Yellowstone National Park
Arriving through the east entrance, we passed through Yellowstone Lake, where pelicans live on the Islands.
National Lampoon’s Vacation
We often felt like we were airstreaming with Chevy Chase, who was guiding us through the park, and quickly learned that Steven has the correct formula for irritating the kids.
“Look, there is a buffalo.” “BOOF! BOOF!” “ANIMAL,” which of course was yelled, since they were appreciating the park while watching a movie. His favorite joke is “What kind of ice cream do pine trees like?” “Pine cones.” Kinda sums it up.
We explained that we get better with age, and they are clearly thrilled. I now have a code word, where I try and help. I whisper, “DD”…lovingly known as Dorky Dad.
We Airstreamed it in town, where we were able to ride our bikes everywhere. The kids loved it! It was their first time riding in town traffic, and both grew in confidence. Brady even hit a hole and we visited the local bike shop for repair! We also visited the Yellowstone Museum, where we learned about the historic yellow tour buses. They were so cool!
Stagecoaches would bring visitors to West Yellowstone, then the yellow buses would take them on tours.
Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center
This non-profit research center was a great find. The birds, bears, and wolves were all either injured, or as with many of the bears, their mothers were killed, so they were rescued, because they didn’t learn basic survival skills.
Tickets were good for two days and we had a blast. The kids learned about the grizzlies, hid food in their habitat, then watched them find the food. Brady buried the bear’s food and moved heavy rocks to cover it, then watched 800lb, Sam, easily paw the rocks to get to his food.
Piper’s favorite animal was Aquila, a golden eagle, the largest bird of pray. She thought Aquila looked most like her favorite chicken, Pepper.
Mammoth Hot Springs
We went north to see the hot springs, which were incredible.
We walked down a path to the lodge and Fort Yellowstone, where the Park Service is still headquartered.
Yellowstone was our nation’s first national park. Originally, the army was called in because of lawlessness, folks were robbing carriages, poaching, and defacing the hot springs. The army came and built an infrastructure, and 400 miles of road. Then on Aug 25th (my birthday, yay!), 1916, Woodrow Wilson turned control over to the first 50 park rangers, declaring Yellowstone, a national park.
Also, because it is the year of Brady’s fourth grade year (going into fifth), the national parks have a family campaign, where the entry fee is waived for all parks! So awesome!
Mexican Food Truck
This was our favorite restaurant in West Yellowstone, a Mexican Food Truck. It was delicious!
We arrived just in time to see the eruption!
Then, we toured the Old Faithful lodge, which was incredible. It was built in 1903, and originally all of the bark was in tact. Records indicated it was “dark,” and likely the bark was chipping, so the it was removed. It looks like a huge tree house!
We loved our time in Yellowstone. Now into our favorite place, Jackson!