Yellowstone 2018

My dad has been wanting to make a trip to Yellowstone for some time, so much so that he was even wearing his spontaneous hat a little which you don’t see often on my dad. He’s a planner.

I know for sure that he did some planning however because our trip which my parents graciously invited us on was absolutely perfect. You don’t get that without planning.

Our first stop on the 5 hour trip north was Idaho Falls. Beautiful walk around the river/waterfall area with the temple in the background. Couldn’t have been better weather.

The next stop was Rexburg, ID where my mom spent two years of her younger life attending what was then called Ricks, now known as BYU Idaho. She’s overwhelmed at the change and growth.

We ate dinner and then hit the road again with West Yellowstone as our destination. After checking in and getting settled we had excited dreams about our next 2.5 days.

The next morning we got our maps and started devising our route. You can’t really go wrong in Yellowstone and we knew that we wouldn’t be able to see it all but there were the ‘musts’.

It was coooold in the mornings. For a couple hours each morning we would bear hug our hand warmers until the sun came out and took their place. Even through the cold we were as happy as happy campers. Everything was so beautiful. Frosted and steamy.

Having done it I highly recommend going to Yellowstone at this time. Yes, it’s cold in the mornings, some things are shut down but you literally have the park to YOURSELF. If you want to be specific then go a week or two before we went because then things wouldn’t be closed but you would still have it to yourself…practically.

Henry was an amazing baby throughout the whole trip, big surprise. I love that chunk.

Can I just say how happy I was?! So happy. Frozen nose and all.

What a beautiful place I was able to explore with my family. This very first stop was my favorite only because it was the first time my kids experienced this natural wonder and their reactions were priceless.

I love this family of mine.

I hope you all know how hard it’s been to narrow down the photos and thus far the photos have been from only one stop, the first one. All I’m saying is prepare for a photo overload.

Some of the most common phrases, “Whoa!” “Cool!” “That’s amazing!” “We’re walking on a super volcano!” “Be careful, don’t fall off the the boardwalk!”

Yellowstone consists of a lot of driving. Especially if you only have a couple of days there and want to see all the highlights. I guess I didn’t convey that to David very well because he was surprised by how much we were in the car getting from one place to the next. Yellowstone is a really big park.

Thankfully, we got to see most of it. If I had my map I could show you one little stretch of road that we didn’t drive on but everywhere else we hit. Of course we weren’t able to make every stop along the way but we were OK with that knowing that someday we might be back and that for now we were seeing the very best.

You’ve probably heard that Yellowstone is going to blow up someday. Apparently there is more truth to that than folklore. Like David kept reminding us, we truly were walking on a super volcano that someday will just blow it’s top.

Oh what a shame that will be. Look at all those cool rock formations!

You’d better get your butt up there if you haven’t been before it happens!

Bison, Elk and Fox were the wildlife we were lucky enough to see. The highlight was stopping in Lamar Valley to see a bison herd. The boys were thrown on top of the car to get a better look.

The boys were amazing troopers at being in the car so much. We were very impressed with our Henry.

Hey there Daddeo. Beautiful sky eh?

Can you get enough of it?

Have you heard of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone? I hadn’t. And it was seriously impressive. Child’s play compared to the real thing but still impressive.

On the second morning as we came out of the hotel we saw this beautiful guy. We got see him pounce on something so that was exciting for our boys.

The second morning, our first stop was Yellowstone Lake. Cooold and beautiful.

This part of the lake was created by an explosion apparently. Imagine being around when that happened. Yikes.

 

As we walked around the on the boardwalks we kept seeing signs like this. I couldn’t help but think, “And what about the boardwalk that we and millions of other people walk on? What’s supporting it? Isn’t this very boardwalk also on the thin crust area?” Very reassuring.

Waiting for Old Faithful.

As you can see we were mostly alone, again. Of course when we were told it was about to go everyone that was around came from the wood work and there was a bit of a crowd but nothing like you see in the summer months.

This guy was just right there, almost as if to say, “Here I am, take my picture!”

There she blows!!

After this, we took the almost 3 mile hike from Old Faithful out to the Morning Glory pool. I was so proud of my boys. They did really good on that hike even though they were tired and their feet hurt.

David and William stayed back while my mom and Ben and I kept going to see how much further the pool was. On the way we got very lucky to be able to see this geyser blowing which only goes about every 5.5 to 7 hours. Yay us.

Then we made it to the Morning Glory pool. It was so incredible.

I was glad to see David and William coming towards us on the way back. And even though David had a hefty Henry on his back he ran the rest of the way to see it for himself while the rest of us started back home.

In the parking lot my mom had some fun with the ravens.

Then we were off to our last destination, the Grand Prismatic Spring.

It was stinking cold so the steam from the springs sometimes blocked our view of the actual spring and also made the lens of my camera too foggy to actually take any photos but we still saw some amazingly beautiful things on the way in and out.

By this time everyone was ready to go find some dinner and be warm. But we had done and seen everything that we wanted! And it was amazing!!

What an incredible National Park!!

Driving through and stopping at Old Faithful when I was 10 definitely was not sufficient. I had no idea how much there was to offer and am excited to come back someday (maybe…I have mixed feelings about this…there are so many other places to see in the world).

The next morning was our half day and travel back home day so instead of going back into the park since we felt we had seen everything we wanted we decided to spend the morning hours at the Bear and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone. It was so cool!!! Well worth it.

Every few hours they let a new bear out but before they do the go and hide food all around so when they come out you get to see them rummage and hunt for food. The bear we saw in the beginning was Sam. He was huge.

Look at those eyes!!

 

Next was the wolfs. We got to see them explore a new habitat and hunt for fish! It was so cool.

And to be so close to them was amazing. Just a thin sheet of glass.

From here we started our drive home, the scenic way. We stopped in Jackson Hole for lunch and an art fix.

The only picture I took here was of a painting I fell in love with and have now vowed to own some of his work someday. Ironically the artist lives in North Logan, only 15 mins from here!

If I ever come into an inordinate amount of money, I will spend an unnatural amount on art. Ahhhhhhhhh.

Well that wraps up our Yellowstone trip. It was bittersweet to be home. It was a wonderful experience and memories.

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