The Chan Land


< January 2005 >

Monday, 01-03-05

The Yellowstone Snowmobile Ride

Finally came down to the highlight of the trip: The Yellowstone Snowmobile ride. The trip last for the whole day. First they took us from the hotel to the tour company office to get geared up. We had to wear heavy duty jumpsuit and helmet. After we got dressed up, we got into this big van. The van would then take us to the entrace of Yellowstone and from there we would jump onto our snowmobiles. The van ride would have been ok if there wasn't this annoying guy with two teenage boys. The teenage boys were actually cool and normal. But this middle age annoying guy just couldn't keep his mouth shut for one second during the whole ride. It was freaking 6:30 in the morning, all of us just want to close our eyes to get some rest so that we would be ready for snowmobile ride. But this guy was just keep tell stories and tried to make conversation with the driver and everyone else on the van.

We finally got to Yellowstone and got on to our snowmobiles. Lady Chan and I shared one snowmobile and little sister-in-law had her own. It was snowing and cold. So it was going to be an interesting ride.

It took me a good old 30 minutes or so to get a handle of the snowmobile. It was like riding jet ski or motorcycle (neither of which I had any experience of). We ride at about 40 to 45 mile per hour. The scenary was amazing during the ride. However, I was paying too much attention to the road that I didn't have much time to enjoy the scenary when I was driving. Lady Chan on the other hand enjoyed the view more.

Thank God for the hand warmer and toe warmer that we brought with us. It was definitely cold! I was a little bit worried the whole time because I didn't know if the baby inside Lady Chan would be ok with the ride.

We made several stops along the way to take pictures and visit some cool spots. We stop at the Old Faithful to have lunch and see the Old Faithful eruption. I was not realy impressed with the Old Faithful. It was all hype. I think I had more fun anticipating for the eruption than actually seeing it.On the way back, we stoped by a place that has hiking trail through many cool mud pots, steam vents and thermal pools. It was nature at its best. The little 15 minutes hike made the whole trip worthwhile.

There was almost an accident on the way back. At one point, my snowmobile was in the midair and Lady Chan almost got threw off the snowmobile. That would not be good. I would have almost kill my wife and my baby.

So we finally got back to the entrance of Yellowstone safe and sound. We were all tied and ready to get back to the van. However, there was one problem. The annoying middle age guy still with us and there was going to be a long van ride home....

Sunday, 01-02-05

The National Elk Refuge

After two days of snow shoeing and skiing, we were ready to do something low key. We decided to do some shopping during the day and also visit the National Elk Refuge.

The weather was still very cold but it wasn't snowing much. We took the taxi to the Nation Elk Refuge. We paid for the Elk tour. The tour was actually really cool. They took us on a horse-drawn sleigh ride. The two horses' names are Bud and Jess. Our tour guide and sleigh driver's name was Trevor. He is around college age. His whole family does this during winter time to make extra money.

To get the horse move, Trevor will shout:"Bud, Jess, together, step!". The horses will then move in synchronized steps. Amazing!

There were a lot of elk in the Refuge. They come down from the mountains every winter to find food. The male elk and female elk hang out in separate herds for most of the time. Winter is not their mating season, so we usually don't see male and female elk together. However, there was a pair of elk breaking the tradition and doing the deed right in front of us. They were not conserving their enegy like the others do.

Saturday, 01-01-05

Ski Lesson

After a day of snow shoeing, we decided to hit the ski slope. We decided to take the early morning bus to the Jackson Hole Ski Recort. While we were waiting for the bus, a 20ish looking girl came to us and asked us to help pushing her car. What do I look like? Anyway, I decided to help her. I asked her to get a piece of clothing or blanket to put underneath one of the wheels. She did. Then it took no time to get her out. We got to the ski resort pretty early and decided to sign up for ski lesson because little sister-in-law is not that great a skier, and Lady Chan and I both like to take a lesson to improve our skill. So we signed up for the ski lesson. Our ski instructor is a 20ish girl named Lori. She is really nice. She is from Boston and has just graduated from college majoring Latin American Culture or something like that. I didn't really know what I have been missing until today. It is all powder snow and no ice. I don't think I can ski in the east coast anymore. Lori is such a great instructor. We improved greatly after the whole day ski lesson. Lady Chan and I decided that we are going to take more lessons in the future. Watch out!!!