Bucket List Outdoor Trip — Redwoods

Redwoods National Park tree

Redwoods National Park tree by waswisgirl1 CC  BY-NC-ND

Went to Redwoods National Park after hiking a bit in Crater Lake National Park and walking around the caves at Oregon Caves National Monument.

I’d been to the Redwoods National Park as a child and remembered driving through a Redwood and walking on top of a stump that was as big as a ball room, so I had to go back and see what it was like as an adult.

Yep, the trees are big all right, as you can tell by the blurry picture above. I did look at some of the “classic” redwoods, but at each park, I liked to pick a cool boat ride or trail to hike that was out of the ordinary. My buddy Anne and I  found out you could register for a backcountry-ish type hike where a ranger would open up a gate and let you in to a remote area, so you could hike back out to your car out of it. We did just that. It was gorgeous, but the trip out was the most exciting part.

The road out of the “backwoods” was a narrow road through a huge slope, with the right side of the slope nearly straight up into the sky, and the left side a huge slope down-where I couldn’t see the bottom, with all of the foliage. All of a sudden, something came at the car from the right and we mashed on the brakes to avoid hitting it. Not one but two small black bear cubs came crashing down right in front of our car. I was such a ninny and was screaming (I’m usually pretty calm but there’s something about being trapped in a car..) and my buddy Anne was like “what the heck is wrong with you!”. I swore the mother bear was going to land on our tiny car if we didn’t start moving immediately (I always seem to be around baby and mother bears, and it usually didn’t go well for me-bears always win). Finally, Anne moved the car and I felt like we going to make it out of there-and we did. Onto Lassen Volcanic National Park!

Bucket List Outdoor Trip — Yellowstone

Yellowstone Natl Park waterfall

Yellowstone Natl Park by waswisgirl1, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

I went to see Old Faithful, the geyser, but the photos look pretty bad.

I did manage to take some nice shots of waterfalls as I hiked in Yellowstone, though, so I added one of them here.

As I hiked along a trail in Yellowstone, I saw a number of people pointing at the area where I was, across a large field. I got closer to the opening towards the field, and saw a buffalo, about a 100 yards from me, who hadn’t noticed me at all (thank goodness), since it was grazing. What I did see, though, was a man with a camera, across the field, coming towards the buffalo (and me). I had read the material about the animals in the park, so I knew a buffalo could run 30+mph, and did not like to be approached . So I backed away from the opening, and kept hiking.

American Pronghorn - Hart MT National Antelope Refuge

Credit: Mariyln Gregory/USFWS

I don’t get why people who know nothing about wild animals think they can do whatever they want around them? At least the pronghorn antelope are way too fast to do anything but watch in amazement. I saw antelope jumping and running when driving between Tetons and Yellowstone National Park..as well as grazing elk..onwards to Glacier!

Bucket List Outdoor Trip — Tetons

Tetons Natl Park and lake

Tetons Natl Park by waswisgirl1, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

After getting through the Wind River, I made it to the Tetons and camped in Tetons National Park.

As I left to hike a few miles, I ran into a couple in an RV that told me that they had been to all of the sites in the Tetons and Yellowstone…I was amazed that they could hike that much. When I said so, they told me that they had driven to all of the sites!

I had a great time hiking up to the alpine lakes, and couldn’t believe it when I came across a mother moose and her calf. I backed away carefully just as someone pushed past me with their camera to take a picture. I warned them that moose could be dangerous, and she told me to shut up..I hope for her sake she got her picture safely..but if not, she certainly would learn just how protective a mother moose could be..

Bucket List Outdoor Trips

I’ve been on a number of trips I’ve always dreamed of…I started on my bucket list in my late 20’s..after a couple of tragedies..I realized you couldn’t take it for granted that you’d get to try to do what you always wanted to..if you kept putting them off.

My first bucket list trip was when I saved up, quit my job, and went to over 20 national parks and monuments. I usually camped and hiked, but I did stay at some youth hostels.

The first trip was to a Women Outdoors Gathering in New Hampshire… I visited a friend in Vermont, got bit by a lot of mosquitoes, and went south.

It took a bit..but I stopped by a friend in Chicago and another one in Minneapolis..then set out on my own. I forgot-before Chicago I went to Mammoth Cave National Park and stopped in Louisville with a friend, too!

First stop was Custer State Park in South Dakota. Saw the wandering burros…in front of my car.

Begging Burro Portrait at Custer State Park

Next stop: Devil’s Tower National Monument…I hiked it a bit but didn’t climb it (well, not far, you’re not suppose to climb it without a permit when I visited).

Update: I forgot that I also went to Badlands National Park, too-how could I forget that?


Image: Begging Burro Portrait at Custer State Park, by Matthew Paulson,
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