Monday, August 13, 2012

Yellowstone National Park


We loaded up the truck Wednesday morning and headed out for Gardner, MT, the northwest corner of the park.  As we were leaving the driveway Jesse was already irritated with me and I was already irritated with the girls.  I felt like the Griswalds heading to Wally World.  Brooklynn and Irelyn traveled very well and we made it to Gardner in time for dinner and a little relaxing in our cabin before it was lights out at 8:30 pm (the girls continued giggling for about 45 minutes as Jesse got more irritated).  Thursday morning we were up and heading into the park when Irelyn asked "where will the swings and slide be?"  She was obviously a little confused about what type of park we were visiting.
We started a friendly competition to see which of us could spot wildlife first, with a twinkie on the line for the winner.  Approximately 2 minutes after the start of the game Irelyn announced that she saw a "grizzly bear with big antlers", and this was followed by "can I have my twinkie now?".  We were guessing that she made up the above sighting but we'll feel really bad if it is announced that there truly is a grizzly bear with big antlers hanging out in YNP!


Me and my girls in front of some lazy elk at the entrance to the park.


We stopped at some hotsprings and decided to hike to the top for the best view.  Jesse and I were very impressed that both girls made it to the top and Irelyn even had to carry that very heavy and full diaper!


Thursday afternoon we found a pretty waterfall for a quick break out of the truck.


We then found a stop along the Yellowstone River where the girls quickly took off their shoes and played in the water.  After a small large mosquito just about took Brooklynn down in the porta-potty we were back on the road.

One more hotspring for the day.


Friday we headed down to Old Faithful, which errupts every 30 - 45 minutes....which leads to sitting with two small children waiting...

waiting but visiting with other friendly tourists....


waiting....


and finally the big hoorah!!



On the way back to Gardner on Friday we stopped off at the Roosevelt Lodge (see sign below ;) and saw a lot of buffalo.


 I spotted this big guy right along the road and Jesse claimed it was fake until he turned around to verify that yes indeed, it was a real, live buffalo.


These two guys were ON THE ROAD and yes, they too were real buffalo :)


An attempt at a cute sibling picture.  Of course, one cooperates and one does not.


Jesse had studied the map and found a cool waterfall that we could walk down to.  Once again, both girls did great on the hike down and back up.



On Saturday we drove through the park on our way over the Beartooth Highway (very cool) and then into Red Lodge.  Before leaving the park we got a picture of our girls at the 45th Parallel.


Funny side note: 2 days before the below picture was taken, a man in Yellowstone got too close to a buffalo and was attacked and seriously injured.  As I stood beside the road, with my back turned to this large, real buffalo Jesse was telling me to move a little closer to the buffalo to get a better picture.  I was not going any closer and was a little nervous (to say the least).


We found another spot along the river for lunch and some playtime.  Jesse enjoyed throwing rocks into the river with the girls and I stole another opportunity to get my picture with my two favorite girls.


Unfortunately for Irelyn, it was discovered that there were no swings or slides in Yellowstone National Park.  Maybe next year we can find a real park!
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