Monday, September 22, 2014

Yellowstone National Park

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-Mt. Haynes-

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Yellowstone Grand Canyon:
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-Yellowstone River-


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-Upper Falls-

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-Lower Falls-
I have seen a lot of waterfalls, but both the Upper and Lower Falls were both the most intense and powerful ones I have ever seen.


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Upper Geyser Basin / Biscuit Basin:
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Midway Geyser Basin:
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Madison River:
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Lower Geyser Basin / Fountain Paint Pot
(our favorite area)
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If we had one goal this summer other than having Ellie join our family, it was to visit Yellowstone -especially to see Old Faithful. So we finally made it happen on Austin's 27th birthday! We rented a hotel in West Yellowstone, Montana (about an hour and a half away from our house) and after checking in and eating a delicious pizza dinner, we made the 5 mile trip to the West Yellowstone National Park entrance and entered into Wyoming. Upon entering and paying the $25 park pass and driving through I became unimpressed. Oregon is such an incredibly beautiful state, that the first section looked so much like it that I felt guilty spending money to see something we essentially were surrounded by in Oregon, but the deeper we got into the park the more stunning and amazing it became. We spent that first evening in the park with the goal of getting to Old Faithful, but we were so enamored with all the geyser basins leading up to Old Faithful that we didn't make before the sun went down. We spent the chilly evening mostly at the lower basins and paint pots. It was amazing (and amazingly cold).

The next morning we woke up early, ate breakfast at the hotel where we were surrounded by foreign tourists (mainly of the Asian decent, but tons of English and Australian folk as well). Austin and I cracked up while reading all the signs the hotel put up around the dining area, one translation in English and the other Chinese, one read: "do not stick metal tongs in the toaster" and the other more hilarious "do not microwave hard boiled eggs". Austin and I were laughing that it must have happened enough times to warrant a sign for both, dare I say, common sense scenarios? Gah, could you imagine the smell of hard boiled eggs in a microwave?! I could gag and laugh right now just thinking about it.

 Anyway after breakfast, we made our way back into the park to make our date with Old Faithful. We got there and had about an hour to kill before Old Faithful was due to erupt. We spent that time wondering about the museum and gift shop where we bought Maisie an adorable stuffed buffalo who we named Buddy (I wanted Buffalo Bill, but both Maisie and Austin refused). Finally it was the time we were waiting for, Old Faithful was about to blow. We anxiously waited while freezing our tails off and then it went off. I mean it was cool and all, but Austin and I were both kind of underwhelmed by it. We are still happy we have seen it though- it's just there are so many awesome, more beautiful and less crowded geysers/ hot springs worth spending more time on, but we are thrilled that we finally crossed it off our bucket list. The rest of the day we drove towards Canyon Village and stopped many times inbetween. We also made friends with a buffalo who came right up to our car. My window was down and no joke if I reached out I could have touched him, but we read that a surprising amount of people die per year in Yellowstone from bison/buffalo so I decided to keep my arms in the car.

The trip was so much fun and I am so glad we got to go on a fun adventure as a family of 4 before the summer ended. Until next time Yellowstone!

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