Linda Azen


Linda Azen

Love to travel with my husband Al

Today we visited the Badlands National park and toured the 22 mile loop. The Badlands were formed by volcanic ash hundreds of millions of years ago. Erosion over the past 500 thousand years, caused the formations we see now. One section of the park has brilliant colors of gold and red. The badlands are made up of peaks, valleys, buttes, and wide prairies. We encountered a small herd of bighorn sheep on the slopes, and witnessed two head butting. We also noticed several sheep at the very top of a butte, looking down at us. We took about two hours to do the drive. We noticed birds which were very vocal. But there were very few trees for them to nest. On the way to the Minuteman Missile Site we noticed hundreds of birds with mud ... read more
Badlands Yellow Mounds Area
Six inch steel door 30 feet underground

Today we are traveling to Buffalo, Wy via Rt 16 East, Rt 90, then Rt 16 South Dakota to Mt. Rushmore. After reaching Buffalo, heading toward Rt. 90, we came upon Bighorn National Forest. What a wonderful surprise it was. We traveled the canyon floor, up the canyon walls, and across the rim of the canyon. All offering incredible scenery. At the top of the rim we went across a 10,000 foot mountain pass, descending into red rock country and to a small town of Tensleep. One of our pictures describes how the town was named, it makes sense after you read it. Traveling on I-90 is nice as we can travel 75 mph, but we elected to take scenic route 16 to head towards our next attraction-Crazy Horse. We entered the town of Custer on ... read more
Red rock in South Dakota
Description of how a neat little town in SD got its name
Business in Ten Sleep, SD

North America May 23rd 2013

We entered the park through the west entrance again this morning. Today we were only greeted by a few bison along the road. We did spot several elk grazing close to the road, unfortunately we did not get a photo of them. We stopped at some amazing guiser basins which had bubbling clear blue water that rushed off the basin and flowed directly into Firehole River. The scenery was spectacular again which was whetting our appetite for 'Old Faithful'. Old Faithful is a bit off the main road, but because of it's popularity, the area is well prepared for visitors. We were lucky to have timed our stop as Old Faithful was estimated to erupt about 10 minutes after we parked. And almost right on cue, it erupted. If we had arrived a few minutes after ... read more
Yellowstone Lake
Lower Geyser Basin

We were pleased to learn that many of the roads in Yellowstone were open for the season; only the Northeast entrance and one road remained closed due to their elevation and snow. We entered Yellowstone from the west entrance and very soon encountered bison on the side of the road. It was a very pleasant surprise, and even included a newborn with it's mother. We went a short distance only to find the road was blocked in both directions with a herd of bison. Apparently, the bison were moving from the pasture, across the road, to the Madison River. Traffic was backed up both ways and what at first was fun and amusing was becoming annoying. But we kept in mind that we were invading their space! A couple of rangers used their vehicles and shooting ... read more
Us at Gibbons Falls
Village of West Yellowstone
Bison upon entering the park

Today we are driving the Peaks to Craters Scenic Byway on our way to Yellowstone National Park. We are traveling a very diverse Idaho landscape, mountains, deserts, lava fields, and irrigated pastures. We stopped at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve which had volcanic activity as recent as 2000 years ago. Literature from the park indicates that it got it's name from a geologist that described it as "the surface of the moon as seen through a telescope." (The craters on the moon are actually formed by meteorites, not volcanos). In 1924 President Coolidge proclaimed Craters of the Moon a National Monument, preserving "a weird and scenic landscape, peculiar to itself." The lava fields come from not one volcano but rather a series of deep fissures in the earth's crust-known collectively as the "Great ... read more
Along the Peaks to Craters Scenic Byway

North America » United States » Idaho » Twin Falls May 20th 2013

We planned to do the underground tour in Pendleton, however due to a special event over the weekend, it was closed on Monday. Instead we toured the Pendleton Woolen Mill, where they make Native American blankets. We were able to see the entire process in action. Interestingly, the geometric shapes on the blankets are made using punch card technology (60's era)in the machine. The other blankets with cowboy, wildlife and other images use computer technology. Monday was a long travel day heading to Twin Falls, Idaho. We originally planned to stop at the Boise Capitol, however, an iPhone malfunction caused us to stop at an Apple store instead. We found the mountain roads in Oregon much more stunning than those in Idaho. We decided to take a scenic detour by the Snake River Canyon Scenic Byway ... read more
Snake River

It's early Sunday morning May 19th, our bags are packed and loaded in the car. The kids are up and enjoying breakfast. We finished creating a playroom for the kids, enjoyed wonderful food prepared by Yuna and Alf, including a great Korean meal one night and homemade sushi another night. We also had some playtime with the kids. We went to a great swimming pool one day, rode the Seattle Ferris wheel, and the carousel. Al and Alf went shrimping one day with Alf's friend Shawn. It is now time to hit the road and travel back East. If we 'click our heels two times' will be home? We clicked our heels and it did not work, so back into the Prius and head East to Pendleton, Oregon via Walla Walla Washington. On the road to ... read more
Enjoying a day at the beach
Riding the Ferris wheel with NaNa
Love the carousel

North America » United States » Washington » Seattle May 2nd 2013

we are on our final leg of this portion of our journey, with a brief stop at Mt. St. Helens. The sky is so clear you can see both Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood from I-5. We decided to take a quick detour to the visitor's center at Mt. St. Helens. We were told that the park will officially open next week, as the roads are still not completely clear. We decided to watch a 13 minute video about the eruption, taken during that time. It has been 30 years since the eruption. The exhibits at the center show photos of Mt. St. Helens just days before the eruption, and days after. We are at our final destination for this leg of the trip, and Wharton a wonderful greeting we received. It is not raining, ... read more
Mission Accomplished

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland May 1st 2013

We had a nice surprise anniversary gift waiting for us in Portland, OR. Alf and Yuna made hotel room arrangements for us at an unique hotel, the McMenamins Kennedy School. The school thrived from 1916 until 1974-1975 school year. Due to low enrollment and a changing environment, the school was closed. A community minded group reclaimed the school for a hotel, restaurant, and activities. The walls are covered with school memorabilia and related art work. The eclectic use of light fixtures caught our eye. As we arrived on May Day, we got to enjoy the community events at the school. They had an elementary school class dance around the Maypole, face painting for the kids, and live entertainment throughout the day and evening. We drove into downtown Portland and did a brief walking tour of Pioneer ... read more
Hand painted headboard in our room

North America » United States » Oregon » Gold Beach April 30th 2013

We think the Redwood National Park, as beautiful as it is, is probably one of the least visited national parks. We hiked the Lady Bird Johnson trail loop which took about 45 minutes. We felt like ants among giants in the forest. The fragrance of the redwoods was wonderful. Northern California is a striking difference to the deserts of Southern California. We continued on U.S. 101 to the Oregon coast. the coastline was protruding with jagged rocks, and the winds were very strong causing rolling, foaming surfs. We saw about a third of the Oregon coast, then headed inland across the seemingly endless mountains. We stayed the night at Roseburg, OR.... read more
Oregon jagged coastline
Climbing the Fallen Giant

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