We decided to take a 3 day vacation and drive up to Yellowstone. We are only about 4 hours away and figured we better get up there now in case we never have another chance to do so. It was so much fun!! We went the second week the park was open so there was still snow in some areas. We were able to see SO MUCH wildlife because the mountains were still cold so they were lower. Plus we got to see a lot of babies. As we were driving into Yellowstone we passed a giant pasture with bison and their babies.
It was a lot of driving for babies but once we got to the destinations they loved looking around. Boonie liked finding the bison (he couldn't remember what they were called and called them basselopes). Some of them would walk close or right on the road.
Day one we arrived in Yellowstone. Ate at the Otterpub in West Yellowstone, went to Mammoth Springs, walked around there (it was beautiful). Got insanely close to a bear (another rarity and advantage of going in the spring) - we saw 5 bears. 3 brown bears and 2 grizzly. You are suppose to stay about 30 yards away from the bears. This one was about 7. There was one crazy lady that got about 3 yard away from it. I didn't feel comfortable with my two juicy little babies around the bear so Mason and I took turns looking at it while we kept our little tasty fat balls away. That night we checked in our hotel at Mammoth Springs and called it a day.
Day 2 we drove out to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. I had seen pictures and heard of hikes where you can hike down to the bottom of the waterfall (Uncle Tom's Trail) but there was so much snow still in this area that the hikes were closed. Still the views we saw were amazing. And honestly I don't think we would have been able to make that hike with two little babies. That will have to be for another time. We did get to see a rare bird in it's nest (an Osprey). We were able to see it sitting their through our binoculars. It's on the top of the peak in the middle of the picture below.
The Grand Canyon and the falls.
The babies weren't to interested here. Plus there wasn't much for them to do. They entertained themselves by playing in the melting snow.
After Canyon Village we headed south towards the fishing bridge. We stopped along the way at a mudpot called Dragon's Breath. Those were amazing. The trails around this area were closed due to a bear - which we saw. Another thing to go back to someday.
We had a picnic lunch down in Lake Village. Mason gave a bee a massive sugar high with some jelly that caused him to pass out for about 5 minutes. After he revived he wanted more.
Marae had a meltdown and sobbed for better parents who gave her naps in her own bed for a while.
After that we drove back to the hotel for naps and then drove across the upper loop towards Tower Roosevelt looking for wildlife. That was a BEAUTIFUL drive. For dinner we had bison brauts at a little diner in Mammoth Springs. Then we locked Marae in her bear cage where she happily slept.
Day 3 we went down to Old Faithful. We got there with about 20 minutes to spare before it erupted. There were hardly any people. Score!! Later after we did the geyser loop there was quite a crowd.
Walking around geyser basin was one of my favorite things from the trip. It was just amazing that the Earth was so hot and agitated. It was almost eerie. We were walking on an active volcano. I really wanted to feel the water before we left. We had heard not to touch the water because it was so hot that people would stick there fingers in and pull them out burned to the bone... but the rebel in me had to... it just couldn't be that hot - I still have a finger. Granted I didn't stick it in the middle of a ferocious boiling pot.
As we were walking past the Lion group of geysers we heard a roaring sound (that's how they got their name) and they erupted right then and there!! They only go off about twice a day! We got so lucky. Marae did not think so though... she did not like the warm rain shower... plus it scared her going off all of the sudden.
It was interesting seeing how the Earth had formed itself. At one point we were walking by some geysers and I said, "Something smells kinda sweet. What is that?" We had been smelling stinky egg sulfur most of the time. We couldn't figure out what that smell was we were catching a whiff of every now and then. Then we turn around and see the lasting remains of a bison skeleton and whatever cooking/rotting in one of the hot pots. I almost gagged because I had been semi enjoying the smell so much. Sick!
We would have walked the whole geyser trail but the babies were hungry and tired so we went back to the lodge for lunch. We got to see Old Faithful erupt through our lunch window. After that we drove back to our hotel and called it a vacay. We drove home.
On the way out we stopped at one of the Paint Pots. It was beautiful. The picture above is the one I took walking up. The steam was amazing. This picture below is what they looking like from above.
This Earth is a marvelous place. It was a wonderful family vacation.