Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lewis and Clark Caves and GNP

To continue where yesterday's left off...

Lewis & Clark Caverns... we stopped in there at the state park and paid our entry fee to walk up a long path and then through the caverns, which were really neat looking. The kids thought it was pretty cool, and Kellen ... well, I don't know what Kellen thought, but he didn't like it much. I had to feed him while on the move, ducking and twisting and turning through the windy path. It was fun though. Afterwards we ate at the really expensive cafe there (think $7.50 for a sandwich which does not include chips, drink, pickle, nothing!!) but it was good at least. Then we headed out to catch up with the others.
Unfortunately, Chuck and Toni's truck lost 5th gear on the way to Glacier, so they had to drive pretty slow, and then the next day had to take it to the transmission shop and wait for it to be fixed.
We ended up at Glacier at about 12am... set up camp and went right to sleep. Next day we lazed around in the morning and then headed to the Trail of Cedars. The kids loved it and we had a great time.Next day we headed up the Going to the Sun Road (which is something that is just spectacular!) and then stopped at Logan Pass and had a picnic. By the way, the ground squirrels there are out of control!Then we set out for Many Glacier on the East side of the park and to where our bear adventures were last time! We found a black bear on the way up when we stopped at an overlook. I busted out the binoculars (or binoculees, as Ayla calls them. LOVE) and I was scouting the landscape for animals, and came upon a bear that was a decent distance away, but easy to see through the lenses. Jaime and Toni and all their families had never seen a bear before, so this was especially neat! On the way back, I was looking pretty intently in the same area for the bear and actually saw it again on the other side of the road, not 15 feet from the car!! It was so cool to see one that close from the confines of the car! Unfortunately, our camera was turned to some funky setting so we got no pictures. I am sure that the others did though!
It was a great trip, with great friends, and I will (and my family too) cherish these memories for a long time to come!

ALSO:: if you entered the giveaway for Seaworthy, but didn't win, Marisa is offering FREE SHIPPING for you with any purchase from her shop. Please just mention "Earthmonkey" in the note to seller section of your order and she'll send you an updated invoice with free shipping!

Yellowstone and Glacier trip

WARNING :: Long post! I had to pack a lot of wonderful pictures from our vacation for this one!

We just got back from our adventures in Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. We had a fantastic time with great friends. My best friend from grade school/high school and her family, and then her sister (who is like one of my sister's) and her family met us in Yellowstone for a 6 night stay. We traveled throughout the park, hiking some little hikes that the kids could make (there were 3 two year olds, one 4 year old, one 6 year old, and Kellen the baby!) Thankfully I had thought ahead and gotten some info books from the library, and had Tyler read them so that we had a little bit of an idea on what to spend our days doing!

We spent one of the first days in Grand Teton National Park. We went on a little hike and the kids had a good time (although by the end of the hike, Tyler was carrying 2 of our kids!)Ayla is actually asleep in that pouch! Tyler is such a good daddy!

The next day we just kind of drove around and spotted animals and were in awe of the beauty of the park. We stopped at one bike ride :: The Natural Bridge. So neat and just unlike a lot of other places! Unfortunately, I had a bad mommy moment and I was holding onto Ayla's hand while carrying Kellen in his carrier; I slipped on some loose dirt and instead of letting go of Ayla's hand, I kind of pushed her into the ground! She ended up with a rock or two embedded above her eye... easily brushed out, but still bled a little. I felt so bad! A second stop was the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone; which is awesome. (disclaimer:: Tyler and I have not actually been to the real Grand Canyon, so maybe we will be knocked off our butts for that sight!) The colors were just amazing, and the waterfall actually looks fake! The park truly is a treasured piece of our landscape, and I am so thankful I got to share this with some great people.I think the river and falls above looks like it was made on a small scale with foil or something!

Next day, we made it to the Artist Paintpots (where Ayla had a minor melt down and exasperated us!). Luckily Ayla fell asleep as we left this place and headed to the Norris Geyser Basin, and Colton and Tyler left us behind for a little nap while they explored a bit. After the nap refresher, we decided to head up to Mammoth Hot Springs area, and we visited the Boiling River (which was super cool! Imagine a really hot river dumping into a cold river. You sit in the shallow rapids and experience hot and cold flashes of water.) As we walked back to the car, we headed through a herd of elk. Luckily they were cows and seemed to be very familiar with humans. But still I was a little scared!The boiling river and the elk
The storm headed our way

Day after that, we had a little rain storm! Good thing for us is that our tent was on a cement pad! But we headed out late, went to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center and then stopped by Tower Falls for a quick picture or two, and then had dinner in the Lamar Valley. Unfortunately, we didn't see much of the Lamar Valley (where supposedly a lot of wolves live) because we started out so late due to the rain :( Maybe next trip.

At the Grizzly Wolf Discovery Center... don't they look real?Tower Falls
Monday, we headed to Old Faithful. Amazingly, we all thought that Old Faithful was actually way over rated. Good thing we all got to see 4 other geysers go off! We all took our bikes and the kids really liked that... we didn't have too whiny of kids by the end of the couple hours and they weren't worn out from walking, and we didn't have to carry them for the most part! On the way home we saw a coyote running by the road.Old Faithful... too many people!

Hot tub time machine

We left Yellowstone on Tuesday and headed up to Glacier National Park in our neck of the woods :) Because our friends hauled trailers, we were a little faster on the drive so we also stopped at the Lewis and Clark Caverns on the way home... pretty cool! I am going to tell you all about that and Glacier next time! Too many pictures!