Thursday, July 23, 2009

Yellowstone Trip

July 10th we left around 11am for our road trip to Island Park, Idaho. We caravaned with Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Tyler. Uncle Drew had already made the trip the day before us and was already there taking Wyatt on hiking trails and playing in the water.

Our plans were to stay at Mack's Inn then go 30 more miles to Yellowstone Saturday morning. It was quite a drive, but we got there around 5:30pm, got out of the car and Liam went straight for this.

Our assigned "cabin" was right on the beautiful Snake River. Liam trotted down to the dock to check it out! We unloaded the car as some of us would take turns watching Liam on the dock. We pried him away for a few minutes and took a little walk to the main lodge and bought him a fish net. He tried his best to nab a minnow or baby trout, but no luck. Those suckers are fast!

We were all ready to go get some grub at a diner across the river, so we pulled Liam away from the water once more. We had a really yummy home cooked meal and then drove over to the John Sack Cabin. The tour was closed, but we walked around the beautiful property and took quite a few photos. It was gorgeous out there.

I am cracking up at Mom in this photo. Glad she is part of this cute family shot! I had snuck my head in a few of her scenic photography moments earlier in the evening.

After fighting off thick swarms of mosquitoes, we then headed back to our cabins for some good sleep. Liam couldn't get enough of jumping on all 3 queen mattresses in our suite. Going to sleep was the last thing on his mind when we put him to bed and turned the lights out.

July 11th we were all slow to get around. Okay, I was. We went back to that yummy diner for breakfast. After we stuffed ourselves full, we loaded up and hit the road to Yellowstone. We made one more stop at a fresh spring to fill up our water bottles. That freezing cold water tasted like a freshly snowed canyon. Pure refreshment!

We drove for quite awhile into Yellowstone. We saw some elk taking it easy as hoards of people got out of their cars to take photos. We also saw some buffalo. A male, female and baby. That time we did stop the cars so Tyler could go snap a few photos.

We stopped off in a site seeing area to see a bunch of geysers and paint pots. There was a board walk that looped through all the pooled hot water springs. We kept Liam close as we watched the hot water bubble and fly out of the ground. It was really amazing to see that much power coming from the earth. The sulfur had quite an odor but the unique sights of nature totally made it worth walking through the steamy stink.

We loaded back into the air conditioned cars and continued driving deeper into Yellowstone. We got a great parking spot to walk over and wait for Old Faithful. We waited for about 40 minutes. Liam was surprisingly patient. Here he is waiting so amazingly well.

And here is Old Faithful giving us a grand show!

We went to the souvenir shop for a bit then loaded back up to see a bit more through the windows of our air conditioned cars. It was a REALLY hot day. We were all very wiped out. So Liam and I slept on the way back to Island Park. Ian and family took some naps once we got back while Liam and I played outside.

Uncle Drew had made reservations for us to go to a ranch that put on a rodeo and then a dutch oven dinner complete with a singing cowboy. It was a great night. We all thoroughly enjoyed the gorgeous evening as it cooled down dramatically. The plains of crops bordered with stunning mountains all around was breathtaking. Liam was so impressed with all the horses and especially a baby calf mooing behind the stands. Liam got to go out with all the other kids in the ring to take a turn and feed that baby cow later. He was so proud of himself.

After the rodeo we all went to a clearing with picnic tables and feasted on some steak, chicken, beans, potatoes and peach cobbler. Liam danced to the singing cowboy's songs and we laughed at all his moves. He never runs out of energy. He was running all over the place having a great time playing in a nearby stream and trying to make friends with other kids. Later he tried to line dance with the cowgirls and cowboys. He was so cute.

Click to enlarge picture.

We slept well that night and headed home the following day. Liam didn't want to leave that "cabin"... he was really sad. We'll have to find another spot like that with water running through for camping next time we go.


Yvonne said...

Sounds like an absolutely incredibly trip. I love that part of the world--it is so incredibly beautiful. You described it all perfectly. Love the photos.

Miss you, gina.

Meredith Carlson said...

Looks like fun! Great photos!

Anissa said...

What a great collage! THat pic of the three of you in the middle is a good one.
I'm glad Liam had so much fun. That's a lot of driving for a little tike. :)

Things' Mommy said...

What a fun trip! I am loving all your family pictures. I can't believe how much Liam looks like you! What cutie pies!

K said...

Such beautiful pictures!

the quirky one in the family said...

What a wonderful family vacation! You guys will remember it for a long time, and having pictures of Old Faithful is awesome!

Suzanne said...

The pictures are gorgeous! Everything looks so calm and peaceful up there.

Thank goodness for A/C. It sounds like it may have been miserable without it. What a fun family trip!