Thursday, August 4, 2016

Grand Tetons and Yellowstone, Part III

On Friday, we spent the day at Jackson lake. We rented a couple of stand up paddle boards and set about trying to use them. The Mandell family, especially K and A, took right too it. They had to sit down on the board a few times when their balance was in question, but not one of them went into the lake at all. 

 Jack was happy on shore building and playing. We were trying to talk him into trying the board.

 Here goes my first time. I fell in the lake 3 times in rapid succession. It's a lot harder than it looks to balance, especially because there were water skiing boats going by and creating waves. But I got better and took two turns where I stood up and paddled around without falling in. Unfortunately, no one seems to have gotten much in the way of pictures of that part. There are pictures of me starting out, and pictures of me falling in, but no pictures of my more successful runs...hmmm. I sense a conspiracy.

Here's one picture of me just getting to my feet the first time. I fell off just a few moments after that. 
 Mike didn't fair much better than I did and found himself all wet several times as well.
 There's me in the water swimming to my board after falling in the first time. It was cold to go in that way from dry to soaked!

It took a long time to convince Jack to ride not he board, and then he freaked out and I had to take him right back in. He was sure he was going to fall off and didn't trust mom (maybe for good reason admittedly because he saw me fall in several times). 

 Then, less than an hour later, he completely trusts Katelyn and has a great time paddling's feeling a little put out here...

 Look at that, we even got Grandma in the water.

Mike finally made it to his feet, for a few minutes.

In the afternoon, we made brats and polish sausage and had a late lunch/early dinner on the beach and then we all went on a river float trip.  The scenery was gorgeous and our guide and rower Reid was very knowledgeable.

 We saw bald eagles, osprey, beaver, merganser ducks (no idea how that's spelled), beavers, Canadian geese..all things that are hard to snap pictures of when you have to use the zoom and the boat's bobbing up and down. I have lots of blurry pics, but here are a couple that are better:

 The sunset was lovely and the temperature just great. Not to mention the scenery...

Tom waiting for us at the turn out and taking pictures. 

After that, we headed back to camp for some cleanup. The next morning, we packed up and headed for home. We drove to Ceour de 'Alane on Saturday and spent the night there. We came on Sunday, stopped for lunch and groceries, and arrived about 3 pm to home. It was a fun trip, but back to reality. We had time to unpack and start some laundry and that's about it. We both headed back to work on Monday morning and Jack headed off to his first YMCA summer camp. So far, he's really enjoying it. The themes are questionable--they don't really seem to focus much on the specific themes. It seems more like your generic preschool or day program, but he's playing and learning, and he likes it so that's good enough for me. We've also started Level 2 swimming lessons (learning to float) and soccer starts on Monday!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Grand Tetons and Yellowstone Part II

On Wednesday, we hung out at the beach and then took a dinner cruise to Elk Island. We apparently didn't take many pictures on Wednesday.We had dinner on the island, outside, which was fun.

On Thursday, we left camp early with the Mandells and drove to Yellowstone. We started at Old Faithful basin of course. We planned to wait the 35 minutes for Old Faithful and wandered into the visitor's center to look around while waiting. However, not 5 minutes later they made an announcement that the Beehive geyser was going to erupt within 10 minutes, so we took off at a brisk walk to hike out to it. It was awesome.
Not much was happening when we got there...
 But it started building not long after we arrived...
 There it goes! We got a little wet standing as close as we did!

 Even a little rainbow action...very cool.

Right after this, we were able to watch Old Faithful from the back side at a little distance. 
After that, we started hiking around checking out all the features in this basin. We walked about 3.5 miles. Jack did pretty good until close to the end, when everyone was getting tired and hungry. 
 This one was very cool too. The Anemone geyser fills and empties completely every 7-10 minutes. It was like someone pulled the plug in the bathtub.
 I don't remember all the names, but interesting sights...

 This one I remember was called Morning Glory.

After this respectable hike, we had lunch, poked into some gift shops quickly. Had to get a group photo on the way out too.

We then headed north to the Grand Prismatic geyser and Mid-Basin features and hiked some more! I can't remember what the steamy one was called.
 But the grand prismatic was fascinating.

 Too big to see all at once. It needs an ariel view.

After this, we decided we'd better head south. We stopped briefly to see Keppler Cascades and another photo opp. 

It was starting to get late, but we weren't ready to give up just yet. We went to the West Thumb basin next and hiked around some more...I remember the names of few of these features.

  I do remember this one was Lakeshore geyser.

 All in all, we hiked for over 7.5 miles this day! Even Jack! Everyone was tired by the time we finally made it back to Coulter Bay and got some dinner at Leek's Pizza around 7:00pm. And several of us also sported some sunburn, me mostly...
Oh, and one more thing. As we were driving back, this guy crossed the road right in front of us.

Okay, so obviously we took a lot of photos at Yellowstone National Park. These are just a few of the several hundred. So, tomorrow I'll finish the post for Friday and the drive home.

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