Monday, September 17, 2012

yellowstone, day two

So when we go on vacation - almost no matter where it is - Jess drags his hiney out of bed at ridiculous hours to catch the sun rise. It's always worth it. He always comes back with the most beautiful photos.

And we have a system - while he's out communing with nature, I sleep for as long as the girls will allow me. This often means all three of us end up in one bed, and I have to admit, it makes for some pretty cute mornings. There is nothing - hands down - in this world as awesome as waking up to Belle's bed head. Or Lou's buck tooth grin.
Gah! I die. So anyhow, I get the girls up and ready, feed them some breakfast (I usually have homemade banana muffins and a small tub of Nutella, in other words ALL YOU NEED), and then Jess usually gets home right about then. This trip, Jess came home the first morning and said, "Okay. Put on your running shoes. You're out of here." And he packed up the girls and took them to some (dry) hot pots in Mammoth (they were bubbling two years ago, it all depends on the movement of the earth, apparently. I had a blissful morning run. Running in random places is maybe one of the most awesome things ever. You see such amazing things by the power of your own two feet.

The pictures here are from day two (above are the dry hot pots Jess took the girls to). From Mammoth, we drove to Lamar Valley to find some animals. We started providing voice over for the animals about this time. 

Like the bison, "Harold. Stop. We can't leave Lamar Valley." Because seriously, you enter Lamar Valley, and BOOM! ANIMALS! How do they know that they're supposed to be there? Or while we searched the tops of trees for bald eagles, only to find mostly crows, which were obviously saying, "Frank! Stick your chest out! Look regal! They're looking!" Um, yeah. Many hours in the car afford some serious imagination. We also saw some pronghorn deer:

And at one point, there were a few cars pulled over, so NATURALLY, we pulled over too to see what all the fuss was about. We saw something moving about in the bushes, so we pulled out our monocular (our longest lens), and had a look:

A coyote. While I tracked him with the lens, I noticed he was tracking something of his own. I couldn't see what he was trying to catch. But I did catch him pouncing:

We got pretty ridiculous with the animal spotting. At one point, I was all, "Hand me the camera! What's out there?!"

A rare fly fisherman?

We stopped at several of the standard hot spot and waterfall walk-abouts as well, which is why I think a Yellowstone trip works with kids - plenty of chances for breaks and walks. And when they fall asleep, you just enjoy the sights from the car.

Speaking of enjoying sights from the car:

It's my favorite when a bison just lumbers along and holds up traffic. They're so slow and lurpy. I'm seriously such a fan of bison - funniest big headed beasts evah.

So a word or two about the following photos. Yeah. We're those people. Who put their kid on a leash. But she's that kid. Let's be honest. It was either put her on a leash or let her jump in a thermal geyser. Don't you worry, Asian tourists also took photos of her. Look at her face in these, by the way. She got a hoot out of it!

Oh wait? Need another dose of cuteness? No problem:

Belle was not as fond of the weeds. "They're pokey!"

But she found plenty of other opportunities to pose. She's also obsessed with climbing things - this fence, random piles of rocks. The fence next to a billion foot tall waterfall. Good times.

We ended the day in Canyon (Night Three on map below). We ate at the diner on site, which I found incredibly charming (although the food is the same as it is at every other park restaurant in Yellowstone), and called it a night.

Which turned out to be a comedy because our room was tiny, old, fairly disgusting, freezing, etc. Luckily, I plan for things like this: notebooks, crayons, snacks, and a movie (on the mini DVD player, as park accomodations don't have TVs).

The night was miserable for me - the old radiator heater scorched my skin and I may or may not have laid on the filthy floor so the cold air from outside would freeze my on-fire skin - and when Jess arrived home the next morning, I was like, "Get me out of this hole." And so we left in a hurry. On to Old Faithful (our favorite!) we went.

To my FOUR loyal readers, stay tuned!



danielle said...

I'm such a royal reader I've already read it less than ten minutes after posted. I think I should win a prize.

And do I see Bella writing my name? I SWEAR I see a "D" "A" and "N". Just saying. She appreciates loyal readers.

danielle said...

^loyal. . .

lichelle said...

Just the dose of cuteness I needed to start my day.

And royal or loyal, Nell. Both fit.

Becky said...

Thanks for the shout out to reader #4 :) I'm already getting inspired by your trip photos for future trips with as yet unborn/unplanned offspring. Todd loves hiking, camping, taking pictures, etc.

Kirsti said...

Wait... so now you have to leave comments to be counted as a "loyal reader?!" Not to be all creepy stalker on you or anything, but I think I'm a more loyal reader of your blog than my own these days.

I used to be judgy about the kids-on-a-leash thing, until Edward turned 10 months old and began to run everywhere. Nothing prevents judgment so well as sudden understanding.

I love the pictures: I can't wait for more!

Whit C said...

Alright! Thats the last time I surprise you.... ;) love you shantel! :) and your sweet girls! :) okay and maybe occasionally your grubby husband... :)


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