Monday, June 30, 2014

Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks

*Hip, hip, hooray!  We made it to Pennsylvania in one piece!  We receive our household goods shipment today, and then will be busy unpacking and organizing, but I’ll get this updated with all of our cross-country travels slowly but surely.

So our first major stop on our cross-country road trip was Grand Teton National Park.  We hadn’t planned on visiting this park, but since it was just south of Yellowstone, we decided to do a quick drive thru.

And boy are we glad we did.  It was gorgeous!


Oh, did I mention that it was Jarrod’s birthday too?  He spent his birthday in a national park for the second year in a row (last year was in Lassen Volcanic National Park).  I think we may make it a new tradition!


We spent a total of two full days in Yellowstone (two half days and one full day).

The place was beyond amazing.

I couldn’t get over all the wildlife.

There were bison EVERYWHERE.


Even causing traffic jams.


We also saw elk, two black bears, deer, and some animals that I don’t know the names of.


I really wanted to see a grizzly, but we never did.  The thing was, I wanted to see it from the road.  Taking three kids on a backwoods hike to try to find one didn’t seem like the best idea to us.  Especially when whiny crying kids could actually make us seem like prey.  Yeah, didn’t think that would be smart.  So no grizzly this time.

When we weren’t looking at wildlife, we were taking in the beautiful scenery.


How could Yellowstone get any cooler?  Oh yeah – it happens to be a super-volcano!

You can bet that my little volcano enthusiasts were excited!

On our first day in the park, we visited one of the visitor centers.  Each center has different themed exhibits, and we decided to check out the one with the super-volcano exhibits.  We all liked it and really learned a lot.  And it prepared us for our next day -

A full day of geysers, bubbling mudpots, steam vents, and hot springs.

Our first stop on the super-volcano tour was of course, Old Faithful.


It was a cool morning (in the 40s, but you’d never guess it looking at what my kids are (not) wearing), so there was a lot of steam making seeing the actual water shooting out of Old Faithful a bit difficult.

After Old Faithful’s eruption, we went walking around the trails looking a more hydrothermal hot spots.

Trenton and Charlotte squealed with excitement every time they saw something new and exclaimed that it was the best hike ever!  They had Jarrod and I read almost every plaque along the path so that they (and we) could learn about the features.


I’m pretty sure that I’ve become a volcano junkie now too.  The stuff was so neat and interesting!

We loved all of the fun memories we were able to make as a family.  I don’t think Yellowstone will be a trip that the kids will soon forget!  Trenton has even decided that he wants to be a National Park Ranger when he grows up!


Teddy, you were a pretty smart fella.  Thanks for helping so many appreciate such beautiful places.


Sarah said...

Love these pictures and I've enjoyed watching it all unfold on IG!

Jen said...

Absolutely amazing photos!! So glad you made it to PA safely. :)

Mrs.B said...

Soo pretty! I loved following along on IG. Happy you guys made it to PA safely.

Amanda said...

These pictures are stunning. I love that this stop influenced your son so much. I visited Yellowstone when I was in high school with my family and it is so pretty.. and downright cool. Although kind of scary what it could do.

Nicole said...

Now I really want to go here too! Your pictures are amazing!