Thursday, July 15, 2010

Yellowstone

The last two days of our trip we spent at Yellowstone, which I liken to a trip to Disneyland, except a bit more crowded and overpriced. After the relative serenity and calmness of Grand Teton I think we were surprised by the hoards of people on every trail. Not to mention the frustration we experienced watching people ignore the numerous signs to stay on the marked paths and away from the wildlife.

Yellowstone had some beautiful spots as well and at times the landscape was so unusual it felt as though we were walking on another planet rather than just a thin crust of earth. Isabelle thought the stinky sulphur smell was pretty gross but at the same time I think she was delighted by it.

Guess where we are!
We had dinner at the Old Faithful Inn and enjoyed the amazing architecture.
Old Faithful in all its glory.
The beautiful Lake Yellowstone Hotel.

After having breakfast we sat in the sun room and I couldn't help but think it was very Great Gatsby-esque.
Yellowstone Lake
Yellowstone definitely didn't disappoint with regard to wild animals. We saw herds of bison (several very close), elk, pronghorns, moose, pelicans, a wolf (stalking bison), a black bear and, the best sighting of all, a mama grizzly bear with two little cubs running behind her.
At the mud volcano.
These two look like they're up to no good don't they?
It's very hot and steamy in geyserland. The different colors in the water are microorganisms that can survive in the heat.
Castle Geyser

In Mammoth on our way out of the park.
One last ice cream stop. On our second day of travel on the way home we stopped in beautiful Coeur d'Alene, Idaho for lunch at Beverly's (great calamari and lobster bisque!) and to stretch our legs a bit. Even on our last day the girls were still smiling. Amazing!
Taking on a huge road trip like this was definitely an adventure but I'm so glad we did. We saw so many stunning sights driving in our car that we would have missed out on had we flown. Since I had so many hours to think while cruising the open road I compiled a top-five list of why I heart Montana, Idaho and Wyoming:

1.) Breathtaking mountains, rock cliffs and rivers
2.) Cowboys
3.) Bears and Bison
4.) It's possible to drive hundreds of miles through prairie land and not go through a town with a population larger than 200
5.) Huckleberry ice cream

On the other hand, I also had time to compile my list of why Washington will always be my home:

1.) I can only read so many Ivan Doig novels
2.) Over-sized belt buckles with too-tight jeans
3.) Driving down the road it's possible to see a pick-up truck loaded with hundreds of bloody animals pelts
4.) See #4 above
5.) The culture of a "red state" is very different - as evidenced by Glen Beck being the main event at the 4th of July fireworks show. I'm definitely a "blue state" kind of girl.

**.) BONUS: If we thought our family got noticed frequently in Seattle you can just imagine how much we stood out in Wyoming. I don't think we made it through even one meal without being asked questions and once the "geriatric league" even laid in wait for us outside the loo to try to take pictures. I don't often compare myself to Angelina Jolie, but paparazzi are kind of annoying. Geesh!

So glad we're home again, home again, jiggety-jig...at least until tomorrow when we meet up with my family down in Oregon. See you in a week!

3 comments:

shauna said...

super fun... umm, love the geriatrics.

Mama of 5 said...

Yeah for the blue states!!! I hear ya. We loved Yellowstone but haven't been since we only had two kids.

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