Sunday, July 14, 2013

July 11 Yellowstone National Park

Rough night for me. Dalton fell off the bed around 2:46am & I knew it was going to happen. I didn’t set up the baby’s pack n play like we normally do & it kind of acts as a barrier so the kids won’t fall off the side of the sofa bed. Annika kind of fell off one night in like a slow motion kind of way, but was just wedged in between the sofa bed & the pack n play. She was still asleep so no booboos there. Dalton on the other hand landed with a thud & then screamed. I jumped out of bed & swooped him up then put him in bed with us. He woke again around 4ish then again at 6:30ish. The baby was up early because she fell asleep early & slept all night long. We thought about trying to sleep in & take our time leaving the park since we couldn’t check in to the Yellowstone camp until 2pm, but we got up & did the tear down routine so I could take the kids to the beach one last time.

On the way down to the lake we saw a deer with probably 6 point horns. It was just munching away near the road. So neat. Annika wanted to get a photo of the deer, but he got spooked since Dalton doesn’t always whisper. It’s funny to hear Dalton try & whisper. It’s not much of a whisper really, he’s so darn loud. We got to the lake & the mountains were beautiful & the air was crisp. It was a little cool, but not too bad. I loved it. Annika was trying to create a river by scraping a line thru the sand to make a trench then the water was trying to make its way in & down the path, but it wasn’t quite getting in there. Annika started throwing rocks in the water to create ripples so the water would push its way into the path. Smart thinking, but it still wouldn’t go all the way in. Dalton in the meantime was busy throwing rock after rock into the lake & was picking up some pretty big ones. I was just waiting for one of them to fall on his foot or even worse his head since he had to put them over his head to throw them. Annika tried her trench again in a different area & it worked. She was thrilled. After about 30 minutes I had to use the bathroom really bad so we quickly made our way back to camp. Kurt was relaxing at the picnic table & was all ready to go so he loaded up the kiddos while I did my business. We said good bye to the beautiful scenery & made our way into Yellowstone.

Kurt’s mom got the kids these national park passports so they can get passport stamps from all the parks. Of course I forgot to get them & they got packed away, but we’ve been stamping on pieces of paper so we can put them in their books. Well we forgot to get the Grand Teton passport stamp & when we remembered we were heading out of the park & there was no visitor center at the exit/entrance where we were at. Bummer. Oh well maybe someday down the road we’ll be back & can get it then.

The drive thru Yellowstone wasn’t as picturesque as Grand Teton, but it was very green & foresty. We got to the campground & they were busy. This campground is the only full hook up place in the whole park so I was grateful for at least one night. I asked if they had any cancellations, but she encouraged me to check back later. We set up then headed out to see Ol Faithful. The geyser only went off every 90 minutes so we weren’t sure how long we’d have to wait. They had several buildings there with souvenirs, restaurant, visitor center, etc just in case we needed to kill time. Well we got lucky & got there in time to see it. We had to wait, but not too long. Ol Faithful sent steam up then bubbled & teased us then it spouted up way in the air. It was fantastic! Afterward the crowd dispersed quickly so we headed to the gift shop for our souvenir t-shirt. I wasn’t going to miss my opportunity again. We haven’t been in any gift shops in a while so this was the test to see how it would go. Thankfully the meltdown was minimal, but could have been missed all together if hubby would have let Annika have her miniature toy wolf or whatever it was. She decided on this nifty all in one compass, flash light, & whistle. She was happy with that & who knows it could come in handy.

There are a couple loops to drive in Yellowstone so we went to finish the loop where Ol Faithful was. It’s a lot longer then it seems because the speed limit is only 45 mph & people stop in the middle of the road to take photos of wild life. It was annoying. I personally feel that if you’ve seen one buffalo you’ve seen them all. We had our very close encounter with buffalo back at the Badlands so we didn’t feel the urge to stop & photograph every single one that was near the road. Plus we had 3 kids with us that don’t understand the concept of time & get fussy pretty fast. There were more geysers & hot springs along the route & they had some beautiful colors in them. There was this one area with 3 or 4 hot springs & they had yellows, oranges, turquoise & almost a reddish color to them. They were stinky too. It was kinda windy & a bit chilly so I had Emry snuggled next to me & she fell asleep on our way back to the suv. We saw a huge hawk flying above & we missed seeing the impact, but it dove into the river down below to catch a fish. Gotta love nature. We also saw a raging river & water fall. It was starting to sprinkle so we took turns running out to see the sites so we didn’t have to take all the kids out. Getting them out isn’t a big deal, but getting them all back in is not fun. Hubby told me I had to get out & see this one river & falls so I took Annika with me. I carried her & took the umbrella then we took a photo of just the 2 of us with the waterfall in the background. I made the comment that I looked gross or ugly, but Annika said “no mommy you look beautiful”. I thanked her for being sweet. I need to remind myself not to say those things in front of her because I don’t want her to grow up thinking the same thing. I don’t’ want her feeling the way I do when I look in the mirror. I want her to be confident in herself & be happy with her looks. She’s a beautiful girl & I know she will be a beautiful woman. I look back on my photos & I was cuter & youthful looking, but motherhood has changed me. The sleepless nights have aged me about 10 years, but hey I wouldn’t change it. My babies are worth it. I’m just ever so grateful my hubby loves me just the way I am.

Anyway, this loop took us about 4.5 hours, which seemed like forever. We saw more buffalo & elk, but want to be able to check off all the wild life from this park. We still need to see a fox, coyote, wolf, moose, bald & eagle. As we got back to camp I ran in to see if there were any cancellations. I have luck on my side because they did! We were able to get 2 more nights & I flashed my smile & batted my eyes to an older gentleman who was able to keep us in our same spot. Talk about the ending we needed & wanted. Now we could relax about where to stay the next couple of nights. Tomorrow we do the other loop around the park.

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