Tuesday, September 3, 2013

summer vacation . part two

July 26. It is someone's 10th Birthday and again, we are travelling...

The morning began and we were off! Audra ate a quick birthday breakfast of a muffin with jelly beans on it as a fun surprise. (Thank you Thelma!) Audra was kind enough to share some of them with the rest of us! Then we got into the car and headed toward Yellowstone National Park. 

We traveled to Montana when I was in high school and the thing I remember most clearly was being surprised about all the rivers I saw out of the car window as we drove by. Montana did not disappoint me this time either-- there were so many rivers! (Sorry for the obvious window glare on this picture!)

 We made it, and not a moment too soon! 

Once in Yellowstone, we hooked up again with Mark and also his dad Rod and Linda. Our plan was to camp outside the cabin that Rod and Linda were staying in.

Do you see the nest? It belongs to either an osprey or an eagle. We never got to see the occupants... 

Artist's Paintpots was our first stop on the way into the park. Yellowstone is so big that even though we were in the park, we still had a long drive before we got to our campsite. So it made sense to get out and stretch our legs and see some of the natural wonders of Yellowstone before setting up camp. This is a natural hot spring. 
Pretty view.
This is looking down onto multiple hot springs. The different colors on the ground show that the water is hotter in some places than in others.

We took so many pictures of this section-- this is the "paint pots" section. (The bubbly mud looks like it has the consistency of paint.)

Just popping! So cool! Photo credit: Eric!

And of course it wouldn't be a hike without Payton finding some totally wrong and way too big log that he thinks would be funny to call his walking stick! At least this one was too big to even pretend with-- otherwise I have to talk him out of taking it along on other hikes...

Finally "home" for the time being! We (okay, they!) set up the tent. Thank you Mark for taking my place in that job-- I appreciate it. Later in the week we were also thankful that the guys did not forget to put on the rain fly...

Happy 10th Birthday dear Audra! This girl was so very surprised that she got a real birthday cake on her birthday, in Yellowstone. Her expression was so cute-- she really did not believe it was for her. She looked at me, across the table in disbelief and surprise. Gotcha, girl! 
Many many thanks to Linda for making that surprise happen. I think it made Audra's day! 

Clockwise, L-R: Audra . Chloe . Mark . Jenn . Rod . Linda . Payton and Eric was behind the camera. No timer'd shot for this one.
I know, this looks like a sunrise shot, but it is an evening, sun going down picture. This is called the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
I think this may be one of my favorite family pictures from the trip! 
Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River.

An osprey nest, and the osprey is in it! There were even some babies in this nest.

Look at this guy! I think he had the largest set of antlers that we saw the whole visit.

Took us a while, but we finally realized that these dark spots were not bushes, but BISON! What a herd! This was the most we had seen, so far. But the trip was not over yet. Nope, we've only just begun. 
 --stay tuned for part three--


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