My Love for Glacier is True

I have many words for Glacier, but I think I can sum it up for you in just one: GO! Seriously, just go. Glacier is a magical place.

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We hit it a bit early (the famous Going to the Sun road and many trails aren’t open yet), but the quid pro quo is that we’ve had the park largely to ourselves (a treat!), the wildflowers and waterfalls are spectacular, and the wildlife is everywhere (apparently the high altitude spring snow drives animals to the lowlands; they head back up to hide from the summer crowds, so Spring is the best time for seeing animals).

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And see wildlife we have – moose (with young), mountain goats (my favorite), big horned sheep, bears, bald eagles…everywhere you look!

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We splurged here with a heli tour to see parts of the park not yet accessible via car or foot. It was incredible! The sad fact is that many, if not all, of the remaining glaciers here will likely disappear in our lifetime. Another reason to GO!

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Glacier actually feels like 3 parks in one – the West, East, and North (Waterton, Canada) are all different so it pays to move around and experience it all!

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Tomorrow we head to Banff & Lake Louise for 4 days before hitting the Icefields Parkway to Jasper, said to be the most beautiful road in the world.

P.S. A special hello to our favorite Canadian border control agents who wanted to confiscate the BAMF (who doesn’t?) and who made us feel very welcome on our entrance to Canada. Hi guys!

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P.P.S. Molly/Renny/Weylin: if you guys are reading these stories about your crazy aunt, I can’t wait to bring you here. You’ll love it! Love and miss you… xoxo

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Going off the Grid: Glacier, Banff, Jasper

Just a quick heads up…after falling in love with WhiteFish, MT (so cute!), we’re heading into Glacier National Park for 5 days and then over the border into Canada for two full weeks (Waterton, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Bowron Lakes – woohoo!)

WhiteFish, MT #loveatfirstsight

WhiteFish, MT #loveatfirstsight

This is part of the trip (outside of Alaska) that I am most excited about and I will have a ton of photos & experiences to share, even thought the famed Going-to-the-Sun road in Glacier isn’t open yet (ARGHHHH).

I’m not sure how accessible WIFI and cell connectivity will be in Glacier & Canada or how often I’ll be able to update the blog, so I wanted to give you a heads-up to not worry if we go radio silent for a short time.

I will post as soon & as often as I can, and I promise the next set of blog posts will be filled with cool stories, photos & videos. So don’t go away! 🙂

Miss you all…xoxo

iPhone vs Android: Camera Truths

Totally random observation!

I HATE to write this because my life is mostly Apple products and I’ve always been an Apple fan, but I have been, for the past 7 weeks, constantly comparing my Apple (iPhone 6) photos to Martin’s Android (Samsung Galaxy S5) photos, and his 16 megapixels kick my ass every time in terms of image clarity, depth, color.

If I want to use the phone as my primary camera (which I would love to do), then Apple ain’t cutting it, baby. But how painful is the switch?

P.S. My iCloud also hasn’t been updated since I left because I haven’t had enough time connected to WIFI. Hello – I’m traveling!

I’m quickly losing my love for Apple. 🙁

 

Trespassing on Ted Turner

Ok, so we didn’t exactly trespass but it’s a great blog title, no?!

We DID follow the advice of a bar owner in Bozeman (go figure) who told us about a cool, locals-only campsite way back on a dirt road between Bozeman and Big Sky, MT. To get there, the public road passes over 8 miles of Ted Turner’s private estate (we’re talking 130,000 acres of private property, people!).

Camping in Ted Turner land. #heaven

Camping in Ted Turner land. #heaven

Let’s just say, if you asked me to describe heaven, I would show a photo of this land. Miles and miles of grassy rolling hills, running streams, forests, and snow-covered mountains. On the way to the camp, we saw moose, elk, deer, bison, sandhill crane (8′ wingspan!), and a large black bear on the way out this morning, just hanging out in the meadow. I could sit for days and just watch the wildlife move around us.

A little slice of heaven. #pleaseadoptmeTedTurner

A little slice of heaven. #pleaseadoptmeTedTurner

More heaven. As far as the eye can see....

More heaven. As far as the eye can see….

My cabin will go nicely here!

My cabin will go nicely here!

Best campsite reco ever! I’ll be back…

Antler Obsessed

By sheer happenstance and dumb luck, we were in Jackson, WY for the annual “Antlerfest” (aka Elk Antler Auction). Every spring the local Boy Scouts scour the Jackson Elk Preserve acreage for shed antlers & carcasses which go up for auction along with the sale of thousands of other antlers by locals. It’s a trip!

I never knew of this antler market world, but now I want in…

AntlerFest 2015. #nicerack

AntlerFest 2015. #nicerack

Stylin: antler-style that is!

Stylin: antler-style that is!

