Saturday, July 18, 2015


This year we decided a nice, long road trip was just how we wanted to spend our week vacationing.  Be warned- the next few posts are going to be very picture heavy.

We left Thursday, July 9th and drove out to Butte before checking into our hotel for the night.  Our original plan had been to spend the first night with Ryan's brother and his family in the Spokane area, but Annie has been sick with a cold and ear infection (Seriously in July?  What. is. going. on??) so we decided sharing our germs with their young kids would be a bad idea.  It worked out because we had a lot less driving to Yellowstone on Friday and could actually see the lower part of the Yellowstone loop, instead of just arriving at our campsite.
....And we are off!
So about 5 miles into our trip, I realized I left our nice camera at home.  I said as much to Ryan, and during the next two miles we decided my iPhone has a good enough camera.  We were not turning around.

We spent a good half hour plus waiting to enter Yellowstone park.  Good thing I had downloaded a couple of audio books on my cell phone to help pass the time.  (Our local library is being remodeled all summer and their teeny office in the meantime has a very poor selection of anything.  Being the on-top-of-it girl that I am, I didn't request audio books on CD a week or two ahead of time.  I, instead, discovered the OverDrive app, and have been happily downloading digital copies of audio books to my phone.  It's seriously the best.)

Now comes the fun part- trying to remember each of the stops where I took these pictures and what they are exactly.  I'll name the ones I do remember, but since I am finally posting these two months after the fact, the details still in my brain are slim.
Lower Geyser Basin?

 There was a small voice in my head that laughed at the fact we drove so far to see steamy mud.  But the mud bubbles too, and smells bad.  Who wouldn't want to see that?

 I can't remember where these all are.  There were several stops, and they all had cool photo ops.

 Below is the Turquoise Pool.  The park ranger said they don't know how deep it is, but it's super hot.  The bluer the water, the hotter the water is.
Next is from a hike we did.

 A waterfall!
 Then we made it to Old Faithful.  Our timing was so good, we had front row seats for the eruption.  Ok, we missed the previous eruption by about 5 minutes, and had quite a bit of time to kill waiting for the next one.
 Still waiting.
 Eventually the entire family, minus myself, laid down for naps.

There she blows!
 Afterwards we checked out the visitor's center.
 Then it was time to head to our campground, out of the park.  We got held up in traffic.
 Buffalo walk slowly.  It did give us lots of time to enjoy the scenery.
We finally made it to our KOA, where they informed us we could, in fact, have a fire.  What?  In Washington, you'd better not so much as sneeze for fear of forest fires this year.  We were not prepared for this thing called fire (we brought our little propane burner), but we had neighbors willing to share and help out so we could have proper s'mores.

This year I finally convinced Ryan I was not going camping without an air mattress.  He wanted to just get a twin size for me, but I won out and got a full sized one so we can share.  He is older than me by 4 years- his old bones need it just as much as mine.  Ryan felt ashamed of his weakness, and waited until dusk to fill the air mattress.  (As if the air pump isn't noisy enough to draw the eye of everyone close.)

Then it was time for bed.

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