Here’s the thing about Glacier National Park.  It’s SO magnificent and SO unbelievably beautiful, you feel like you’re floating around a place that can’t possibly be real. We hiked (over 11 miles on some days), we paddleboarded, we saw a ton of wildlife, and we dropped our jaws at the views.  But I personally feel like I failed here at GNP. We had so many opportunities to see so many awesome things, but I don’t think I was able to capture it well.  Call it a bad day (or 5), but I’d give anything to go back and do a better job.  I’ll still show you what I got, but keep your expectations low. #notimpressed

On another note, one of the visitor centers has an exhibit that shows the rapid decrease in glaciers since the park was designated in 1910.  You could press a button and see the loss of glaciers from decade to decade.  Climate change is a very real thing, and I feel fortunate to have visited this park while it still has a few of its namesake attractions left. Please do your part to fight climate change by reducing your carbon footprint (*gets on soapbox* you can start by eating less meat – read the facts on animal agriculture) and support organizations that are working to find a solution to this crisis *dismounts soapbox, takes a bow*.

You can read more about the melting glaciers here.

And you can see my meh pictures here ↓ (click to enlarge).

On deck:  my new favorite getaway.  Idaho.  Yes, Idaho.

 

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When it comes to Yellowstone, size matters. The park is so huge, you need to spend more than a few nights there to feel like you’ve scratched the surface. While planning for this park, I made the executive decision to spend 6 nights there and break it up between 2 different campsites, 3 nights each.
Pro: We had a better shot of spending less time in the car, and more time checking out all of the awesomeness that Yellowstone has to offer.
Con: The closest shower from our second campground (Madison) was 16 miles away at Old Faithful, almost negating aforementioned mileage saved.
Turning a con into a pro: Old Faithful has a solid ice cream shop.

The park feels pretty overwhelming when you’re determined to see everything but can’t decide what to prioritize. We read about photo safari’s in the park newspaper and it sounded like a great way to hit some highlights (and let someone else do the driving). So, we woke up while it was still dark out, drove an hour to meet our guide (Joe, a fellow Coloradan) and took off on a early bird adventure around some of Yellowstone’s most picturesque spots.

Here is the juice of that fruitful experience! Click to see full size images.

 

On deck, one of my absolute favorites: Glacier National Park


Fortunately for you, I can’t filter the scent of sulfur through my blog.

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Morning Glory

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Midway Geyser Basin

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Midway Geyser Basin

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Artist Paint Pots

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Some smelly fumarole

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Fumaroles at dusk

“How could you post about Yellowstone geysers without including Old Faithful?” you ask.  I was unprepared and my camera battery died.  That’s how.  If you want my 2 cents, which I’m going to give you whether you want it or not, Old Faithful is more of an obligatory check mark and ranks low on the list of the coolest things to see in Yellowstone.

On deck:  the coolest things to see in Yellowstone


Since I recently moved out west, I figured it would be a good idea to delay real life for as long as possible and spend some time traveling America’s gems: the National Parks. I’ve traveled all over this world, but never gave my very own country enough consideration. Thus began the plan for the “Super Summer Sabbatical” and we took 6 weeks, drove 6,000 miles, visited 10 national parks + 6 cities, drove through 10 states, and obviously won the prize for Most Amazeballs Adventure Ever. It wasn’t just a good idea, it was a GREAT idea. There are so many incredible things to see right in our very own backyard, and I’m so happy that I finally gave them their due attention.

Prep yourself my dear readers.  Monilogues has a lot to catch you up on from 2015, 2016, and the first half of 2017, but the Super Summer Sabb takes precedence.  Chronology be damned.

The first stop on our sabby was Grand Teton National Park.  We were spoiled right off the bat with this place.  Incredible scenery, perfect weather, and quite possibly the best campsite in the entire NPS system. The one con:  mosquitos.  Those a-holes came at me hard, no matter how much bug spray I doused myself with.

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Site 15 – Signal Mountain Campground

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The unbearable view from site 15

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The Grand Tetons

 

On deck:  Yellowstone


In the immortal words of LLCoolJ, don’t call it a comeback. I’ve been here for years. Life has just gotten in the way and sadly, the blog part was neglected. Sorry, friends. Alas, I have never forgotten about this special place called Monilogues and I’m still very much in the photography game (and crushing it!).  So let’s just pick up where we left off, yeah? So much has changed and life has been good. So good.

So pop some bottles, light that doob (or vape, if you will), blast a little Foo, and let’s rock out.