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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

First Day in the Park

This is the view off the balcony of our room. When we got up, the kids were absolutely fascinated by this view and had their faces pressed to the sliding glass door. This is what they were looking at. A great big crow was busy pulling everything out of the garbage. We watched until he pulled every last bit of garbage out with his beak, and then finally the whole bag itself and threw it on the ground! Turns out he didn't want anything that was in there.

We finally got ready and made it into Yellowstone Park for the day. We started out by driving the lower loop. We took a little turn off the main road and drove along the Firehole Canyon Drive. It was so pretty! This picture is of the Firehole Falls.

For the entire time we were in the park we saw so many bison! They were everywhere. The kids were fascinated by them, especially Alexandra.

Here we are standing among the bison. LOL! Actually there was one right behind us on the other side of the log. A lady offered to take our picture as a family. I asked her if she got the bison behind us and she said yep, it's right behind us. NO! We were blocking the bison with our big bodies and she got a dot-of-a-bison way out in the field! Whoop de do!

Here is a real picture of what was right around us, and no we weren't quite THIS close when we were standing out there. This picture was taken from the car.

How cute! I'm putting together this blog post and Alexandra just came running in, saw this picture and said, "WOW! Baby!" This is what she said every time we passed a herd of bison. She loved the babies and there were lots of babies to see. They were really cute.

Our first geyser stop was in the lower geyser basin. It was very wet and rainy, but because of all the rain, the geysers had lots of water to spurt out. I guess later in the season they are all dried out, so it was fun to see some action.

The downside is that it was cold and rainy. The geysers were very pretty, as usual, but there was so much steam coming off of them in the cold that it was hard to see down in them. The kids were still impressed.

Here we are at the beginning of the walk to see the Grand Prismatic Spring. It was raining on us still, but just a drizzle. We had the kids put their umbrellas down so you can see their faces.

Yay! The Grand Prismatic Spring in all its glory! I know, mostly you can see just steam. So could we. It's still amazing to know what's underneath all that.

For lunch we ate a packed lunch that we took into the cafeteria at Old Faithful. While we were eating lunch, Nathan said he really needed to go to the bathroom. I got up to take him and Athena said she needed to go to. The 3 of us left the cafeteria and went trekking through the lodge when I passed the sign predicting the next eruption of Old Faithful. It said it would be at 1:06pm. I looked at my watch. It was now 1:05pm! Forget the bathroom! I sent Athena to run back and tell Jeremy to get over here now! Then Nathan and I stood at the window and watched. Athena came back with Samantha and we watched and waited. It erupted about 10 minutes late, but unfortunately Jeremy missed it. He didn't want to leave all our food just sitting on the table. It's ok because we saw it later in the week too.

After lunch we all piled into the car to continue our drive around the loop. Here is pretty girl next to a pretty waterfall.
Next to bison, the animal we saw the most of was elk. They were everywhere as well, and check out that snow! Brrrr! How's that for a "summer" vacation?

Jeremy and I told the kids about a dragon's cave that was in Yellowstone. I remembered seeing it when I was little but had no idea where to find it. We stopped at the Mud Volcano and a few of the kids were asleep. Athena was awake, so I stayed in the car while Jeremy took her for a little walk around the Mud Volcano loop.

He snapped a few pictures of just her. I think they turned out really cute. :)

When they got back from their little walk, I told Jeremy I'd like to get out and take Samantha fora little walk, because she was awake now. He took the walk to the left. I wanted to go to the right because some of it looked familiar to me. The commotion of us talking woke up the other kids, so we decided to all get out and walk the other side of the path. As we started walking and getting closer to the boiling mud pots we started to hear a roar. By accident we stumbled upon the dragon's cave!! Athena, Samantha and Nathan were fascinated!

We stood at the Dragon's Cave for quite awhile discussing what might be in there and when feeding time might be.

Alexandra was terrified by the Dragon's Cave. I don't think she even saw it because she wouldn't unbury her head from me. She had a death grip on my arm and when the cave would roar she would cling a little tighter. She still remembers the Dragon's Cave, but when I asked her later she said she wanted to go see it.

It was my turn to drive for awhile because Jeremy was tired. I was crossing this bridge when all the traffic slowed down. In front of us was a bison blocking the way.

It walked right down the bridge and stopped outside my window! Whoa that thing was huge!! I'll admit it was a little too close for my comfort. I hurried and snapped this picture and stepped on the gas.

One of our last stops before heading out of the park for the day was the Gibbon Falls. Again, very pretty. I love to watch waterfalls even though they just do the same thing over and over - the water falls. Still neat to watch!
Our first day in the park was really nice and the kids loved it. I was surprised that they made it all day in the car so well. I guess it helps that there are a lot of opportunities to get out and ooh and aah.


Megz said...

How fun to see all the wildlife up close. We'll take your word for it that there was a bison right behind you though!

Lisa said...

The last time I was there was when we took a family trip when we were much younger. I barely remember some of it. It would be fun to go there as an adult. It looks like your kids sure enjoyed it, minus the Dragon's Cave for Alexandra.

Piglet de' Erin said...

oh my word. I am looking at your pictures and saying stuff like, "what the freak?" I cant even believe how close to those hairy animals you were. I love it, and I am jealous and I wish I was invited...hint hint.

Amy Jo Madsen said...

This looks a lot like our trip to Yellowstone 3 years ago...SUCH an awesome place! We loved the bison, too, although knowing seeing their tracks just a foot or two from your tent in the morning is a little freaky! The Dragon's Mouth Cave was one of our fav's, too. We would SO love to go back sometime, especially now that Catherine's a little older.

The Allreds said...

Exciting trip. Such fascinating things to see there! THanks for sharing the photos for those of us who haven't been there!

dena4kids said...

I love going to Yellowstone. It is such a beautiful place! The last pics I have of it was with Carolyn. Good times, good times.

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