Friday, August 20, 2010

Road Trip - Yellowstone

For the next leg of our vacation we headed up North. We drove up to a family reunion up in Idaho just outside of Yellowstone. I had never been to Yellowstone and my husband hadn't been in about 20 years or more so we were excited to see this National Park.

Just outside of Rexburg we stopped at Bear World. The kids got to see many of the animals that roam Yellowstone at this drive through zoo.
We saw a number of different bears, elk, bison, and moose all from the comfort of our car.
They also had a few amusement type rides for the kids. The petting zoo was a big hit. All the kids got to pet goats, dear, turkey, and ducks. It helped get the wiggles out since we weren't done driving yet for the day.

Molly of course attached herself to this little bear in the gift shop and she got to take it home with her. It is hard to deprive this cute little girl of something she was so attached to.

We stopped at Rexburg to see the new temple. On this trip we saw so many temples. It is amazing how many new temples have been built in the last few years.
Finally we got up to the cabin that we stayed at with bunches of my husband's family.

We headed in to see the wonders of Yellowstone the next day. We did a lot of hiking but also a lot of driving. To get from one major attaction to the next we had a 20 mile or so drive but the scenery is so beautiful. It is a huge park.

Before we came to Yellowstone I read books with the kids about the park and what they would see there. They each had things they wanted to see.  Bubbling mud was on the list so we hiked up to the paint pots so we could see, smell and hear the mud bubble and pop.

Geysers were also on the list of things you have to see so we went to the Norris Geyser basin and we wondered around among all the hot springs. We saw a few of the geysers go off.

But mostly we saw a lot of hot springs with lovely colors and lots of steam.

Our list of things we wanted to see in Yellowstone also included a buffalo. We had already seen a few at bear world but we spotted a few as we drove through the park as well. We followed this bison up the road for a bit. He took his time and drew quite a crowd.

We also saw some elk relaxing by a river, a coyote with dinner in his mouth, some black tailed deer roaming the hills and a few more buffalo wandering the roads. We even saw a grizzly bear. Sophie knew it was a grizzly because of the hump on his back. We were surprised to find chipmunks crawling around near the hot springs. `

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone was very impressive. It was amazing the contrasts that exist in the park. You look out over the landscape and you wouldn't even see this huge canyon until you came right up on it.

We hit a few of the visitor centers to talk to ranger and read about the Super Volcano we were standing in.

The kids also worked on and earned their junior ranger badges. We went on hikes and listened to Ranger presentations so they could fill in their papers. I was impressed that the Ranger quizzed them about what they had learned when we went to turn in the papers and receive the patches. They didn't just take our word for it but actually made the kids explain the things they learned before giving them the patches. You can see Sophie is very proud of her patch. She is holding it out in this picture.
Old Faithful was our last stop at Yellowstone. We knew we couldn't leave without seeing it but since it was the most crowded place, we kept putting it off.
We only saw about a quarter of the things in the park. It is a vast park with all sorts of wilderness areas to explore. Next time we would love to ride horses over the hills up in the north of the park where we saw some of the deer. We never made it down to Yellowstone lake. Infact if you look at the map with the areas we did see marked, you wouldn't think we saw much of the park. For our first visit this was great. We saw the major things on our list and learned a lot. We will just have to go back and see some of those other parts.

1 comment:

Cellista said...

Great pictures again! What a fun trip. We really need to get to Yellowstone sometime.

My boys have been asking where you were each day after you left here and when you'd be back home. I guess you're home now! They're so curious. I'm glad you had a good trip.