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2009黄石行:Geysers

Geysers, 听了好久才会念, 中文翻译成间歇泉?总之是黄石的一大特色。黄石说白了,主要特色就是Geysers和野生动物,可惜之前说了,看野生动物打了折扣,不如Jasper/Banff一带。

今天的计划,是Madison 到 Old Faithful之间错过的Geysers, 然后启程去Grand Teton. 前几天光想着追熊了。

黄石公园中最佳的picnic地点,你知道吗?

就是Old Faithful Inn 二楼的凉台。远眺老忠实,凉风徐徐,不经意间的发现,让我们多日来的picnic午餐上升了一个境界。

Old Faithful Inn 你也许住不到,但是你可以很随意的坐在里面看看书,吃个冰激凌,古老的书桌旁拼拼图,如果不是时间关系,静静地找一个角落坐一个下午,不妨让思绪徜徉在时间的长河中。

最佳消食方式:

吃完午餐,在Upper Geysers hiking, 行程可长可短,如果愿意,你甚至可以走到Middle Geysers. 一路上或大或小的Getsers, 冷不丁喷一下,带来几分惊喜。我们一路走到Grand Geysers,已经是我家小的极限。烈日炎炎下,来回两迈,也是她第一次一口气走这么长。回程完全是靠走回去买冰激凌的诱惑才完成的。

今天最好笑的事情:

场景是这样的。我家小的喘着粗气酿酿跄跄走回Old Faithful Inn,全然不顾门外围的里三层外三层的人群,一路excuse me只奔心中的冰激凌店,没想到门口被一人拦下:sorry, we are temperately closed,we have a fire alarm.失望之极,仿佛一脚踏空,瘫软在地。

拍摄老忠实的最佳tip

看风向,找上风处,喷的最高的时候是一开始的几分钟。

如果你象我第一次在下风处傻等,看过之后的不光是一头雾水,结论是忠实老矣,徒有虚名。
上风处可以清楚拍的满意的照片,得出的结论也不一样的,老忠实泉还是值得一看再看地。这就是典型的屁股决定立场。

园中最美的温泉池:
Grand Prismatic Spring.

Yellow Stone 和Grand Teton之间修路,而且很长的一段土路,耽搁了不少时间。傍晚六点赶到今天的住宿:Jackson Lake lodge. 房间和床都不错,当然价格摆在那里。Jackson Lake Lodge to Grand Teton, 和 Old Faithful Inn to Yellowstone 一样。

今天应该是我们hiking最长的一天了,加起来有三四迈的样子。晚餐在Murul, 不说价钱,食物还是不错的,有些正宗西餐烹饪的味道。落地玻璃窗可以看到Teton的黄昏。

吃完,牵着手走走,在暮色中,看着远处那一群麋鹿,忽然想起, 今天是我们的anniversary.

时间真快。

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July 25, 2009in:

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2009黄石行:失望的寻熊记

五点半天蒙蒙亮起床,六点半已经上路,这一切,都是为了第一天那惊鸿一瞥的棕熊屁股。只可惜,这一天跑下来,从norris 到 canyon village, 从canyon village转到Tower, 沿着lamar valley一直到东北园门口,来来回回跑了个遍,不管是棕熊也好,黑熊也好,连个影子都没找到,让人大失所望。Ranger说这一年来公园熊的数量从高峰期急剧下降,单单去年在公园外被猎杀的熊多达四十多只。长此以往,在黄石看熊估计越来越难了。

唯一值得聊以慰记的是,在Lamar valley看到成群Bison过马路的盛况和开车人被包围的窘状,也算一乐。我们运气好,停在前面一些,一看情形不好,早早地溜了。

去了Tower Fall, 在小卖店里买冰激凌的时候碰到了国内来的小王在那里打工,人很热情,以为他是从事旅游方面的,没想到他说在国内学经济的,有机会出来短期见识一下。帮他照了张照片,希望他有所收获吧。

Grant Village的访客中心主题是火山和地震,我们在那儿歇脚吃午餐,小宝也终于完成了她的Junior Ranger功课,宣誓之后拿到了她想要的徽章。不容易,这功课足足做了三天,比她老爸这回儿用功。

之后我们去了昨天错过的upper fall/lower fall几个其它观景点,主要是south rim上的artist point和north rim 上的inspiration point, 这几处,加上之前的Brink of uper fall,lower fall, 都是值得推荐的。 Yellowstone River 源自黄石公园,北上穿过园中Grand Canyon, 形成upper lower 两大瀑布,然后向西北汇入Missouri River和 Mississippi river, 为黄石增添了几分秀色。我们在north rim听一个UC Bercley 的学生ranger的讲解,只可惜,讲的太泛泛了。

