Thursday, July 26, 2007

Yellowstone: Making Wilderness Accessible to Tourons Since 1872

What is a touron, you might ask? Well, "touron" is a term coined by Kate to describe someone who is both a tourist and a moron. The type of person you might see hiking in keds with no water, or putting their child on the back of a bison because it makes a great photo op. A touron would allow their children to do this:forcing our national park system to put up signs like this:
We joined the throng of tourons at Yellowstone on Sunday. We felt like true Americans, spending six hours in the car, only seeing the sights you can see from the road. As mentioned in a previous post, our goals for the day were a bear, a moose, and a bald eagle snacking on a buffalo carcass. Unfortunately, we did not see any of those things. We did, however, see:
  • a bald eagle in its nest
  • a gaggle of geese
  • two peregrine falcons (which we later determined were actually nesting osprey - thank you, signage!)
  • a western tanenger
  • a field full of elk
  • a bison wailing on a tree (a.k.a. scratching his head)
  • an otter? a beaver? a piece of driftwood? (Dad swore he saw it dive, but I missed that action.)
  • several tourons coming well within the recommended 25 yards of an elk resting in the grass
  • a kamikaze beetle that crashed into Brad's face
  • pot guts (I swear I had never heard of a pot gut until Camp Misconduct last summer - is it a chipmunk? A squirrel? A new species of rodent? What exactly is a pot gut?)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My Parents Have Been Married for 37 Years!

Dad and I were reading on the deck of the cabin in Island Park on Monday night, when he looked up from his book into the kitchen where Mom, Brad, and Maeve were preparing dinner. He said, "Thirty-seven fucking years."

I said, "I know, Dad. That's a long time. Its awesome."

Still looking into the cabin, he got this look on his face I couldn't quite read. Confused, with my eyebrows scrunched, I asked, "Does that bum you out?"

He said, "Oh, no! I was just thinking about how much I love her."

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!!!!!!!! I love you both so much!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Knickerbocker Family Retreat

I see that Brad & Maeve beat me to the punch with their list of family vacay highlights. These are mine:

1) Running a whole 4 miles at a high elevation and not feeling like I was going to die.
2) Summiting Sawtelle Peak. In the car.3) Walking by the neighboring run-down cabin and having the "Deliverance"-style guy in overalls with no shirt asking us if he can help us with anything. And then having him come ask us for Mike's metal scraps an hour or so later while we were trying to enjoy porch time. Turns out he collects and sells junk.
4) Mountain Meatball sandwiches at Ernie's.
5) Driving around Yellowstone trying to spot a bear or a moose or a bald eating snacking on a buffalo carcass (we did not see any of the above). Also, waiting for 40 minutes for Old Faithful to erupt and then missing the beginning of it because we were busy buying gatorade in the general store.
6) Ice cream sundaes at Moose Berries in West Yellowstone.
7) Watching an opsrey dive into the river while lunching on the patio at the Trout Hunter Bar & Grill.
8) Tubing the Henry's Fork of the Snake River and watching four pelicans take off from the water right next to us.

It was an excellent trip, and I hope some sort of new-founded family tradition sprouts from it. Thanks for everything, Mom & Dad!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Two Diet Coke Cans

I often have two diet coke cans on my desk. One is full of diet coke. The other is where I put my sunflower seed shells. I try to keep them on opposite sides of my keyboard to avoid confusion, but still, it can prove to be disastrous. Thankfully, I've never taken a sip of sunflower seed shells. I have, however (and devastatingly), ruined a perfectly good can or two of cold and refreshing diet coke. Once the shell is in, you just can't get it back out. Sad.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Speaking of Free Summer Concerts

Signing up as a volunteer for Red Butte Gardens is the best thing I've done for myself this summer! So far I've...

...stood in the parking lot letting VIPs into the VIP parking area, and in return got to see Scrapomatic and the Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Soul Stew Revival, front row joe, and it totally rocked!!

...stood next to the recycling cans and helped people sort their garbage into the appropriate recycling bin, and in return got to see Bela Fleck & Chick Corea, a show I never would have decided to go to on my own, and am really glad I got to see, although it was pretty mellow and technical.

...roamed up and down the line trading tickets for wristbands, and in return got to see Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, which was a super fun, high-energy, bluegrass dance party that I loved loved loved!

And I still get to see The Neville Brothers, The Sierra Leone Refuge Allstars, Bruce Hornsby, and Sun Volt. For FREE! (Readers: if you're going to be at any of these shows, please let me know - I'd love to borrow a corner of your blanket.)

Friday, July 6, 2007

Summer Nights Have Officially Begun

I am so excited to spend my Thursday nights at the Twilight Concert Series! Free live music? Warm evening air? Endless amounts of incredible people watching? Beer? Shakin' my groove thang? Those are all of my favorite things! And I can get them every week, right here, in The SLC. Lucky me! :)

Monday, July 2, 2007

My Most Embarrassing Moment So Far Today

The background: I'm a little sickly today. Tired. I didn't do my hair. I'm not wearing any make-up. I lost my voice (its likely somewhere at Port-O-Call, right next to Handerson's phone).

The moment: I was leaving my office to go to a meeting. I walked into the lobby of our building just as three people were coming in from outside. The toe of my right shoe somehow got stuck in the cuff of my left pant leg. I tripped. Not like a little stumble then retrieve yourself kind of trip. But like a face-down on the floor, rug-burn on the forearm kind of trip. I didn't want to appear as though my pride was crushed, so I jumped up, put on a smile, and in my scratchy whisper voice said, "Hi guys!"