Yellowstone National Park

Seriously this was going to be an amazing vacation at the first National Park, Yellowstone!!!  We wandered into the visitors center, picked up Yellowstone National Park, The Official Guide and we were off.  Where to first?  After white knuckling those mountain roads the day before we decided to keep it close to the ground, and chose to do the southern Grand Loop.  The Park has one road that looks like a figure eight and the lower half is on lower ground.  Thank goodness….  We set out to see Old Faithful, of course….  Also I wanted to point out that this vacation while awesome, we spent many hours in the car driving to a location so we told the girls if they spotted a particular animal they would get money.  A bear was $10.00, deer $0.50, and so on and so on…  I know roll your eyes at me or shake your head but we wanted them to take in all the beauty and not be buried in a book from one location to the other.  There were no electronics either….

Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful Geyers!

The Griswalds we are!

 

The Famous Geyser at Yellowstone National Park

At certain points throughout the park there are visitor centers, F collected the pins from each of these centers and Bebe collected the smushed pennies from each.  It was a great way for them to collect a little memory from each part of the park.  Park Rangers are on hand to answer questions, and the older people in the gifts store live here in their RV’s for the season, guess what I want to do when I get older?  Yep, get an RV and live here for half the year.  How cool would that be.

Old Faithful is at the southern most point on this part of the figure eight Grand Loop, after our time here we turned back towards the campsite and visited the geysers and hot springs along the way.  There are so many places to pull off and stop and stay a while.  Sixteen miles of this and it took us most of the day.  Driving, pulling off, getting out and exploring.  We love doing this, oh and of course keeping our eyes peeled for animals….

 

Lower Part of Yellowstone National Park...  Geysers and Hot Springs....

Snippets of the day, the Lower Basin Old Faithful to Madison… Geysers and Hot Springs…. 

As we started our journey back from Old Faithful as you can see from the photo’s the storm rolled in.  There were rumbles and dark clouds, but it never rained on us.  The hot springs were fascinating to look at, the water was like glass…  Although boy were they stinky…  Rotten eggs stinky…

At every turn there were different colors and nature to soak in.  It amazed me that the girls too loved taking it all in.  This is a vacation that many families would love, we saw many different ages here, all were getting something out of it.

By now you know we are an active family, we walk, hike, run, ride horses, scuba dive and just get out and have fun…

So back at camp at the end of the day, and cooking over the fire we discussed what would be our adventure tomorrow.

We had done a day on the lower level, lets hit the mountain road again and scare the crap out of mum!!!  Yeah!!!!  Funny thing was that they had no idea that Brad was white knuckling the steering wheel as well.  We wanted to hike, and F and Brad really wanted to do the big hike, Mount Washburn.  The plan was for Brad to drive all of us up there, and for Brad and F to hike the Mountain, and for Bebe and me to drive down and pick them up.  URGH, I am scared of heights.

Made it to the top of the mountain the next day, parked and just took the moment to take it all in.  Such beauty, just stunning.  Brad and F set out to conquer Mount Washburn, and Bebe and I hung out at the starting point for several hours…  Why you ask, it flipping took me that long to work up the courage to get in the car and drive the five miles down the mountain to the meeting point.  Holy Mother of all Mothers.  Bebe was in the passenger seat just chatting away, I turned to her and ask between gritted teeth, “Please for the love that is holy give me til the end of this drive in peace and quiet, I know that is asking a lot, but I will buy you something when we get down from here, OK?”  She just looked at me, recognized the seriousness of it all and shut up.  Thank all that is good.

We made it to the pick up point, and again took in all the beauty, also if no one had questioned my sanity I would have kissed the ground.  Have I mentioned that I HATE HEIGHTS??????  Oh by the way, I HATE HEIGHTS!!!!!

Exploring Mt. Washburn

Exploring Mt. Washburn

The next day was a trip back again on those mountain roads, and again to the North Entrance to Mammoth Hot Springs.  We were able to see Glen Creek waterfall, The mammoth Terraces, Fort Yellowstone, and the Albright Visitors Center.  After this day of exploring we ended up back at the Old Faithful Inn for dinner.  This was FATE!!!!!  That morning we had been stopped on the road because a HUGE herd of buffalo had crossed the road, we took our time to watch them babies and all.  We explored north, and eventually made our butts to the Inn to eat as it was to late to go back to the site and make FIRE!

I am so glad the day worked out like this because………..   We saw a DOUBLE RAINBOW over Old Faithful geyser as she BLEW!!!!!  YES WE DID!!!!!!  Now how many can say that?

Double Rainbow at Old Faithful

Double Rainbow at Old Faithful

 

This was a life time experience, who gets to see this everyday?  I know not us, it was just amazingly beautiful, so glad we saw this….  Everyone came out of the lodge even the employees to see it.

The days melded together, and one beautiful place was visited right after the other.  We climbed mountains, walked along ridges, took hikes in grassy hills chit chatting as to not come upon a bear, and hiked up and down waterfalls.  One of our last days we went south again after stopping and chatting with an employee who said to stop at some waterfalls and take a swim, if we did not see any bears around.  We followed his directions and found the most beautiful of falls, and yes we partook of the water too.  Much to the dismay of other tourists.  Did I mention that my family does things a little differently?  I hope we never end up on the news….

Below are pictures of the animals we saw, the natural beauty of Yellowstone, the walks we took and much more….Please enjoy, and please if you ever get the chance to go and stay a while DO IT!!!  Yellowstone was the first National Park, and I for one am so grateful that is has been preserved for all to enjoy….

The Herd was crossing the road, that took all morning & we experienced it!!!

Buffalo at Yellowstone National Park

Up close and personal with the wildlife.

Up the mountain and on the flats we saw it all.

More four legged friends at Yellowstone National Park

Everywhere we turned more animals.

Finally we spot the mother of all animals, The Brown Bear, we stayed in the car!

So much to see at Yellowstone National park

Animals, hikes and waterfalls… So much!

This was such an amazing vacation, we will be doing something similar this year….  Yosemite National Park here we come!!!!

Where have you been that was breath taking?

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