Thursday, August 1, 2013

Yellowstone-Upper and Lower Falls

On Sunday we didn't want to do anything too crazy (and we were still a bit sore from Mt. Washburn) so we started out looking at the Upper and Lower falls right next to our campsite. The nice lady at the information office told us what are the most popular and best spots to go to, and we just followed the route she showed us on the map. I am SO glad we did because there were absolutely breath-taking views on that trip. It was the kind of view that looks as if it isn't real because it is so beautiful. I loved every minute of looking over those falls and I wish I could see it every day. It was awesome. Oh yeah, and on our way there we saw this lovely buffalo walk across the road in front of us and then lay down. We saw another one laying down a little bit further down the road. Sterling was glad and said that it officially felt like Yellowstone after that.
 That reminds me that my sister showed Sterling and I the 'Man On A Buffalo' youtube video a couple weeks ago, and then the ENTIRE drive to Yellowstone Sterling kept singing it. And, again, the entire time in the park Sterling kept singing it, until it was ridiculously funny. Whenever we said 'buffalo' Ruthie would say "BUh--LOHHHH!!!!!!!" and sometimes she would chant it over and over again in her carseat. It was definitely the theme song to our trip. Sterling exchanged some of the crazy words to fit with whatever was happening at the moment. Or when we saw Cougar Creek he would start spouting about the cougar getting kicked by a buffalo. Or when he saw a lady riding a bike with a baby seat on the back and no baby he said she needed the man on the buffalo because it was cheaper than adoption. I was laughing SO HARD at that one. So if you haven't seen that video, go watch it. Maybe more than a few times, because that is when it starts getting hilarious.
 That last story reminded me of another time in the car (I think driving back to camp from Fairy Falls?) and we were stuck behind an incredibly slow RV. They are supposed to pull over at the turn-outs and let traffic pass them, but this guy was not and Sterling was going crazy. So in this incredibly high falsetto he says: Umm..excuse me? (low throat clearing) Excuse me, sir? Can you please pull over? I'd like to make it back to camp and you are being really annoying. Thank you. 
Then there was a little too much riding in the car/screaming babies going on, so Sterling started again in an incredibly high falsetto voice: Um...excuse me? (low throat clearing, then back to the high pitch) Excuse me? Will? Can you please stop crying? Thank you. Um...excuse me? Excuse me, Lindsay? Can you please look at the road? 
So, that might not seem funny to read, but let me tell ya, if you ever hear a hyper Sterling talking in a high falsetto, it is some GOOD TIMES. I was laughing so hard my abs started to hurt. Everything he said the rest of the drive was like that. Ruthie even tried to mimic him a few times and that was even more hilarious. Gotta love road trips.
Hi Mr. Buffalo.
The sun was coming out right over the waterfall. It was incredible. Look at all that mist rising up!

This was at the second viewpoint we walked up to. It was when I thought it was painted and there couldn't be something this beautiful in real life. It was so incredible.
We also saw the upper falls and they were also amazing. But you can only say things are amazing so often before people are sick of it, and you can't really understand unless you're standing there watching it all. So I'll just go on to the fact that after that we ate lunch and I used the restroom in this nasty little latrine and when I opened the latch it tried to kill me. My finger was bleeding for a long time and Sterling made me let him doctor it all up because I wounded it in the nasty latrine. How rude.

We drove around to the other side of the canyon to hike down to the waterfall. Unfortunately, Adam and Aleesha got a parking spot but we didn't and since we didn't have any way to contact them, we just parked at the next parking lot, got on the hike and hiked up to where they were parked at, while they wondered where we were. The hike was really beautiful though, even if Ruthie was incredibly grumpy because we woke her up from her nap.
If you look REALLY closely at this picture you might be able to see little tiny dots to the right of the drop-off of the waterfall. That is where we hiked to.  
 The hike down to the precipice reminded me of Bears Hump in Waterton, Canada. Switchback after switchback after switchback. We tried to keep Ruth happy with songs and licorice. (Thanks Adam, for the licorice.)
This canyon was just incredible. The mist and the green moss and the steepness and the striking colors. I was in love.
Sterling was there, even if this is really blurry. 

If you look through the mist at the bottom left you can see tiny little rivulet waterfalls that are created by the mist of the big waterfall.
 It was really hard to get a picture of just how powerful and massive the waterfall is when you were that close. A picture just really can't do justice to being right there, being sprayed with mists of water and hearing the LOUD roaring of the waterfall constantly. It was, again, INCREDIBLE! We also got rained on a little bit while we were there, and it was pretty cold, but definitely worth the hike.

You could stand on another little precipice just a little bit higher, and it made for better pictures.
Just before we left Sterling noticed this rainbow. It was so beautiful. Just so amazing and beautiful.
Due to the rain, and the extreme cold (I know, its almost August, right?!?!), Sterling and I bailed on Adam and Aleesha and didn't go on a drive to look for animals that night. They saw a herd of buffalo, some elk, and some wolves. Luckily, we'd seen buffalo and elk already so Sterling didn't feel too bad. He said he would've been sad if they'd seen a bear, but since they didn't, it was ok. We packed up a lot of our gear because fitting all that stuff into the trunk of our car is quite the balancing act. Also, I ate more banana boats, and that was great for the spirits. Ruthie was really calm too and made getting things done just that much easier. It got pretty cold so we headed into the tent pretty quick and that night it rained on us. Nursing a baby in the middle of the night in extreme cold is not really a great experience. The rain made packing up our gear in the morning SO MUCH harder, and in the end we opted to packing it up wet and unpacking it later to air it. All in all though, it was a fantastic trip and we could not have picked better hikes or views or drives. It was such a great mix and I am just in love with Yellowstone. Sterling asked me if it is my new favorite National/State Park. I don't know, Zions and Waterton have special places in my heart, but I could definitely see myself visiting Yellowstone over and over and over again. What a great camping trip with such wonderful friends! Thanks Adam and Aleesha for such a great time! I am amazed we did so much with two little toddlers and two nursing babes!


Kami said...

Why have I never gone to Yellowstone??!?! It looks incredible. Glad you had fun!

Aleesha Burke said...

We didn't actually see wolves. We did see river otters and some cool birds though. And LOTS of buffalo and stinky sulfur pots.

Kayli said...

I hope you have a map that you have all the places you went to circled and labeled carefully so that you can write up my itinerary for me when I go to Yellowstone! Not kidding.

Sara said...

We recently got an Ergo carrier, and we love it! I like yours, it's cute! :)