"...where the buffalo roam..."

(Saturday, July 18 ~ A Buffalo kind of morning!)

Saturday morning we finally had "our groove on" and had figured out how to be in the park before 8:00. The only downside is that it made for a funny picture when we finally stopped to get our "here's proof that we were really at Yellowstone as a family" picture...

Yep, the kids were still in their pajamas.

We figured that we usually took a moment to slather on sunscreen at our first stop, may as well take a few minutes to get them dressed at that time too. Ian and I quickly got dressed that morning and just scooped the kids out of bed and put them in the car. Why didn't we think of that the first morning?

Of course taking the kids straight from the bed to the car seat presented another hurdle to overcome. Breakfast. No worries, we solved that one pretty easily too...

Frosted strawberry Pop-Tarts, breakfast of champions! Funny thing is that Caleb wasn't too impressed with the pastry and handed it back to Ian ~ minus the frosting. Now that's talent!

And of course, I had to give my spiel of, "This is vacation and we won't be eating Pop-tarts for breakfast when we get back home..."

Yeah, I spent a lot of time at the wheel on this trip. Not so much by choice but because as we were going through security here in NC at the airport a "not so friendly" TSA agent informed Ian that his license had expired back in May... Luckily (and maybe frighteningly) she waved him on through.

Thanks to our early(er) start and fueled by a nutritious breakfast, we made good time around the top of the lower loop to Hayden Valley. As we came around one of the corners we saw lots of cars pulled off to the side. We slowed down to see what folks were getting out of their cars to view, but when we realized it was just a single buffalo we decided to just point it out to the kids and keep on going. After all, we had experienced several close encounters of the buffalo kind already! I did of course have the camera in hand as we went by and got this nice shot of the guy causing the traffic jam.
Buffalo butt! (Just cause I can...)

Five minutes later we experienced one of the most magical moments we had in Yellowstone. We came around the corner to see an entire herd of buffalo roaming across the prarie.
Click on the photo to enlarge it! It was so cool to see so many of these animals in their natural habitat!
We ended up spending some 45 minutes just watching. Caleb repeatedly sang the Water Buffalo song and pointing to the buffalo on the animal identification guide and then out at the herd.
Kylie kept wanting to take pictures. (I was helping her zoom in in this one).

I honestly think we could have stayed for another 45 minutes or so, but after we had both of the kids dressed and took some time to admire the animals as a family we decided if we were going to complete the bottom loop that we'd better get moving. Lake Yellowstone was calling!

On the way we decided to stop at Sulphur Cauldron. By this point Kylie was really into journaling her experiences and asked to take her journal and crayons with her to the overlook.
She stood for several minutes observing and then deciding how to best capture what she saw in a drawing. It was so precious!
After a few minutes she got distracted from her drawing by a buffalo who had been rolling in the dust.

By this point we had seen so many buffalo that it would have been easy to forget that they aren't just big lovable beasts. This sign was a sobering reminder that they aren't as friendly as they appear...
Good thing we saw it too because at our very next stop we had the closest encounter I hope I ever have with a buffalo! (But that happened at Mud Volcano and that's another post...)


Tricia said...

Love the pictures. That is a lot of buffalo in one spot. Did they stink? Nice look on your face too while giving the this is vacation speach. What's wrong with pop tarts for breakfast? :) Colt may disagree with you on this topic.

Kylie journaling is so cute. She'll love to see that when she gets older.

The warning sign is my favorite. I think the picture is quite clear for the non-English readers. It reminds me of the Bear Advisory we saw in Grandfather last summer. Abby was so worried about encountering a bear on the trail.

Allison said...

I'm glad we're not the only ones who feed their kid nutritious breakfasts. Maggie likes the strawberry ones too.

Nancy said...

Love the kids in their PJs! Noah also wears seasonal PJs out of season, as long as they still fit! I'll have to remember that for our future travels to keep Noah in PJs to save time. Great idea!