I know some of the pics are not coming thru, so I will try to fix them when I get a better cell signal. In the meantime, here is an update on what we did on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday while we were in Yellowstone and had weak cell service and no Internet connection.
On Sunday, we drove thru Grand Teton NP and I wish we had more time there. It is beautiful. We stopped at a pull-off in the north side of the park, just south of yellowstone and saw two grizzlies wandering thru a field. They were about 1/2 mile away, which was close enough for me. After arriving at yellowstone on Sunday night, we set up camp, made a fire, and had burgers over the fire. We went down to the amphitheater for a family campfire with Ranger Shirley. She talked about elk, deer, bison, bears, and all the animals that live in yellowstone.
On Monday morning, we took the Lake Overlook Hike, which was about a 400 foot ascent, 1.5 mile hike to a spot that overlooked Yellowstone Lake. Ranger Dan led the way and the boys enjoyed it because he gave them jobs to do along the way. They were responsible for pointing out all of the footprints and poop that we saw, including bear, elk, bison, and coyote. The elk poop looked like raisins. "Raisins" anyone? He also talked about the bear attack that occurred and explained how sad it made all of the rangers, because, as he explained, most of the attacks are because of human error. In this case, the couple were following the trail and it was just a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. They werent in the backcountry or anything, but rather just hiking a trail that that had been well travelled by many people. Back to our lake hike, besides having to carry Andrew on my shoulders most of the way, the boys were awesome! After the hike, we drove up to Black Sand Basin to see the thermal features, then onto Old Faithful. Honestly, Old Faithful is the only part of Yellowstone that feels like a tourist trap. You can't drive 1500 miles and not see it, but I could have lived without it. We did get to see a male elk on the way back. On Monday evening, we went to another family campfire and Ranger Shirley talked about the difference between predator and prey. Ask the boys about the difference when we get home. After the family campfire and some s'mores over the fire, the clouds started moving in. By the time we were sleeping at midnight, Yellowstone was hit with a hail and rainstorm. Sleeping in an RV with quarter-size hail hitting the metal roof, it was loud! But, at least we weren't in a tent!
Tuesday morning, we drove up to Canyon Village and were planning to do the Lupine Walk, but it uses the same trail where the bear attack occurred last week, so it was shut down. We instead did the Walk Along the Edge hike, which took us along the edge of the canyon that leads down
to the yellowstone river. The views of the Upper and Lower Falls were unbelieavable! Some pics are posted. The ranger on this hike was Peg and
she was the most knowledgeable we had. She talked about how volcanoes created yellowstone and how 80% of the trees in yellowstone are of one type: the lodgepole pine. After the hike, we went up to the visitors center and the boys received their junior ranger patches for doing the hikes and campfire programs. We then went on a lake cruise on Yellowstone Lake. The weather was not the best, as it was overcast and cloudy, but the cruise was enjoyable. On Tuesday night, the boys participated in a family campfire with Ranger Crysteel, who taught them about how to make fires and also talked about how we use all of our senses in the wilderness.