Friday, August 10, 2018

American Falls, ID, City of Rocks

We really enjoyed our 2 week stay at the Willow Bay Campground in American Falls.  We were right on the American Falls Reservoir and had a nice shady spot.  A walking trail starts right outside the campground which goes for about 4.5 miles but, most importantly, the first mile and a half takes you right though a nice birding/wildlife area next to the water.  I was fortunate enough to see moose twice while we were there!  There were so many species of birds including a great horned owl and ibis!!  Even though temperatures were in the 90s, the cool mornings and breeze off the lake and the shade made it very pleasant!

We did go into Pocatello, about 20 miles away (there is nothing in American Falls) for a couple of breweries.  We enjoyed Portneuf Valley Brewing and Jim Dandy Brewing.

We also drove a bit further south one day to the City of Rocks National Reserve.  Well worth a day trip, this area up in the hills is populated with natural granite sculptures making a nice area to explore and a rock climbers dream.  It was a stop on the California Trail for thousands of immigrants in the 1800s and many of them left their names and dates on rocks in the reserve.

There is a falls in American Falls and it is quite scenic!:

hundreds of seagulls make the reservoir their home

a pond on the walking trail where I saw a lot of birds

my first moose sighting, mom and twins!!

yes, even a few arches and windows at City of Rocks

sunflowers everywhere
 Oh yeah, we had to drive to Blackfoot to check out the Idaho Potato museum!

a morning surprise on the walking path

American Falls

falls and old power house

last morning there I came across this young bull moose!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Fossil Dig, Sandhill Cranes, WY

We did a lot in our 2 week stay in the northern area of Flaming Gorge,  southern WY.  I won't be covering it all but here are a few more things we saw/did:

We pulled over one day while headed somewhere to watch a couple of cowgirls rounding up their herd:

Some of the cattle were a bit stubborn and did not really care how long we had to wait for them to move across the road.  Actually looks like they are blocking us on purpose , doesn't it??;)

 We had to go to a fossil quarry to see if we could unearth an ancient fish fossil or two.  There are a few privately owned quarries in the state and you can go and dig, for a price, by the hour and keep all you find.  They guarantee you will find something.
American Fossil Quarry

these guys are doing the big stuff....
 We hammered away on small pieces that were manageable for us.  Note one of Mike's finds laying in front of him:

this is one I uncovered!!

we took home 8 pretty nice looking fossils, to think they are 50-100 million years old!!!

We also stopped by for a visit to Fossil Butte National Monument but you don't really see fossils in the ground here as they are left in the rock for preservation.  You can see castings of many that had been removed previously before the area became a monument.
some of the amazing castings on display at the monument, most of the actual fossils are in private collections

We had to make a short stop in the town of Kemerer and poke our heads into the original J C Penney

nice to be back in color rock country!

caught this amazing pic of 2 sandhill cranes in a field, one with a vole in its beak!

 A nice hike on Ute Mountain took us up to a fire tower, no longer used but open to visitors:

 The views from the fire tower were just lovely!!

so many big horns and so nice to see!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Seedskadee, Killpecker Sand Dunes, White Mtn Petroglyphs, WY

We made our move today from WY to American Falls, ID.  Our connection in WY was very poor and I must get a few more pics up about our stay there before moving on.  There is so much to do around Flaming Gorge we found we had to concentrate on the northern part and WY and leave the southern part for another time.  There will be another time...the area is amazing!!

Here are a few more things we saw/did in WY/UT.  We put a lot of miles on the jeep at this spot!!!

Spirit Lake, a nice hike at 10,000+ ft....but lots of mosquitos!!

We saw lots of big horns...these two walking down the middle of the road at about 6:30am

Moose Pond, yes they have moose we did not see any

rim trail....what can I say, nice!!!


Spent a day at Seedskadee, ospreys, bald and golden eagles, blue heron rookery, etc, etc

adult and juvenile in the same tree

elsewhere in the preserve a juvenile, bald inflight

juvenile golden eagles still hanging out on their nest...

their parents are probably long gone, time to fend for themselves

a blue heron rookery

4 herons in this nest

On the way to Killpecker Sand Dunes, a golden eagle on a nearby ridge

Boars Tusk formation

so handsome! nice prong horns and look at those lashes!!!!

Some new and very cool petroglyphs for me!!!!

fenced in so the free range cattle can't get close to the site

hundreds of petroglyphs to see!!

American Falls, ID, City of Rocks

We really enjoyed our 2 week stay at the Willow Bay Campground in American Falls.  We were right on the American Falls Reservoir and had a n...