Monday, August 13, 2012

Yellowstone Day #2, Thursday

We had decided to go in to the park again - there is just too much to see there.
 So. . . after the breakfast crew had eaten, we headed out.  Erin and team left by 7:15 and we were out by 7:45.  Not too shabby.

 We deemed her the epitome of fashion in Yellowstone Park.  The sweatshirt was a hand-me-down and was pretty much awesome and totally '90s.

 Two cute siblings walking the trail of the Artists' Paintpots.

 Two cute cousins.  We met up with them on their way down and our way up.  Fun!

 Lucy was determined to try and do everything by herself.  She loved walking down the steps.

 The gang, minus me.  This was a really cool stop.  I think it's a fairly new one seeing as Erin nor I had no recollection of it.  (Plus, the boardwalks were totally in better shape.)

 We had to get a picture of our very own Paint-splot by the Paintpots sign.

 Our next stop of the day was at the Norris area.  This was Geyser Basin, I think.  I can't remember the name of the loop-trail we took, but I think it started with a P.  It was a really cool site with lots of small geysers, hot-spots, etc.  The colors were also spectacular and were mainly due to the thermophile organisms that live there.  Jonas and Emmy were less-enthused about walking more, but they did okay.

Miles and I, with Lucy - who fell asleep, took a small trek out to the Steamboat Geyser.  Steamboat is the largest in the world, yet its' eruptions are sporadic and unpredictable.  We got there and it was going off - small spurts, yet very cool and still impressive.  It did a few more spurts every few minutes.  It was fun checking it out with Miles; he was pretty excited to have seen it erupt, even if just a little bit.

We next stopped at the Canyon Visitor Center.  We had the kids turn in their Junior Ranger activity sheets they had all worked on.  The Ranger was absolutely fantastic.  He took probably 10 minutes talking to the kids, going over their work, asking them questions, etc.  He focused solely on them and their stuff.  It was so perfect.  He then presented them each with their patches:
 Yay!  What adorable little Junior Rangers.

 We did our last hike of the day at Lower Falls.  It's insane.  You look right over that fence at a 308 foot waterfall.  It literally made me sick to my stomach and nerves.  Yes, it's impressive.  But in a terrifying way, too.

Yellowstone Canyon is truly beautiful.

We then drove through Hayden Valley which is known for bison-seeing.  We did see plenty of bison - not tons as in years past, but enough.  And they were pretty close, too, and so the kids were really excited about that.  Yellowstone Lake is huge and beautiful.

It was a long day - we got home around 6:30.  But everyone did okay.  Erin had prepared dinner and so that was nice.  Erin and Chuck went to West Yellowstone to the Playmill and had a fun time watching a play.  Ben went out with the boys on the tree-house and tried to look at the stars, but perhaps it wasn't dark enough?  He was out there from 9:15-9:45 with them (I was not out there with them because I had had enough of the little guys. . .).  Instead of stars, though, they did see lots of little bats.  Glad I wasn't out there!

Friday morning we packed our bags and cleaned up while the kids played outside.  There were lots of dirt-bombs and the such and so the kids were banned from coming back inside.  It worked out perfectly for them and us (potty-breaks apparently where taken from atop the tree-house, ahem).  We had a dandy of a drive back and only stopped for lunch - but not even getting out.  We made good time.  That evening our whole family went to the pool and had a great swimming time.

I hope we get back up to Yellowstone before another 6 years pass. . .

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