Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Day 5: Yellowstone!

 If you are just tuning in, go a few posts back to see where this trip all started off.

Continuing on....  Yesterday we had a cruddy weather....but it is amazing what difference a day makes.  

I had a few bucket list things I really, really wanted to see in Yellowstone.  Artists point was one of them.  I was bummed when it was too cloudy to see it on our first day.  It was an hour drive to head back there, but we headed back there first thing in the morning to give it another try.  I am so glad we did!! It was lovely!  This area is considered the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and I could spend all day exploring there!

We then headed up to the Mammoth area.  We had a few stops along the way that were pretty cool.  
In the Yellowstone park alone it is like so many different regions of the world all in one park setting.  Mammoth was like nothing I have ever seen.  Do a little bit of research on it...I won't bore you with the details here.

After we visited mammoth we visited the Roosevelt Arch in Gardner and had huckleberry ice cream.  Oh and by the way, I think we had huckleberry ice cream every was that yummy!  After walking around Gardner for a bit we got back in the car and headed on a bear hunt in Yellowstone.

Our first sighting was along side the road and up the hill.  Cars were already stopped and everyone does a pretty good job at communicating with each other what they are looking at.  Of course you have the people yelling at you to keep going...we tend to just ignore those people.  We come all this ways...we are going to take a picture of a bear!
We then continue a few miles and there was a line of cars parked on the side of the road...usually when a group is gathered like means something!  This time it meant bears.  We couldn't find a place to park...I was kind of bummed, but it was what it was.  We continued on to see the petrified tree.  It was kind of cool. 
We ended up having to circle back to the area where the bears were and parked far and hiked along side the road so we could get close enough to see them.  It was so worth it in the end.  Thank goodness for good binoculars!!  We saw a mama bear and a few of her cubs.  We planted ourselves and watched the babies play for a bit.  The park ranger was really nice and answered everyone's questions.  

After a long day of driving we headed back to our cabin for a quiet evening in.  Sean and I sometimes left the kids to go exploring on our own.  We visited some cool areas around the Lake Hebgen area-- and saw our first moose!

Stay tuned for more Yellowstone adventures!  Here are a few more random pics...I lost count of how many waterfalls we saw!  

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Summer Vacation Day 3-4: On to Yellowstone!!

 To check out our first two days of vacation click back!

Day 3 of our vacation was a LONG day of driving.  I do have to say the scenery through Montana was lovely.  We knew were were heading towards even colder weather and snow...I did not pack appropriately, so we had to stop along the way to get snow gear....oops.  In the middle of nowhere ville Sean ran into someone he knew at the random.

We stayed at a cabin near Lake Hebgen.  It was about a 15 minute drive to the nearest Yellowstone entrance.  The views from our cabin were AMAZING!  The lake was just stunning.   Our cabin was a little log cabin and was perfect for our family.  We all really liked it!

On our second day in the area we visited Yellowstone.  We used the Gypsy Ap to navigate us around....I would highly recommend.  I had a plan, but really didn't have a solid plan as the park is overwhelming, so this Ap was extremely helpful.  It really gave us a lot of fun info about the park.

The weather was cold, windy, and snowy.  We didn't have the best view of the geysers, but we did enjoy very small crowds.  It was a really pretty drive through part of the park though!

Yellowstone is an interesting park.  It covers a lot of ground and it is like you are in a different world if you just travel 30 minutes up the road.  The weather changes depending on where you are it.  It could be nice and sunny in the north area of the park and snowing in the south part of the park.

Another thing that I would highly recommend--if you ever want to visit is DO NOT go between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  It is a very popular area...and very people-y.  We went the week before Memorial Day and the crowds seemed just right.   A lot of the hotels and in park restaurants were still closed, but we brought our own food into the park, so it didn't matter to us.

Onto day 5 and much nice weather!

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Summer vacation 2022: Day 2 The Black Hills

 To read more about day one visit my last blog post.  

Day 2:  We had a nice quiet evening to end day 1 at Roosevelt Inn.  We stayed at this same hotel in 2011 and decided to try it again.  Our room was a suite and plenty of room for our entire family...ok we did sneak a kid don't tell anyone!  

We woke up on day two and the weather didn't clear up!  It was cold, rainy, and foggy.  Our plan for the day was to hopefully see Mount Rushmore, drive through Custer State Park to see animals, and walk around Sylvan Lake.

We decided to start off by driving through the state park.  It was foggy, so it was a bit hard to see everything.  We did see a few things though.  

Our favorite were these cuties!  

We stopped a few times to get out and walk around.  I want to go back there when we have more time and the weather is a bit nicer.  It would be great to actually get to explore when we aren't on a time crunch.

We then went to Sylvan Lake.  We really enjoyed this lake on our last visit and wasn't the same because it was foggy, but it did clear up towards the end.  The lake is so pretty and the hike around it is not strenuous!  I would highly recommend if it if you are in the area.

After we visited Sylvan Lake we decided to go back to Mount Rushmore.  This time we were pretty lucky and were able to see everything.  We took a little hike down to the bottom of the faces.  It was a lovely little hike and we really liked being closer.  

We then drove into Rapid City to eat pictures, but Rapid City is the biggest city near the Mount Rushmore area.  

To end our trip to this area we drove through Custer State Park one more time.  This time were were able to see more buffalo...and these cuties again!

On to day 3-4!  Traveling to Yellowstone!!!