I know its kind of sad, but I went on vacation to Yellowstone with Pete (the hubs), Caleb (the brother), Karine (the bf and bro's gf) and Max (the awesome Westie) way back in July. And somehow it is October.
Don't ask me how that happened, but hello October :) Guess that happens when you get so crazy busy.
So, back to the vacation. Caleb turned 29 that weekend and really wanted to do something different. That was my only wedding free weekend in all of July and August so we decided to head to Yellowstone. We packed our Vanagon to the brim for our 5 days at Yellowstone, put little Max in the car and headed out.
According to map quest, Yellowstone is a 12 hour drive along I90 to get to the north entrance of Yellowstone in Montana. Well, we left at 8pm on Wednesday expecting to be heading into Yellowstone around 8am the next morning, but let me tell you what... a 1991 VW Vanagon filled to the brim with camping stuff, 4 adults and a westie doesn't exactly go the speed limit.
So about 16 hours later and a bit delirious, we got to that North Entrance. It was a crazy trip and lots of stories... next time we see eachother, tell me to tell you of some of them. We will have a video from our Flip cam... once I edit those ( hey don't judge... clients come first. It just happens I had a lot of those this summer...)
This is me and Pete outside the Vanagon waiting for Karine to take care of our camping permit once we got to the campgrounds... which was another 2.5 hours from the beginning of the park. We were a good 18 hours in the car at that point and a bit slap happy.
Max was also ready to get the heck out of the car.
We got to our campsite, and this is what it looked like. I was in awe running around taking pictures getting out some of my pent up energy . Appearently we were also in bear country, so we had to be super careful of leaving food out and any smell good stuff. That made for some interesting nights waking up to noises outside...
We saw lots of Bison when traveling through Yellowstone. We kept to the roads this time because we had Max with us, and you can't take animals on any trails (boo) and we wouldn't leave him in the car. But Yellowstone is almost the size of Wyoming, so there was plenty to see via car. Next time we go back, we plan on backpacking... and carrying bear spray cuz those things are huge.
These guys were everywhere. You could tell where they hung out by big dirt spots in fields of grass. Our mantra through the week was screaming Mutha F**in Bison! every time we saw one... and yes, collectively we are 12 years old.
We stopped for this pair of bison on our first day (when seeing bison was still novel). These guys are about 30 feet from the road eating their lunch, and I am taking pictures. I mentioned to Caleb that I wished the bison would look up so I would see its face more. Caleb, being a funny guy starts saying "Here bison bison bison. Here bison bison bison." It was a joke and he wasn't saying it very loud, but Caleb's voice travels pretty easily and after a third time, the bison looks up and looks over at us.
Let me tell you... it is a whole different experience to have a bison staring at you intently then one happily eating lunch. We didn't linger.
We stopped at a sulfur pit and it stunk to high heaven. I loved that there were signs telling people not to go down to the boiling pond of sulfur. People can be retarded if they need signs for that...
This was our attempt at taking Max hiking with us... it didn't work, but doesn't Caleb look classy?
This place was called dragon's cave or something just as ominous... It is a bit more impressive via video as it is boiling and getting shot out of that opening continuously... and it also smelled like poo.
So Lake Yellowstone is in the middle of Yellowstone and is HUGE. Like the size of the Puget Sound huge. It went on for ever, and in the tourist maps, it tells you not to go swimming in it. Because if you do, you are likely to catch hipothermia it is so cold. Pete being a polar bear and loving everything cold decided against paying attention to the warnings and hopped right in. The rest of us watched from the shore dry and warm.
Pete is one that enjoys doing the Polar Bear dip in the Sound on January first, so he is usually all about the cold. He lasted a good 23 seconds before coming out quickly. It was COLD!and goosbumpy :) (now you have all seen a picture of my hubby's nipple. hahahahaha)
Ol' Faithful was faithful as always and pretty impressive. The crowd surrounding it was the only thing more impressive. Didn't think we would have gotten in a traffic jam in Yellowstone, but thanks to Ol' Faithful we sure did.
This was by far the coolest thing. The color was out of this world and would have been so much better on film if it was dusk.. but whatever. They were still amazing. This is the Grand Prismatic Springs and by far my fave spot we were at.
It was windy like crazy and you could see people's lost hats through out the walk. The wind would shift and be cold one direction then shift again and you would be in a steam bath. Crazy.
Those are people on the walkway through the steam...
(Yep. the only way I end up in pictures are self portraits. but luckily I've gotten pretty darn good at them )
This is what we considered "roughing it" . How many charge cords can be in one place?
Not the most encouraging sign in the bathrooms... but seeing that someone was gored by a buffalo 3 days after we left... it makes sense to warn people I guess.
We saw a momma bear and two baby bear cubs on the mountain side playing in the sun. I wished I had more than a 200 mm lens for this shot, but it was still super cool.
You can't expect to take an old Vanagon on a huge trip like this without a couple of hiccups, but luckily we had our handy amazing mechanic along with us. Love my man!
I took this shot while he was looking at something on the car. The dead trees are from a forest fire that took out 38% of Yellowstone in 1987 (or there abouts). It was crazy how much was regrowing. I bet Yellowstone 1986 was a crazy different experience. As almost 25 years later, it looks like this...
This guy came out of the woods to eat by a lookout we were at. He was maybe 3 feet from me. He was cool.
This trip was so much fun... and so much more details than what I gave here... We hope to go back again next year!
If you want to see more from the trip, check out the slideshow!