Sunday, September 14, 2014

Into the Parks - Teton and Yellowstone

Up early and on our way into the parks!  

At the gate we were heading in, we learned we couldn't go into Teton very far that way because the road was closed due to the bears loading up on berries right along the roadway.  Apparently they thought that might be a safety issues?  We decided to drive in as far as we could.  It was through the forest, and we saw a young black bear walking along the road, but it took off fast when the car in front of us started driving on.

A bit further we saw a few cars stopped, which always means wildlife.  There was a bear (and maybe a cub) resting by the bigger tree in the picture.

We saw a deer up further, but I didn't get a good picture of that.

When we got as far as we could go (looking longingly at the road closed sign, knowing there were bears ahead!), we turned around and headed back to enter through Jackson.  We stopped for a quick potty break at the museum there (went back to really look around the next day).

I love the elk just inside the building!

Love the Tetons!  Just beautiful.

My cute bunny.  :)

More selfies!

I told them the pictures turn out better if I take them.  :)

Stopped for a quick lunch.

Isaac was always happy to get out of his car seat.  He ate about every non-mommy meal strapped in the car, poor kid.

Finally to Yellowstone!

As we entered, we found out one of the roads was closed.  Old Faithful immediately off the list of things to see.

We got out near West Thumb and walked through the Geyser Basin.

If you look closely, you can see Adam and Sam through the mist (between Jamie and Madeleine).

We had a bit of sadness here.  Adam left a part of himself at Yellowstone.  This picture shows him with it.

A bit down the trail and around the corner, there it is through the slats of the walkway on the ground.  We couldn't think of any way to retrieve it.  :(  He got that several years ago on a family vacation to Mesa, then later it broke and lived in a baggie for years.  Two general conferences ago he had it all put together a few times, but the ends were too short, or just as he was about to finish it fell apart.  He finally gave up.  Last general conference he put it all together, and has worn it almost daily since.  He picked up Madeleine, the magnetic clasp came apart, and it fell straight through the slats.  Guess mom needs to search for the beads to replace it.

(You can click the pictures to see them full size if you didn't know.)

This mud pot freaked Carolyn out.  Just as I was walking over towards her, she turned to say something, saw it spit out some mud, and jumped.  It was pretty funny.

Further up the road we went on the Mud Volcano walk.

Carolyn said the Dragon's Mouth geyser was her favorite.

When we got back to the van, this beautiful raven was hanging out right in front of it.  He posed perfect while Jamie and I took pictures.

Further up the road, we met the only bison we saw up close.

Yellowstone Grand Canyon!

Lots of new growth trees around.  Exciting to see the forest coming alive again after fires.

We took a walk through the Norris Geyser Basin, an area that I don't think I've been to before.  Steamboat Geyser, the world's tallest active but very unpredictable geyser, did not perform for us.

The geyser below, Vixen Geyser, was performing quite well, shooting bursts up water pretty high into the air.  Apparently this one has two types of eruptions, and we got to see the more rare type.

At Gibbon Falls, just a few of us jumped out of the van to go look.  When we came running back, Jamie apparently asked Sam why we were running.  "Because Gibbon fell."

Adam taking a picture.

Melanie taking a picture.

Carolyn looking cold.

That evening we found a place in West Yellowstone to eat.  Isaac practiced his driving while we waited a few minutes for an empty table.

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