Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Yellowstone-Old Faithful/Fairy Falls

Random picture out my window while driving. 
Sitting and waiting for Old Faithful to erupt.
I mentioned that Will was not so happy at Old Faithful. He is getting his top two teeth and it made for a few moments during the trip. I forgot to even mention the experience when we first got to Yellowstone. Adam and Aleesha were a few minutes behind us, so we stopped to get ice cream at this little spot on main street (it was delicious fresh peach) and when I went to pull Will out of his carseat I realized we had had an explosion. It was everywhere. On the carseat, on his toy, all up the straps. I actually threw his outfit away. I have never done that in my life, but this was an extreme situation. Luckily, that was not repeated throughout the trip. Also luckily, once we got some baby tylenol in him after Old Faithful erupted he was a lot happier. Poor little guy.

 Old Faithful, after a long wait, was a fantastic eruption that was really hard to see because of the gray skies behind it. It was really chilly that day and I had left my jacket back at camp, an hour away. I guess I had figured it would warm up like the day before, but it didn't. Sterling was super nice (and didn't get mad) and let me get a hoodie at the gift shop and said it was payment for planning such a great trip, thanks hon! Luckily I had brought warm clothes for the kids and Sterling took it like a champ and said it wasn't even cold.

Ruthie was being a big momma's girl right then, which was sweet but somewhat annoying since Will was also so fussy. A really odd side note, I bought my pants in 9th grade with my friend Jennica who bought a matching pair. Those are some good pants.
Trying on a hat at the gift shop. She loved it, especially when Will tried it on.
After a nice little stay at Old Faithful and the gift shop we headed over to some pools and Fairy Falls. It was confusing to figure out where the Fairy Falls trailhead was and luckily some people along the trail gave us some tips so we could make it there. The terrain was completely different than Mt. Washburn and that made it really neat. I did get four mosquito bites though, and that was sad.

Another muffin. Pretty much the best trip food idea ever. Sam's Club sells them individually wrapped which was really nice because you can't keep food out at the campsite-due to bears- so we had to repack everything into our car after every meal.

My handsome menfolk.
Happy little guy after tylenol! We tied his hood to a toy and that worked out great.
Look how deep that pool is!
I love this picture SO much!
I love this pictures so much too. So glad Aleesha was there to take great pictures.
 Ruthie was a big fan of the waterfall, the ravens that came up to us at the waterfall, and all the rocks. A little bit ago my dad said that she was going to grow up to be a geologist because she loves rocks so much. She picks them up everywhere we go and I pull a couple out of her pockets every night. They are in our house, her carseat, and always clutched in her fists. But apparently the rocks at Fairy Falls are top-notch because she was in heaven.
Oh I just LOVE this little girl of mine. It was so fun to spend some time with my little family even if I was getting after this little one every other second for almost falling off a cliff or trying to pick up gross things.

I learned that Adam is AMAZING at skipping rocks while we were here. Sterling saw him huck this massive rock at the water and it skipped over ten times! I didn't see that greatness, but I did see other great skips!
 These pictures just crack me up. Lately when I ask her to smile for a picture she hides her eyes with her hands. But for some reason right here I said smile and she grinned and grinned at me. What a crazy girl.
 After Fairy Falls we stopped at a couple roadside attractions. One was Excelsior Geyser Crater, and I thought it was SO beautiful!

Sterling was really glad I got a picture of her laying on the path. For some reason she would run about three feet and then lay down. Over and over and over again. Like I said, crazy girl.

She had so much fun running along that track! 
 Our next stop was a little pullout to look at these falls. They were beautiful but I think we were a little worn out. 

Will's face is SO hilarious. HAHA! What a face!

We look a little awkward because there is a massive drop-off right behind us.
Ruth was more than done for the day and Will seems a little concerned about her.
We came home to a big meal and banana boats. Yummy. Aleesha was definitely a great friend to have on a trip like this. I tend to opt for really easy meals when cooking outside. Something like spaghetti where I made it ahead of time and all you had to do was thaw it out and cook the noodles(which was a great meal, by the way). But she made sure we had fruit and veggies and went the extra mile to pack food that isn't the easiest to bring so we had some pretty gourmet meals while we were there. One breakfast we had pancakes, hashbrowns, sausage, hot chocolate, and fruit. It was so delicious! Thank you so much Aleesha for such great meal planning, we LOVED it!
The Fairy Falls hike was a perfect pick for the day after Mt. Washburn because it was almost completely flat the entire way and was only a couple of miles. Ruthie loved playing at the waterfall and walked quite a bit of the way back by herself...when she wasn't stopping to look at rocks or ants or anything, really. I had a great time seeing such a different area of Yellowstone and watching Ruth have so much fun. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Yellowstone-Mt. Washburn

