A Travellerspoint blog

Thursday Update

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A couple of things before the Thursday update. We finally got a good cell and Internet connection, so the pics should be better now. I also cleaned up many of the bad pictures and by default, deleted many of the comments. Please feel free to comment on the recent pics posted. They are listed in order of posting, not in order of when they were taken. I tried to add some comments to explain each one. Finally, if it seems like every day is sunny and 75 degrees, well, it has been a beautiful week. Except for Tuesday afternoon in Yellowstone, we have had great weather.

OK, here goes:
It's Thursday night and we had a great day! We started early and were one of the first people at Mount Rushmore. We took some pictures, watched the 14 minute movie on the history, etc. and walked around the monument area. After we left, we found a great picnic area in the Blackhills and pulled in to make some pancakes and French toast for breakfast. After leaving there, we went to Custer State Park and drove thru the wildlife loop drive and saw some burrows, pronghorns, and not much else. Supposedly, there are 1300 bison in the park, but we didn't see even one.

After leaving Custer SP, we drove into the town of Custer and took an old-time western photo, shopped, and ate lunch at the Wrangler restaurant. After arriving back at the campground, the boys did an art and craft, swam, and played on a big jumpy thingy.

Tonight is hot dogs and s'mores by the fire and early to bed. Tomorrow we are heading east to Bear Country, Wall Drug, and our campground in the Badlands.

Posted by WatermanBlog 18:46 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Campsite in Custer, SD

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KOA campground in Custer. Kids are having fun at the pool and the big jumpy thing.


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Bison - Yellowstone

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In Yellowstone, we saw bison, elk, and deer. We have some better pics of elk on our digital camera, but this was taken Tuesday morning on our way up to Canyon Village.


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Upper Falls - Yellowstone River

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See the rainbow in the lower right corner!


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Yellowstone Lake

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Justin is always on the lookout for animals! This was the scenic lake cruise we took. Weather was not good, rainy and cold, but the boat was enclosed and it beat sitting in the RV for two hours while it rained.


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Bridge Bay Campground - Yellowstone NP

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View from our campsite in Yellowstone.


Posted by WatermanBlog 16:57 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Custer State Park - South Dakota

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Me and the boys!


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Old Faithful

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Old Faithful Visitor Education Center. We learned all about geysers and hot springs.


Posted by WatermanBlog 16:21 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Mount Rushmore

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Mt. Rushmore opens at 800. We were there at 730 and had the place to ourselves. This is a good pic of Julie and the boys!


Posted by WatermanBlog 16:21 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Custer State Park - South Dakota

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Feeding the burrows in Custer State Park. These were the only animals we saw on the "wildlife loop drive".


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Continental Divide - Yellowstone NP

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Ask Nathan what the Continental Divide is. He will tell you.


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Monday Morning - Lake Scenic Overlook Hike

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The lake overlook view from our hike. Andrew is tired!


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Old Faithful

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Old Faithful!


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Wednesday Update

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I've never been so happy to get somewhere. After leaving Yellowstone at 645am and heading out the east entrance, which we had not seen, we stopped about 100 times for scenery views on the way out. We then stopped for breakfast in Cody, WY and, evidently, there is only one restaurant in north WY because the place was packed. After two hours, we were finally back on the road. A couple of road construction delays and one scary descent down a mountain when the rv stalled momentarily, we finally made it to Big Horn National Forest, which was beautiful, but we didn't really enjoy it bc we were ready to get to some flatter land. We finally made it to our next stop at Custer State Park in SD at 730pm on Wed evening.

On Thursday, the plan is to see Mount Rushmore, Crazyhorse, and Custer State Park.

Hope all is well in IL. Will write more on Thursday evening.

Posted by WatermanBlog 23:58 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Monday and Tuesday Update

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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.

Posted by WatermanBlog 23:18 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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