Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Arriving at Yellowstone

Yellowstone is amazing. There really isn't a way to put it all into words, so this blog will fall very short of describing it to you. I'll start at the very beginning. We left our home around 3:30 am Tuesday (the 17th) and drove to pick up Mom J in Kirkland. We continued on for a few more hours before stopping for breakfast at Mc. Donald's. We drove through so many different types of scenery so it was a very interesting drive. Washington, Idaho and Montana have some beautiful places to see. I am not sure how many hours it actually took us to arrive to the park entrance, but I think it was around 14. They went quickly for me, because I slept part of the time and played Sudoku.

Of course any trip wouldn't be complete without a good gas scare. The Mr. does this intentionally, but the two ladies in the car thought it quite a good way to add some unneeded stress to the trip!

Arriving up to the front gates of the west entrance of the park, we started to get out our money to pay for the $20 weekly park pass. As the operator accepted our money, she asked us if we had anyone in the car that was over 62. Mom J qualified and we ended up getting into the park for $10. Not only did we save 50% but now Mom J is now a lifetime gold member and can get into any USA National park for free, including any others in the vehicle with her.

We started along the winding road leading to the Canyon area, and within the hour it took us to reach the campgrounds we saw a herd of elk, a field of steaming crevices and geysers, a huge waterfall and a sulfur pit that shot water into the air. I was so overwhelmed, and I thought to myself that if the entire park was this pretty, I was going to fill up my 1 gig memory card a lot faster that I thought. We arrived at the campgrounds and drove over to the registration building finding once again that we could get a large discount since we were sharing our camp site with Mom J. After registration, we went to the site to unpack and set up our tents.

As we arrived at the campsite, at first glimpse it seemed we were in a predicament. Our campsite was situated on the side of a hill, and only one area was available for a small tent. Knowing that the campgrounds were completely booked up, we were a little worried. Thankfully, our worrying was for nothing and the camp site turned out to be incredible. Down the hill about 50 feet there was a nice square flat spot to set up our tent among the trees. It was so private that the only tent we could see from ours was Mom J's. As we were getting ready to set up our new tent, everyone else arrived! Lamont and Penny and J's x4, Lance and his two boys as well as Bob, Debbie and their three kids.

We finished setting up the tents, unpacked our clothes (and other non-bear food items that are allowed in tents) and then set out as a group to find some dinner. We ended up eating at the Canyon Lodge cafeteria, which was quite good. This was the type of cafeteria that serves Chicken Cordon Bleu and prime rib. Mmm. I could get used to that! Of course, this paragraph cannot be finished until I type that of course there was a lot of teasing going on the entire evening, as so far The Mr. and I had spent only a tiny tiny minuscule fraction of what everyone else had, who payed full price for the entrance fee and chose to stay in cabins. The Mr. was quite happy about that.

That night we crawled into our sleeping tent and prepared ourselves with blankets and sweaters by our sides. We had heard that it would get so cold it would almost freeze over the night, but found that it was quite comfortable as long as we had a few blankets (and I had a winter hat.) I love camping, there is just something about it that is so relaxing.

Well, the original title for this post was "Yellowstone: Day 1" but it seems I have already written enough about day "0" that I should call it a post. I hope you won't get bored, but I really feel the need to write all this down. It will make my life easier when I (hopefully) make a Yellowstone trip scrapbook. They always say it is better to write things down when your mind is still fresh.

Check back on Friday. I should get around to posting Day 1, and there are some beautiful pictures!


  1. hey you! did you get my email?

  2. A quick tip, since we recently finished our own series of Day-by-day travel posts.

    Jot down as many notes as you possible can now while it's fairly fresh in your mind, and then work from that as you write the actual posts. You'll be surprised how quickly you can't remember what happened on day 4, or whether some memorable event was day 4 evening, or day 5 morning.

  3. saj- YES! THANK YOU a million times.

    Programmer- That is a great idea. Actually, what I have been going with so far, is my photograph information. Each photo has the day and time it was taken, and since I took a photo a minute the entire time we were there, it is a pretty good chronological list of events. I am still going to make the jot notes though.

  4. Hey! Thanks for doing these posts - I'll really enjoy reading about your trip. Sure wish we could have gone!! :( You can sort of get an idea of how the whole week went by that pic of the Mr. teasing everybody about money. Lots of laughing. Lots of fun! :)

  5. Valerie HallowellJuly 26, 2007 at 10:52 AM

    Hey- what a great way to hear all about your trip! Sure wish we couldve gone but we wouldve been teased the whole time about our tent...:) so we'll try to join you all next time! Thanks for doing this! Love, Val

  6. The Mr.'s "Gas Scare" made me laugh, as it reminded me of his father's "No Brakes" scare driving down hills. Much of the hilarity resulted from the reactions of his wife...every time. I loved it!!
    PS - I might reveal my identity some time...


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