Vacation Notes Tom Mazanec Day 1 (Sunday Aug 5) I am awakened by my aunt (where I am staying) for a quick bite, ablution and dressing. And off we go to the plane to Atlanta. It is just dawn when we get into the sky, and it is mostly cloudy. We see a sea of bubbling clouds, sometimes broken by a glimpse of topological mapping with highways like spider webs. We took off late and had to rush to the Salt Lake City airport. There was a Spiderman movie but I did not watch or listen. Luggage was late, so I just had a club sandwich and fries for lunch. The mountains were spectacular, as was the lake. We met as a group at 6 PM and then I had a dinner of Rocky Mountain trout with rice and a sundae. Everything in the city is based on the temle of the Mormons. Quickly as possible to bed. Day 2 (Monday Aug 6) Day was a long road trip. The tour director gave us interesting bits of history and knowledge interspersed with music and corny jokes. For example, he told us when we were going under the world's largest elkhorn arch (everything in this part of the country is made of elkhorn - arches, chandeliers, door handles...the lamp I am writing the notes for this under...). Breakfast was buffet, which for me means scrambled eggs and hash browns. Lunch was a "Butch burger" in a tiny town proud of the fact that its bank was one of the first to be robbed by Butch Cassidy, and supper was a buffalo steak. Now the mountains towered right over the bus. Day 3 (Tuesday Aug 7) First we went to buffet breakfast, then we went to the National Wildlife Art Museum. The staff gave excellent background to the art, and it was very beautiful. There were many paintings in various styles, and some sculpture. Next I went on a raft trip on the Snake River. The Tetons were superlative, and we got to see some wildlife Then a chuckwagon dinner (chicken, roast beef, salad and corn on the cob for me).We arrived there in covered wagons, and there were mock Indian attacks. The band played Western music until nightfall. Some of the audience got to participate in some of the numbers. Day 4 (Wednesday Aug 8) The crown jewel od the whole trip - Yellowstone. Buffet breakfast, bison burger with fries for lunch. Dinner was elk medallions with Idaho trout and baked potato, topped off with a sundae. Now for the geysers and hot springs. They smell faintly of rotted eggs -almost pleasant in its weak state, or perhaps it was just my life's dream come true. Old Faithful I caught in eruption twice, Grotto Geyser (whose cone looks like something designed by someone on LSD), Jet or Fountain geyser (forget which and Lion Geyser from a distance. Many colorful hot sprinds. The water shimmers in the funnel shaped springs like water just about to start boiling. Large areas are encrusted with grainy white, streaked with brown where the water runs, Often this running water had formations on the surface which looked like ice. Day 5 (Thursday Aug 9) Breakfast of pancakes with blueberry syrup. Lunch was a burger with huckleberry ice cream. Dinner was elk medallions with lobster tail, baked potato, broccoli and a hucl;eberry sundae for desert. Saw Mammoth Hot Springs. Largest single hydrothermal feature I saw, just steaming hot water running down terrace after terrace. Also saw the Grand Canyon ot the Yellowstone, a yellow pit that seemed to go down precipice after precipice forever, and the Lower Yellowstone Falls. Day 6 (Friday Aug 10) Smoked salmon for breakfast -will not make that mistake again! Lunch was breaded strip steak with fries. Then on to Cody Museum - this is five museums in one. I spent almost all my time in the firearms museum (well, what can you expect of someone whose favorite childhood toys were rayguns).Dinner was rib eye steak with rice pilaf, then on toa rodeo show with acts such as bronco busting and steer tying. Day 7 (Saturday Aug 11) Buffet breakfast, sandwich buffet lunch and ribeye steak with rice for dinner again. Lots of bus driving, but we saw Shell Fallls and reached the praire. Movie ont he bus about Custer's Last Stand and we got to see it in person with a lecture. Managed to make the Vigil Mass...thank you, God. Day 8 (Sunday Aug 12) Buffet breakfast, sirloin steak lunch and walleye with french fries and a sundae for dinner. Saw the Tatanks presentation of the Indian's relationship with the buffalo (or bison if you want to be pedantic). This was the high point of a day of bus riding, but at least we heard a great tape by an Irish comedian. At the hotel was a lecture on the history of the hotel and an Indian dancer. Day 9 (Monday Aug 13) Buffet breakfast. Buffalo burger, fries and soft serve ice cream with M&Ms for lunch. Saw Chief Crazy Horse Monument (incomplete) and Mount Rushmore. Walleye dinner. It was the first day I had some leisure time so I spent it browsing a comic book store across the street from the hotel. I gave sa speech at the farewell dinner. Then to bed to get up in the wee hours of the morning to catch a plane to Salt Lake and then home.