Starling Travel

August 14, 2015

Go To A Place You Have Never Been Before

I really love this motivational poster I saw on Facebook a while back:

Go to a place you have never been before from Starling Travel

It reads:

Go at least once a year to a place you have never been before.

This is an argument that I have every year with Mike. He always wants to go to Yellowstone, which we have been to almost every year for a decade. I want to try new national parks, like Yosemite. This year, we didn’t go on a big trip. Our biggest trip was to Lagoon Amusement Park up north. It was a really fun vacation and we got to see our friends and family while we were there, so no regrets.

Huge snow drifts in Yellowstone from Starling TravelStill, the argument rages on. Yellowstone or Yosemite. Mike argues that Yellowstone is different EVERY time we go there. I can hardly describe the difference of Mammoth Hot Springs now versus when we saw it that first time together. I wish I had photos of Orange Spring Mound from that first trip because it has LITERALLY taken over the road and they have had to make a new road around its massive orangeness. Yellowstone is truly different every time we’ve visited from the year with the ten foot snow drifts to the year with the bear with a porcupine quill in its paw. We have never had a repeat experience.

El Capitan in Yosemite from Starling TravelBut I have never seen Yosemite. I would feel like an idiot if I never got to see the mountains and trees that so inspired John Muir in his writing and activism. I would regret never seeing El Capitan in person when it was the focus on so many of Ansel Adams’ photographs. How can I keep visiting Yellowstone over and over when Yosemite is there, waiting for me to visit?

Then again, Ansel Adams spent his whole life visiting Yosemite over and over. Georgia O’Keefe loved Taos so much she moved down there. Additionally, every time I visit a place, it looks different to me because I AM DIFFERENT. What was boring to me as a child is gorgeous to me as an adult. What was interesting to me before may be gone, but has been replaced with something just as strange and captivating. When our national parks are different every time we visit them, it doesn’t matter which one we visit as long as we get out.

If I were to change that poster on the top, I would make it MUCH more simple. Instead of it saying, “Go at least once a year to a place you have never been before,” it was only say, “GO.”

December 27, 2014

Time Lapse of Yellowstone National Park

Filed under: Places To Visit,Wyoming — Laura Moncur @ 8:33 am

This time lapse video of Yellowstone is STUNNING!

I love the view of Grand Prismatic Springs from above because it’s so hard to get there on your own. When you see it, it’s usually from the bottom, where you can’t see the whole thing. It looks so good and makes me miss Yellowstone.

December 16, 2014

Camping In Yellowstone

Filed under: Camping,Places To Visit,Teardrops & Tiny Trailers,Wyoming — Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am

This photo just made me wish so hard for a time machine.

Camping in Yellowstone from Starling Travel

I really believe that if I invented a time machine, I wouldn’t use it to kill Hitler. I would use it to travel to a Yellowstone that was filled with bears and retro campers. Is that wrong?

October 11, 2013

Snowy Camping in Grand Teton

Filed under: Camping,Idaho,Motorhomes and Campers,Places To Visit,Wyoming — Laura Moncur @ 7:34 am

The Long Long Honeymoon had a wonderful experience camping in the snow. Here is the video they made about it.

I particularly like seeing how they back into the camping site. It looks so easy and efficient. I’ve seen hundreds of campers trying to back into their sites at campgrounds all over this nation and it is NEVER this easy and efficient. Either clever editing has occurred or they are SO used to camping life that it is down to a science for them.

Most of the time, a big camper like their Airstream would still be pulling in and out, inches at a time, while we hand roll our tent camper into its spot. We can get our little tent trailer into its spot, hooked up and set up before most big trailers can park. It’s a lot more heavy labor to do it than positioning a huge vehicle, but it certainly takes less time.

Last year, we camped in freezing weather that surprised the camping folks in Las Vegas and Arizona. The RV resort in Vegas was SO surprised that they didn’t turn off their water features, which froze solid overnight.

Frozen Water Fountain in Las Vegas 01-16-2013

We were able to stay warm all night with two electric heaters, even though temperatures dipped down to the upper teens. It appears they were camping in the national park, however, so there are no electrical hookups to run electric heaters. They had to stock up on their propane.

The next time you feel trapped at home because it’s too cold to go camping, remember this. You can have an inexpensive and beautiful get-away as long as you’re willing to prepare for the cold.

September 10, 2013

Just Out For A Leisurely Stroll: Every Day Is Like This In Yellowstone

Filed under: Places To Visit,Wyoming — Laura Moncur @ 6:38 am

This video shows a buffalo, just leisurely strolling past some hikers in Yellowstone.

