The Great Smoky Mountains

So much beauty, so much to see and do…every season.

RIPLEY’S AQURAIUM

DSC03229Ripley's Aquarium

DOLLYWOOD

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PARIOT MOUNTAIN

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CREEKS TO PLAY IN

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WATER FALLS

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FLOWERS

VIEWS IN EVERY SEASON

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THE ISLAND

TENNESSEE FOOTBALL

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CRITTERS

Cougar

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TITANIC MUSEUM

WONDER WORKS

WONDERWORKS

MUSIC

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CADES COVE

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GOLF

CAMPING

Jurassic World in Montana July 2015

We drove out through to North Entrance of the park leaving Mammoth and entering Gardiner, MT, another precious little town.  There are currently no plans to expand the lodging or camping within Yellowstone Park.  Therefore, if lodging (or affordable lodging) cannot be located in the park, visitors must stay in one of the little towns on the outskirts of the park.

North YNP Entrance

North YNP Entrance

Mammoth Hot Springs

Mammoth Hot Springs

Gardiner, MT

Gardiner, MT

For future reference, they are:  North entrance–Gardiner, MT, Northeast entrance–Cooke City, East entrance–Cody, WY, South entrance–Flag Ranch, Lake Jackson Lodge or Jackson Hole, WY and West entrance–West Yellowstone, MT.

On our way our of the park, we discovered three new (to us) water falls on our way out of the park.

Undine Falls

Undine Falls

Wraith Falls

Wraith Falls

Wraith Falls

Wraith Falls

Tower Falls

Tower Falls

Again this was an overnight trip with a campsite in yet another great KOA.  We have decided to get a more expensive air mattress as we have found, regardless of the care given, the cheap ones from Walmart won’t hold air more than one or two good nights.  I ordered one from Amazon today, which promises years of good service.  I will give my review of this new purchase in a following post.

OUR QUEST:  (1)  THE MUSEUM OF THE ROCKIES in Bozeman, Montana. Originally affiliated with Montana State University, and now, also, the Smithsonian Institution.  The museum is known for its paleontological collections, although these are not its sole focus.

The Museum of the Rockies houses the largest collection of dinosaur remains in the United States, possessing the largest Tyrannosaurus skull ever discovered, as well as the thigh bone of a Tyrannosaurus rex that contains soft-tissue remains.  The museum is part of the Montana Dinosaur Trail and is Montana’s official repository for paleontological specimens. Montana has vast paleontological research occurring within or conducted by people from all over the U.S. I learned the fossil record in Montana stretches all the way back to the Precambrian.  Beginning in 1855 archeological digs all over the state have produced some of the most significant Jurassic life examples in North America.

The dark brown is real bone, the light is man made to complete the skeleton

The dark brown is real bone, the light is man made to complete the skeleton

Mammoth skull and tusks

Mammoth skull and tusks

Sweet Husband looking through dino skull

Sweet Husband looking through dino skull

A perfectly preserved nest of dinosaur eggs

A perfectly preserved nest of dinosaur eggs

Jurassic Crocodile

Jurassic Crocodile

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Sweet Husband with Big Mike

Sweet Husband with Big Mike

Rex

Close up of T-Rex teeth

Close up of T-Rex teeth

Another focus of this museum were the Native Americans.  There was on poster focusing on their sacred stories.  I copied this from one of the displays:

The Indian Peoples, everywhere in the world had sacred origins. Since they did not have riting, their ideas about beginnings were contained in sacred stories and ceremonies that were remembered ad told from one generation to the next. Even today, sacred stories often told in winter still convey moral teachings and other important lessons.

For Example: THE CHEYENNE, “Maheo, the All Spirit, created a salty lake. From a ball of mud he made land which rested on the back of a turtle. And the Earth was known as Grandmother, Earth Woman. Later, by breathing on one of his own ribs, Maheo created first man and then first woman. Maheo is still with us, as all good and all life.” THE BLACKFEET, “Old Man, Mai, made the animals and then molded clay into human shape and said, ‘”You must be People’”.

Sound familiar?

(2)  JURASSIC WORLD the newest in the Spielberg series.  What better place or time to see the movie, in 3D, after a tour of the real thing.  Sweet Husband and I enjoyed it, total escapism and fun. At YNP we have no TV and really no time for TV, making this movie a genuine treat.  I saw reviews on FB and none of them were positive – we totally enjoyed it.

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(3)  AMERICAN COMPUTER AND ROBOTICS MUSEUM The name for this small museum speaks for itself.  It was extremely well done and interesting.  The focus is of the history of communication, personal computers, the internet, World Wide Web, robotics, artificial intelligence, personal computers, etc.

One of the displays featured the telegraph in association with the Pony Express.  At one time the telegraph only extended to St. Joseph, MO. where it then linked with the pony express, extending west.  One of the Pony Express ads on display showed a recruitment for Pony Express riders where the requirements were:  tough, wiry boys, under 18, orphans preferred, must be willing to risk death daily.  Pay listed at $25.00 per week.

The only short coming to the museum is they had no displays after 1995 (a 20 year gap?).

PE1 apple

We took the “short route” back to Yellowstone through West Yellowstone.  It is amazing to drive into the park late in the day and see more cars leaving than entering as there is literally no place left to stay in the park.  If you want to visit YNP make reservations a year in advance, but expect to pay a premium within the park.

A long two days, but worth it, we may never pass this way again…