June 30, 2010

Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons


We got to Yellowstone early and it was still hot when we arrived. We entered the park through the Roosevelt Arch located at the North Entrance. From there we stopped first at the the Mammoth Hot Springs. We took the long walk along the boardwalks to see cool hot springs. Along the boardwalk we spotted a praire rattlesnake in the brush. It didn't seem to be bothered by all the people gathered to look at it but I was quick to see it and get out of there fast. Snacks scare me. It was hot along the boardwalk but the hot springs were neat to see so it was worth walking in the heat. Before getting ready to leave the springs we all took a bathroom break and while we were there we ran into our friends the Muirs. What are the odds??! It was a nice surpise to see our friends once more before our move.


We headed towards Tower Junction and stopped along the way to see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. It was so amazing! Along this road we also saw a bison, a baby bear, and some big birds. From there we headed south towards Canyon. Along the way we stopped at the highest point where we could see Mt. Washburn. The wind was so strong that it almost blew us away but the view of the mountains and the white puffy clouds were enough to keep us entertained for quite some time. After leaving this gorgeous stop we headed down to see the the upper and lower falls. The waterfall was so amazing to view from the lower falls because we could see the entire falls and the river down below. We ended up doing a little hike to get down to the viewing area. It was pretty steep but we managed to make it down and back up with few problems. Emma cut her toe on the way back but that was easily fixed by a piggy back ride from dad. After hiking back to our car we were starving so we headed back to the main area at Canyon and ate dinner at one of the restaurants. I had the trout and it was so delicious.

(My dad took this one...amazing!)

(My dad captured this sunset so well)


After dinner we headed West towards the Old Faithful Inn where we stayed for the night. The drive down was interesting as we hit some rain, thunder, and lightening. Right at sunset we stopped along the way and I popped out with my dad to take some pictures. We ran along a boardwalk to capture the last of the sunset. We were giddy and laughing the entire time. It was hilarous. On our way back onto the main road we saw a wolf wandering around.

The Old Faithful Inn was such a fun place to stay. The main lodge was made entirely of logs. There was a big clock on the wall that told us when the Old Faithful geyser would errupt next. Even though it was late when we arrived we walked around enjoying the uniqueness of the inn. It was so much fun to explore the many levels inside the main lodge. Our rooms were incredibly small but we didn't care. Two of the kids slept with my parents and the other two slept in our room. We got up early the next morning and ate breakfast out on the patio in front of the lodge and then walked around the corner to watch the geyser. It was fun to watch but I thought it would have been a little bit bigger. The kids thought it was the coolest thing ever!


After leaving the Old Faithful Inn we headed back up the road towards the lower geyser basin to see all of the fantastic looking geysers. They were so coloful and magnificent. We stopped to see the Grand Prismatic Spring which was magnificent. As we were walking across over the river on the bridge we immediately felt teh strong wind. I turned to the big kids and told them to hold onto their hats so they wouldn't blow away. Andrew started to and then forget for a moment and his brand new hat from REI blew away and started floating down the river. I said a few things I shouldn't have to him. I was so angry that he didn't listen to me. As I was viewing the springs all I could think of was the lost hat. Little did I know that while I was stewing Mike played the hero and went to chase after that hat. He ran pretty far down the bank of the river until there was a shallow section for him to enter the water. He got lucky and the hat floated right by his side. I felt so bad for how I behaved and apologized to Andrew and thanked Mike. What a hero!


After getting our fill of geysers and springs we headed south towards Yellowstone Lake where we had lunch right next to the lake. We enjoyed the views while we ate and then got in the car to head out of the park. After leaving Yellowstone we headed straight for the Grand Tetons. We stopped to see the Grand Tetons and played by Jenny Lake for a little bit. In retrospect we should have allowed more time to play in the water here and enjoy the magnificent mountains. The rest of the day was spent driving all the way down to Orem, Utah to stay at my parents home there. It was a long drive but we all made it and were happy to finally settle there for an entire week!

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