Last Half Of Yellowstone 2018

The last 3 days of our trip were filled with…you guessed it, more driving!

Monday we decided to head to Jackson Hole Wyoming, it looked like a shorter distance on the park map and google maps said it was only 2 hours which we didn’t think was so bad, so we made a plan to hit a geyser Robyn was dying to see, and old Faithful on the way.

They first stop was more of a lake than a geyser but it’s a big attraction in the park and it probably took us longer to find somewhere to park than to actually look at it. It was quite the sight!

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There was a lookout across the way where you could get a Birdseye view of it but it was a pretty big hike and none of us were interested, so we settled for Brad hoisting Robyn on his shoulders and her taking pictures with everyone’s phones haha better than nothing.

Back into the vehicle and off to finally see Old Faithful. We made it right on time! We found pretty decent spots and only had to wait for about 15 minutes before the world famous geyser started spewing

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We were pretty pleased with the sight but the kids were eager to get going to Jackson.

The short drive we thought it was, wasn’t. It was easily just as long, if not longer than the day before and we were all STARVING by the time we finally pulled in. Our first stop was somewhere to eat. We tried going into an old saloon looking restaurant, complete with wenches, but were told we needed reservations so down the street we went.

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We decided on a pizza place a few streets over. It wasn’t your normal pepperoni kind of pizza place, we ended up ordering some unique flavours but it was delicious and the kitchen was wide open so you could watch them make it from scratch and cook it in the wood burning ovens. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite filling enough and we were still on the hungry side when we left. Dylan however, thought the pizza was worth the hours of driving haha

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Our next stop was the town square to see the archways made of antlers. We’ve seen so many pictures of them and couldn’t wait to see them ourselves. They did not disappoint! There was four, one on every corner of the park.

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We spent the next little while browsing through the stores and buying hoodies and other souvenirs. We couldn’t believe how expensive the town was and started referring to it as “the Beverly Hills of Wyoming”. We had a long drive ahead of us so we didn’t get to stay as long as I would’ve liked. I found Jackson Hole really cool, everything looks like an old western. Totally my jam.

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We headed home on a different route that took us around the park that shaved a little time off our drive, but it was still close to midnight when we got back to camp and we couldn’t wait to get to bed. Brad and I swapped beds with his parents because Bob woke up that morning with lung issues from sleeping in the cold tent. So we froze in the tent, listening to wolves howl all night, while the kids had a sleepover with grandma and grandpa in the heated camper.

Tuesday was our last full day and we decided on a camp day. The furthest we drove was 10 minutes into West Yellowstone to the wildlife sanctuary. We got to see some pretty cool stuff including wolves and big grizzlies.

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A quick stop for some ice cream and we headed back to camp for a peaceful day of swimming, playing dice, lawn darts and dinner. A day with no driving was exactly what we all needed. Brad and I settled into the tent for a second night and were very thankful it was a warmer night and the wolves kept quiet haha

Wednsday was leaving day. There were people lining up for our spot so we got packed up as quick as we could and hit the road for our 7 hour drive. We made a stop about an hour or so in to the drive for some gas station food to tide us over until we hit great falls for an early supper. We promised the kids the wonders of Golden Corral and I’m pretty sure it was the highlight of their trip, they were hilarious! I’ve never seen them eat so much or be so excited about a restaurant, Bob made a comment about how we could’ve just camped in the parking lot for a week and the kids would’ve been just as happy haha We left over full and ready for our own beds. We bee lined for the border and made it home at a pretty decent time. We were soooo happy to have showers and relax the night away.

