Monday, May 31, 2010

Yellowstone Weekend: Part IV - The Final Half Day

The last day at Yellowstone, we woke up and got ready.

Ate, cleaned, unanchored the RV and off we went.

Our last destination, the Mammoth Hot Springs. It was a pretty short walk and the colors were pretty nice (especially so since today was a nice day)

Starting the trek home at around 3pm... onwards we go... towards home

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Yellowstone Weekend: Part III - Onwards we March!

Waking up at 7.. ahem 9... we proceeded to go on hikes and animal hunting. Was able to see some bisons, elk, deer. Some picture are below.

For lunch, we found a picnic table - even though it was snowing. Also today, we saw waterfalls and more geysers that are either mini ones or non erupting.

Tried to see old Faithful again.. but it had faithfully erupted earlier.

For dinner, it was hot pot night. Not enough meat in my mind.. hahaha. After dinner, apparently got told by ranger that we have been 'penalized' in that the next day, we have to turn off the engine earlier (oh well, we were gone by the next day :P)

Some deep convos and wine after dinner.. then called it a night.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Yellowstone Weekend: Part II - The Faithful Soldier Tour

Arriving in the afternoon, with half the car passed out or what not, we reach our RV site, which was snowing... Mountain weather is pretty weird. One moment it's sunny, one moment it's snowing.

Anyway, so we then proceeded to anchor the RV and set it up. There were a bunch of steps to do, including setting up the sewage, and water pipes. For some reason, kept finding it funny that we pull out some tubes from the RV, and just connect it with a hole in the ground. The 'purging' of the RV was pretty fun too... the whooosh sound was pretty cool.

After finishing up lunch and setting up of the RV, we then drove to our first point of interest - Old Faithful. On the way, we saw a car in a ditch, with 2 babies on board. Pretty scary stuff. Luckily there were a bunch of people, and there was reception (not everywhere has reception) where the accident happened - so help was there and more help was on the way.

Arriving at Old Faithful, turns out we were there at a good time as it was about to erupt within an hour. So walking around a bit, we find a decent spot and wait for the eruption. Expecting something huge... I was disappointed... The eruption was really small. Apparently I find out later that Old Faithful means that they can predict when it erupts, not that it reliably erupts nicely.

Afterwards, we walked around the site, walking for hours to see a bunch of other geysers and what not. There were some bacteria pools that were pretty colorful. This one was the morning glory pool - which though pretty, when you factor in that we walked 1.5 mile to get here, and saw a bunch of similar ones along the way... then it's really not all that pretty.

Being ridicously tired, on the drive back to the RV, passed out and just slept. We return to a RV with a leaking ceiling... and can't use oven :( not enough electricity. So we ended up being creative and found ways to cook with just the gas stove.

With 4 hours of sleep yesterday, the soldier trip continues...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Yellowstone Weekend: Part I - The RV Gathering

The RV Rental... a 34 feet long, 12m+ high movable car. Complete with a dining table, a sofa, a queen size bed, a kitchen, and a full bathroom with shower. It's like a little house on wheels... what a cool vehicle.

The transmission was pretty cool. It was all just buttons! One for N, R, D, and two arrows (Up and Down). To park, you would press the 'N' button, then pull a knob to put the breaks down. Oh, and the cruise control is key in this vehicle. The big metal gas petal takes awhile to get used to.

Driving it was definitely interesting. I felt like a truck driver. Only I didn't get to pull the horn... that would have been fun. Driving through the night, we took turns in this 14 hour+ marathon. For my shift, I was able to at some point able to pass:
- another RV
- a truck
- a minivan
- a sedan
on the highway :). Wuhahahaha! ...But a RV is really not designed to drive above 70mph. At 75 mph, it was pretty ridicous. For the most part, kept to a nice 65 to 70mph, and all was happy.

So the trek begins... onwards to Yellowstone!

Yellowstone Weekend: Part 0 - The Itinerary / Logistics

So there were 7 of us... and our logistics (as I found out a few days ago):
1) The first triplet...
- Leave work early, and 3 of us (the RV drivers) go meet w/ RV owner at Kenmore (~ 4 hours away)
- Once arrived, get a run-down on the RV from RV owner (~1.5 hrs)
- RV drivers drive around the block so RV owner gets comfortable leaving the recreational vehicle in our capable hands...

2) The second triplet...
- While the above was happening, another 3 will drive up separately and meet up at where RV owner lives to rendezvous with the RV drivers

3) Combining the 2 triplets...
- The 6 of us drive then heads towards Yellowstone in the RV (~13 hour drive), leaving behind the 2 sedans at RV owner's place

4) The single...
- 1 of us is flying into Bozeman?, where he picks up a SUV rental, then will head towards Yellowstone to rendezvous with us

Goal: This was to be completed by Saturday noon-ish, so that we can hit a few sights before the end of Saturday.

- Arriving at noon-ish, set up RV, and make lunch
- Go in SUV and hit a few spots

- Hit yet even more spots

- Hit a few more spots
- Start the trek home, with detours to:
Bozeman?(to drop off SUV at airport rental)
Spokane Car wash (to clean up RV)
Kenmore (to return the TV)
Goal: Reach home by Tuesday morning, hopefully before 10am.

Monday, May 10, 2010

My second course - a progress check.. wtf

The second course of my grad school adventure.

In hindsight, if I had known, should have gone for that 8 day vacation - wouldn't really have missed all that much. What a bummer. That first course made me think that lectures would actually be alright and interesting... but boy does this course remind me of lectures back in undergrad.

Interesting how assignments have 'common' errors show up on the assignments. Is this really a reflection of the individual or of how the class is being taught.. hrmm...

Anyhow, a bit bitter, but onwards I march...