Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Weekend Getaway

Sherrie and I took advantage of the long Memorial Day weekend to head north to Island Park and Yellowstone to spend some time together (sans children), check on the cabin and checkout Old Faithful in Yellowstone Park. Albeit fast, it was a fun get away. We headed out a little later than planned on Friday afternoon so we arrived in the dark at about 11:00 pm. We would have arrived about 15 minutes sooner, but an Island Park officer pulled me over 5 miles from the cabin to let me know that I had a burned out headlight - after which he spent 15 minutes checking my license and registration. Fortunately there was no ticket involved and I didn't have to drive in the dark again, so I will get it promptly repaired in the morning. It had been a while since we had been to the cabin and I had all the power turned off so I couldn't see to get into the bedroom to switch the power on. I finally located the blow torch used to light the pellet stove and used it as a light to find the electrical breaker. After the lights were turned on I found that I had left a flashlight on the table by the front door for that very purpose. Next time I will know that it is there. I also had instructions to turn off all the faucets before turning on the water (glad I had those instructions and found them before turning on the water). Everything was in good shape. The boards over the windows had protected them. The water came on with only one small leak in the system drain valve (which I will fix next time I go up). We lit the pellet stove and enjoyed a nice hour with a fire and a quiet forest around us. In the morning we enjoyed breakfast on the front porch and listened to all the birds singing. There was still a little snow on the ground and the only flowers in bloom were the glacier lilies and a little white flower that I sadly don't know the name of (yet).

We spend a lazy morning checking out the cabin and land around it and then headed up to West Yellowstone. We made our regular trip to the local hardware store to pick up a few supplies. We went to Homeroom to look at the furniture, cabin decor and unique toys they carry. I didn't find anything I couldn't live without. Sherrie made a few purchases from the toy department. We found there was quite a line of cars heading into the park. We had to wait about 30 minutes. Once we were in the park there wasn't bad traffic to speak of. There was the occasional slow down so everybody could take a picture of a bison or elk. We opted to bypass all the interim stops and head straight to Old Faithful. We were able to see the geyser blow twice while we were there. We made the hike up to the observation point. It was really a beautiful day in the park. We left the park and headed back into West Yellowstone to get some fudge at the local candy store. They make the best Huckleberry fudge (and I am sure that with Huckleberries in it, it must be low calorie).

We had a date to go to Pond's Lodge for dinner (and yes, old married couples still enjoy romantic dates). They have really good food at Pond's Lodge, although it looks otherwise. I had the best barbecue ribs with a delicious bean and bacon soup. Sherrie had a chicken breast and a green salad. It is a fun place to go. When we made it back to the cabin we did a little cleaning to get ready for the next time we go up and hit the sack early as a day of hiking left us exhausted (yes, we are getting older and are slightly out of shape).

Sunday morning was another lazy morning. We ate some breakfast on the front porch and then it was getting ready to head home. We left the cabin at about noon with our first stop in Sugar City, Idaho. We stopped to see our oldest son's grave and leave some flowers for Memorial Day. We hit rain in St. Anthony and weren't even sure we would be able to get out and get some pictures at the grave. The weather smiled favorably on us and we were able to put flowers on the grave and get some pictures. While we were there we ran into Sherrie's Aunt Sonja and Uncle Sheryl from Pocatello. That was a very pleasant surprise. It had been a couple of years since Sherrie had seen them (the last time I saw them we were still living in Idaho Falls). We had a really nice visit with them in the cemetery. The graves looked really nice. After leaving the cemetery we drove up on the Rexburg hill to see the new temple there. We had seen it under construction on our trips up and back from Island Park but had never driven up to it. It is beautiful sitting on the hill, but it does look like it needs some bigger trees around it (they are there but just need to grow a little).

Our next stop on the way home was to see Sherrie's dad in Pocatello. We found the care center thanks to directions from Sherrie's Uncle Sheryl. Jim was surprised to see us. He is looking good and has lost a lot of weight. He seemed to like the care facility, but didn't think the food was very good (I guess next time we will have to sneak a hamburger and fries in for him). We had a really nice visit with him.

From Pocatello we headed home arriving at about 9:00 pm. It was a tiring weekend, but a fun one.

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