Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Northwest to Midwest Part 2: Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone is amazing.  Seriously.  It is an American treasure, and it is now my dream to take the boys back over the years as they get bigger and can do more and more.

From Bozeman, we drove east to Gardiner, MT to use the park's North entrance.  The drive down to Gardiner alone is beautiful (that's why the area is called Paradise Valley, Annie!) and Gardiner was our destination for the evening.

There's a moose in the field.

The next day we (well, D and M, I can't see anything without my glasses!) woke up to see elk and antelope relaxing in the hills across from our hotel.  We had a quick breakfast in the hotel and then jumped in the car to explore as much of Yellowstone as one can with a baby and toddler in tow (i.e., not much).

The weather was crazy: on and off rain, then snow, and then a break of sunshine for our lunchtime picnic.  We didn't get to see much, but we did see Mammoth Hot Springs, Tower Falls and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.  As we were driving, the rangers had to close the road ahead of us due to snow, so we had to backtrack and couldn't tour the northeastern section of the park like we planned.   I would love to go back to explore the Lamar Valley and the Northeast area, as well as Yellowstone Lake and Old Faithful in summer (I've seen it in winter.).

We had a picnic lunch in the Mammoth Hot Springs area where an elk herd kept us company.  Strangely enough though, two Chinese tourists came over and started taking photos of baby J - not the elk.  He is a Ridiculously Happy Baby, but it was a little bizarre!

After spending the full day in and out of the car, we had a delicious barbecue dinner back in Gardiner.  The next morning, we hopped back on the highway with another national park as our destination!

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