Sunday, September 8, 2013

Yellowstone: The Best Vacation Ever

Palette Springs at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone.
   I'd been so excited for the Yellowstone vacation; I had been saving up to go on this particular vacation for over a year, but this idea of this vacation is an old one. My family had decided that we wanted to make a trip here about six years ago but at that time, my niece was still a baby and my nephew hadn't even been born yet. Then when he was born, we had two small children on our hands. We wanted to go when the kids were old enough to really enjoy the trip, and we wanted them to be able to do the many trails offered by the park. 
   Of course, my nephew is only five, and the older girls are eight and eleven, so we aren't looking at the backpacking, overnighter trails. But there are so many child friendly trails in Yellowstone that even though we went for eleven days -- a time period that had many exclaiming, "What will you do there for so long?!" -- we never ran out of things to do, nor did we find ourselves the victims of bored children. Yellowstone is simply breathtaking, and has charm for all ages. And as I traveled, as usual, there were things that struck my fancy as I went along. So I put together a sort-of picture diary for the purpose of this blog. 
   1. As you travel the trails, you are going to notice a fair amount of scat; after all, this is not a zoo, and the animals roam freely. Now, when I hollered for the kids to not step in whatever animal crap that was sitting in the path, they would go around it; sometimes with theatrical squeals, and sometimes with some eye rolling, because I was reminding them 100 times a day. The boy, however, would only avoid the scat when he was in the mood to. The rest of the time he would shrug and plow through it. 
Anyone up for some buffalo pie?

   2. When you mix a large population of people, and you throw wild animals into the mix, there is no end to the amount of chaos that can be caused, especially when you factor cars and traffic into all of that. People would stop in the middle of the road, and go stand in oncoming traffic just to get a picture of the bison (buffalo), elk, or whatever else was out there. And the animals did not seem to be shy about getting in the road. We were stuck behind bison several times as we drove from one section of the park to another.
Mr. Bison would like a lift, please.
   3. The kids are going to see a lot of things, out there in nature. Things that you might not want them too...
They're just giving each other piggy-back rides, kids, I swear. 
   4. The park is full of "Do not die, you dumb-ass tourist" signs. They are plastered everywhere. All. Over.
This one is even illustrated, just in case you need the visual. 
   5. Pay attention to the details. You don't want to miss anything, and little things can give you a great big chuckle.
Somebody got happy with the nail gun on this boardwalk path :)

   All jokes aside, this vacation really was the best vacation. Eleven days came and went, and truthfully, I could have spent eleven more. The atmosphere was very tranquil and relaxing and the many views were breathtaking. And catching glimpses of the animals was so much fun! This is one trip that I highly recommend to anyone, of any age. This trip went above and beyond all expectations.
The Chromatic Pool. 
The Grand Geyser.
An elk in the Firehole River. 
Lower Falls at the Yellowstone Canyon. 
A pronghorn on the Blacktail Plateau Drive. 
And am I the only one who thinks Liberty Cap looks like a penis? 


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