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August 2004
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UPDATE! The Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park.

I missed this month's edition of IMBB#8 because Kevin and I had packed up and headed for the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park for the weekend. The occasion: it was Kevin's birthday and we just FELT like it.
We packed up our truck and left on Thursday night after work. We drove to Rock Springs and fell into bed at 1:30 am at the Rock Springs Motel 6. We reached Jackson, Wyoming by lunch time the next day. Jackson is the nearest southerly town before the Grand Tetons. It is best described as a gentrified, over priced Western town. It does have charm, and plenty of traffic and tourists. We did not stop on our way into the Grand Tetons park but on our return journey back to Denver we stopped for a large burger at Billy's Giant Hamburger - an experience I highly recommend.

The photo below is of yours truly about to fall upon a greasy burger.


We explored the South Jenny Lake campground (tents only) and then did some more exploring. We stopped off at the Grand Teton Lodge Head Quarters (which is also a fancy hotel. The Lodge has the most stunning views of the Tetons framed in gigantic glass windows. Magnificant. Room and cabin prices depend on the view of the Tetons.) There is a ferry that you can catch from South Jenny Lake that will take you to the otherside, and various hikes. We told ourselves that we would explore this but we ran out of time.

A famous photographic spot of the Tetons is on the oxbow of the Snake River. The light was gorgeous so we stopped to take some pictures. The combination of mountain, aspen (turning gold) and water is particularly pleasing. WE promised ourselves that we would return (which we did - for a cold overcast sunrise on Monday - our return travel day.)

This photo was taken just before sunrise on our travel home day. A cold front was moving into the area.


Yellowstone seemed so close, we felt we just had to take a quick peek. There was construction work on the only entrance from this direction which resulted in a 30 minute delay. The scenary was so spectacular we did not care. Boy, we were glad that we decided to have a quick peek. In fact once we got into Yellowstone we did not want to leave. It was only changing weather (for the worse) and work committments that made us leave. In fact we thought seriously about giving it all up to live and work in Yellowstone in the summer.

Yellowstone is the oldest National Park. (I think Kruger National PArk was founded soon after.) For more about Yellowstone check out the National Park Service link here

Yellowstone is so large, and the distances so great I recommend a minimum of 3 nights (longer if you can).

The effects of the 1988 wildfire can still be seen in large areas of the park - it makes for easier visibility.

There is just so much to do and see. The speed limit is pretty slow - only 45 miles/ hour. The roads are well maintained and clearly signposted. While Yellowstone is known for Old Faithful there are many other geysers and springs that are just as interesting. Some create strange shapes and colors. Others make rambling draconic sounds. Elk and even bison seem attracted by the warmth of the hot springs and will gather around them.

Old Faithful is quite spectacular. Every 90 minutes or so it erupts in a jet of hot steam and boiling water. Kevin took pictures and I videoed it. The estimated time of eruption is displayed in the nearby visitors center. The area around Old Faithful is quite built up and over done. Huge hotels and loads of people and tourist buses. It reminded me (o Horrors!!) of the Grand Canyon which I hated. (Too many people.) But don't be put off Yellowstone just because of the over commercialization of Old Faithful. The park has many beautiful vista's that do not have the crowds of well meaning but terribly irratating tourists.

Fishing and back country hiking are permitted. Be careful of bears (both grizzly and black bear.) Sign posts warning of the danger of bears, and rules for disposing and storing of garbage are posted everywhere.

They have designed special bear proof garbage bins which I found quite interesting.


Fishing in Yellowstone requires a permit which can be purchased at any of the numerous overpriced tourist convenience stores. For $15 you have a fishing permit in Yellowstone only for 3 days. We bought our permits but only had the time to fish once with no luck.

We were incredibly lucky with our wildlife spotting. We saw loads of bison (huge) , elk (bugling) and one lone black wolf near Lewis Lake. We were also extremely lucky with our bear sightings. We had a magnificant sighting of a mother grizzly with her cub sleeping by the side of the road. We also saw a black bear with two cubs. Each occasion had stacks of cars, and rangers on "bear jam" duty. I was amazed at how casual people were around the bears. The rangers were there really to protect the bears from the people. I just thought that you wouldn't see this kind of thing in Kruger. Can you imagine?

The Yellowstone Association hosts seminars in the Summer and Winter on a variety of topics. In the Winter they close all but the northern part of the park. I can't wait to return for some wolf watching. Come on Winter!

We were sad to say good bye. We couldn't believe that so a magnificant jewel could be so close to us. En route to DEnver we stopped off at a wind farm and took some pictures. Best access is to take the Arlington exit # 272.

Check out some more pictures on my photo album.


We returned to Yellowstone within 2 weeks of our first visit. We managed to persuade my brother who was out visiting, and mom and dad that a trip would be worth it. We left the same way as before. THis time around we used West Yellowstone a small tourist trap town in Montana very close to Yellowstone's west entrance as our base. WE found a comfortable and reasonable motel to stay.

We didn't see grizzly bear, but did see coyote - during the day.

The Power of Pho


One of our favorite meals is Vietnamese soup (or Pho – pronounced foh). Denver has a collection of Pho houses collected together along strip malls along Alameda. The restaurants themselves look modest. In fact if you didn’t know what treasures were inside you might just walk right on by. Don’t. Do yourself a favor. Stop in and sample the power of Pho.


The restaurant we like the most is Pho Duy near Kentucky and Alameda in Denver and its sister restaurant off I-70 at Peoria. This restaurant is family owned. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly and the soup divine. The Soup Gods smile with favor on this national dish of Vietnam. It comes from the kitchen steaming and piping hot. The greens are served on a large platter. They are added to the steaming soup and then the joyous eating begins.


Pho is the traditional dish of Vietnam. It is a clear beef broth served over noodles, and thin slices of steak, tripe and brisket with sprouts, cilantro and other greens added. It can be eaten for breakfast, and at any time of the day. Our favorite is the chicken (pho ga) which is the same broth but instead of steak or tripe it has chicken strips.


Pho Duy provides for 17 different selections of Pho in three different sizes. The large and medium sizes are enormous. Small appetites will be more than satisfied with the small bowl. Prices range from $5 to $7 per bowl.

Pho Duy II is located at 3371 North Peoria St. Aurora CO 80010 Tel # 303 367 9884

Pho Duy is located at 945 S. Federal Denver CO tel # 303 937 1609

Squash Senigallia

Kevin is in charge of our veggie garden. This year we have had an abundance of summer squash and zuccini (marrows). Kevin has fond memories of his grandmother who came to USA from Senigallia in Italy at the turn of the century. Senigallia is the town on the north Italy coast where she was born in 1878.
His granny lived with them. He remembers making pasta with her.
This recipe is great because it is quick, easy and uses up all the squash from the garden. We call it Squash Senigallia.

Squash Senigallia
1 medium size summer squash or zucchini squash (about 2 cups of chopped squash)
1/2 medium onion - choppped
1/4 cup grated cheese - Parmesan or Romano
1/8 cup olive oil
1 egg, beaten


Add the oil to a saucepan, add onions.
Heat on medium heat until onions are soft.


Add chopped squash.
Simmer covered for 10 minutes or until squash is soft, stir often.
Turn heat to medium.
Add beaten egg to squash, stir briskly until egg is thoroughly mixed in and cooked.


Add grated cheese, stir briskly until cheese is mixed in, turn heat off.