晚餐是在Wild West Pizzeria定的Piza, 生意太好了,太多人和我们一样的主意,居然一个小批萨等了半个钟。从小超市买了盒clam chowder, 外加一个小西瓜,很不错的晚餐了。

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July 21, 2009in:

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2009黄石行:Lower Loop

昨天回来太累了,需要补。

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2009黄石行:Upper Loop

早九点出,晚十点归,筋疲骨软。

West Yellowstone小镇上的Yellowstone park hotel是我们这几天的大本营。房间不错,很宽敞,有网,Queen size 床也舒适, 只是免费早餐简单了些,只有些果汁muffin什么的,填饱肚子了事。

今天的计划是Yellowstone Upper Loop。这次出游,我事前没有做什么功课,只是大概分了分Yellowstone 四天,Grand Teton 两天这样子。不做功课的好处之一,按我家LD的说法,是看什么都好奇,有新鲜感。我随身带了本新版的Fodor’s Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks旅游书,在很多黄石旅游书中,这本是最好的。

更主要原因是Yellowstone 很好走,一个大八字,分成Upper Loop和Lower Loop, 走不丢,都玩的到。

八字的每个角都值得停停,Upper Loop顺时针转,主要景点是:Norris Geyser Basin, Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Fall, 和Canyon village南面的upper/lower fall。严格说起来,lower fall 算是lower loop 这一段了。还有lamar valley一带,傍晚十分,是看野生动物的圣地。

回头说起来,Lower fall的trail走到底,看到瀑布口的那一瞬间,最惊艳。Norris Geyser Basin照片效果不错,也许是早上阳光的关系。Mammoth 的vistor center 上面有个黄石历史小博物馆,可以看看, 野生动物起码混个脸儿熟。

我们走完lower fall的trail之后,折回tower lodge吃晚餐,全天唯一的一顿大餐,其它时间都是水果零食简易三明治打发。要了broiled chicken taco和rib bbq, 味道不错,量蛮多的。waitress 的态度也让人舒服。rib的分量她弄错了,后来又补上一份,没算钱,后面我们就给写到小费里去了。

傍晚时分在Lamar river & valley一带开始我们的野生动物猎奇,一路往返,看到N多Bison, 成群结队,居然有一只就在路边啃草,近到开了车窗就可以撸撸毛的程度。还有就是黑熊一只,小鹿两群, 山羊少少,过马路的花狸鼠多多,刚刚看完一个讲花狸鼠的电影Alvin and the Chipmunks,结果每看到一次,全家就由小宝领着大唱主题歌, 也是一乐。可惜的是,没有看到狼和大的麋鹿。对了,下午的时候在Tower到Canyon的山路上,堵车两回,听到棕熊一次,看到棕熊屁股一次,看来棕熊这个家伙,喜欢在海拔高一带的地带出没。

Madison到norris一段山体滑坡在修路,双向交通管制,晚上10pm就封路了。我们晚上9:30pm有惊无险地通过。经验之一就是公园的路况一定要事先弄清楚,一般进园子的时候送的Newsletter里面都会提到。当然我们每次出游,玩的都比较疯的。

全天最大的乐子就是LD把brink of lower fall看错成drink of lower fall啦。


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July 20, 2009in:

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2009黄石行:廉价航空的故事

对于象我这样出行不多的人,对航空公司的忠诚度近乎于零。money talks, 从来是哪家航空公司的机票便宜坐哪家。这一回,Austin飞Bozeman, $280/round trip应该是个难得的好deal, 因此也有机会见识一下廉价航空Frontier Air。

飞之前的头一天上网check in 打登机牌,发现从某月某日起,美国国内的托运行李一律收费,Frontier是十五刀一件。和LD一反映,LD当机立断,把一个大行李箱分拆成两个小的手提行李箱,也好,连取行李的时间都省了。装行李其实是有学问的,感兴趣的朋友可以看看Onebag 这个网站。拖家带口的,既不能象road trip似的把锅碗瓢盆都捎上,也不能象solo travel backpacker似的精简到一个行囊走天下。好在LD已是亲车熟路,看着两个手提行李,7天的换洗衣服,想想以后要是去欧洲,也是这么多东西了。

但是手提行李有手提行李的麻烦。这不,机场安检这里,一个行李箱被当成了训练样本,X光机过了一遍又一遍,望远镜,化装包,都当成可疑物品,最终没收了一瓶没开封的防晒霜。好不容易在机舱口坐稳,眼尖的Frontier大嫂又要我们把行李拖过去量大小。怎耐我们有备而来,箱子大小不多不少,刚刚好,大嫂很不甘心地把我们放过了。

