Geysers and buffalo and elks, Oh MY!

(Thursday, July 16 ~ post lunch)

We enjoyed a picnic lunch at Beaver Lake picnic grounds (despite the killer mosquitoes) and then headed back toward Madison Junction to take a look at the Norris Geyser Basin. As we drove along the road, Ian noticed that the buffalo we had seen earlier was still sunning himself in the field.
That totally made up for Kylie's severe disappointment of missing them earlier and I thought ahead to get a shot of her sighting her first buffalo outside of a zoo. Is my girl excited or what?

Norris Geyser Basin has some beautiful steaming springs, mildly active geysers, and just a fascinating overall landscape!

Admiring Emerald Spring
The endless energy of a toddler is EXACTLY why we had leashes in a freakish geothermal area like a geyser basin. Kylie totally loved hers and frequently asked us to hold the loop of her leash and not her hand...
Heading down the boardwalk to another geyser.
We had Elmo all packed and ready to go and then after Caleb saw Kylie's pink doggie he refused Elmo because he wanted one too. The brown doggie was a compromise. (By the way, if you have an active toddler and aren't too proud to use a harness/leash, let me know, I'd be happy to get Elmo in the mail to you!)

Cupping our ears to listen to the water boiling. (Kylie had overheard a guide telling a group to do so earlier in the day at another location and that became a fun activity for us at every stop).
When it came to lifting the stroller in and out of the car, checking it at the airport, and maneuvering in crowded situations, this sit-and-stand ruled. When it came to rougher trails like this one instead of boardwalks I sure was missing my jogger!
The curious desolation of the Norris Geyser Basin surrounded by lush sub alpine forest.

From the basin it was time to head to our last destination in the park for the day, the Nez Perce.

I've already written a bit about our time there as a family, but I loved some of the images of us taking time to remember my dad.
When I saw "that tree" (see here for more about trees) I knew that I wanted to stop near it to remember...

Wading. At first I couldn't figure out why the water was so warm, then I noticed that there were several areas where the ground was steaming along the banks. Lots of geothermal activity going on...
Writing in my journal in a place that I felt very close to Dad.
My biggest wish is that he could have known my kids and that they could have known him. I'm sure they would have loved each other!
Tossing rocks into the water.

Eventually it was time to move on and with one last glance over my shoulder at "that tree" with the sunlight gleaming off the creek, we headed back to the car.

On our way back out between Madison Junction and the West Entrance, we happened upon three mama elk with their calves. One interesting thing about elk calves, they have white spots just like baby deer. They were a bit too far apart to get a good shot of all six, but here is one of the pairs (complete with beautiful landscape).
And just so no one thinks I was making up Caleb's excitement over elk, check it out for yourself in this picture when we got him out of the car to see! I just wish we had audio to add to it!
From there it was a quick dinner at a pizza place in West Yellowstone, hurried showers, and a family of four collapsing into bed...


Anonymous said...

oh how much fun! It looks like you all had so much fun! I can't wait to see more pictures!
Love Aunt Cici

Michelle said...

Looks like alot of fun. I would love to buy the elmo leash from you. I have been looking for one for when we go to the zoo in August. I love Kylie's haircut she looks so beautiful.

Tricia said...

Am enjoying seeing all the pictures of your trip. Love the mama elk and her calf. It looks just beautiful.

Oh, and I forgot to mention in my comment on the prior post--the ladybug was pretty awesome!!

Pam said...

Your trip looks absolutely phenomenal! Hopefully we will make it out there in another couple of years. Then I'll be asking you for pointers and information!

Tricia said...

Way too fun! I love the last pic of your little man. He looks totally mesmerized.
And thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement. God bless.

Angela said...

Glad you had such a great trip! The pictures of the landscape are absolutely gorgeous. And already know how beautiful I think your kids are :)

Nancy said...

The stroller looks awesome (making a mental note for the future). Great pix!