Monday, August 25, 2014

Goodbye to Yellowstone and Back to Jackson

 Our last night in the RV

Our spot at Yellowstone

On the road
Look at all the license plates we saw!

Sacked out kids!
Beautiful Jackson

We drove back to Jackson, returned the RV to Joe and Denise, cleaned and washed that sucker (quite a little job!) and enjoyed dinner with them before leaving the next day.  What a fabulous road trip we had!  I hope the kids will always have fond memories of our adventures!  It was nice to have them with us for an extended period of time since we only get to see them sporadically on vacations and sometimes I am sad to think that they don't really know us as well as I would like.  Although we had our small share of sibling spats and grumpiness, all in all, they were so much fun and we had lots of family bonding time.  :)  We never did see a bear; well, driving out of Yellowstone, there were a bunch of cars pulled over, and we could see something in the bushes but it was pretty far away. Rich thought it was a bear and a ranger directing traffic confirmed that it was a grizzly but we couldn't get a good view. AND the kids were asleep at the time!  Since we could hardly see it, I didn't bother to wake them up.

They loved swimming at any opportunity, cooking out, reading ghost stories and books, wandering around our campsites, shopping for souvenirs, making new friends, and acting goofy.  Oh, I forgot to write anything about the nicknames we took on during the trip! At some point, Aidan started calling Rich "Camper Grandpa."  This evolved into all of us taking names--Rich was "Coyote," Aidan was "Roadrunner," I was "Sunshine" till Ally wanted it, so she became "Sunshine" and I was "Daisy;" then she decided she liked "Daisy" better and we traded again.  :)  Each time we got seat belted in to drive somewhere, we had a little ritual where someone would start: "Camper Coyote, ready to roll?" and Coyote would answer, "Camper Coyote, ready to roll!"  "Camper Roadrunner, ready to roll?" and so on.  It got to the point where we couldn't do anything without our little roll call--very silly but lots of fun.  :)

Next stop, Logan, UT, for the night, then on to Salt Lake City to fly back home. Vacation was coming to an end!

Yellowstone Mammoth Hot Springs

It was a very hot walk and a bit of a tiring climb to get to the top of the Mammoth Hot Springs!

Tourists trying to keep out of the sun!

The kids were fascinated by the warnings not to step off the boardwalk because people have basically been boiled alive if they fell in or walked onto the ground, not expecting it to give way!

It's actually very dry right now but apparently the level changes over the years and the seasons.  At any rate, quite gorgeous in its own stark way.

Yellowstone Upper Falls and Lamar Valley

We saw SO many buffalo.  They were right next to the road in many places.  The kids REALLY wanted to see a bear and we kept looking and looking for bears, but we saw nothing but buffalo most of the day!

 On the way to the Upper Falls

Yellowstone Upper Falls

We took a short hike to get a better view.

Dunraven Pass

I loved the yellow flowers everywhere!

Odd outcroppings

You guessed it!  More buffalo!

Oh, what's this??!!  Prong horn antelope.  Still no bears!

Old Faithful

We drove from Cody into Yellowstone for our two nights at the Fishing Bridge RV park.  We thought we would see lots of elk but this is the only one we chanced upon.

Of course, we had to visit Old Faithful and it did not disappoint!

Aidan and Ally had a front row seat and were wowed by the spectacle!

We then wandered around and looked at more hot pools of water, talked about the underground volcanos, and checked out the area.

Very cool!