We are home! Washed, washed again, and de-slivered. We had a fabulous trip. I think you can tell by the amount of dirt and smoke-smell we brought home with us. Plus, I ate FIVE banana boats on this trip. Glorious. It rained on us the last night and was FREEZING that morning, so we gave up trying to dry everything off and just put it in bags and drove off. So today we spent a good portion of time doing loads and loads of laundry, putting up our tent to air out, spraying off our tarp, and I even set up and scrubbed down our camping chairs because they REEKED. So I guess that means we're ready to head out again, any good ideas?
My best friend Aleesha and her family are moving all the way to Philadelphia so her husband Adam can go to podiatry school, so we decided to have one last Yellowstone! We had two 2 year olds (well, Ruthie turns 2 next week) a 1 year old, and a six month old. It was definitely a little different than the trip we took as newlyweds together to Zions, four kids different! But we had a fabulous time and I wish we could go back again right now. I never realized how massive Yellowstone is. We stayed in Canyon Campground which is in about the middle of the park. It took us 45 minutes to drive to Old Faithful but on the other days we did hikes that were closer to our campsite. Sterling and I were talking about it and saying how if we went again, we could spend a week doing entirely different things! I feel like we made some good picks as far as hikes and sights went and really got a great variety of views and experiences. 
Will and Lydia
Ruthie and Liam. They looked like this the entire trip. 2 year old ragamuffins.
The very first day we hiked Mt. Washburn. 7 miles round trip and about a 10,000 foot climb. Carrying 4 children. It was quite the feat but incredibly worth it. The view was incredible. It was called the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Majestic. Awe-inspiring. It was just absolutely amazing. It made for some sore feet the next day, but luckily we had somewhat planned for that and it worked out well. Sterling got a bloody nose that night from the intense climb, but there were no lasting effects. 
 I carried Will with a pack over top of him. He didn't seem to mind.
Sterling and I kept saying it was like climbing Ben Lomond only the view was spectacular the ENTIRE hike! Also, there were supposed to be lots and lots of mountain goats but we never saw any, but I did get bit by a horse fly and I hit it with my hand and got blood all over my finger and I still have a giant sore on my neck!
 Adam and Aleesha let us borrow their boba baby carrier. We had brought our Kelty, which allows for us to pack more, and our snugli, which allows for Will to face outwards and he really likes that. But we really liked the boba carrier because we could switch it between Will and Ruth with only small adjustments and we could wear it on front or back. It was a nice change to be able to switch kids back and forth with Sterling throughout our hikes.

See that red in Sterling's goatee and sideburns? And he always says the red hair comes from my side...

I really like that tree.
So happy!
 Will was a pretty happy camper the entire time except for a few episodes which can be forgiven because he is teething. It made Old Faithful a little less spectacular, but really, he is so cute it is more than worth the trouble! I just love that boy!
Staring off a cliff while eating lunch.

Right behind us is the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. A nice man took our picture and told us we were amazing for getting up there with four kids. He boosted our spirits enough that we did, eventually, make it to the top! 
The top!

Ruthie kept telling that chipmunk that those rocks are "MINE!"

That is the trail we hiked up!
This is looking back up at the top. I was so happy to see bathrooms at the top of the hike! They might have only been latrines but they smelled lemony-fresh and I was happy.
Running down the trail to get out their energy. 

Looking at the Grand Canyon on our way down.
My backpack is falling down because Ruth got down, but the wildflowers bordering the trail are so beautiful!
I love those green, green hills behind us!

It was a beautiful hike. There were wildflowers the entire way, absolutely incredible scenery, and it felt like you could see the beauty of Yellowstone for miles and miles. It was a bit long for the 2-yr-old crowd, but they really did great considering. The temperature was also amazing and I was so glad we decided to go north at the end of July--it was cold at nights but the days were great for packing kids and hiking. All the sites we read said that this was a must-do hike and I wholeheartedly agree. It was probably the best hike I have ever done in my life. I loved it so much! Thanks Yellowstone for a perfect day!