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the photo journal + misc. news of Emma Kisiel

Fall Leaves + Elsie’s Visit

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The first time I saw (what would become) our house was the second week in November, when the backyard looked like this. The leaves were mostly on the ground, but this sight assured me that fall at our house would be incredible come October. And I was not wrong! As with all the seasons, this fall has been so nicely long and drawn out and I am soaking it in. These (from late September) are just some of the many photos I’ve taken around the house. I love that tree with its two-toned leaves.

Two weekends ago Elsie came into town and I spent an entire day with her and Sophie, getting brunch at Petunia’s and walking through the rose garden and then heading to St Helens to see Halloweentown. We spent so long in an antique store and Sophie had to leave, but when Els and I got out we caught the very cool parade going through town! Elsie spent the night and in the morning Sophie came over and Elsie made us a beautiful and delicious breakfast and Nat and I broke out the Halloween decorations. It was such a lovely couple days. (See iPhone photos here because there’s just not enough room in this post.) I live for this time of year.

Yellowstone

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After leaving the AMK Ranch on Sunday morning, the five of us all piled into the Jetta wagon and drove into Yellowstone. We saw Old Faithful, Biscuit Basin, Grand Prismatic, and Fountain Paint Pots. We went back toward GTNP to get Dan’s car, then drove 30 miles east into the mountains to for our stay in a cabin at Togwotee Mountain Lodge. At this point, I was really struggling with the altitude, so I took a nap before meeting everyone for dinner at the Red Fox Saloon. We visited the hot tub, got a good night’s sleep, and were ready to head our separate ways in the morning. Katie and Matt and Dan headed east toward Dubois (and promptly saw a moose and a bear) while Nat and I started our drive home through Yellowstone. We went to Old Faithful again, did the walk to Artist Paintpots, and walked around Norris Geyser Basin. On our way out of the park we saw one bison, pretty much the only wildlife seen on our visit (unless you count the ravens I became obsessed with). We drove to Coeur d’Alene and spent the night in a cabin at the campground my dad and I stayed at in the summer (saw a lil bunny right outside the cabin’s window in the morning) and got home on Tuesday evening. It was a whirlwind trip – 2,300 miles in six days! But I’m glad we did it.

To the Tetons

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At last year’s regional SPE conference, I learned that the fall 2018 conference would be in Grand Teton National Park. I was pretty intrigued, but it was this spring when I learned that the conference theme was “Human/Nature” that I knew I had to go, and I had to submit a proposal to speak. I was accepted, and even though I had just done the drive to Yellowstone/Grand Teton NP in June with my dad, Nat and I made a plan to drive – and meet Katie and Matt and Dan, who would drive up from the Denver area. The Thursday before the conference, we drove the 10.5 hours to our beloved Lava Hot Springs and camped in one of the KOA’s cabins for the first time (after getting in the hot springs the moment we arrived at 10pm, of course). The drive across Oregon and Idaho was nothing too exciting (we have done it so many times now) but it was the 3.5-hour trip from Lava Hot Springs to the AMK Ranch in Grand Teton NP Friday morning, in southeast Idaho and into the western edge of Wyoming, that was insanely gorgeous. And once we got to the ranch we were blown away. That first picture of the Tetons a fourth of the way down was our view for the two days we spent at the conference location. I really loved getting to be in these beautiful, historic buildings, listening to artists, may of whom I’ve admired for years, talk about their work concerned with humans and nature. Katie and Matt took kayaks out onto Jackson Lake. We had home-cooked meals together, and we all got to stay in the same room! I was really excited about how our lodging situation worked out, since we were told to expect to stay in bunkbeds in a communal room with as many as 10 other people. The five of us had our own room with our own bathroom, Dan just had to sleep on the floor 😆 After the conference, we were off for a day in the parks together and a night at a cabin in the mountains.