Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Yellowstone: A Love Affair

Mammoth Hot Springs
This morning we left the Chalet at the crack of ten (much to all of the husbands' dismay).  We started our day at Mammoth Hot Springs where we instructed the children that failure to remain on the path might end in disfiguration or death.  We took a short hike where we heard, "Mommm, is it time to go back to the car yet?" in no less than six different languages. 
Next stop lunch.  Afterward, we headed to Canyon Visitor's Education Center where seven children became newly annointed Junior Rangers.  Georgie would like me to add that she needed to bribe her children to participate in the Junior Ranger Program by offering a trip to the gift store after Junior Ranger Activity Books were completed. 
Actual picture!
On the other end of the spectrum, we had Birdie and Rach's kids who frantically filled out their forms, quizzing us on the type of rock found in various areas of the park.  We loaded everyone back into the car and then pulled over two minutes later so all fourteen of us could hop out to snap pictures of a grazing bison.  

We hiked down to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  Breathtaking!  Even the littlest in our group couldn't deny its appeal as they leaned over the unguarded edge giving all the mothers heart failure.  Birdie asked an international visitor if they would take our picture but was told, "It is not necessary."  Fortunately, there was another mother there with her college age daughter who was happy to step up to the task.  "Enjoy these years, they're the best," she counseled us. 

Our group

Next up, a long drive and short hike to the Boiling River, a place where a hot spring mixes with ice cold river water.  We set a record for how many Sista' wives can flash the general parkgoing public while changing into swimwear outside of a minivan.  Child #1 set a record for how many random strangers she could stress out by diving headfirst into fast-moving rapids. 

Daily Statistics
The boiling river and my shadow
Buffalo:  One
Bathroom Breaks:  Six, at least!
Number of requests to poop immediately after we left bathroom:  One    
Failed attempts to start hiking songs:  Four 
Antelope:  A whole herd
Times Birdie's husband almost ran off the road:  Five  (but we forigve him because he makes a mean Gin and Tonic)
Same Sex Crushes on Park Rangers: Two.  Those Park Rangers are so darn cute and happy to answer questions.

Best kid moments according to them "The hot springs (a general consensus here), the waterfall, it was spectacular more than I imagined, I dunno, and listening to Child #1 tell stories about 'The Horrid Life'.


Hart Johnson said...

Such a great experience! You guys are all so lucky. I love those hot springs meet river things--there is a spot like that on the Salmon and if you've been on the river for 3 days, it's sort of nice to sit in some warm water, even if it stinks a little.

Sarah Tokeley said...

I love that picture of all of you. So glad you eventually found someone happy to take it :-)

Johanna Garth said...

Hart, we loved the stinky water!

Thanks Sarah, it's a big, crazy group. I completely understand people passing on the "opportunity" to try to photograph us but we were so happy someone did too!

The Bookworm said...

It looks like you are having a fabulous time. This definitely seems like a great family trip!