Frontier的hub是Denver 机场,廉价航空公司的优势之一是飞机的航班接的很紧,我们这趟飞机在Denver稍停之后接着飞Las Vegas, 所以Austin两班乘客并一班,是满员的。而且上一班飞机飞到Austin,停了不到半个钟就重新起飞了。航空公司是提高了效率,但是不可避免的几个弊端, 一是飞机越来越脏了,象公共汽车,你上去一坐,还能感觉到上一班乘客屁股的余热。另外如果同班飞机在上一站误点了,你只好慢慢等了。遇到过飞机该来没来的,遇到过飞行员该来没来的。Frontier去年闹的一条新闻是飞机满员,遇到气流的时候一个乘客没位置坐,被赶到厕所里坐了两个钟直至飞机降落。听起来有些天方夜谭,却是现实中实实在在发生的故事。还好,这一次我们没有那么“荣幸”,虽然满员,但是座位还在一起,而且没有和厕所相连,知足了。

飞机上的娱乐节目是刷卡的,“猫食”是收费的,手提行李是不能超重的。之前欧洲廉价航空公司的CEO还建议,飞机上的厕所也要投币,!@#$%,我只能感慨一句,太有创意了。同样有创意的是中国某航空公司的老总,不记得哪家了,说是向航管居提议,短程航班应该允许卖站票,真是绝了。在不久的将来,你坐飞机如果遇到和坐长途车一样的场景,不必太过惊讶,那是航空公司在努力提高营运效益而已。

不过钱都省到这个份上了,不管是借着油价上涨的名义,还是经济不景气的理由,航空公司还是在亏钱,老牌的也好,廉价的也好。据说今年年底又会有N家公司要申请破产。别的不说,还捂着航空股票的朋友,还是早点放手吧。

O8上台之后,似乎有提议在老美修建欧洲日本一样的高速铁路,不过迟迟没有动静,反倒中国这方面迎头赶上。最近回国的朋友回来纷纷称赞国内的高铁。真有一天,老美的高铁四通八达了,我出游一定首选它。慢是慢点,但总比象沙丁鱼一样关在飞机上几个小时强。老胳膊老腿了,每次下了飞机都有酸又痛。同情空姐空嫂的同时,想着人类文明发展这几年真是停滞了不少。

扯远了。都是自己没能力,人家四川富人买了价私人飞机,肯定没有我这么多抱怨。人家肯定觉得社会进步地刚刚好。

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July 19, 2009in:

Warning: mktime() [function.mktime]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /home/travels/public_html/blog/wp-includes/functions.php on line 24

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总统也是人嘛

看几张好笑的新闻照片有感。或许多少也反映出不同国家的性格?

这一张也被人津津乐道,据说体现出中国地位的上升。

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July 13, 2009in:

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在线看CNN, CNBC等

推荐一个网站,http://tikilive.com/, 可以在线看许多电视,和股票有关的有CNBC, FOX Finance等,省了cable钱,又可以弄多个Monitor边看新闻边灌水,不管赢钱多少,感觉特专业。

计算机放在客厅里,和电视一起,这是大趋势。Cable如果要生存,把价格降下来再说。

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暑假去黄石

今年的暑假,两个人都很忙。自己的项目能什么时候告一段落,一直没有把握。两个月前开始零零星星查飞黄石附近Bozeman MT的机票,一路查下来,眼看着机票从$350一路攀升,满意的行程越来越贵,都快$400了。跟我家小宝打预防针,说暑假也许不出去玩了,小宝很失望,也怪老爸放假前就“许了诺”,这会儿是期望越高失望越大。小家伙现在半个大人了,不是小时候那么容易打发了。

一转眼已经六月底了,离机会出游的日子不到21天了,一天中午,不报希望地用ITA查查,突然发现AUS—BZN的机票,周六到周六,居然只要$280。真是人品太好了。虽然出发的时间不是很理想,但这么便宜的机票还是太难得了。立即下单敲定。Frontier/UA share code。接着和LD邀功,全家都高兴。

行程只有六日六夜,原先打算Yellowstone/Grand Teton和Glacier NP一网打尽的,那是一个七日行程的玩法。这会儿,决定放弃Glacier NP, Yellowstone 4 day + Grand Teton 2 day,还是来个轻轻松松的黄石游吧。

租车很容易,发现一家英国的car hire arguscarhire.com 要比老美这面的网站都要便宜,原先去Alaska就用它家订的。

剩下的最头疼的就是旅馆了,这会儿,又好又便宜的旅馆都订满了,希望能捡到别人改主意取消的房间。慢慢再报告吧。

大伙暑假去黄石的应该不少吧。报个名,交流交流功课,有机会大家路上还能碰到呢。

一晚上,旅馆也搞定了,贵就一个字。参考tripadvisor的一些评价,希望不要太不靠谱。

Yellowstone Park Hotel
www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g45399-…

Jackson Lake Lodge
www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g143029…

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July 1, 2009in: