Saturday, August 4, 2012

Yellowstone-in a nutshell

Last week we had a family reunion (with my family- minus my Bro and Sis-in-law and their son (they are expecting)- which was 25 people in all) in Yellowstone.  We made plans about a year ago and John has been looking forward to it with great anticipation since then.  Usually my sister, Keri, plans the family vacations but we begged for the opportunity to be in charge because John wanted to make sure he did not miss a thing.  And I can honestly say- after a week of being home from vacation and STILL completely exhausted- that we did and saw everything you can possibly fit in one week. 

The itinerary went something like this:

Monday: Old Faithful and surrounding geyser basins, ice cream in Old Faithful Inn, drive around Firelake Dr and home for dinner.
Tuesday:  Norris Geyser Basin, Mammoth, Roosevelt Corrals for horseback or coverd wagon ride to a chuck wagon cookout.  Yum!
Wednesday:  Fishing day for some of the family and swimming in Firehole River.  John and I, Samuel, James and my Mom went ziplining and white water rafting.  That is a separate story in and of itself. Amazing!
Thursday:  Artist Paint Pots, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Hayden Valley and the mud volcanos, drive by Yellowstone Lake and back to West Yellowstone for a rodeo.  John got suckered into a dance contest at the rodeo and won!  This still has us all laughing!
Friday: Big Springs in ID, Bear and Wolf enclosure in West Yellowstone (we didn't see either in our travels around the park although we did miss bears by just a few minutes on two separate occasions), a little shopping and some of the kids completed their Jr. Ranger badges.  We packed up for an early departure for Grand Tetons the following morning.
Saturday:  Goodbye Yellowstone, Hello Grand Teton National Park.  The mountains were breathtaking.  Literally and figuratively.  We took a ferry across Jenny Lake and did the mile hike up to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point.  It was inspiring.  No, really!  Matthew hiked the entire mile back down by himself!  Dinner in Jackson Hole, WY and watch a play gunfight in town square.  Leave Jackson around 7 and drive back to Keri's house in SLC.

Wow!  Just typing it makes me tired!  We had a really great time.  And although it required a lot, and I mean A LOT of driving, we had a great time!  Pictures to come... we uploaded the camera cards from everyone so we have roughly 1500 pics to choose from.