Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Yellowstone National Park 2017

We love long family car rides!  Usually we drive to Spokane every summer and make the drive in about 11 hours.  We make pretty good time.  This year we broke up the drive over two days by stopping in Yellowstone for a couple days and a night.
Greta did not love her car seat and was sad for much of the first day.  But by the second day she was so tired that she napped better.
Our first stop was the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone.
Nine years ago we took went there when Cannon was a new baby.
Here's the picture to prove it.
Bethany has grown up just a little.
Greta and the bear have matching teeth.
I had to share this picture.  I'm sure this man, who did the "bird show" loves his job.  I'm sure he loves his birds, but this was the WORST animal show I've ever seen.  It was a serious snooze fest.
It was somewhat comical. I think I was still in bad selfie mode.
There is a lot of seriously cool geological stuff to see in Yellowstone.   This was boiling hot water.
The most impressive to me was the Grand Prismatic Spring.  We'd never been up to it before and it was totally worth the hike.
My favorite picture of the day... Why is George primed to dive into the Grand Prismatic Spring?
It was a strange but delightful mix of cool breezes and warm breezes coming off the spring.
We arrived at Old Faithful just after it went off, so we had a quite a wait before it went off again.  Fortunately, we could trust that it would go off again.  It is Old Faithful.
I call this the smirky smiling picture.  Most of us had food in our mouths.
We were at the height of the tourist season so it got pretty crowded.  Once again, George appears to be posed to dive.  Perhaps he's mentally preparing to join the swim team.
Now at this point we'd been waiting a while.  We were getting restless... and silly.  Shortly before Old Faithful went off, I jokingly dared the children to yell and scream celebratory things when the geyser went off.  Things like, "YES!  I CAN'T BELIEVE IT HAPPENED!  DO YOU GUYS SEE THIS?
In hindsight, I shouldn't have made a dare to teenagers whose brains aren't fully developed.
Also, I sort of thought more people would scream and cheer.  It was pretty deadly silent.  Except that all the people sitting around us will have my charming daughter Bethany's shrill voice screaming on their recording of this miracle of nature.  Live and learn.
We basically avoided eye contact with everyone on our way back to the car.
We entered the park from West Yellowstone, but we left it from the north entrance where stands the Roosevelt Arch.  The rest of us had never heard of this grand arch, but Abe seemed to feel it was very important and it became a family joke and we drove under it about six times laughing harder each time.  Abe was a good sport about it.
We got way too much benefit and enjoyment from the arch alone!
George was the beneficiary of Bethany's recently acquired swim instructor skills.
Good old fashioned chicken fighting.
We didn't see much wildlife beyond elk and a couple of distant bison.
Our last stop before heading up to Spokane was Mammoth Hot Springs.  Pretty cool stuff.
Clark is happiest out in nature.
Peter, however, had had enough.  We squished a lot of Yellowstone into a day and half, but everyone agreed it was great fun and very interesting.  Even the slow and monotone bird show.
Peter was cracking us up at the Wendy's in Missoula.  Sometimes the older children delight in teaching Peter to say inappropriate things.  And darn it all if it isn't pretty funny.  He knows not what he says.  Actually, he does, but that sort of makes it even funnier.  Please don't judge until you've tried to raise teenagers and toddlers at the same time.  

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