Sunday, June 19, 2011

Postcards from the Road (My Birthday Trip Part 1)

(Note: Originally, this was going to be one post but it got too long. Today, you get the first two days of our trip. Stay tuned for wildlife, knitting, and camping adventures!)

For my birthday this year, the husbeast and I decided we were going to hit up a few national parks and go camping. The plan was to drive east, turning up through Idaho for a while, and ending up in Yellowstone National Park. We'd camp for four or five days, enough to thoroughly explore the park. For the return trip, we'd drive south through the Grand Tetons and then back through Utah and Nevada. On the first day of the trip, we pretty much just drove across California and Nevada, only stopping for meals and gas. I don't have any pictures of Nevada because, let's face it, the landscape is probably the most boring we encountered during the entire trip. What I got instead of scenery was lots of time to knit while the husbeast drove.

The weather reports were calling for overnight lows in the 30s, and the possibility of rain and even snow while we were at Yellowstone (where the elevation varies from 6500-8000 feet). So while driving through the Nevada desert, I made sure we'd be prepared for Yellowstone:

Hurry-up Hat & mitts

For the husbeast, a hat and some fingerless mitts (good for keeping the hands warm while allowing finger movement for taking photos). The yarn is Hello Yarn Polwarth wool in the "Cauldron" colorway.

Hurry-up Hat #2

I made myself a hat (but no mitts) out of Fleece Artist Aran wool. I'm calling these our "hurry-up" hats because I was so keen to finish them before we got to Yellowstone. The pattern is based on Jared Flood's Turn a Square hat, except with fewer starting stitches, enough length to turn up the ribbed brim (for extra ear warmth), and no stripes. Perfect car knitting!

Yellowstone National Park

In case you're wondering, they do keep one's head nicely warm, but provide no protection against buffalo.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. In between bouts of hat knitting, I also worked on this a bit:

Blue Owls Quilt

More on that later! On the second day, we made a few stops. The first one was for Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho,

Craters of the Moon National Monument

where it was a little cold:

Owl Cowl

It was snowing when we arrived, so we wandered through the visitor center until it cleared up. We drove through the park, got out and walked around a bit.

Craters of the Moon National Monument

The landscape is breathtaking and weird.

Craters of the Moon National Monument

We both agreed that Idaho is significantly more interesting to drive through than Nevada (sorry Nevada).


After eating our lunch as quickly as possible (so it wouldn't get cold), we drove for another stretch and stopped in Idaho Falls for coffee and the only yarn shop along our route on that day. Yarn Connection is a delightful shop, and while they don't have a website, you can get an idea of what it looks like from the flickr set in the link. The shop owner Tish was very helpful (and pointed me to some interesting yarn), and the other knitters directed us to great coffee at the local Great Harvest bakery. Fortified, we finished the second day of the drive and wound up in West Yellowstone, where we spent our second night on the road before going into Yellowstone proper. I'll report on the park itself (and our adventures therein) in the next post!

P.S. By the way, you see that cowl ? Here's what it looks like up close:

Owl Cowl

It was a birthday gift from fellow knitblogger and Purl Jammer Pink Viking, and did a fantastic job keeping my neck warm throughout the trip.

1 comment:

Tracey said...

great photos! looks like a cool trip, in more ways than one (sorry, couldn't resist the pun). i'm looking forward to the second installment. :)