Boyscouts showcasing "the goods". It was a bidding war!

Boyscouts showcasing “the goods”. It was a bidding war!

Nice rack!

Nice rack!

I’ve now decided that my next home (cabin) must have everything made out of antlers (door handles, chandeliers, wine racks, tables, bed posts) – we’ve seen it all, and it’s bad ass! They even make dog chews…

They make great chandeliers

They make great chandeliers

They make hat & coat racks!

They make hat & coat racks!

They make table legs!

They make table legs!

They make table decorations!

They make table decorations!

I’m starting my collection! #antlerobsessed

Yellowstone: the Africa of the U.S.?

Ok, so maybe the animals at Yellowstone aren’t quite as exotic as in Africa, but you also don’t have to travel as far. I have been blown away by how many close encounters we’ve had with cool animals at Yellowstone in just a single day (and by close, I mean CLOSE – I kept thinking about the girl who was gored by a bison here just a few days ago, although she was being an idiot). I have a healthy fear for things that weigh 2,000+ pounds with 40mph speeds! I’ve seen the look in their eyes…

I see bison...everywhere!

I see bison…everywhere!

See what I mean by the look in his eyes...?

See what I mean by the look in his eyes…?

Today alone we’ve seen bison (literally hundreds), big horned sheep, pronghorn sheep, red fox, coyote, elk, mama black bear (with cubs), and bald eagles. I just needed a wolf, a grizzly, and a moose and my list would be complete! Tomorrow is another day…

Mama bear. Cubs are climbing a nearby tree. She's HUGE!

Mama bear. Cubs are climbing a nearby tree. She’s HUGE!

Red fox on the hunt - so cool (and so sly)!

Red fox on the hunt – so cool (and so sly)!

Big horn sheep (female) in her herd (starting to shed for the summer).

Big horn sheep (female) in her herd (starting to shed for the summer).

The animals have their own paparazzi here! (I can only imagine this during high tourist season)...

The animals have their own paparazzi here! (I can only imagine this during high tourist season)…

The geysers are cool, for sure, but my favorite part of this park is the less-traveled northern areas with rolling grassy hills that go for miles and rivers, streams and waterfalls that all create a happy home for thousands of wild animals. You just never know what you’re going to see next.

Geysers are pretty awesome, don't get me wrong! Makes me want a steam bath badly...

Geysers are pretty awesome, don’t get me wrong! Makes me want a steam bath badly…

Yellowstone is vast and breathtakingly beautiful

Yellowstone is vast and breathtakingly beautiful

I have some cool videos I’ll post too. Right now I’m sitting in the car writing this b/c it’s pissing down rain with blistery cold winds in our campsite, so I’m happy to have a few bars of cell coverage (and a glass of wine) and this blog to distract me!

Moving to Wyoming…Who’s With Us?

You don’t have to be here long to realize the perks of Wyoming, although I would definitely need to re-develop my Michigan-Winter skin (I’m such a wimp)! But I undertand why it’s constantly rated one of the best places to live (low taxes, high quality of life), especially for the outdoorsy, adventurous types.

The top of Snow King Mtn & Ski Resort. #magnificentview

The top of Snow King Mtn & Ski Resort. #magnificentview

I'd have an excuse to buy this awesome winter coat. #sowrongbutsowarm

I’d have an excuse to buy this awesome winter coat. #sowrongbutsowarm

The sunsets are stunning! #rememberwhatmatters

The sunsets are stunning! #rememberwhatmatters

I can see myself skiing/snow mobiling all winter and hiking/kayaking all summer. The views of the Tetons would NEVER get old, the town of Jackson is so quaint, and I would LOVE to see this place in the Fall when all those Aspen trees change colors!

You can ski into town! #heaven

You can ski into town! #heaven

The hiking is glorious. #hikersheaven

The hiking is glorious. #hikersheaven

The views...did I mention the views? #nevergetsold

The views…did I mention the views? #nevergetsold

And, unlike Utah, these people have high octane coffee and local brews. My kind of peeps!

They make their own local whiskey! #needisaymore

They make their own local whiskey! #needisaymore

The clincher: they actually had an independent order of odd fellows! #iwantin

The clincher: they actually had an independent order of odd fellows! #iwantin

And wildflowers in the Spring. #youknowyouwantto

And wildflowers in the Spring. #youknowyouwantto

More views..from today's hike up Death Canyon around Phelp's Lake. Looking for bears & moose!

More views..from today’s hike up Death Canyon around Phelp’s Lake. Looking for bears & moose!

So, I’m thinking we buy a big plot of land, throw down a bunch of Yurts and start a commune. Who’s in??!

Bye Bye Utah, Hello Wyoming!