This LITERALLY happens every day in Yellowstone park. I don’t think there is a time when I’ve visited a park and haven’t had a buffalo just owning the road, ambling inches past our car, trapped on the road.

I feel a little jaded because I’ve visited Yellowstone every year for the last decade. I get surprised when people stop their cars in the middle of the road just to look at the elk or buffalo. I forget that the people in those cars haven’t seen buffalo every year for the last ten years. For them, it’s the first time.

That’s the benefit of living in Utah. We are so close to tons of National Parks that wondrous sites like the passing of a buffalo are commonplace to us.

Via: Just Out For A Leisurely Stroll — Cute Overload

May 15, 2013

Feeding the Bears in Yellowstone

Filed under: Places To Visit,Wyoming — Laura Moncur @ 8:05 am

When I was looking through my grandma’s old family photos, I found this one.

Feeding the Bears at Yellowstone from Starling Travel

None of the people so eagerly approaching this bear are any of my ancestors, but my grandma was close enough to TAKE the photograph, so I can’t brag too loudly about how safe she might have been. Back in the 1940s and 1950s, visitors to Yellowstone park were allowed to approach and feed the grizzly bears. I wonder how many human injuries occurred before they changed that rule.

Now, when a grizzly bear wanders into an area of Yellowstone with lots of tourists, the rangers are right there to prevent encounters. Here’s a video of a grizzly bear at Old Faithful, chasing bison.

I LOVE how that video ends. He realizes that the grizzly is coming for him and he starts yelling, “Nope, no, no!” Then the video just STOPS! AWESOME!

I’ve seen bears in Yellowstone before and wrote about it here:

Here’s the video from our 2007 encounter:

Click here to see the video

It’s funny to me to see my videos and photos alongside the one from my grandma’s collection. Throughout the years, our family has visited Yellowstone many times and have enjoyed the wildlife there. It’s like I feel connected to her across the span of time and it has even bridged across death itself, creating a bond from beyond the grave.

September 19, 2012

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Filed under: Places To Visit,Wyoming — Laura Moncur @ 11:26 am

I love Yellowstone and I’ve talked about it many times over the years. One of my favorite features is the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, which is a sadly neglected part of the park. Because the area is only open a couple months of the year, Mike and I have only been able to see it every other year (or so). We usually visit in late April and that time of the year is a crap shoot for Yellowstone. Sometimes we are buried in ten feet of snow.

Yellowstone Park 04-20-08 by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Sometimes we enjoy sunshine, warm days and grizzly bears.

Grizzly Bear (click for larger photo)

Whenever we CAN visit the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, we do, and it never disappoints.

Lower Falls 2009 by LauraMoncur from Flickr

Here is a video from RV Geeks about it.

Just like all videos of majestic natural phenomena, it’s impossible to capture the grandeur of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone on video, yet people rarely talk about it when they come back from a visit. When it has to compete with huge jets of boiling water that shoot hundreds of feet into the air on a schedule, the loveliness and shocking size of the falls kind of gets lost.

The next time you visit Yellowstone, make sure you schedule it during the time of the year that the road to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is open and accessible. It’s worth juggling your time in order to see it live and in person.

Map info:

July 2, 2012

Moncur Epic Journey May 2012: Cheyenne, Wyoming – Last Stop ‘Til Home

Filed under: Camping,Places To Visit,Wyoming — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

This boot is the most interesting thing in a radius of 200 miles.

Cheyenne Wyoming Boot

This boot is actually more witty than I thought it was at first. (Continue Reading…)

June 2, 2012

Moncur Epic Journey May 2012: Lincoln Memorial near Laramie, WY

Filed under: Places To Visit,Wyoming — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

As a child, my parents drove every other year from Utah to Wisconsin to visit my mother’s family. The disembodied head of Abraham Lincoln played a key character in many of my childhood nightmares because it was something we passed every other year on that trip. Part of me didn’t even believe it really existed until we drove home from a convention in Denver a couple of years ago.

Exist, it does, nestled between Laramie and Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Lincoln Memorial Laramie WY

As a child, my nightmares featuring this roadside attraction involved (Continue Reading…)

May 10, 2012

The World According to Charles W. Cushman 1938-1969

I love to travel and see parts of the world that are different than mine, but the photography collection of Charles W. Cushman allows me to travel not only all around the world, but through the past as well.

Charles Weever Cushman, amateur photographer and Indiana University alumnus, bequeathed approximately 14,500 Kodachrome color slides to his alma mater. The photographs in this collection bridge a thirty-two year span from 1938 to 1969, during which time he extensively documented the United States as well as other countries.

It was so lovely to look at all the old photographs! Here are some of my favorites. (Continue Reading…)

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