Nothing makes you appreciate your own house and space like 8 people being crammed in close quarters for 6 days haha

C

 

Yellowstone 2018 (First Half)

If you like lots of driving, Yellowstone is the place for you! Our first day on the road we loggged almost 8 hours of driving, and didn’t even make it to Yellowstone haha our first destination was the Lewis and Clark Caverns about 2 hours from the park. It was only supposed to be a 6 hour drive but with food, gas and pee breaks, it was longer. We found a crappy little campground on the side of the highway for the night and were totally outraged when it turned out to be a $50 fee for one night. This campground had absolutely NOTHING to offer, not even fire pits. Oh and any children under 16 had to be constantly supervised. Needless to say, I threw a bit of a fit and let them know what I thought of their prices, lack of amenities and ridiculous rules. No way was I escorting my 15 and 13 year old boys around an open field they called a campground. Word of advice, don’t ever camp behind the gas station in Cardwell, Montana. Unfortunately we were in a hurry to catch the last cave tour of the day so we had no time to find another place to sleep.

The caves were a quick drive down the road and we made it just in time for the last time slot of the day. It was quite the hike from the parking lot to the cave entrance but the view on the way was beautiful.

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After a little history lesson from our guide, we headed down into the huge caves. It was so totally worth the hike to get there. We spent the next few hours heading deeper and deeper into caves and learning about stalegmites and stalecites until we came out the bottom about 300 ft lower than we went in. It was easily one of my favourite parts of the trip.

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3D2057ED-B8D6-4B74-A4F4-F645A62515B6The next morning we were on the road bright and early so we could find a camp spot for the rest of the week. We found available spots in the park but decided to stay at the Bakers Hole campground just outside of the West Yellowstone town. We loved it there! We found a prime spot by the river and set up camp. And guess what! It was only $60 for 4 nights! We couldn’t resist comparing it to the last place for the rest of the trip haha After a quick lunch we loaded in the vehicle and headed into the park to see what we could find, wild animals were at the top of our list. The park is beautiful but I couldn’t believe how spread out all the main attractions were. 38A1960E-E131-44C1-9D0B-EA85D38F93BE

A2C6B4B1-4233-4D1E-8BC5-FA3B05A69E0BWe drove for over an hour before finally seeing smoke from a geyser and decided to pull over and check it out. Turned out to be a little boardwalk tour around a few geysers and pools, the kids thought it was pretty awesome but the smell, oh the smell! The sulphur made our stomachs churn.

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We continued on until we found the legendary Old Faithful. Just our luck, it had just gone off and wouldn’t be going off again for another 90 minutes. We did some browsing in the gift shops but decided we didn’t want to wait so we headed back to camp to play lawn darts and swim in the river before eating dinner and calling it a night.

We woke up Sunday morning to cloudy skies but decided to stick with our plan to head to Cody, Wyoming to see the ghost town. We weren’t on the road long when it started to pour. It made it hard to see and since we only have one windshield wiper, it was even worse. A couple hours into the drive we finally saw a buffalo! We pulled off the road and Brad, Dylan and I braved the cold rain to run down the road and get some pictures. Once back in the vehicle, we weren’t far up the road when we saw a sign for a mud volcano, the rain had stopped so we pulled in. While admiring the bubbling mud we heard there were a ton of buffalo just up the hill a bit and it was totally worth the hike!

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Bubbling mud volcano 

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The picture does no justice to the size of these beasts.

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Back on the road we finally exited the east entrance of the park and headed for Cody. I spent the whole next hour gawking at the red mountainous hoodoo looking landscapes. It was like something out of an old western. I loved it. 5CFAFF07-F332-41E4-9CE6-2AAA9089CF06By the time we hit the Old Trail Town the kids were more than happy to get out of the vehicle and check out the old houses and buildings.

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Does it get any more Wyoming than this?

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I grew up on Loise Lamar books and old westerns so this town was right up my alley but the highlight was seeing the grave of the legendary Buffalo Bill!

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We also strolled through a house that was once a hide out for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, seriously so cool.

We finished up just as a tour bus full of kids pulled up and I figured it was perfect timing. We hit a traffic jam on the way back thanks to a couple buffalo that thought they owned the road.

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We made it to camp about 9:30pm for a late dinner and then off to bed as everyone was exhausted from a long day in the car.

More of our Yellowstone adventures to come!

C