The adventure continues and we’re creeping slowly closer to Alaska (and bear country!) We’ve been on the road almost 6 weeks already! Hard to believe. Even harder to believe I’ve actually camped that long. Wasn’t sure I could do it! I do need a pedicure desperately…and I’m about to start chopping my own bangs…

Canyonlands - Island in the Sky

Canyonlands – Island in the Sky

But I LOVE waking up every morning wondering what the day will bring. Sure beats sitting in a cubicle beating my head against a wall. Especially when Martin whips up an egg/bacon/hashbrown tortilla scramble like this morning. YUM!

Arches

Arches

Canyonlands - The Needles (my favorite!)

Canyonlands – The Needles (my favorite!)

I feel like we conquered Utah. We’ve been EVERYWHERE – Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Natural Bridges National Monument, Canyonlands, Moab, Arches, Monument Valley, Goblin Valley, Little Wild Horse Canyon, Park City, Dinosaur NM.

Dinosaur National Monument. #JurassicAlive

Dinosaur National Monument. #JurassicAlive

I was worried that by the last park, I’d feel like Chevy Chase in “Vacation” when he got to the Grand Canyon thinking “big deal – another rock, let’s go!”, but I continue to be amazed and enthralled by the color and formations of the canyons, mountains, and craters here. I don’t think that could ever get old.

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Zion

Zion

Natural Bridges National Monument

Natural Bridges National Monument

Last stop in Utah tomorrow is Flaming Gorge and then it’s hello, Wyoming! I’m excited to see the Tetons again – one of my all-time favorite sights. I’m sure the bears will love Martin’s bacon too! (yikes)

Lots of cool sunsets and star gazing when you're away from city lights!

Lots of cool sunsets and star gazing when you’re away from city lights!

My new obsessions:

  1. Slot Canyons (favorites: Antelope Canyon, Canyonlands – The Needles, Little Wild Horse Canyon)
    Little Wild Horse Canyon. #Amazing

    Little Wild Horse Canyon. #Amazing

    Martin climbing the walls - Little Wild Horse Canyon (SO cool)

    Martin climbing the walls – Little Wild Horse Canyon (SO cool)

  2. Everything “collapse-able” (best invention – my whole kitchen will be collapsing dishes when I get home!)

    cooking pan, drinking cup, laundry bucket - all fold into nothing! #brilliant

    cooking pan, drinking cup, laundry bucket – all fold into nothing! #brilliant

  3. Coffee drip – $5 and it seriously tastes better than a pot-brewed coffee!

    best coffee drip ever!

    best coffee drip ever!

The BAMF on Airbnb

So I’ve been thinking…(our Bay Area friends will appreciate this given the crazy real estate market there)…I think we need to list the BAMF on Airbnb when we get back. I mean, we stayed in a houseboat not that much larger!image

We get comments on the BAMF (our nickname for our bad-ass fully customized Jeep) literally everywhere we go. It’s unique and cool, right? So let’s examine the real estate value…

The BAMF - a unique camping & living experience only for the adventurous...

The BAMF – a unique camping & living experience only for the adventurous…

  1. Every room has a view (depending on where you park it!)

    The view - the view!

    The view – the view!

  2. The “2nd floor” bedroom is roomy enough for 2 and it’s airy, well-lit, with optional black-out shade

    Watching TV in bed - no luxury spared!

    Watching TV in bed – no luxury spared!

  3. It has a quaint but fully functional kitchen with a 2 burner propane stove and refrigerator/freezer (plus a large awning to keep the chef focused and protected from environmental influences)
    Kitchen inspires creativity!

    Kitchen inspires creativity!

    Dual awning system serves many purposes and created a unique living experience

    Dual awning system serves many purposes and creates a unique living experience

  4. There is limited counter space but lots of storage for pantry items
  5. Ample power outlets to charge every electronic under the sun (even in the bedroom)
  6. It has an extensible, cozy, enclosed living room for warm and/or rainy nights

    Extensible, enclosed living room is cozy for 2!

    Extensible, enclosed living room is cozy for 2!

  7. Auxilliary solar lighting and shower facilities give you a consistent 105 degree shower
  8. And for those rainy nights, the home is equipped with a 7″, in-dash DVD player to watch your favorite movies, using limited power via the dual-battery system
Added bonus: natural, environmentally friendly clothes dryer!

Added bonus: natural, environmentally friendly clothes dryer!

Whether you just want to cozy up or have a little adventure, you’ll do so in the lap of luxury with plush, supple sheep skin covers. And, for you outdoorsy types, the exterior of the home is wrapped in a subtle snow camoflage to keep you, well, hidden (from the bears, your nosy neighbors, or the paparazzi).

Price has not yet been set, but availability is limited, as we already have South America planned!

So, what do you think – is there a market for the BAMF on Airbnb? We sure love it!! 🙂