"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." ~Lin Yutang

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

yellowstone national park

on thursday, the kids and i headed to yellowstone.  we packed the car to the very brim and headed out.  we didn't take any movies or any distracting entertainment, just us, tons of camping gear, and the car, Konie. 
we took the scenic route and i'm glad we did.  it was beautiful and only 15 min. longer.  i didn't bring a map or anything, just kinda briefly looked at one before we left.  we ate fruit and snacky food for lunch and arrived at the park at 6pm, perfect to set up camp and eat dinner...
except i made a wrong turn and didn't get into the campsite until after 8.  woops.
it had been spitting rain off and on all day and when we entered the campground it finally decided to stay on.  it wasn't pouring hard or anything, but it was wet.  wolfie and i had no trouble pitching all three tents and getting the kids fed.  i was a bit nervous to be in bear country where there are tons of rules about food storage and stuff with 6 messy eaters, but what could i do?  not feed them?!? 
we got to bed that night a little after 10 and the kids all fell fast asleep.  around 3am my sister and her family found our camp spot and joined us. 
the next morning i failed at making a campfire.  that was discouraging.  we had bagels though, so no biggie.  it was rather cold and would've been nice.  finally around 7-8 we got some hot water going and made hot chocolate and coffee.  there were 3 bison that mosied on into the campgrounds and nearly laid on a tent across the way from us.  the battery to Konie died and we moved camp spots at 11am. 
from there the kids and i went out to discover yellowstone.  it is so full of God's beautiful creation!  we saw tons of bison and elk, a wolf, a little pica, pelecans, geese, ravens, and maybe some others...  the creation and the wildlife were breath taking.  we finished the drive with a little fishing.  we got back to camp a little after 6 and found that our tent's pole had broken in half.  so wolfie and i took it down and put up another.  thank goodness we brought 5!  :)
my brothers and their families arrived at camp during the re-pitching of the tent process.  soon, my mother and father also arrived.  then, my little sister and her family made it back to camp.  it was fun for the kids to have cousins to play and make believe with.  the brothers took several hikes with lots of littles that evening.  we roasted marshmellows and made s'mores and yummies...  it was a great evening.
the next morning we packed up and headed out earlier hoping to caravan to a lot of the main attractions such as tower fall, mammoth hot springs, and old faithful.  yellowstone is so crowded at this time of year, and with no cell service it was difficult to stick together.  otter pop called when we were up in mammoth and miraculously had service telling us he made it to the campground.  unfortunately for him, this was the first day that we didn't set up camp before heading out.  so we told him we'd meet him at old faithful.  the kids and i headed straight down there 'cause we were anxious to see him.  just shortly after leaving mammoth, the car in front of us stopped for a mama black bear and her two little cute cubs crossing the road!!!  it was spectacular since i had been patiently waiting to see a bear!  we saw a mama grizzly and her 2 cubs way off in the distance on the way up to tower fall earlier that day, but they were so far away the only reason we knew what they were was because of the crowd with all their telescopic camera lenses telling us.  i was exstatic to see the black bear and cubs up so close!!!!
we made it to old faithful around 4-4:30 but had no luck in meeting up with the pops.  we couldn't find him and came to find out he had left about 30 minutes before we arrived.  :(  that was a bummer, but finally about 5:30 i told the kids we had to get back and set up tent and eat dinner.  our campsite that night was more of what i'm familiar with as camping, but much tighter living quarters.  we only set up one tent that night and we were snug and warm!  we hung out with the cousins and family until about 10 and then headed to bed. 
the next morning my eldest brother and his family along with my sister and her family all headed out early.  my other brother and dad helped me break up the tent and pack everything up.  again, konie's battery died and i was so appreciative to have family still around to help! 
we mosied out of the camp and out of the park via the south enterance/exit to the beautiful scenery of the grand teton mountains.  oh my lands, they are so postcard and calendar beautiful!!! 
the ride home was very very very long!  we made it to our house at about 7pm.  we were exhausted and filthy.  it was so good to sleep in a bed that night! 
i hope that from now on, we can make it a family tradition to camp out at yellowstone national park each year!  what a gorgeous reminder of God's creation!  if you've never been... GO! 

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Cor. 10:31


Liz Christensen said...

So glad you guys had a good trip! I think I've taken for granted growing up over there. We'd go over frequently, and I'd get annoyed at my mom for stopping once again to see the elk, or buffalo. I do miss seeing the tetons every day. They are beautiful! Next time you guys go, we need to make sure to go with you!

Daniel Becker said...

A great time. You did very well with your battery and all!!