Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Yellowstone National Park

Our Vrtiska family reunion was at Yellowstone Park this year. We stayed in a resort in West Yellowstone. We had so much fun. Most families had their own rooms except for the little ones, which is mine and my little sister who is a newly wed and pregnant with her first. We stayed together. All the rooms were right next to each other so we all left our rooms propped open so the kids could go from room to room and play. Each morning the kids would wake up and go find their buddies and play until it was time to go to that days activity. At one point I had all the four and five year old kids in my room playing and Isaiah was off somewhere else. It was pretty fun!

First shot of the kids inside the park. They were just a little excited.

Our first stop was the Artist Paint Pots. Very beautiful and not as stinky as the geysers.

We were pretty lucky to get an amazing view of the buffalo. Daniel and I took a wrong turn and ended up getting lost from the rest of the family. We went all the way north to the Mammoth Falls which are amazing. On our way back to find the group, pretty much impossible since there is no cell phone range and the park is huge, we came across some traffic. This usually means there is an animal to see. The cars slowly moved along. When we came up over the hill we could see this huge herd of Bison come up over the hill. The cars kept moving forward and some people had pulled over and gotten out of their cars. Just as we were the car in the front the herd started to cross the street. It was right in front of us! Daniel looks over and says, "Look at that guy jump into the back of his truck. Wait isn't that Adam?" We had found my family. They ended up in the exact spot we did and we all got to experience the Bison together. It was a pretty majestic sight!

Daniel and Isaiah wanted to stop at about every river and creek in that park to fish. Finally on our way out we did. We never caught anything of course but the scenery was so relaxing.

The park days were long and packed. They were super fun but we all need a day off after the first couple outings. It's tiring to go all day long with 18 kids! The next day we all hung out at the resort. The kids' favorite thing to do was swim. They were in that pool for hours. The adults organized a mean game of whiffle ball. I am sad I didn't get any pictures of either. I have known my whole life that my sisters and I are all very competitive but I had no idea how competitive every one's husbands were. My dad even got after it. Luckily nobody got far as I know.

The next day was Old Faithful day. I have seen Old Faithful erupt before but I had no idea that there was so many more cool things to see around the land there.

We had front row seats. We only had to wait 45 minutes and the kids kept themselves entertained playing in the rocks the whole time. Daniel and I found a lovely couple from New Zealand to chat it up with while we waited.

This is actually just after it went off.

It's starting to go. The rest of it I got on video so you can't see the maximum height of it all.

The next few pictures are just of the geyser's and springs that caught my eye. The whole thing is really just amazing. The coolest thing is that the volcano is constantly changing so you won't necessarily see the same things each time you go.

One of my favorites. It looks like coral but it's not! :)
I also love the ridge that has formed on this one.
I know the colors just look dirty here but the camera didn't capture the whole picture and the beauty of it all.
Another one of my favorites. I love the different color.
Makes you want to jump in it's so clear. I don't think that would be too safe though.
This is called Anemone Geyser. Can you guess why?
Heart Spring

All the kids wanted to throw something in the holes that look like they go to the center of the earth. I'm sure it took a lot of self restraint for them not to.

On our way home from Old Faithful we drove down Fire Hole Canyon drive just to see what was back there. We were pleasantly surprised by a beautiful canyon with water falls and a great place for Daniel to try out his fly fishing.

I guess this is the fastest way down. Makes sense to me.

Isaiah and I had fun exploring while Daniel fished.

Last day:(
There is this nice little swimming hole on Fire Hole Canyon Drive. The water is supposed to be 75 to 80 degrees. On a nice warm day that would be great. Our last day at the park just happened to be the coldest one. The original plan was to go for a nice family swim before we had to leave. I backed out and Isaiah, Stephan, Daniel Dewey, and Daniel Long went.
I was pretty impressed with the boys just jumping in and swimming. There was a little rock slide upstream you could ride down. You just jump into the current and let it take you down the river. The boys had to swim.....
...and climb all the way there.

Isaiah not too sure about his decision to do this.

Daniel had to help the boys swim once they got closer to the current. The rest I got on video. The video basically shows Stephan get in just fine and have a blast and then Isaiah refusing to do it after. I told him that was the only way he could get back and so Daniel and he jumped in together and they did it. Once Isaiah reached the other side it was all frowns from him.
We had such a great trip. It went by way too quick though. For those who have never been, I highly recommend, at least at some point in your life, taking a trip to Yellowstone National Park.