Out in Montana, they sometimes get snow all the way into June. I still wonder who plows all these gravel roads to houses deep in the mountains.

For us, this is a blast. We are in a beautiful home way up on a hill with incredible views out of every window. Everything is big - the bales of hay, the field, the trucks and the scenery. Just walking down to another house is about a quarter mile minimum. In a short walk to the end of our side road was half a mile. The kids love it. They have not even complained about shutting off the TV for the week. It's actually turned my oldest son into an entrepreneur - more on that later.

Tomorrow we are off to Grand Teton early in the morning....

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