Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Yellowstone in a day

Eric, Lucy, Peter, and I and our friends Holly Mickelson and her daughter McKenna and Candace Cottrell and her daughter Maren left at a little before 7:00am for Yellowstone yesterday.  We spent one of the  most incredible days of my life in that wonderful park.  We drove back home at 11:30pm!  Wow, where else in the world could you do a day trip to Yellowstone but Wyoming!

Let me see if I can describe some of the highlights.

I drove my convertible and Candace drove her twin convertible (mine is blue, hers is red and the blue one used to be hers before we obtained it!).  Riding in a convertible through Yellowstone is the best way to see everything, no obstructions!

First of all as we drove into the park we stopped at a lookout and immediately noticed a ton of cars pulled over to the side of the road and cameras being whipped out.  We stopped and asked what they were looking at and one man pointed out a bear and her two cubs.  He told us he has been watching her for a week and that she has stayed in this crater like indention the whole time.  We could barely see her she was so far away.

Lookout point we stopped at, view of the lake

The bear and her cubs were down the hill behind us a long ways

Peter in action.  You can see the Teton mountain range in the far distance

So happy to be at our first stop

We then went to Fishing Bridge. The kids were looking at the tadpoles and Holly and I were chatting on the walkway next to the road when a man yelled, "get out of the way, he's running right towards you!"  We looked up and a bison was running right towards us!  We quickly called to the kids and we ran across the road to the other side.  The bison followed us!  It was very freaky, they are HUGE animals!  Fortunately the traffic on the road slowed him down a bit and then he ran right passed us, we could have reached out and touched him!  He then ran up the bank and on to his destination.  Peter thought it was the most awesome thing ever!

We saw lots of elk with huge racks and many more bison, they were everywhere, next to paths and on the road.  I also so a pelican, which I've never seen before and watched it eat some fish.

Old Faithful was really inspiring and worth the wait to watch it spew into the air.

Old Faithful before

Lucy waiting to capture a photo

All the kids waiting and waiting and waiting

Thar she blows!

This crater was really cool and the Forest Ranger was explaining how hot the water was with an aerial photo.

Holly on the left with the kids looking at the photo

But my favorite had to be Dragon's mouth.  It sounded like a real dragon and looked like it too!

Dragon's Mouth

We went on a little hike to the falls and it was worth every step, so beautiful and incredible.

Upper view of falls

Us before the hike down to the falls

So absolutely beautiful

View from the top of the falls looking down

Candace is on the left, then Peter and Candace's daughter Maren looking down at the falls

Lucy and her sunglasses 

This is up a bit looking down at the falls

The mountains and river above the falls

More mountains above the falls, they were so beautiful I couldn't stop taking pictures of them!

Eric and Peter on the trail down to the falls

Rock hole to sit and rest for a moment

McKenna on the left, Lucy and Maren sitting on the right.  Lucy rode with them and Candace the whole way and loved being with the BIG girls!

We drove around and this is the falls from the opposite direction

The grand canyon of Yellowstone was really awe inspiring as well.  We were almost done for the day and getting a little tired!

My picture doesn't do this sight justice.

Trying not to look as tired as they were!


Lucy found a cute chipmunk to take a picture of

On our way out we came to a spot where all the traffic was at a stand still and people with huge scopes and cameras were out.  We knew it had to be a bear.  It was Raspberry and her cubs and they were right next to the road!  Wow, she was beautiful and her cubs were so cute!  The sight was so incredible to me it almost brought me to tears!  I've never seen a bear that close before and it was a surreal experience.

Here we are coming up on the bear.  There were so many dead trees because of the beetle blight, it was sad to see.

Here she is, this photographer was violating the rules of getting closer than 100 yards.  The ranger was on his way to tell him to back away.

It's hard to see but one of her cubs is off to the left.

We got home late and were tired and sunburned, but no one cared.  The kids were troupers and never complained even though they got really tired!

This was an experience I will not soon forget!  I only wish the rest of my family could have been with us!  Peter asked me if I thought Andy and Emma would be this tired pushing their handcart on the trek this week as he was!  And just a humorous ending, when we were getting gas in Cody there was a bunch of Mennonites there dressed in their traditional clothing.  Peter asked me if they were going on trek too!

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